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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [08.11.04]
Manufactured by: SilverStone


The Quest Truly Never Ends

Two days ago we told you about Zalman's awesome Reserator 1 fanless water cooler. To put it simply, we LOVED it, giving it the coveted "I AM HARDCORE" award.

Unfortunately, while it is a great step towards a truly silent PC, it is not the end-all solution. In fact, there are many components you have to address before attaining the silent goal. One such component that many people might overlook when attempting this goal: the Power Supply.

Running a 'silent' power supply is all good if you have adequate airflow to keep case temperatures down. Of course, if you're going for a 100% fanless system, you won't have that luxury. Most silent PSU's operate in 'silent' mode up to a certain level (usually around 60 degrees). Once the temperature goes past that point, the fans spin up to incredible levels, rendering them ANYTHING but silent.

That is why some PSU manufacturers are starting to come out with FANLESS power supplies. SilverStone is one of them, and we have their SST-30NF to review today!

As you can see, the 30NF is 100% aluminum, which essentially helps act as a heatsink itself. Construction is absolutely solid, and at 300W it should be enough to power a moderately high end system (I'd call it Prescott-ready for sure, and we'll find out how it handles the latest NVIDIA power-hogs later).

Is it really 300W?

One thing I found really interesting is this specification label:

Well not the label itself, but the fact that the maximum wattage of this PSU changes depending on the voltage input! It seems that it only works as a 250W PSU if you're on a 110V system (like in North America and Japan). But if a 220V input is used, it's bumped up to 300W.

I am not sure why they do this (maybe it has something to do with the 110V AC to DC conversion creating more heat than 220V), but there you have it. Since this review was performed in Canada, we will be reviewing it in "250W mode".

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