The recent trend of building high performance entertainment and gaming PCs for the modern living room is compelling manufacturers to reduce their systems' dimensional proportions, slowly but steadily increasing the popularity and market of small form factor (SFF) products. With PC case and system manufacturers trying to compete with both each other and gaming consoles, the selection of SFF cases increases with each passing day.

Yet despite the increasing popularity of SFF cases/systems, there is still a rather limited selection of SFX PSUs available, with most manufacturers shyly releasing a unit or two. SilverStone, thankfully, is an exception to this rule, as they are one the few companies that is almost entirely focused on the SFF/SFX market and offer a very wide range of products. For SFX PSUs alone, we have reviewed their mainstream ST30SF and ST45SF units, as well as the exceedingly powerful SX700-LPT and SX800-LTI.

In today's review, we are taking a look at another SFX PSU from SilverStone, the Nightjar NJ450-SXL. A quick glance at its electrical specifications reveals that it is a highly efficient design with an 80Plus Platinum efficiency certification. But what makes the Nightjar NJ450-SXL really unique is that the PSU is entirely passively cooled. Passive PSUs are as rare as hen’s teeth and this is a scarce chance to see what a reputable company has managed to develop for a passive power supply in an SFX form factor.

Power specifications ( Rated @ 40 °C )
AC INPUT 100 - 240 VAC, 50 - 60 Hz
RAIL +3.3V +5V +12V +5Vsb -12V
MAX OUTPUT 16A 15A 37.5A 2,5A 0.3A
100W 450W 12.5W 3.6W

Packaging and Bundle

SilverStone has us used to practical and aesthetically simple packaging. The packaging of the Nightjar NJ450-SXL is no exception, with a mostly black cardboard box that is focused on highlighting the product’s features and protecting it during shipping.

Despite the class of the PSU, SilverStone only supplies the absolute minimum items required. Inside the box, we found only the four typical black mounting screws, an AC power cable, and a thorough manual. There are no cable ties, straps, adapters, or any other accessories included in the Nightjar’s bundle.

The SilverStone Nightjar NJ450-SXL is a fully modular PSU and every cable can be detached, including the 24-pin ATX cable. All of the cables are ribbon-like, “flat” type, and relatively short when compared to typical ATX products. The shortened cables are the reasonable choice considering that the PSU may be installed in very confined spaces where every millimeter matters. Plus, since SilverStone does not supply an SFX-to-ATX adapter, they probably expect that users will not be installing this PSU in an ATX case anyway.

SilverStone Nightjar NJ450-SXL
Connector type Hardwired Modular
ATX 24 Pin - 1
EPS 4+4 Pin - 1
EPS 8 Pin - -
PCI-E 6+2 Pin - 4
PCI-E 8 Pin - -
SATA - 8
Molex - 3
Floppy - 1
The SilverStone Nightjar NJ450-SXL SFX PSU
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  • Death666Angel - Monday, April 8, 2019 - link

    I have 2 monitors with interal power supplies that are caged by metal sheets and the only gap in that sheet are the power and display plugs. I can hear the whining noise very easily, once I move my head behind the monitor. In front of it, there is no noticeable noise (likely blocked by the display itself). But it is not that cut and dry.
  • nagi603 - Monday, April 8, 2019 - link

    Yeah, metal sheets are not good noise dampeners :D
  • Icehawk - Thursday, April 4, 2019 - link

    I have had one of these running 24-7 in my rig for about 7 years with no problems, have a higher wattage passive in my new box too. My PCs are very quiet with no PSU fans or mech HDDs. These are built to a high quality compared to a typical $50 PSU and is reflected in their cost.
  • R3MF - Thursday, April 4, 2019 - link

    i have a ~13 year old Nightjar 300W still running fine.
  • Samus - Friday, April 5, 2019 - link

    I've used a Seasonic X400 passive cooled PSU in my media PC (Silverstone ML03 case) for around 10 years. No problems at all. It started as an Intel i5-650 with a GeForce 430, then graduated to an AMD A10-9700, and is currently an i3-8100 still with the same GeForce 430 I used a decade ago because to me it makes a virtually perfect HTPC video card.

    The entire PC has always been passively cooled. A voltmod and BIOS flash to the EVGA GeForce 430 reduced its clock speed to 500MHz (1000MHz shader) and basically cut its TDP in half, allowing for a passive heatsink to be more than effective, and the CPU has used a NoFan CR-80eh cooler for most of this units life. The old Lynnfield CPU I used a Scythe Kozuti that needed modification to fit the motherboard\case by bending some heatpipes and the attached fins, which I broke removing it from the CPU when I upgraded (technically downgraded lol) the platform to an AMD A10. The A10 was a slower CPU but had much better thermal efficiency than the old i5, and the GPU was pretty good. The i3-8100 is absolutely perfect and the system has never run cooler. Total wall power draw during 1080p 24.976hz h264 video playback is 66 watts measured from a kill-a-watt and there are TWO SSD's and a 10TB HDD inside the case!

    It's worth mentioning this is also my torrent PC so it is 24/7 albeit pretty low constant load.

    All that said, the PSU and case have been through multiple generations of components.
  • DanNeely - Thursday, April 4, 2019 - link

    As a general question, I'm wondering when we might start to see PSUs ship with only sata connector strings and a sata-molex adapter or two in the package similar to how the berg connector originally for the 3.5" floppy drive has been mostly done over the last decade.
  • b1ghen - Thursday, April 4, 2019 - link

    Probably never since the SATA connector isn't rated for enough current (1.5A I believe) and might melt if you hook up anything power hungry to the Molex in such a setup. A Molex can supply up to 13A i think. So a single Molex can supply 8x the current as a single SATA.
  • daniel78R - Thursday, April 4, 2019 - link

    I think S-ATA is 1.5A per pin, and if I remember well there are 3 pins for 3.3V, 3 for 5V and 3 for 12V, that would be 9.9w + 15w + 36w = 60.9V. Molex is 11A i think for 12V, 132w. However, the cables themselves are more important, also the specs of the PSU itself. I've seen PSUs with much less Amps per Molex or SATA rails. Also, I think some of my modular PSUs have the same port for SATA and Molex use on the PSU side.
    While Molex and Floppy connector might be needed for powering fans and such, I doubt you will ever use for powering anything close to 130w. AFAIK the most power hungry HDDs were about 10-12w
  • 29a - Thursday, April 4, 2019 - link

    Hopefully never. I'd much rather have them and not need them than need them and not have them.
  • flyingpants265 - Tuesday, April 9, 2019 - link

    What if they made them modular and let you select your own cables?

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