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SilverStone Nightjar 520W Fanless Power Supply Review

Introduction and Features

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SilverStone was one of the first PC power supply manufacturers to design and market a fanless power supply for silent operation.  While many of their competitor’s fanless products have come and gone, SilverStone continues to build on their reputation and recently added the SST-NJ520 520W fanless power supply to the Nightjar Series, which currently includes three models: NJ520, ST50NF, and ST40NF. The Nightjar 520W PSU incorporates premium quality components and a state of the art design to deliver high efficiency (80 Plus Platinum certified), tight voltage regulation (±2%), and clean DC outputs. The new NJ520 fanless power supply comes with fully modular, flat ribbon-style cables that provide 4+4 pin ATX12V/EPS and 6+2 pin PCI-E connector support.

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Here is what SilverStone has to say about their new fanless 520W PSU: “SilverStone’s Nightjar NJ520 is a fanless power supply that offers a whole new experience of quietness and stability. Its premium components and engineering helped it achieve 80 Plus Platinum level of efficiency, reducing wasted heat and enabling reliable operation without a fan. This noiseless performance can be maintained with stringent electrical characteristics even in 40°C operating environments.

As a versatile power supply, the NJ520 has a powerful +12V output of 43A for high-end system usage and its flexible, flat modular cables make assembly easy for improved case airflow. For professionals looking to build PCs or workstations for specialized settings such as recording studios or sound-optimized laboratories, the Nightjar series PSUs with their consistent emphasis on quality, stability, and reliability, are sure to satisfy.

SilverStone Nightjar NJ520 Power Supply Key Features:

•    Fanless thermal solution, 0 dBA acoustics
•    High efficiency with 80 Plus Platinum certification
•    100% Modular cables
•    Strict ±2% voltage regulation and low AC ripple & noise
•    Class leading single +12V rail, up to 43A (516W)
•    Four PCI-E 6+2 pin connectors
•    Protections: OCP, OVP, OPP, OTP, UVP, and SCP
•    Universal AC input and Active PFC
•    MSRP $149.99 USD

Please continue reading our SilverStone NJ520 fanless power supply review!

Editor’s Note: Fanless PC power supplies occupy a niche market and are targeted towards users who want a silent power supply for use in noise-sensitive areas.  Fanless power supplies rely on convection cooling and still require airflow in and around the power supply to carry away the waste heat.  So while the power supply itself may not have a fan, the computer enclosure must still have some means of creating airflow to keep the CPU, GPU and PSU cool (good convection cooling with lots of vent openings or quiet case fans).  The last thing you want to do is put a fanless PSU in a closed PC enclosure without any airflow!

PSU Testing Methodology

Establishing an accurate load is critical to testing and evaluating a PC power supply.  PCPerspective’s power supply test bench can place a precise DC load on the PSU under test.  Each power supply is tested under controlled, real-world conditions up to its maximum rated load (at 40ºC), using both 115 VAC and 240 VAC line voltage.  Our current suite of tests includes:

•    DC Load Regulation
•    AC Ripple and Noise
•    Efficiency
•    Differential Temperature
•    Noise

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The SilverStone NJ520 520W fanless power supply was evaluated on both features and performance.  A full range of equipment was used to test the power supply under controlled load conditions.  

•    (2) CSI3710A Programmable DC load (+3.3V and +5V outputs)
•    (4) CSI3711A Programmable DC load (+12V)
•    (3) 218W Precision resistor load bank (+12V)
•    Switchable precision resistor load bank (-12V and +5VSB)
•    Agilent 34401A digital multimeter (Accuracy ±0.0035% vDC)
•    Extech 380803 Power Analyzer (Accuracy ±0.5% of full scale)
•    DS1M12 "StingRay" digital oscilloscope (20M S/s with 12 Bit ADC)
•    Powerstat Variable Autotransformer, 1.4 KVA, 0-140 VAC
•    Extech Model 407738 digital sound level meter (Accuracy ±1.5 dB)

The following cables/connectors were used to connect the NJ520 to the PCPerspective power supply test equipment.
•    (1) 20+4 pin ATX
•    (1) 4+4 pin EPS/ATX12V
•    (4) 6-pin PCI-E
•    (2) SATA
•    (2) Molex

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June 26, 2014 | 09:11 PM - Posted by dave (not verified)

this is Great for a mini-ITX build!

June 27, 2014 | 07:19 AM - Posted by madhatter256 (not verified)

I probably would have put the thermal sensor near the area where the PSU develops its 12-volt power for the PC while having a GPU and other things attached to it running at max (i.e. gaming).

June 27, 2014 | 11:01 AM - Posted by Possumjones

Wow, this is great. Im planning a game build to do with my daughter this july, This might be our PSU. Id rather get the upcoming SFX 600 from silverstone, but try as I might, I cannot find any info on the release of it. Even though they have been teasing it for quite some time. Thanks for showing off this unit, RoboTech. And thanks to Silverstone, now send one to OC3D, so I can see how it handles a 780.

July 3, 2014 | 06:26 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

In my opinion, this is Seasonic power supply with Silverstone name on it. This is Seasonic Platinum-520 FANLESS without painting. Even the sticker is the same shape as the one on Seasonic power supply's. Warranty sticker is no different from that on the Seasonic branded. Seasonic - 139.99, Silverstone - 149.99. Big disappointment Silverstone, big disappointment :(

July 9, 2014 | 02:13 PM - Posted by venki111 (not verified)

Hey Lee,
This is a great idea which a fan less power supply for silent operation, instead of fan a ribbon is used it work great. i think this is the first one to introduce fan less power supply to pc. Now a inverters and generators are also manufactured with out much noise and emission. As well as the performance of the silverstone nightjar is good according to the performance test that you have done.
Thanks & Regards,

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