Silent, But Deadly: Build Your Own Gaming-Ready 0 dB PC

PSU: SilverStone Nightjar 400W Zero dBA

Fanless Power: SilverStone Nightjar 400W Zero dBA

SilverStone's Nightjar 400W Zero dBA is fairly heavy as a result of its completely passive design. Thermally, this power supply should work really well in the Temjin TJ08-E because of how it's built. The Nightjar’s current street price of $160 is high, but within reason. We won’t need the PSU's 400 W output by a long shot. Of course, we know that wasting power by buying too large of a power supply (and consequently not optimizing for efficiency) is a problem). But we're getting as close as possible with SilverStone's Nightjar 400W Zero dBA. It’s getting hard to find a PSU under 400 W these days, after all.

SilverStone NightJar ST40NF Technical Specifications
Maximum Power
400 W (Passive)
Voltage Rails

+3.3 V
+5 V
+12 V
+5 VSB
-12 V
-5 V
Maximum (A)
20 A
14 A
17 A
2.5 A
0.5 A
n/a
Peak (A)
n/a
n/a
31.5 A
3.5 A
n/a
n/a
Minimum (A)
0 A
0 A
0.2 A
0 A
0 A
n/a
Combined +3.3 V, +5 V
130 W maximum
Combine +12 V
324 W (27 A) maximum
Line Voltage
99 V ~ 264 V
Line Frequency
47 Hz ~ 63 Hz
PFC
Active PFC (PF>0.99 at Full Load)
Efficiency
82% ~ 86% at 20% ~ 100% Load (80 PLUS Bronze)
Protection
OCP - Overcurrent Protection
OPP - Overpower (Overload) Protection
OVP - Overvoltage Protection
UVP - Undervoltage Protection
SCP - Short Circuit Protection
Connectors
1 x 24 / 20-Pin Motherboard Connector (550 mm)
1 x 8 / 4-Pin EPS / ATX 12V Connector (550 mm)
1 x 6-Pin PCIe Connector (500 mm)
1 x 8/6-Pin PCIe Connector (500 mm / 150 mm)
2 x SATA x3 Connector (500 mm / 150 mm / 150 mm)
1 x PATA x3 Connector (500 mm / 250 mm / 150 mm)
1 x PATA Connector + 4-Pin Floppy Connector (500 mm / 250 mm / 150 mm / 150 mm)
Color
Silver
Cooling
Passive, No Fans, 0 dBA
Dimensions
Width: 150 mm
Height: 86 mm
Depth: 160 mm
Weight
6.6 lbs


Careful Installation

Installing the power supply takes some effort, and involves taking off the case’s top panel (the hard part) and then placing it inside the chassis from above (the easy part). The PSU's sharp edges can scratch the enclosure's finish very easily, so handle the hardware carefully during installation.

After the PSU is in place, it’s fastened from the back with four included thumb screws, making it easy to finish the installation. Too bad the screws and power supply aren't available in black, though.

The 400 W version of this PSU doesn’t have a status LED (the 500 Watt version does). Instead, the on/off switch lights up when the PSU is turned on. Using a motherboard that supports ErP/EuP, we measured an off-mode power consumption of only 0.4 W.

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136 comments
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    Top Comments
  • _Pez_
    Great PC !, but if it was mine I would be scared... "no fan noise .. is it burning?"
    25
  • mayankleoboy1
    Great article! Much more DIY than the usual articles on Toms.
    Much appreciated.
    19
  • Nintendo Maniac 64
    As someone that also uses a semi-passive PC (fan only turns on when needed), I'm disappointed that you guys left out a few big things:

    1. undervolting the CPU and GPU

    2. underclocking and farther undervolting the GPU for 2D mode

    3. hybrid cooling setup for GPUs where the fan only turns on at a high temperature (may require GPU BIOS editing depending on GPU model)

    OPTIONAL (due to risk): removal of CPU IHS
    16
  • Other Comments
  • ASHISH65
    great article !!!
    7
  • azathoth
    I was disappointed there wasn't actual stress test temperature results of the APU for the passive cooling solution.

    But otherwise it's a neat article, personally I would sacrifice dead silence to use a cheaper HDD and perhaps more of those silent fans if I were to build one myself.
    2
  • mayankleoboy1
    Great article! Much more DIY than the usual articles on Toms.
    Much appreciated.
    19
  • _Pez_
    Great PC !, but if it was mine I would be scared... "no fan noise .. is it burning?"
    25
  • Nintendo Maniac 64
    As someone that also uses a semi-passive PC (fan only turns on when needed), I'm disappointed that you guys left out a few big things:

    1. undervolting the CPU and GPU

    2. underclocking and farther undervolting the GPU for 2D mode

    3. hybrid cooling setup for GPUs where the fan only turns on at a high temperature (may require GPU BIOS editing depending on GPU model)

    OPTIONAL (due to risk): removal of CPU IHS
    16
  • dudewitbow
    no love for sapphire's passive ultimate HD 7770?
    12
  • Madn3ss795
    Pentium G2120 + Sapphire Ultimate HD7750 would have been a better choice. And you can pay extra for a low-power Core i5 instead since it's not that expensive compared to the rest of this build.
    0
  • ivyanev
    When i hear gaming from the TH I really expect to see something in the realm of 500$ SBM machine or at least something close. What I see here is realy nice office pc.
    -10
  • Nintendo Maniac 64
    Anonymous said:
    When i hear gaming from the TH I really expect to see something in the realm of 500$ SBM machine or at least something close. What I see here is realy nice office pc.

    The main issue is the GPU, and that would require a hybrid passive-active cooling solution much like was done for the CPU, but for some reason they didn't even try such a thing...
    0
  • twelve25
    I wonder about an i5 or i7 S or T model and crossfire 7750's. You might need a bigger case and a longer motherboard that allows gaps between cards.
    1
  • memadmax
    I don't like auto-start fans. They tend to turn off/on at weird times and become annoying...
    4
  • abbadon_34
    Silent PC (Gaming) is simple. Large passive water cooling such as the Zalman Resevator on the CPU and GPU, and anyother components needing heat dissipation. I've done this for the last 8 years, not for the silence, but because it's nice to see the temp never stray from 40-45, and never worry about cooling again.
    0
  • DjEaZy
    ... awesome media pc...
    -1
  • JonnyDough
    It has a fan. A FAN. It isn't zero dB.
    -7
  • JonnyDough
    I'm a fan! (and I make a LOT of noise) :D

    By the way, I own two of those Samsung Blu-Ray drives and the blue LED in the button is overly bright. I would NOT want to set that case on my desk.
    0
  • JonnyDough
    One more thing. I like bottom mounted power supplies because I like a low center of gravity on my builds. However, I prefer the top mounted PCI slots. The video cards not only look better with their coolers on top, but the heat rises off the video card and into the video card cooler making it more effective, especially in a build without air movement.
    0
  • ankit0x1
    did i told you definition of insanity?
    great article toms
    -5
  • jasont78
    pity they put the bluray in it would be much louder than most actively cooled cases anyway
    3
  • FormatC
    Quote:
    1. undervolting the CPU and GPU
    This is always possible but each CPU/APU and GPU is a unique piece. Undervolting 10 APUs can can give you 10 different results. If it works with higher voltage it works also with undervolting. But I must check the worst case and only 100% stable settings. :)
    2
  • trumpeter1994
    They failed to mention how loud it was when both the fan and blu-ray drive had spun up
    1