SilverStone Nightjar NJ520 520W Fanless PSU Review

What is more quiet than a computer power supply with a fan? You guessed it, a PSU with no fan. This unit has small footprint builds in mind featuring excellent Platinum efficiency, flexible flat cables, and of course no sound profile to speak of. Does the 520 watt rated SilverStone Nightjar hold up when we put it in the incubator?

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Overview

The first thing we are going to look at with the SilverStone NJ520 is its packaging, accessories, and documentation. While normally none of these items is a make or break item for a power supply the packaging quite often contains a lot of information about the product we are purchasing. The inclusion of an owner’s manual that provides actual information about our product is also of great help. Accessories are almost unnecessary with a power supply as the unit is self contained, unless it is modular, but there are cases where a manufacturer can include useful accessories to make installation, routing, and use more efficient.

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The packaging for the SilverStone NJ520 is very similar to what we saw from the ST50NF some time ago. The front of the packaging is once more dominated by the Nightjar 520W ZerodBA text but this time it is telling us that we have an "ultimate fanless power supply with 80 Plus Platinum". The front of the package also contains a column of advertising including things such as "Class-leading Single +12v rail", "100% modular cables", and "Strict 2% Voltage Regulation" (an improvement over the ST50NF's 3%). Additionally, we see an 80 Plus Platinum badge which when we flip over to the 80 Plus website we do indeed find that this unit is currently certified for 80 Plus Platinum. Moving on, the rear of the packaging of the NJ520 mostly contains advertising points which we just saw on the front of the package but with accompanying pictures or graphs in the case of the efficiency. On the sides of the packaging we find the power label (reproduced below), connector count (reproduced below), and the fact that the unit is rated at 40C (this is later somewhat muddied in the manual). As with the ST50NF, we again do not find the warranty length on the packaging but we find an obscure reference in one of the manuals that lists the warranty as 3 years for some products and 1 or 5 years for others. A quick check of the SilverStone website finds this link that was put up after our last SilverStone review and this indicates that the NJ520 comes with a 3 year warranty. That 3 year warranty is sadly short especially as we last saw a Seasonic fanless unit under Seasonic's own brand carrying a 7 year warranty.

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The power information for the SilverStone NJ520 is similar to what we saw from the ST50NF but not identical. First things first, the SilverStone NJ520 bumps the 12v capacity up to 43A (or ~99% of the unit’s potential output) compared to the ST50NF which had a total 12v capacity of 38A (or ~91% of the unit's total output if needed). Flipping things the other direction, we see that the NJ520 has a maximum combined rating on the minor rails of 100W (or 20W less than the ST50NF) but each rail has an individual limit of 20A compared to the ST50NF’s 18A. This is coupled with 5 Molex, 6 SATA, and 2 modified 8-pin PCIe connectors. This is relatively similar to what we saw with the ST50NF and it should be functional for most applications that would use a fanless power supply (HTPC applications come to mind); though the PCIe connectors here certainly will limit this unit's wider appeal just like before.

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Once we open the unit’s packaging, we find that the box includes the unit, power cord, mounting screws, cables in a pouch, zip-ties, and user manuals. In a bit of a change from the ST50NF, the manual (which contains everything we found previously) also includes a reference to the warranty. Sure it is not really clear, but we are making progress! That said, the manual also includes the usual pinout guide, power label, and the very complete electrical specifications that we typically (as well as today) see from SilverStone. With that out of the way, let's move on to see what this unit looks like when we open it up!