SilenX Luxurae 400w Power Supply

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Box

On the box of their Luxurae line of power supplies, SilenX claims to manufacture “the world’s quietest power supplies”. Sheer hype? Not when the power supplies in question are fanless. That’s right, SilenX’s Luxurae power supplies are passively cooled, so they should theoretically be completely silent (zero decibels), or at least a whole lot quieter than a fanned PSU.

However, how stable are these Luxurae power supplies, and how much overclocking room do they allow?

Features

Incangle

Contents of the package

The Luxurae features nine 4-pin molex, two floppy, two SATA, and the standard ATX power and P4 connectors. The connectors aren’t standard white molex connectors, but blue, easy release connectors which are useful when you’ve got enough leverage to press down on their round release tabs. The ATX, P4, and AUX connectors are bundled in braided black sleeving as well.

Wires

Here are the Luxurae’s
specifications from SilenX’s website:

  • Dimensions:
    150mm x 86mm x 140mm
  • Connectors:
    6 molex (4-pin), 2 floppy, 2 S-ATA
  • Input:
    115/230V @ 50/60 Hz
  • Output:
    400W
  • 3.3V – 40.0A
  • 5.0V – 36.0A
  • 12.0V – 18.0A
  • <3%
    Load Regulation
  • <1%
    Line Regulation
  • Efficiency:
    80% under load
  • Over
    Voltage Protection: 3.3V/4V 5V/6V 12V/14V
  • Over
    Power Protection: 105%~150% of max load
  • High Quality Construction
  • Highly
    Efficient Passive PFC Circuit

The Luxurae also has an integrated Voltage Control knob located next to the power switch. This knob allows the 5V and 12V rails to be adjusted, which is a very useful feature for overclockers.

The Luxurae really is constructed with obvious care and attention to detail. There are no sharp edges, fragile feeling connectors, switches, or knobs. The sleeving application on the ATX, P4, and AUX cables is well done, and the overall product is polished and well-finished.

The Luxurae is a heavy power supply (about 2.3Kg, or 5 pounds). Heavy is generally good for PSUs, and the Luxurae is extra-heavy due to its large internal and external heatsinking and heatpiping needed for passive cooling.

TopGrill

Performance

Test Bed

  • AthlonXP 2500+ with a SilenX
    SX-120C iXtrema 120mm cooler @ 5V (Stock speed,
    1.65V, Overclocked 2.3GHz, 1.8V)
  • ASUS
    A7N8X Deluxe
  • 2x512MB
    Mushkin 222 V2 200MHz (Stock speed, 2.8V, Overclocked
    210MHz, 2.8V)
  • Radeon 9800 (Stock speed, 1.6V and 412MHz; Overclocked 1.7V/342MHz)
  • Western
    Digital 1200JB 7200RPM HDD in a SmartDrive2002 enclosure
  • Western
    Digital 400BB 7200RPM HDD (used in 4 of the 6 voltage readings)
  • Chaintech AV-710
  • SilenX Luxurae 400w PSU
  • Global
    WIN YCC-61F1 Server Case
  • 2x120mm
    SilenX 11dBA Case fans @ 5V (one intake and one
    exhaust)
  • All
    fans run through a Sunbeam Rheobus

Noise

While this power supply is usually close to dead silent, it will make a high-pitched noise occasionally during operation. It isn’t noticeable at all with all of the case fans at 12V or even just the CPU fan at 12V with the case fans at 5V.

In other words, unless your system is extremely quiet, the PSU’s high-pitched noise will not be audible.

Voltage

Voltage measurements were taken with my system at completely stock settings with one hard drive running. Then measurements were taken with the system’s video card, RAM, and CPU overclocked. Finally, measurements were taken with the video card, RAM, and CPU overclocked, and 2 hard drives running. This same procedure was followed while testing the power supply’s output under load conditions (aka Half Life 2). Voltages were read from the ATX power connector with a digital multimeter.

IG2

IG2

The Luxurae passes both the Idle and the Load test with flying colors. Even when the test bed was overclocked and the second hard drive was added, none of the voltages on any of the rails fluctuated considerably.

Note: I would suggest that this power supply be used with an exhaust fan in the case to ease the strain on the passive cooling, since my system did not POST with overclocked parameters with the case exhaust fan turned off.

Conclusion

The Luxurae is the first passive cooled power supply that I want to own. I have found previous passive PSUs to be far too large and hot to be used in a real low noise, high performance system.

This kind of quality does cost $240 for 400w, but for the discerning low noise enthusiast, the SilenX Luxurae power supply is a bargain.

Thanks to..

Tom Akita

Photography by Eric Lowe

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Discussion
  1. if real world testing is done with a PSU, i would like the other components that make up the test to be the most taxing on the power supply...

    these are the components:

    # AthlonXP 2500+ with a SilenX SX-120C iXtrema 120mm cooler @ 5V (Stock speed, 1.65V, Overclocked 2.3GHz, 1.8V)

    # ASUS A7N8X Deluxe

    # 2x512MB Mushkin 222 V2 200MHz (Stock speed, 2.8V, Overclocked 210MHz, 2.8V)

    # Radeon 9800 (Stock speed, 1.6V and 412MHz; Overclocked 1.7V/342MHz)

    # Western Digital 1200JB 7200RPM HDD in a SmartDrive2002 enclosure

    # Western Digital 400BB 7200RPM HDD (used in 4 of the 6 voltage readings)

    if i was to run a watercooled P4E prescott on an 875 board would i expect similar results at stock and overclocked power draws?
    about the testing method, i would like if it it is done the same way as silentpcreview, techreport, or xbitlabs testing their psus...


    For me it would be better to drop price 2x and use as quiet fan as possible.


    They already do, but it is still way overpriced, it is a fortron psu with a silent fan.. here

    I could do the same thing for nearly half the price..
    Good article.

    But as for me that PSU is overpriced. I have beQuiet PSU for a fraction of price of that and it's pretty quiet (I can't hear it at night), my friend has Fortron 400W, that is very quiet too, and costs less than beQuiet. Basically I'm against passive cooling - in my opinion it's a bad idea, as there are fans that make no difference from 1 meter when they are on or off (like these Arctic Cooling case fans). They don't push much air, but it's enough for, let's call it, semi-passive cooling. Airflow is much better than with passive, and noise similiar, or even the same at reasonable distance.

    For me it would be better to drop price 2x and use as quiet fan as possible.
    In my opinion, it is a high quality PSU from the looks of it. Overpriced, yes, but all SilenX stuff is as far as I can tell. There's a surge lately of fanless PSUs, and there's bound to be more.

    I especially like how the author used a DMM to measure voltages directly at the ATX connector instead of relying on Motherboard Monitor results.

    Well done article. :thup: