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?
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.
Here are the Luxurae’s
specifications from SilenX’s website:
150mm x 86mm x 140mm
6 molex (4-pin), 2 floppy, 2 S-ATA
115/230V @ 50/60 Hz
- 3.3V – 40.0A
- 5.0V – 36.0A
- 12.0V – 18.0A
80% under load
Voltage Protection: 3.3V/4V 5V/6V 12V/14V
Power Protection: 105%~150% of max load
- High Quality Construction
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.
- AthlonXP 2500+ with a SilenX
SX-120C iXtrema 120mm cooler @ 5V (Stock speed,
1.65V, Overclocked 2.3GHz, 1.8V)
Mushkin 222 V2 200MHz (Stock speed, 2.8V, Overclocked
- Radeon 9800 (Stock speed, 1.6V and 412MHz; Overclocked 1.7V/342MHz)
Digital 1200JB 7200RPM HDD in a SmartDrive2002 enclosure
Digital 400BB 7200RPM HDD (used in 4 of the 6 voltage readings)
- Chaintech AV-710
- SilenX Luxurae 400w PSU
WIN YCC-61F1 Server Case
SilenX 11dBA Case fans @ 5V (one intake and one
fans run through a Sunbeam Rheobus
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 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.
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.
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.
Kim at SilenX
for providing this sample for evaluation
for posting this review
Photography by Eric Lowe