Power supply is one of the most important component in PC, allthought many people won't realize that. Good power supply gives right voltages to components, which provide reliability, stability and high component lifetime. Especially overclockers want right voltages, because of better reability of components.
"Silence is gold" - says old people. It's a valid saying nowadays also, especially in computer world. Most users want more silence from their computer. Almost every PC-component manufacturer strikes on these market with they own products. A problem in silent operation has been ineffectiveness, for example descending cooling power.
German company called Noiseblocker is relatively new player in this field of computer market, but they have become quickly a well known because of their acoustic absorption mats and especially their silent fans. Fortron is well known PSU manufacturer from USA, which have been known from their good quality products. So this product that we are reviewing combines the silent fan from Noiseblocker and the PSU from Fortron. We should be able to expect silence and power from this hybrid.
Jimm's PC-store was kind enough to deliver one NB-Fortron 400W power supply for us to check out so lets go ahead and take a closer look.
First, the most boring thing... Specifications
|Form factor||ATX 12V|
|Remote ON/OFF Control||The Power supply shall accept a logic open collector level which will disable /enable all out put voltage ;excluding +5V standby|
|Temperature range||Operating 0C~50C |
|Transient response||output voltage recovers in less than 1 ms max. following a 25%load change|
|Hold-up time||230V / 50Hz min. 16ms|
Typical 70% (at full load)
|Power good signal||100ms-500ms|
|Frequency||47Hz to 63 Hz|
|Input current||4.0 amps maximum/230 Vrms, 50Hz|
|Inrush current||70 amps cold, 100 amps warm measured at 230 Vrms|
|Ripple V.||50mV p-p||120mV p-p||120mV p-p||120mV p-p||50mV p-p||50mV p-p|
|Hold-up time||This indicates how long time power supply is able to provide current after a power failure. 15ms and up indicates a high quality PSU and this value can be as low as 2ms on low quality PSU.|
|Efficiency||Indicates how many percent of input current PSU can alter to output. Around and over 70% is good value.|
|Power good signal||With this signal, the power supply tells to motherboard that it is powered up and ready to serve and the voltages are fine.|
|+5Vsb||5V stand-by voltage. This voltage is allways available when PSU is in AC line and main switch is ON.|
Novadays PSU buyer should't watch power supply's Wattages so much than its quality, because power supply which have less wattage but it is better quality, can win power supply which have bigger wattages but lower quality in output power. These are the numbers as they are presented by the manufacturer and things are not always what manufacturer gives or promises. Some manufactures can fool you with higher numbers than they really are. During the review we will check only output voltages, because we don't have equipment to test wattages at the moment.
Rating plate is little bit odd, because from there you can see cable colors. Cable colors are only good to those who among others things like to modificate their power supplies.
Package isn't traditional "low/wide", it's narrow and tall. Package is Fortron's own and Noiseblocker can be only seen from ink marking of "NB". But undeniably Fortron's package is tidy. If you haven't noticed yet, there is even a clever handle to carry the unit home. I think buyer will not miss this package in store.
Package contains the power supply itself, few screws and power cable. There's no manual, but usually there is no need for that. But in my opinion there's not missing anything which can affect the installation.
Supply itself is standard gray, maybe even little bit silver. Fan is Noiseblocker's 120mm SX2Pro BlackSilence, which is specificated to 11-20dB. The fan is attached with rubberpins, which reduce fan's resonance. Like in many other good quality PSU the Fan is protected with wire fan grill, which improve air flow. This supply is only intended for 230 Volt system so there isn't any other switches available than the main power switch.
Connectors that can be found are six Molex, two floppy, AUX, 4-pin P4 connector, 20-pins ATX connector to mainboard and one SATA power connector, which is very positive. Wire lenghts are handy 45 cm and 60 cm. There is cable sleeving on ATX connector cable. Cable sleeving fixing is bit untidy, but it is very small mistake and you can't see it without watching it more closely.
Installation of NB-Fortron was easy to my test platform. I took case fans and other noise sources off to better hear the power supply's sound. When I switched on my test platform I notice that the power supply was quiet. So I can say without any further tests that 11-20dB is true. I think that in this test platform the power supplys noise is something about 10-15dB. So, I conclude that PSU is really quiet, just like they advertice. This is the most quiet active cooling PSU, that I have ever seen.
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