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Thread: Silverstone 0dB Fanless PSU

  1. #1
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    Sep 2004
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    Silverstone 0dB Fanless PSU

    Ordered one of these from for just under £100 and have been trying it out over the last couple of days.

    Originally I wanted to get the Etasis version with the protruding heatsink since it seemed to cool about 1 degree better than the Silverstone branded version. However, I wasn’t convinced that the protruding heatsink would fit the rear panel on my Lian-Li V2000. Since I didn’t want to remove the rear panel and thus lose 2x80mm fan mounts (which might be needed to suck air away from the PSU), I went for the SilverStone version. I suspect that they ditched the protruding heatsink just for this reason – greater case compatibility.

    The PSU is heavy and appears solidly built. 6 molexes and 2 SATA connectors. Good manual with lots of wiring diagrams and stuff about ripple / noise. Interestingly, the manual says the following:-

    Input Voltage 200V – 240V
    During operations the maximum load should not exceed 300W. The total load on +5v and +3.3v shall not exceed 180W. The total load on +5v and +12v should not exceed 35A”

    Input voltage 100v-120v
    “During operations the maximum load should not exceed 250W. The total load on +5v and +3.3v shall not exceed 140W. The total load on +5v and +12v should not exceed 30A”

    My PC specs are:-

    Athlon XP 2500+ oc’d to 3200+/2.2ghz @ 1.775v
    2 x 256mb PC3200 dimms
    Nvidia Geforce 4 Ti4200 128mb
    1 x SoundBlaster Live PCI card
    2 x optical drives
    3 x 7200rpm HDDs
    1 x FDD
    4 x fans @ 5v (2 x 120mm and 2 x 80mm)

    Tested the system over a couple days by continuously running a mixture of P2P, WinAmp tunes, DivX playback, CD ripping, 3D games, combination etc

    The PSU case definitely gets very hot. Even after about 3 hours, if you put your hand on the top cover, its not really possible to keep your hand there for more than about 5 seconds. After about 10 hours, it’s enough to give you a very mild burn if you hold your hand there long enough. However, at no time did I notice the rear LEDs of the PSU turning from green to red.

    The greatest cause for concern by far, is the effect which the PSU seemed to have on the rest of components in the case. I didn’t realise this until a long gaming session (UT2004, Zero Hour etc) and system starting making alarm / beeping sounds. Initially I wasn’t sure what it was but when I alt-tabbed out of the game and into WinXP to the check the temperatures, CPU temps had hit 71 degreesC (the BIOS alarm was set to sound at >70 degrees) and the HDD temps were hitting 47 degreesC (or 51degreeC with the front case fan turned off).

    The PSU is silent. I didn’t encounter any whining, ringing or humming, and neither did I experience any system crashes or any odd behaviour from the PSU.

    However, the PSU does run very very hot, and in my system at least, appears to have a hugely detrimental effect on the temperatures of the rest of my components. How much of this is due to the PSU itself or the upside down layout of my Lian-Li case is difficult to tell. I might try swapping everything into my Aopen tower to see whether the effect is still the same. Based on my experiences so far, I can't recommended a fanless PSU / Lian-Li V2000 combination if you are planning on a quiet air cooled system.

    The SilverStone PSU pumps out a huge amount of heat in all directions and there’s simply nowhere for that heat to go. Although a heat pipe is supposed to transfer heat into the rear panel of the PSU, it’s difficult to see what significant benefits this has, because the PSU is still inside the case. I would be concerned about running the PSU in an unattended 24/7 environment or in a system which doesn’t have very good component / case cooling.

    I think this PSU highlights one of the fundamental problems of all fanless PSU and that is you simply shouldn't have them inside a case unless you have significant system cooling insatlled - which seems to defeat the whole point of have a fanless PSU in the first place. Unless of course, its a silent watercooled setup.

    I look forward to the release date for the Zalman external fanless PSU


    **** UPDATE ****

    Did some more testing.

    In the scenario above, I’m starting to experience some system instability. In particular, CPU/GPU intensive games such as Command & Conquer Zero Hour tends to crash more often than the system that I had before (same system in a stock Sonata case with stock Antec 380S PSU). Basically, after a long gaming session (which stresses the CPU, graphics card and memory), the system dumps me out of the game and into Windows. This occasionally happened with the Sonata/380S but seems to happen more regularly now.

    Rear panel of Lian-Li V2000 removed.

    I removed the rear panel of the V2000 PSU compartment so that the PSU is no longer completely enclosed and instead is exposed to outside air (but with no fans blowing or sucking). Gaming peak temps dropped to 59 degreesC (CPU) and 42 degreesC (HDDs). Although there is slight improvement it still appears that some heat from the PSU is still going up towards the motherboard compartment, rather than going sideways out of the case and then up, where it doesn’t heat up the rest of the system components. Still, it was a noticeable improvement.

    Lian-Li V2000 laid on its side.

    Rear panel of the V2000 reattached but this time the whole case was laid horizontally on its side (all case panels inc rear panel are installed), so that heat from the PSU travelled up onto the side panel of the case rather than towards the motherboard compartment. Slight improvement in temps, although not by much - Gaming peak temps were 63 degreesC (CPU) and 43 degreesC (HDDs). Still seems that heat has nowhere to escape to.

    PSU completely removed case.

    This was very interesting. The whole PSU was removed from the case and placed on the floor behind the case, so any heat coming from the PSU would not get into the case. The effect on system temperatures were significant - Gaming peak temps were 54 degreesC (CPU) and 40 degreesC (HDDs)


    There’s no doubt in my mind that removing the PSU from the case or at the very least, removing the rear panel, so air can get into the PSU is an absolute necessity with this PSU / case combination.

  2. #2
    Registered+ Zathras's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Canary Wharf/Richmond
    7 times in 4 posts
    I'd imagine that from a cooling perspective the PSU would perform significantly better in most standard ATX cases where it sits at the top rather than in the Lian-Li where it sits at the bottom.

  3. #3
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    Sep 2004
    London, UK
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    I agree - the upside down layout of the V1000/V2000 series really isn't suitable for this type of PSU.

  4. #4
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    Aug 2004
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    Thanks for the review. I thought about getting one of these fanless jobbies, but went for the 12db silenx 520w one instead, and after reading the above i am very glad that i did!

  5. #5
    F.A.S.T. Butuz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    72 times in 59 posts
    • Butuz's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI Z77 MPOWER
      • CPU:
      • I7 3770K @ 4.6
      • Memory:
      • 16GB Corsair XMS 1866
      • Storage:
      • Sandisk SSDs
      • Graphics card(s):
      • 3xR9 290
      • PSU:
      • be quiet! Dark Power Pro 10
      • Case:
      • Inwin H Frame
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7
    The problem with fanless PSU's is that they impact on the overall cooling of the case due to the fact that they have no 80mm fan sucking air out of your case. It makes a huge difference to system temps!

    IMHO, theyre only really useful if you have a watercooled CPU, GFX and HDD. As then there is very little heat being outputted into the case itself so you can get away with not having a fan sucking air out of the case.


  6. #6
    Banned myth's Avatar
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    May 2004
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    Now adays the fans are silent anyway! well to my ear anyway on mine... The loadest thing in my PC is my raided raptors... next would be my jet 4, then my rear 120mm... after that nothing but silense... However that PSU would be nice! Also great review!

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Aug 2003
    5 times in 5 posts
    Wouldn't agree myth, the loudest thing in my pc is the psu (minimum fan speed enermax 465w).

    Although I have zero case cooling except for my psu so not going fanless any time soon (unless I find a cheap 500w watercooled psu).

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