SilverStone ST30NF Fanless PSU review

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hmsrolst
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From very quiet to "silence"--success with a fanle

Post by hmsrolst » Tue May 17, 2005 10:55 am

I just bought one of these and, since it's worked out so well, I thought it would be helpful to relate my good experience with it.

I recently put together a very quiet system--the basics:

Antec 3000B
1 Nexus Real Silent 120mm Exhaust Fan @ 700 r.p.m
AOpen i855GMEm-LFS
2.0 P-M
XP-90 HSF with 80mm Panaflo L1A at bottom setting on Zalman Fanmate
Samsung MP0402H 40G suspended on Sorbothane
Matrox P650

For a PSU I was using a Seasonic 300 modded by MikeC with an L1A and re-modded by me with a quieter Japanese L1A.

The setup was very quiet, barely audible to me. It's on the floor next to the table I use for a desk about 18" from my head. Mobo and HDD temps were about 32C and CPU about 2-3 degrees cooler, probably because it's drawing outside air directly through the duct. My hesitation in buying the fanless PSU was that it would raise my temps and force me to increase the speed on my exhaust fan.

The results: The system is basically silent to me in regular use, i.e., unless I put my head next to the case. Mobo temps went up by just one degree with all others remaining the same. PSU is barely warm. If you've been hesitant to try this PSU because of concerns of a lot of added heat to your case, that hasn't been my experience at all.

Two caveats: (1) I don't do very intensive work with this system and mostly spend the day typing; and (2) I tried the PSU with my P4P800-VM system and it wouldn't boot at all. RE (2), testing the PSU shows there's no -5v line, and maybe some mobos require it.

perplex
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Post by perplex » Sun Jun 12, 2005 4:11 am

the power efficiency is in the 70s (%) while phantom's is in the 80s (%) :?

joeatsalot
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Post by joeatsalot » Wed Jun 15, 2005 9:36 pm

I'd just like to say that I'm using one of these power supplies and I'm really impressed. I was imagining having to worry continuously about overheating, but it gets warm and that's it. It feels rock solid and dependable. Sure, my system isn't using much power, but still I feel the PSU could handle a lot more with no problem.
Here's a few details so this praise isn't too vague:

AMD64 3000+
1 sata HDD
1 DVD drive
cheap x300 graphics card
Antec slk3000b case
2 120mm fans

CPU is throttled back to 1GHz and 1.1V at low load by crystalCPUID. Case fans are motherboard controlled and spin slowly or stop on cold days. It all works surprisingly well.

Thanks for all the extremely helpful reviews and articles!

marco.stanzani
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PCI express compatibility

Post by marco.stanzani » Wed Mar 29, 2006 5:09 am

I see the review reports a PCI express compatibility failure. What does it mean? I plan to use this PSU ina Silverstone LC-16 case with an ASUS A8N and any PCI-express video card. Is it OK?

Thanks

MikeC
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Post by MikeC » Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:42 am

Failure is not the word used. I should simply have written: No 6-pin PCIe connector is provided.

SST Guy
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Post by SST Guy » Wed Mar 29, 2006 5:22 pm

Our website does not state this yet, but there was a revision done late last year that added not only a PCI-Express connector but also 24pin ATX connector (instead of just 20pin) and improved ventilation.

The ST30NF available for purchase now should all be the newer version.

seezed
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Post by seezed » Thu Mar 30, 2006 2:14 am

Hi

I'm building a system for audio recording and so have become very interested in this psu. Is this unit capable of handling two 200GB hard drives (one for normal home use, the other solely for recording) in an Antec P180 case or would that be too much to hope for? CPU will be AMD64 3800+

Thanks

wim
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Post by wim » Thu Mar 30, 2006 3:15 am

yes, no problem, harddrives are low power devices only consuming a few watts during operation, and 2 isn't 'many' anyway.
(my st30nf is running 3 big hard disks and a more hungry cpu just fine)

seezed
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wim

Post by seezed » Thu Mar 30, 2006 3:23 am

Thanks for your reply that settles it. Out of interest wim how long have you been running your current setup?

wim
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Post by wim » Sun Apr 02, 2006 4:47 am

hi, my 'current setup' is a constantly evolving kind of thing, the computer insides changing so often..
but i have had a st30nf powering my personal system since june '05. it's going great, have never had any problem with this psu.
:)

Mario
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Post by Mario » Thu Apr 27, 2006 5:23 am

hmsrolst: (2) I tried the PSU with my P4P800-VM system and it wouldn't boot at all. RE (2), testing the PSU shows there's no -5v line, and maybe some mobos require it.
I am thinking to try this PSU, but since I have an Asus P4P800 motherboard this comment of course worries me.
Can anybody confirm this problem? Did anybody run a P4P800 with this PSU?

Thank you for any information.

Bar81
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Post by Bar81 » Mon May 01, 2006 5:55 am

seezed wrote:Hi

I'm building a system for audio recording and so have become very interested in this psu. Is this unit capable of handling two 200GB hard drives (one for normal home use, the other solely for recording) in an Antec P180 case or would that be too much to hope for? CPU will be AMD64 3800+

Thanks
You'll be fine. That's not much of a load.

SST Guy
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Post by SST Guy » Mon May 01, 2006 10:02 pm

Mario wrote:
hmsrolst: (2) I tried the PSU with my P4P800-VM system and it wouldn't boot at all. RE (2), testing the PSU shows there's no -5v line, and maybe some mobos require it.
I am thinking to try this PSU, but since I have an Asus P4P800 motherboard this comment of course worries me.
Can anybody confirm this problem? Did anybody run a P4P800 with this PSU?

Thank you for any information.
We have tested the P4P800 with the ST30NF and had no problems.

Mario
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Location: Munich, Germany

Post by Mario » Sat May 06, 2006 12:54 am

SST Guy, thank you for your help. ASUS confirmed too: no problems with P4P800 which apparently do not require -5V.
Ordered my ST30NF and will report back in few days.

hmsrolst
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Post by hmsrolst » Sat May 06, 2006 1:57 am

SST Guy wrote:
Mario wrote:
hmsrolst: (2) I tried the PSU with my P4P800-VM system and it wouldn't boot at all. RE (2), testing the PSU shows there's no -5v line, and maybe some mobos require it.
I am thinking to try this PSU, but since I have an Asus P4P800 motherboard this comment of course worries me.
Can anybody confirm this problem? Did anybody run a P4P800 with this PSU?

Thank you for any information.
We have tested the P4P800 with the ST30NF and had no problems.
Good news on my bad diagnosis. I wonder what my problem was.

Bar81
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Post by Bar81 » Mon May 08, 2006 6:40 am

This PSU is a monster. Primed it overnight and played a couple of rounds of F.E.A.R. at 2.6Ghz with RAM at 260mhz and XL at XT speeds. I know I have to be reaching the 315W limit of my UPS (an alarm sounds for overload). We'll see if 2.7Ghz triggers it tonight ;)

justblair
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Post by justblair » Mon May 08, 2006 7:01 am

I've had my NF now since summer 05.

No problems with it at all. Running it in a totally passive system, in a customised convection cooled case.

Its not running a lot...

2100 pally underclocked to 1100.
1 ati 9800 AIW
1 Vstream Card
ABit NF7 mobo
2x512mb 166mhz memory
120gb Seagate HD
DVD/CD-R drive
1 Sony playstation 2 on 12v rail

Barely gets warm to the touch. Playstation is getting warm though, will have to stick a fan in for that.

Love this PSU the thing just oozes quality from its aluminium fins

Bar81
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Post by Bar81 » Mon May 08, 2006 10:28 pm

Well up to 2.7Ghz now but haven't played F.E.A.R., just priming. Will try gaming tonight as well as see if the PSU can handle 2.8Ghz.

Bar81
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Post by Bar81 » Wed May 10, 2006 5:00 am

Couldn't do 2.8Ghz as I think it was just too much for the cpu at stock volts but I did get 2.75Ghz using 306x9 with a 166 divider for the mem putting it at 250mhz 2.5-3-2-7. Played a bunch of F.E.A.R. and Primed and the Silverstone didn't flinch.

Overall, incredible PSU; still amazed at the power it's able to put out. Finally, a PSU that actually exceeds its power rating by a mile (as opposed to being short of a it by a mile like almost every other PSU on the market).

Mario
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Post by Mario » Thu May 11, 2006 10:45 pm

hmsrolst wrote:
SST Guy wrote:
Mario wrote:
We have tested the P4P800 with the ST30NF and had no problems.
Good news on my bad diagnosis. I wonder what my problem was.
Not necessarily a bad diagnosis, since it is a slightly different model. Who knows.
Anyway I had no problems and I have been running the ST30NF for few days now on the following system:
Lianli PC-6070A, P4P800, P42.6C, Zalman 7000 AlCu @ 6V, passive crappy old ATI video card (no 3D needed), 2 raptors 74 both with nexus disktwin on foam, 2 nexus80@12 fans down in front of disks and 1 nexus80@12 fan exaust.
Temps:
Idle: CPU 35 (2C higher compared with old fanned lousy noisy PSU), MB 39C up 3C, disks 33 and 35 up 3C.
I did not load it yet.

Overall I am delighted. PSU is warm at the touch but not hot. 2/3 degrees higher for components should not be a problem. And the difference in noise is relevant. Alluminum case get a bit warm all around the PSU, revealing that it is helping in dissipating I guess.

tempeteduson
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Post by tempeteduson » Thu Jan 11, 2007 4:17 pm

Postscript #2 should be dated 2007, not 2005.

Devonavar
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Post by Devonavar » Thu Jan 11, 2007 4:20 pm

Oops :oops: fixed.

nici
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Post by nici » Thu Jan 11, 2007 5:04 pm

Mine came with six sata connectors. Yes, six(6). I wonder who need six sata connectors in a system with a passive PSU.. The casing also seems to be slightly different, it has more holes. A lot more. I took a picture of the bottom side. Compared to the reviewed model, the increase in holes is quite substantial. The info and pictures on the silverstone site are still of the old version.
Image

davidstone28
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Post by davidstone28 » Fri Jan 12, 2007 4:19 pm

Been running mine for almost 2.5 years now almost on a 24/7 basis - mixture of 3D gaming, office work / internet, and as a P2P / file server for the rest of the time. Have managed to keep it up to date with modern hardware with the use of power adaptors and PCI-E power plugs that came with my 7900GT (also passive).

PSU was in a Lian Li V1000 for about a year, then switched into a Antec P180 case, where it tends to run hotter due to the reduced airflow and a PSU compartment that isn't really designed for a fanless PSU (there's minimal extraction of the hot air)

Haven't experienced any problems with this PSU.

hmsrolst
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Post by hmsrolst » Fri Jan 12, 2007 5:19 pm

davidstone28 wrote:Been running mine for almost 2.5 years now almost on a 24/7 basis

switched into a Antec P180 case, where it tends to run hotter due to the reduced airflow and a PSU compartment that isn't really designed for a fanless PSU (there's minimal extraction of the hot air)

Haven't experienced any problems with this PSU.
I've also been running this PSU for several years with no problems and switched into a P180 when they first came out. Mine seems to run pretty cool, using a Nexus Real Silent 120mm at lowest startup voltage in the PSU tunnel, but then again I run a very low power system. Are you using a fan in the tunnel?

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Post by Sygmoral » Mon Feb 12, 2007 7:58 am

Is there an easy way to tell the difference between an 'old' and a new (with the changes) ST30NF (when it's still in the box)? If I'm going to buy one, I'd like to make sure it's got the 20+4 connector... I'd order it from an online store though, so I'd need to be able to ask them to identify which one exactly they intend to send to me (and I'm not expecting them to just 'know' by looking at the box that it has a 20+4 and PCIe connector).


Sygmoral

nici
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Post by nici » Mon Feb 12, 2007 8:26 am

I don't have the box right here, but IIRC the specs are printed on the box. The old one only had two sata connectors, and i don't think it had a PCIe connector at all. So if it has four or six sata connectors and a PCIe plug, it should be the new one.

berlin
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Post by berlin » Tue Dec 18, 2007 4:55 pm

has anyone tried other brands like Zen or Silentmaxx? I'd like to know how they compare to Silverstone

jaganath
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Post by jaganath » Tue Dec 18, 2007 7:53 pm

berlin wrote:has anyone tried other brands like Zen or Silentmaxx? I'd like to know how they compare to Silverstone
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article312-page1.html

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article263-page1.html

Zen is not the brand, Fortron Source (FSP). I have tried ST30NF and a Zen, never had a Silentmaxx, the Silverstone wins hands down, it's a beautiful piece of engineering. if you look at the failure rate of the Zen on Newegg for example, it is rather high.

XIUYAN1
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Post by XIUYAN1 » Sat Jun 28, 2008 6:11 am

Luckily I saw the website, I wish all the people happy

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