Silverstone Nightjar 520 W Review 7

Silverstone Nightjar 520 W Review

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Value and Conclusion

  • The Silverstone Nightjar 520 W retails for $149.99.
  • Delivered full power flawlessly at 45°C
  • Tight voltage regulation
  • Excellent ripple suppression
  • Totally silent operation because of its fanless design
  • Highly efficient
  • Only uses Japanese caps (both electrolytic and polymer)
  • Fully modular
  • Four PCIe connectors available (compared to the two the SS-520FL offers)
  • Very nice look and paint job
  • 3-year warranty versus the 7-year warranty Seasonic offers with their SS-520FL unit
  • In a working environment and at a distance of about 30 cm, I could hear some electrical noise (coil whine) throughout its entire load range
  • Hold-up time is a little lower than the allowed minimum
The fresh Silverstone Nightjar unit is without a doubt an amazing PSU, not only because of its great look and high-quality finish, but mainly due to its high performance. Like expected, it achieved a pretty high performance score as its rails are incredibly stable, ripple suppression is excellent, and it is very efficient throughout. Silverstone was also wise enough to equip it with a couple more PCIe connectors compared to Seasonic's similar offer, which significantly boosts its usability since it has the ability to power strong SLI and Crossfire configurations. Compared to Seasonic's similar SS-520FL, this unit's only downside is its shorter warranty period, which will make many users pick Seasonic's unit since both are priced about the same. That said, anyone looking for a nice paint job and four PCIe connectors will go for the Nightjar. Also note that the Nightjar only uses Japanese capacitors, while Seasonic's unit, although it only uses Japanese electrolytic caps, also comes with polymer caps by a Korean manufacturer, Enesol. Needless to say, Enesol's caps are of very high quality, but for the very picky of you, including myself, Japanese caps by Chemi-Cons are definitely the better deal. Silverstone didn't make any cuts to lower this unit's production cost since they were out to achieve the best possible result, which is definitely the right choice in my opinion.

Silverstone managed to fix the SS-520FL's major shortcoming by offering four PCIe connectors instead of the two Seasonic's unit has, which puts the Nightjar on the very top of your buying list if you want a passive PSU for two VGAs. If its warranty were a little longer, five years, I wouldn't have much to complain about, but Silverstone unfortunately only supplies a three year warranty instead. The short warranty seems strange given the Nightjar only uses Japanese caps, while the SS-520FL, covered by seven years, uses Japanese and Korean polymer caps, yet Seasonic's unit is very reliable and of incredible quality. Seasonic's first batches of the platform reportedly suffered considerable coil whine. The Nightjar I had in my hands definitely didn't have a serious coil whine problem, but it wasn't dead silent either. In a normal working environment, I could hear the PSU's electrical noise from around a distance of 30 cm. Inside in a closed case and installed to the floor, you probably won't even notice its coil whine unless your hearing is incredible, but people who buy passive PSUs are also really sensitive on such matters, so I definitely had to report it here. To observe the unit's pattern of noise, I had to connect it to a couple completely silent loads, and as I did, I noticed that its coil whine remained nearly the same throughout its entire load range, with only a slight increase in the 35-80 W region, where the pitch actually increased. As it seems, creating a truly silent PSU is a very difficult task, especially while utilizing such a unique and complex design to boost efficiency. I would, in conclusion, like to stress that I deducted a few points because of its light coil-whine problem, which also kept me from giving it an award. Such high performance would normally net a PSU an award.
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