Silent PSUs: Fortron Versus Silverstone

If you want a computer to truly be silent, you need to use passive cooling components. Whereas passive cooling components are more frequently available in the graphics card and CPU sector, they are something of a niche market when it comes to power supplies. This is not really a surprise though, given that purely passive units are considerably more expensive than those with fans, and they generally provide relatively poorer performance as well.

Our test compares the Zen 400 from Fortron (FSP) with a power output of 400 watts, and the Nightjar 450 from Silverstone which provides a maximum of 450 watts. Both models can be purchased for less than $200.

In order to ensure proper comparison of the units—and in anticipation of future testing with other units having different power output levels—we tested the efficiency at 100%, 50% and 20% load. In the future, we will also be testing the efficiency at an output of 250 watts, as well as an extremely low output of just 35 watts. The latter is of particular importance for low power systems, to ensure that users are able to find the right kind of power supply for these as well.

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  • MagicWok
    Another great article. But again, please UK Toms - is it difficult to insert UK costs when you copy and paste from the US site that only seems to do any work now a days? UK Toms used to be so good...

    Both models can be purchased for less than $200.
  • Anonymous
    efficiency at 35 watts?
    why would one buy a 400 watt psu for a low power system?
    how about testing a 100 or 200 watt unit???
  • hermanshermit
    Agree with Josh. If you build a HTPC with the current HDTV IGPs then why would you use one of these as opposed to a 120W picopsu which is $50 - a quater the price, will fit in the tiniest case and is more efficient at very low loads?
  • jumpa777
    Hold on, the Silverstone is more expensive, does a poor job at regulating the supply at high loads (3.15V on a 3.3V line is not good, it's bloody awful), is less efficient and is a gas guzzler in standby compared to the other supply on test and yet the Silverstone wins??????? Is it me or is the only thing going for the Silverstone that it is truly silent (especially when it turns off due to overheating). How the hell does the Silverstone come out on top?
  • Anonymous
    I have zen300 and I must say I wish I never bought it, that high pitch noise it a nightmare, it is times more annoying then average speed 120mm fan in ordinary PSU