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Silent PSUs: Fortron Versus Silverstone


The output voltages ranged within the permitted values for the entire duration of the test period. In particular, the important 3.3 V, 5 V and 12 V voltage rails only deviated by a few millivolts from the nominal values. Only under full load were there slightly increased breaks in voltages, which were again well within the specification.

Nominal ValueMeasurementPermitted Deviation
3.3 V3.22 V3.14 V to 3.47 V
5 V4.96 V4.75 V to 5.25 V
12 V11.88 V11.40 V to 12.60 V
12 V (CPU)11.82 V11.40 V to 12.60 V
5 V (Standby)4.87 V4.75 V to 5.25 V
-12 V-12.51 V-10.80 V to -13.20 V
Nominal ValueMeasurementPermitted Deviation
3.3 V3.28 V3.14 V to 3.47 V
5 V5.01 V4.75 V to 5.25 V
12 V11.95 V11.40 V to 12.60 V
12 V (CPU)11.93 V11.40 V to 12.60 V
5 V (Standby)4.90 V4.75 V to 5.25 V
-12 V-11.80 V-10.80 V to -13.20 V
Nominal ValueMeasurementPermitted Deviation
3.3 V3.31 V3.14 V to 3.47 V
5 V5.05 V4.75 V to 5.25 V
12 V11.99 V11.40 V to 12.60 V
12 V (CPU)11.98 V11.40 V to 12.60 V
5 V (Standby)4.92 V4.75 V to 5.25 V
-12 V-11.41 V-10.80 V to -13.20 V
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • one-shot
  • 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.
  • gwolfman
    Ummmm, so where's the temps? The review is practically pointless without temp measurements on a fanless PSU. BOOOOO!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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?