recommendations for quiet ATX power supply?


B

Brolin Empey

I need a quieter ATX power supply for my Socket A PC. Currently, I
have a Cooler Master RP-500-PCAR. This may be overkill for my
application, but it works fine -- the only problem is fan noise. I
chose this model because it is advertised as being "super silent". Of
course, "silent" is the limit of "quiet", so something can be "super
quiet", or "silent", but not "super silent". Anyway, this power
supply is the loudest part of my PC. From what I have found on the
Web (customer reviews on NewEgg, for example), my power supply is
quiet if the PC case temperature is low enough. My case must be too
hot. I want the quietest ATX power supply available.

Here are my PC specs:

Pucka 992K ATX mid-tower case
MSI K7T266 Pro2 v2.0 (MS-6380) motherboard
AMD Athlon Thunderbird 1400 MHz, with Zalman CNPS3100+ Copper Flower
Heatsink w/ 92mm fan
1280 MiB DDR1 (2 DIMMs: 256 MiB + 1 GiB)
BFG GeForce 7800GS OC AGP 8x video card w/ 4-pin Molex peripheral
power connector
PCI cards: IEEE 1394A controller, 10/100 Ethernet NIC, USB 2.0 host
controller
1x 3.5" Maxtor 300 GB PATA HDD
1x 3.5" HD FDD
1x 5.25" ATAPI Lite-On DVD+/-RW ODD

Any recommendations?

Thanks,
Brolin
 
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D

Dave

Brolin Empey said:
I need a quieter ATX power supply for my Socket A PC. Currently, I
have a Cooler Master RP-500-PCAR. This may be overkill for my
application, but it works fine -- the only problem is fan noise. I
chose this model because it is advertised as being "super silent". Of
course, "silent" is the limit of "quiet", so something can be "super
quiet", or "silent", but not "super silent". Anyway, this power
supply is the loudest part of my PC. From what I have found on the
Web (customer reviews on NewEgg, for example), my power supply is
quiet if the PC case temperature is low enough. My case must be too
hot. I want the quietest ATX power supply available.

Here are my PC specs:


Well Cooler Master is crap, I doubt if any of those are truly quiet (no
matter the case temp). The following is quiet according to most reviewers.
And it is one of the best brands available. Still plenty of power for your
rig. I'd be shocked if you didn't like it. -Dave

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817104953
 
P

Paul

Brolin said:
I need a quieter ATX power supply for my Socket A PC. Currently, I
have a Cooler Master RP-500-PCAR. This may be overkill for my
application, but it works fine -- the only problem is fan noise. I
chose this model because it is advertised as being "super silent". Of
course, "silent" is the limit of "quiet", so something can be "super
quiet", or "silent", but not "super silent". Anyway, this power
supply is the loudest part of my PC. From what I have found on the
Web (customer reviews on NewEgg, for example), my power supply is
quiet if the PC case temperature is low enough. My case must be too
hot. I want the quietest ATX power supply available.

Here are my PC specs:

Pucka 992K ATX mid-tower case
MSI K7T266 Pro2 v2.0 (MS-6380) motherboard
AMD Athlon Thunderbird 1400 MHz, with Zalman CNPS3100+ Copper Flower
Heatsink w/ 92mm fan
1280 MiB DDR1 (2 DIMMs: 256 MiB + 1 GiB)
BFG GeForce 7800GS OC AGP 8x video card w/ 4-pin Molex peripheral
power connector
PCI cards: IEEE 1394A controller, 10/100 Ethernet NIC, USB 2.0 host
controller
1x 3.5" Maxtor 300 GB PATA HDD
1x 3.5" HD FDD
1x 5.25" ATAPI Lite-On DVD+/-RW ODD

Any recommendations?

Thanks,
Brolin

I found one fanless power supply on Newegg, but the 5V rail is only 14A.
The whole thing is too weak. And previous generations of fanless power
supplies, have traded fan noise, for various whining sounds coming from
the switching regulator circuitry. So nobody has really taken fanless
seriously, in terms of design.

The next best thing to try, is to go through the "80% plus" efficiency power
supply list. Now, the problem with a number of those, is their Seasonic
heritage. Some of the lower power Seasonic units, deliver 5V @ 20A, which
is still marginal for an AMD system.

This is the best one I found so far.

SeaSonic S12 Energy Plus SS-550HT ATX12V / EPS12V 550W Power Supply 100 - 240 V $120
+3.3V @ 24A, +5V @ 30A, +12V1 @ 18A, +12V2 @ 18A, +12V3 @ 18A, +12V4 @ 18A,
[email protected], [email protected]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductReview.aspx?Item=N82E16817151027

It looks like overkill, but at least it has a decent +5V rating. The spec
is 88% efficient, and that won't happen at lower total loading levels.
Still, the review comments are that it is quiet. And that would be,
because of the high efficiency. By being efficient, there is little
waste heat, so less reason for the fan to ramp up.

Paul
 
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F

Fitz

I've got two Corsair HX620's and a HX520 in three builds. Great power
supply. Reviewed at the site referenced in earlier post as excellent.

Good luck
 
B

Brolin Empey

Paul said:
I found one fanless power supply on Newegg, but the 5V rail is only 14A.
Link?

The whole thing is too weak.

That still might be sufficient for my application. The box for my
Cooler Master RP-500-PCAR says the max power for +5V is 20A, but I do
not know what the output really is.
And previous generations of fanless power
supplies, have traded fan noise, for various whining sounds coming from
the switching regulator circuitry. So nobody has really taken fanless
seriously, in terms of design.

Have you used this fanless power supply? Or are you just speculating?
The next best thing to try, is to go through the "80% plus" efficiency power
supply list. Now, the problem with a number of those, is their Seasonic
heritage. Some of the lower power Seasonic units, deliver 5V @ 20A, which
is still marginal for an AMD system.

As I said, my current power supply claims the max power is 20A for
+5V, so such a power supply is still sufficient for my application.
This is the best one I found so far.

SeaSonic S12 Energy Plus SS-550HT ATX12V / EPS12V 550W Power Supply 100 - 240 V $120
+3.3V @ 24A, +5V @ 30A, +12V1 @ 18A, +12V2 @ 18A, +12V3 @ 18A, +12V4 @ 18A,
[email protected], [email protected]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductReview.aspx?Item=N82E16817151027

It looks like overkill, but at least it has a decent +5V rating. The spec
is 88% efficient, and that won't happen at lower total loading levels.
Still, the review comments are that it is quiet. And that would be,
because of the high efficiency. By being efficient, there is little
waste heat, so less reason for the fan to ramp up.

That makes sense. The SS-550HT has 4 +12V rails, whereas my RP-500-
PCAR has only 2. However, the SS-550HT has "[email protected]", whereas my
RP-500-PCAR claims -12V @ 0.8A. Does that matter? I must admit I
know little about both electricity and electronics.

The SS-550HT has great customer reviews on Newegg. However, reading
the reviews has raised some questions:

1. If I am going to spend over $100 on a power supply, should I
choose a model with modular cabling? In my case it does not matter
because I have 2 unused 5.25" drive bays below my ODD, so I have lots
of space to put excess cables. However, it still seems like I should
get modular cabling for the price.

2. At least two comments mention that the fan blows downwards (i.e.,
*into* the case) instead of upwards (i.e., out of the case). Is this
a problem? I think my RP-500-PCAR's fan blows upwards because it
blows hot air out of the grill/mesh at the back of the case, but I am
not certain. The only fans in my case are in the power supply and the
92mm fan over my processor heatsink, which blows onto the heatsink.
My case has a place to mount a rear case fan between the AGP slot (the
closest expansion card slot to the power supply) and the power supply,
but I don't have a rear case fan.

3. Do you have an SS-550HT?

I also forgot to mention that I live in Canada, not USA. This means
that Newegg is still useful for researching products, but I prefer to
buy from a Canadian vendor.

Thank you for your reply, Paul. I trust you more than those who make
unsupported claims or recommendations. I appreciate recommendations,
but prefer to hear at least one reason for the recommendation.

Brolin

PS: Why are there so many posters in this group who use only their
first name? Are they afraid to be held accountable for what they say?
 
F

Fishface

Brolin said:
I need a quieter ATX power supply for my Socket A PC. Currently,
I have a Cooler Master RP-500-PCAR. This may be overkill for my
application, but it works fine -- the only problem is fan noise. I chose
this model because it is advertised as being "super silent". Of
course, "silent" is the limit of "quiet", so something can be "super
quiet", or "silent", but not "super silent". Anyway, this power
supply is the loudest part of my PC. From what I have found on the
Web (customer reviews on NewEgg, for example), my power supply
is quiet if the PC case temperature is low enough. My case must be
too hot. I want the quietest ATX power supply available.

Get some help from slow moving fans to cool the case.
Antec makes a Phantom 500, which I believe used to be fanless, but now
has an adjustable temperature setting at which the fan will start. 30A on
the 5v rail, and not inexpensive. www.amazon.com/dp/B0009OAEI0
 
P

Paul

Brolin said:

There is nothing wrong with this unit. The issue is whether 5V @ 14A is
enough to power a 65W processor. Assuming the motherboard uses the 5V
rail to run Vcore. There are no complaints about whining sounds from
this one. (My AthlonXP board uses the 5V rail. There is no 2x2 ATX12V
connector on my motherboard. I've also measured the 5V consumption.
I got 5V @ 16A for the processor and motherboard. That is why I feel
14A is not enough. YMMV of course. Your motherboard might have a 2x2
ATX12V connector for example, and be using 12V current. My video card
has an Aux connector, and that uses 5V also. The disk drives also use
1A a piece from 5V. So it adds up.)

FSP Group ZEN 400 ATX 2.2V 400W Power Supply 110 - 240V $135
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductReview.aspx?Item=N82E16817104035
Or are you just speculating?

In cases where links (URLs) are still valid, I provide them. My comments
about previous fanless designs, are based on reading reviews such as
the review comments on the above link. The reviews for the previous
designs on Newegg, are no longer available, so I cannot provide said
links. I'm giving you a summary, based on my best recollection of what
I've read. You can go to silentpcreview if you want to see reviews for
some prospective solutions.

http://www.silentpcreview.com/section10.html

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article688-page5.html

"A slight buzzing sound could be heard when there was very little
load on the +5V lines. Applying a small amount of load on the 5V
lines made this buzz go away."
PS: Why are there so many posters in this group who use only their
first name? Are they afraid to be held accountable for what they say?

Have you heard of internet stalking ? Exactly how much information is
too much ? In one particular spat between two USENET posters, one
guy hired a detective to find out about the other guy. He regularly
posts the other guy's entire life history (address, phone number etc).
Does that inspire you to use your real name. I think not :)

"We was so poor, all we could afford was a first name",
Paul
 
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