We would like to thank Silverstone for supplying the review sample.
Passive PSUs address the most noise sensitive of you. Aside from potential coil-whine issues, their main downside is their increased price compared to conventional PSUs. However, users who want inaudible components are willing to spend more in order to have a completely silent system.
Silverstone has a long tradition in selling fanless PSUs, since they do so since 2004, but their Nightjar series only included two outdated models, so it was nigh time to bring it up to speed with the competition. Only a few OEMs offer passive platforms, but with very good results, and Silverstone teamed with Seasonic for their new unit. Silverstone also says to have made sure the NJ520 is up to their standards of silence before giving production their go. The unit is based on Seasonic’s topnotch KM3 platform, the same platform the Seasonic Platinum Series Fanless 520 W (SS-520FL) we reviewed in the past utilizes.
The NJ520 sports Platinum efficiency and features a fully modular cabling design with four PCIe connectors, so it can power a SLI or Crossfire configuration. It clearly trumps the SS-520FL so far since the latter only has a pair of PCIe connectors. The unit’s other characteristics include a full set of protection features and a single +12V rail. The NJ520 is unfortunately available at a pretty stiff price, which is to be expected given its high quality and passive nature.
The NJ520 is 80 Plus Platinum certified and Haswell ready. It is equipped with all available protection features; however, Silverstone states its maximum operating temperature to only be 40°C, although Seasonic mentions 50°C for their retail model. Silverstone was obviously looking for some more headroom since high operating temperatures can significantly affect a PSU's lifetime, especially if it is passively cooled.
|Silverstone NJ520 Features & Specs|
|Max. DC Output||520W|
|Efficiency||80 PLUS Platinum|
|Intel Haswell Ready||Yes|
|Operating temperature||0°C - 40°C|
|Protections||Over Voltage Protection|
No Load Situation
Over Power Protection
Over Temperature Protection
Over Current Protection
Short Circuit Protection
|Semi-passive operation||Fully Passive Operation|
|Dimensions||150 mm (W) x 86 mm (H) x 160 mm (D)|
|Compliance||ATX12V v2.31, EPS 2.92|
|Price at time of review (exc. VAT)||$149.99|
The NJ520 is compact and light because it doesn't exploit huge heatsinks to use a case with excellent airflow instead. Our main complaint is its significantly lower warranty period compared to Seasonic's fanless models. Its price is also very high, which comes as no surprise given it is a fanless PSU.
The single +12V rail can deliver the PSU's full power alone, which is usually the case in modern PSUs that employ DC-DC converters to generate the minor rails. Speaking of the latter, they can only provide up to 100 W combined, which will suffice for those PCs this PSU will be called upon to power. The 5VSB rail is as strong as in other units of similar capacity.
|Silverstone NJ520 Power Specs|
|Total Max. Power||520W|
Cables & Connectors, Power Distribution
Silverstone finally fixed the original's major downside: The fact that it only has two PCIe connectors. The NJ520 can power a SLI or Crossfire system because it comes with four PCIe connectors in total.
|ATX connector (610mm)||20+4 pin|
|4+4 pin EPS12V (660mm)||1|
|6+2 pin PCIe (550mm+100mm)||4|
|4 pin Molex (400mm+115mm+115mm)||3|
|4 pin Molex (400mm+115mm)||2|
All cables are long enough and the distance amongst SATA connectors is fine. However, we would like its peripheral connectors to be a little further apart. There are enough SATA and peripheral connectors for the systems this unit can support. Finally, all connectors use 18AWG wires, which is as the ATX spec recommended.
Since this PSU features a single +12V rail, we do not have anything to comment on when it comes to its power distribution.
As you can see in the photos above, the PSU I got underwent a rough journey, but everything thankfully arrived in pristine condition. At the front, Silverstone provides the series and model descriptions, along with a references to the complete lack of output noise. There is also a large Platinum badge in the top-right corner.
This side lists pictures of all available connectors, describing each individually. We would appreciate it if Silverstone were to add each cable's length to these descriptions.
The power specifications table.
Series, model, and efficiency information can be found on the box's bottom.
The back of box harbours several items. These include a multilingual features description, some graphs which depict the Platinum efficiency curve, a picture of the fully modular panel, and a note that point to the unit's great ripple suppression.
The PSU is fully protected by two thick cell foam pieces. It is because of them the unit reached our doorstep in immaculate condition. The unit is further protected by a black cloth bag.
The bundle includes a pouch for storing the modular cables, several Velcro-straps, and some zip ties, an AC power cord, and two informative manuals.
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