Silverstone Nightjar ST40NF 400W Silent PSU

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I was surprised and excited to see that Silverstone have a few fanless power supplies on the market.  For home theatre PCs (HTPCs), silence is paramount and nothing is quieter than the absence of fans.  The Nightjar ST40NF may not, at 400 W peak output, be the most powerful power supply but should provide ample power for file serving, watching media, and TV recording.

The product presentation is a little dull: the box is silver and there is only a splash of red to highlight the silent design.  The product itself is entirely silver and not flashy, so the box design does seem appropriate.

Front of the box

Front of the box

Oblique view of the box

Oblique view of the box

Inside the packaging

Inside the packaging

Inside the box there are no surprises: plenty of padding, a manual, a power cord, screws, and some cable ties.  What is nice though is that, in addition to regular zip ties, there are a few Velcro straps for cable management.  It’s also worth noting that both thumbscrews and regular screws are included.

Power cord, Veclro straps, and zip ties included in the box

Power cord, Veclro straps, and zip ties included in the box

Screws and manuals

Screws and manuals

When you first pull the unit from the box, it’s hard to miss the large heatsink that takes up an entire side of the unit.  It is a major structural element of of the casing and has heat pads to link it to the normal heatsinks on the interior.  The rest of the case appears to be designed well to aid natural convection by having lots of holes for air to move through.  As mentioned before, the entire exterior casing is silver in color which is fairly easy on the eyes.  All of the cables are covered and all of the standard connections are provided for current AMD and Intel setups (AM3, 1156, 1366).  There are even two PCI-e power connectors: one 6-pin and one 6+2 pin.

Part of the case is a large heatsink

Part of the case is a large heatsink

The bottom of the unit is the only fully closed side

The bottom of the unit is the only fully closed side

Close up of the power specs

Close up of the power specs

A quick search on the UL website shows that the OEM is FSP Group which bodes well as they generally make decent quality PSUs.  Looking around the inside, there are Rubycon capacitors which have a good reputation (badcaps.net uses them in their recap kits).

The heatsink removed. You can see where the pads make good contact

The heatsink removed. You can see where the pads make good contact

Side view of the internal heatsinks

Side view of the internal heatsinks

Heat pads on top and more holes to promote air flow

Heat pads on top and more holes to promote air flow

Close look at the back of the wall plug

Close look at the back of the wall plug

Rubicon capacitors

Rubicon capacitors

Switch lights up to show the wall connection is active

Switch lights up to show that the wall connection is active

Since we don’t have a proper torture-test setup yet, we cant yet give this a total thrashing. The use of known good quality parts bodes well though, and I can say that this power supply is true to it’s intended purpose and 100% silent during operation.  The price is, however, a little steep when compared to other ATX/EPS power supplies around the same wattage.  Newegg.com currently has this unit for $149 which makes it the most expensive 400W power supply they carry.  So, if you are building a low-power HTPC, have a decent budget and silence is golden for you then check out the Nightjar ST40NF.

– splat

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