Articles: Cases/PSU
 

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Circuit Design

I didn’t see much when I took the cover off this PSU. I mean, all the innards are hidden under the huge aluminum heatsinks that fill up the entire interior and press against the heat-spreading cover with their flat tops.

I don’t use destructive investigation methods in my PSU tests with the help of a soldering iron, therefore I can’t tell you much about the circuit design of the Nightjar SST-ST45NF. I just couldn’t see most of it. The cables are all laid out neatly and the soldering is neat, too. There are heat-conductive and electrical insulating pads between the external and internal heatsinks. So, I can’t find any fault with this PSU’s manufacturing quality.

The actual developer and manufacturer of this PSU is Etasis Electronics Corp.

Cables and Connectors

The Nightjar SST-ST45NF is equipped with the following cables and connectors:

  • Mainboard cable with a 20+4-pin connector (56 centimeters long)
  • CPU cable with a 4+4-pin connector (57 cm)
  • Graphics card cable with one 6+2-pin connector and one 6-pin connector (57+15 cm)
  • Two cables with three PATA and one floppy-drive plug on each (51+25+15+15 cm)
  • Two cables with three SATA power connectors on each (52+15+15 cm)

The CPU cable is rather too short. It should be at least 60 centimeters to avoid any problems with connecting and laying that cable out in an ATX system case with a bottom PSU bay. Otherwise, the selection of connectors is perfectly normal for a 450W power supply.

Specifications

The Nightjar SST-ST45NF has a solid (no splitting into multiple virtual lines) +12V power rail with a load up to 420 watts. According to the manufacturer, the Nightjar can work at its full specified load, which is 450 watts, at an air temperature up to 40°C in a 220V power grid. In an 110V power grid the max load is specified to be 400 watts, which is due to the twice higher currents in the high-voltage circuitry and, consequently, higher heat dissipation at the same load.

Temperature and Noise

Working at its full load of 450 watts (outside a system case but with no active cooling), the hottest spot on the PSU’s top panel was 60°C. This temperature feels almost scorching, but is quite acceptable for electronics.

My sample of the PSU did not produce any electronic noise (clicks or hiss or anything) at work.

UPS Compatibility

The Nightjar SST-ST45NF worked with my uninterruptible power supply (APC SmartUPS SC 620) at loads up to 370 and 345 watts when powered by the mains and batteries, respectively. There were no problems when the pair would switch to the UPS’s batteries and the UPS was perfectly stable.

Output Voltage Stability

The PSU boasts superb voltage stability, keeping the +12V voltage within 1% of its nominal value. The other two voltages deflect somewhat more, but never exceed the allowable limits.

Output Voltage Ripple

The high-frequency ripple on the +5V rail is close to the permissible limit.

Besides, there is low-frequency pulsation of 60-70 millivolts on the +12V rail (the allowable maximum is 120 millivolts).

Efficiency and Power Factor

Although the manufacturer says this model is up to 86% efficient, its actual efficiency is as high as 90%! Of course, this is due to my testing it in a 220V power grid. However, I don’t think the efficiency of this PSU is going to drop below 87-88% even at an input voltage of 110 volts.

+5Vsb Standby Source

The standby source copes with its job well. Its output voltage is never lower than 4.9 volts.

Summary

I couldn’t find any serious flaw in the SilverStone Nightjar SST-ST45NF. It is an excellent fanless PSU with high (for its class) wattage, very high efficiency, stable output voltages, and a good selection of connectors. If you want a silent PSU, you should definitely take a look at the Nightjar series.

 
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