SilverStone Nightjar 520W Fanless Power Supply Review
Introduction and Features
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.
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
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
• Differential Temperature
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