Introduction

Are you tired of reading reviews of high output power supply units? It's true that 99% of personal computers out there do not require something capable of outputting more than 500-550 Watts, and even that may be overkill for quite a few people. Even though high output units are often the most interesting in terms of the technologies being used and their potential audience is very demanding, we understand that the bulk of any company's revenue comes from the low-budget and mainstream units.

Today we have something different for you, as we are going to look at the Silverstone Nightjar 520W power supply, a PSU with a moderate power output but a very distinct feature: it's completely fanless. Fanless PSUs are not a new idea, with models appearing as early as the 90's, but the early models still had to rely on massive heatsinks, usually in conjunction with heatpipes -- sometimes even using their entire body as a heatsink as well. This obviously gave them a fair share of disadvantages and increased their cost significantly. The Silverstone Nightjar 520W retails for about $139.99 including shipping (after rebate), a steep price for a 520W unit, even for an 80Plus Platinum certified model. The price is obviously due in large part to its fanless nature. Does it perform well enough to justify such a price? We will find out in this review.

Power specifications (Rated @ 40 °C)
AC INPUT 100 - 240 VAC, 50 - 60 Hz
RAIL +3.3V +5V +12V +5Vsb -12V
MAX OUTPUT 20A 20A 43A 2.5A 0.5A
100W 516W 12.5W 6W
TOTAL 520W

Packaging and bundle

We received the NightJar NJ520 inside a standard cardboard box with a somewhat understated and straightforward aesthetic design, with the unit's major features printed on the front side of the box in English and on the rear side of the box in nine other languages. Inside the box, the PSU is protected by polyethylene foam pieces.

Alongside with the unit, the user will also receive a black and white manual, an AC power cable, a few cable straps, and five high quality Velcro cable ties.

The NJ520 is a fully modular power supply. Its cables come supplied inside a dual nylon pouch and they are all black. Silverstone went with ribbon-like, "flat" cables, with the exception of the 24-pin ATX cable, which is comprised of only black wires covered by black sleeving.

The SilverStone Nightjar NJ520 PSU
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  • A5 - Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - link

    An easier solution for a network-appliance kind of box is to just physically store it somewhere you can't hear it... Reply
  • mapesdhs - Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - link


    For various reasons I didn't want to or couldn't do that.

    Ian.
    Reply
  • basroil - Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - link

    A good case will do wonders for noise control, and often the PSU makes less noise than HDDs under normal use. And if you use a normal CPU/GPU cooler, either one makes far more noise than the PSU will ever get to. Reply
  • mapesdhs - Wednesday, July 09, 2014 - link


    I used a very good case, fanless excellent PSU, on-chip gfx, and an Akasa cooler
    marketed as being quiet and (oddly enough) it indeed was. Silence. 8)

    Ian.
    Reply
  • viharm - Wednesday, September 04, 2019 - link

    Excellent comment with very good information. Thanks @mapesdhs Reply
  • HardwareDufus - Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - link

    NightJar.
    Two thoughts: 1. something I might use on a long road trip, when it's the middle of the night and there are no discreet highway turnoffs. 2. single-function chamber pot

    Then I remembered the bird.

    Anyway... that's some difficult branding to get your mind around.
    Reply
  • romrunning - Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - link

    What? It's a bird?! :) Reply
  • romrunning - Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - link

    "Are you tired of reading reviews of high output power supply units? "

    Yes! A thousand times yes! 90%, maybe even 95%, are NOT running dual GTX Titans or some other power-hungry setup that would require a 1000W+ P/S.

    I want to hear about decent SFX power supplies or even small modular P/S that will support a single video card & a couple of drives. That's all most people are running. As video cards get more power efficient (look at Nvidia's Maxwell), lower rated P/S can become more efficient as well. So point out the good ones that are less than 500W. The more reviews you get, the better quality the vendors will have to make as their faults and cost-cutting measures will be on display to everyone.
    Reply
  • HardwareDufus - Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - link

    "I want to hear about decent SFX power supplies or even small modular P/S that will support a single video card & a couple of drives. That's all most people are running."

    I agree whole heartedly with your sentiments!! I did purchase a Silverstone SFX 450 for my miniITX machine. Still more watts and connections than I need. (could probably do with 100 really).
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - link

    Same here. Power supply company review liaisons, are you reading this? Reply

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