If you want a PC that's as quiet as possible, you don't like moving parts. Adhering to that line of thinking, a fully passive power supply is a must. Manufacturer FSP recently released a new model that doesn't have any fan or active cooling mechanism, called the Aurum Xilenser 500W. Hardware.Info tested it, to see whether it could undo our scepticism about power supplies without any sort of fan.
The reason for our critical view is simple. Should the power supply become very hot for whatever reason, there is no solution available. Semi-passive power supplies are better in this regard. Their fan is not active unless a certain temperature or load threshold is reached. That fan is also a disadvantage, however, when it stands still it actually blocks the airflow.
The FSP Aurum Xilenser 500W has no fan whatsoever, and the housing consists mostly of empty space. The power supply is therefore able to take advantage of the naturally created airflow. Even the heatsinks are quite modest. FSP has tried to make the design so efficient that it creates almost no heat that needs to be dissipated. What that means for the temperatures you will find out later on.
The power supply has an 80 Plus Gold Label and is 90 percent efficient according to the manufacturer. It has two 12V rails that supply 22A each. The maximum capacity of both rails combined is 41A (492W). The 5 and 3.3V lines can supply 20A.
The number of connectors is reasonable: 4x molex, 5x SATA and 4x 6/8-pin PEG. The PSU is modular and all of the cables are sleeved.
It has a pricetag of around £120 which is not very cheap for a 500W power supply, but not ridiculous considering it's a completely passive power supply.