Profitec GO vs Rancilio Silvia

The world of single boiler espresso machines has seen some seriously good additions over the last few years. And today, I’ll be putting one of those very exciting new offerings, the Profitec GO, up against a machine that has been around and evolving for 20+ years now, the Rancilio Silvia.

Can the newcomer take down the old guard? And which is going to be the better machine for you? Let’s find out!

Build Quality

Starting off with the build quality, you should have ZERO concerns about either of these machines lasting you many many many years, if taken care of properly. They both use excellent quality components that have been trickled down from both brands higher-end and even commercial level models.

In terms of quality you can feel and interact with on a daily basis, the Profitec does feel like a more premium machine. The biggest difference being in the more brittle hollow feeling plastic on the Rancilio’s steam knob, and portafilter handle, as well as the fact that the switches are plastic.

On the Profitec, the Portafilter feels the same as you’d get on ANY of their higher end machines, the plastic you do touch on the steam knob feels like more of a high density resin, and the brewing controls are very satisfying metal buttons.


Just quickly touching on aesthetics as I know it is very subjective, the Profitec does look a little more updated. There are modern Chrome finishes, and of course the very flashy blue pressure dial. This machine is also available in a variety of really bright finishes on the outer shell itself, however that is an extra charge.

The Rancilio Silvia is the classic Silvia it has always been. It is simple, it is boxy, it serves its purpose, and you might find it to be a little bit less imposing in your kitchen as it is a bit shorter in terms of overall form factor.

However both these machines in the grand scheme of things are very compact and they should be able to fit in all but the smallest of kitchens.

User Experience

Moving on to the experience of owning both of these machines, there are a couple of differences that might push you towards the Profitec, or make you realize that the Rancilio is plenty of machine for you.

The first one is going to be the heating elements. The Profitec GO uses a 1200 Watt heating element, whereas the Rancilio has a 1000 Watt heating element.

Where this will start to manifest is in steaming performance, which will get into a little bit later on, but also heat up times. The Profitec is going to heat up significantly quicker than the Rancilio. You can obviously program both these to turn on a specific time using a smart switch or a timer, but if you are flipping it on in the morning and waiting, the Profitec is going to be faster option.

In the larger form factor of the Profitec you are also getting a larger water reservoir. Profitec does a great job of using slightly oversized water reservoirs meaning you have to fill this machine a whole lot less. On the Profitec it is 2.8 liters, whereas on the Rancilio you are looking at only 2.0 liters.

Similarly with the drip trays the Profitec is very large, it is very deep, and it pulls straight out. It’s a pretty classic design you where can go a few days in between emptying. However, if you remember in our review of the Rancilio, it uses a very odd trip tray design. It is basically a metal grate over what looks like a baking sheet. It has bad capacity, and it is difficult to take out. Hopefully in future iterations of the Sylvia they fix this, but currently it is really not a great design.

However, one aspect that might push you towards the Silvia is the fact that it has a dedicated switch for dispensing hot water. It does not have a hot water spout, but that hot water will be dispensed through the steam arm. So if you drink a lot of Americanos, this might be beneficial for you.

Finally, and something we’ll get into a lot more later on, are the advantages associated with the PID display on the GO. We’ll talk about the temperature stability next, but having a display itself is also useful for a few reasons.

It allows you to do things like programming the eco mode, so when this machine will go to sleep after a certain amount of time. And you can also do things like program in a cleaning reminder after a certain amount of shots.

Espresso Quality

The biggest advantage that the Profitec GO has when it comes to making espresso is its temperature stability. By having a PID, it is constantly monitoring the temperature in the boiler and is constantly adjusting to keep it within a few degrees of the set temp.

With the Rancilio, you’re going to have to do something called temperature surfing, which is creating a routine to get a consistent temperature. If the machine has been sitting idle, you need to figure out how long to flush it for. You’ll see steam coming out of the group head, which means it’s overheated, but you also need to be careful not to over-flush and have cold brew water!

This might seem like a hassle, and it sort of is, but a lot of people have developed great routines on single boiler machines for brewing consistently. It is possible.

Having a PID is highly consistent, and it is highly convenient. On a single boiler machine especially there is another aspect to this which is when you are switching from brewing to steaming temperature and then back down to brewing temperature. You need to know when the machine is back down cool enough to start brewing espresso again. With a PID display you can watch the degrees tick down and know when it is safe to brew again.

Another thing that I do want to note is that some retailers do sell the Rancilio with a PID preinstalled. A lot of people mod this machine, but some retailers are actually doing it for you.

The Profitec also boasts easy access to the OPV valve to adjust your brewing pressure. You’re not going to be doing this on a very regular basis, however if you want to experiment with lower brewing pressures which is pretty trendy now you have very quick access to it on top of the Profitech. On the Rancilio, you’re going to have to open up the machine and manually adjust the OPV with a wrench.

The final aspect that is an advantage on the Profitec is again in that PID display, which is when you start pulling the espresso shot it acts as a shot timer. This can be useful for gauging your consistency, or if you want to just purely rely on time dosing you can stop it at the same point every single time.

Steaming Performance

Moving on to the steaming performance, both of these machines are absolute beasts in this price point, especially considering that they are single boiler machines.

The Profitec GO uses a 400mL insulated brass boiler whereas the Rancilio uses a 300mL non-insulated brass boiler.

What this technically means is that the Profitec GO will have some advantages in terms of steaming and brewing capacity, but in a home setting I highly doubt you’re going to run into the limitations of either of these machines. Especially when compared to something like a Gaggia Classic Pro.

Where these machines do start to differ is in terms of speed. The 1200 Watt heating element that I mentioned earlier means that when transitioning from brewing to steaming the Profitec GO is significantly quicker despite having a larger boiler.

It takes about a minute to get up to full steaming temperature on the GO, whereas the Rancilio Silvia will take a minute and a half, which starts to edge into the territory of really really inconvenient.

Once up to steaming temperature the Profitec GO will take around 20 seconds to steam a drink while the Rancilio Silvia will take around 25 seconds.

Now I want to stress again these are both extremely powerful machines and that 5 second difference is really not a whole lot. What I would be more concerned about if you’re going to be making a lot of drinks back-to-back is that transition time.


Overall, I think this comparison ended up being a slight blowout in favour of the Profitec GO. Yes, it is the more expensive option, but you are getting a WHOLE lot more espresso machine.

You are getting a completely PID temperature controlled extraction. You have the ability to adjust the temperature for your specific coffee. You can play around easily with brewing pressure if you want. And you get much nicer build quality to interact with on a daily basis.

Not to mention you have a higher capacity with a slightly larger boiler and faster steaming both with respect to absolute steaming power and transitioning between brewing and steaming.

The Rancilio Silvia has long been a marker for good value at this price point, but now it’s playing catch-up.

Need more? Watch the video!

Products Mentioned

Rancilio Silvia