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SilverStone SST-ST50NF

Silent Running: Two Fanless Power Supplies And A Quiet One, Tested

At first glance, SilverStone's SST-ST50NF looks like a gigantic heat sink. Basically, that’s what it is. The top consists of aluminum cooling fins. And its hefty weight, close to eight pounds, offers some indication of this power supply's purpose: achieve maximum cooling performance without a fan. In other words, the SilverStone SST-ST50NF (called the Nightjar after the nocturnal bird) is a fanless power supply like Seasonic's X-460. Unlike the X-460, though, Silverstone's offering is only 80 PLUS Bronze-certified, leading us to assume that it'll dissipate more heat as a result of lower efficiency. This explains why SilverStone turns its entire enclosure into a giant heat considerable expense, we're guessing.

Unsurprisingly, the 80 PLUS Bronze-certified SilverStone power supply's liberal use of aluminum makes it cost significantly more than Seasonic's X-460. It's as much as $70 more when you compare the lowest prices for each online, taking the SilverStone unit's total to $200.

For that price, you get the highest total wattage of the three power supply's we're comparing. But note that its +12 V rail is limited to the same 38 A current as Seasonic's offering. And, in spite of a hefty price, the SST-ST50NF doesn't employ modular cabling. All of its leads are soldered directly to the PCB. Some folks consider this good (one less failure point) and others prefer modular connectors for their benefit to cable management. The cables are sleeved at least, though they're are too short by several inches. This detracts from an otherwise attractive-looking unit. Fortunately, you get plenty of cables and connectors.

The SilverStone PSU's specs are almost identical to the Seasonic unit's, both armed with a single 38 A, +12 V rail multiplying out to 456 W. SilverStone sets itself apart with a total continuous output of 500 W, whereas Seasonic is only rated for 460 W.

SilverStone SST-ST50NF
AC Input110-240 V, 50-60 Hz
DC Output+3.3 V+5 V+12 V (#1)+12 V (#3)+12 V (#3)+12 V (#4)-12 V+5 Vsb
18 A18 A38 A

0.5 A2.5 A
Individual Output  32 A  6 W12.5 W
Rail UtilizationSysSysCPU And VGA
Combined Output120 W456 W
Total Continuous Output500 W
Peak Output550 W
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