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Silent PSUs: Fortron Versus Silverstone

Results: Our Choice--Silverstone

Our results favor Silverstone’s Nightjar. At medium and high outputs, the efficiency is very high, and the unit cannot be heard even under full load. Also advantageous are connection cables at sensible lengths, which also enable use in larger cases, and flexible connection options with the separable 8-pin connections for CPU and graphics card.

The less expensive power supply from Fortron only gains points for operation with low power systems, which work with outputs in the 50 watt to 150 watt range—at higher output ranges the power supply starts to emit a bothersome high-pitched noise. On the other hand, the constantly high efficiency and low standby power consumption are notable.

  • knowom
    I think they'd be great for a digital audio workstation environment now if only there was some more competition in this market segment to drive prices down to a more decent level.
    Reply
  • mdmadph
    "The +12V CPU connection is only available as 4-pin version, which can lead to problems with some boards that require an 8-pin connection."

    Know of many HTPC boards that need an 8-pin CPU connection? :\ I sure don't.
    Reply
  • one-shot
    ^^lol
    Reply
  • I have read 3-4 other reviews of the zen 400W, and I'm pretty sure there has been no mention of the high pitched sound. It's not a good sign for the zen, but it's probably a faulty powersupply tested in this review.
    Reply
  • gwolfman
    Ummmm, so where's the temps? The review is practically pointless without temp measurements on a fanless PSU. BOOOOO!
    Reply
  • jeffunit
    Without specifying the input voltage, efficiency measurements are pretty useless. Running at 240v will yield a few percent higher efficiency than 120. Even 240v will be more efficient than 220v.
    Reply
  • kittle
    Re-run your review and include tempratures. Its pointless w/o them.

    If you have found a fanless PSU thats safe to touch -- thats great. but if these things get to 40, 50, 60c - then we need to know not to buy them.
    Reply
  • I own the Zen400 power supply and it's exactly what I needed for a quiet HTPC, to the point where it's literally impossible to tell when the PC is on. During normal operation I have never heard the high pitched sound this review mentions (although it did output a sound similar in volume and annoyance to a smoke alarm when I failed to plug in the power cable to the graphics card - it was clearly an error/failure tone).
    Reply
  • In regards to the lack of the 8 pin CPU 12v connector, if you can find a motherboard of which the 4 +12v pins of the port are not electrically connected, please point it out to actually justify needing the 8 pin connector. To be honest, a motherboard with a single +12v pin isolated to only 1 or 2 vcore phases would'nt be any motherboard you would want to purchase, for power efficiency reasons.
    Reply
  • Alternator
    I agree with the above posters, temps would be nice, and not just of the PSU...

    I am quite interested in getting a capable (above 400watt) PSU that doesn't require a fan, but I really need to keep an eye on the temperatures.

    I have a fanless mb and vid card (3850 radeon), and would wonder if adding a fanless psu into the mix would jeopardise the system by reducing the air flow through the case. (after all I wouldn't get a fanless PSU if my other components were noisy to begin with!?)

    Perhaps an article focused more on configuring a quiet computer (for the purpose of gaming) could be in order?
    Reply