How to quiet a Silverstone SG05 PSU?

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Steep
Posts: 54
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2007 12:44 pm

How to quiet a Silverstone SG05 PSU?

Post by Steep » Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:08 am

Hello silencers.

After MikeC's review and picking your collective forum brains, I built a little system with the following moving parts.

Silverstone SG05 case.
-Stock Front 120mm intake fan 7~9 volts = QUIET
-Scythe Shuriken 100mm fan = QUIET
-Radeon 5750 Saphire Vapor-X = QUIET
-300W power supply 80mm fan = NOISEY

I stopped each fan with a Q-Tip to identify which one was the culprit, and the PSU fan is by-far the loudest thing in the system by an order of magnitude. I've been brainstorming ways too silence the PSU fan and have come up with these options. Are any of them good, bad? Anything else I could do?

Thanks for any help.

* Dremel out the metal on the PSU cover that is blocking about 75% of the possible intake surface area. (Probably going to do this no matter what)

* Undervolt the current 80mm fan by adding a resistor to the power line (is this hard? dangerous?)

* Fan Swap - Replace the current 80mm fan with something from my local store (They carry a good selection of scythe fans). Would have to install the 3 or 4 wire fan into the PSU that only has 2 wires.

* Fan Swap B - Replace the current 80mm fan with a 92mm fan? There is enough area underneath the PSU for a slightly larger fan, would re-drill 3 mounting holes and dremel out some additional area.

* If a fan swap is performed. Power the fan from a power connector rather than the wires in the PSU? This would prevent the PSU from ramping the fan up.

Thanks again.

frostedflakes
Posts: 1608
Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2005 4:02 pm
Location: United States

Post by frostedflakes » Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:58 am

One problem is that I think that PSU uses a thin 80mm fan (15mm I'd guess), so this makes swapping it out a bit more complicated. You might not be able to stick an 80x25mm fan in there. If there wasn't enough room inside the PSU, though, you could mount an 80x25mm fan on the outside of the casing. This is assuming it wouldn't interfere with anything in the case.

Opening up the grill will probably help no matter what. The resistor mod is also a good idea as well, maybe try that before resorting to a fan swap. I did this for an old video card cooler and it worked well. Solder it up to a 3-pin fan connector or something like that so you can experiment and easily swap out resistors.

Image

As far as powering a swapped fan, I'd say that depends on the fan. If you get a low RPM fan, even if the PSU's controller ramps up, it shouldn't get that loud. For example, in my Seasonic 300w SFX, I replaced the stock 3000RPM fan with a 1500RPM model. Under normal load, the slower fan stays pretty quiet and probably doesn't ramp up beyond 500-600RPM. If you get a higher RPM model, though, it's probably best to control it yourself to make sure it doesn't ramp up too much.
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themaster1
Posts: 95
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Location: Southern France

Post by themaster1 » Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:38 am

Your best option imo would be to use a large, quiet fan (140mm and maybe 1200 rpm maximum) and control it via a rheobus this way you're set up.
A ULNA cable for the psu fan is a no-go imo because if somehow the fan need to spin at 100% it'll not be allowed and the psu will probably fry. Just a thought...

Steep
Posts: 54
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2007 12:44 pm

Post by Steep » Tue Jul 06, 2010 11:14 am

Thanks for the feedback and picture frostedflakes.

I decided on the simple approach of just doing a straight PSU fan swap.

This forum has a great article about PSU fan swapping that has the PSU used in the Silverstone sg05/sg06 cases here:
viewtopic.php?p=245448

The fan inside the included FSP300 is the Protechnic Electric MGA8012XS-A15.
Specs:
* Sleeve bearing
* Size 80x80x15 (mm)
* Voltage 12 (VDC)
* Operating Current 0.23 (A)
* Power 2.76 (W)
* Air Pressure 4.07 (mmAq) 0.16 (InchAq)
* Air Flow 0.905 (CMM) 31.92 (CFM)
* Speed 3400 (RPM)
* Noise 39.4 (dBA)

A modder on ocUK was also interested in doing a fan swap on this PSU/case:
http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/showth ... t=18031266

He decided to go with a Hiper HFF-1N08N fan:
The fan has good specs, but I could not find it available.

The only 80x80x15 fans that I could find readily available were
1) Dynatron fans that have high RPM and DB.
2) SilenX 11db/18fm and 14db/24cfm fans. I've heard mixed reviews on this manufacturer, so I decided to stay away.
3) Evercool EC8015M12CA
Dimension: 80x80x15 mm
Speed: 2500 rpm
Air Flow: 28.49 CFM
Noise Level: <25dBA
Voltage: 12 V
Decided to go with this fan hoping for some marginal improvement in the acoustics from the stock fan.

I'll report back with some pictures.

stefan534
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2010 6:36 am
Location: Aus

Post by stefan534 » Sat Jul 10, 2010 2:57 pm

Be very interested in what you report back...

darkb
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2007 11:07 pm
Location: Australia

Post by darkb » Sat Jul 10, 2010 5:58 pm

Did you try flipping the psu so that it intakes cool air through the top vent? I did that myself and was happy with mine.

Steep
Posts: 54
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2007 12:44 pm

Post by Steep » Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:17 pm

I live in SouthEast, USA and accidentally ordered the replacement fan from a store in Seattle, Washington so its taking forever to arrive. Scheduled for 7/12.
darkb wrote:Did you try flipping the psu so that it intakes cool air through the top vent? I did that myself and was happy with mine.
In the meantime, I've been using the system with the case apart and the PSU sitting on the desk beside the case, with the fan facing up. (Didn't feel like putting the system back together only to take it apart yet again). So, I don't think there is a turbulence problem. The fan is just too loud, up or down. It's not absurdly loud. Just louder than the rest of the parts/don't want to sleep in the same room with it loud.

Arbutus
Posts: 234
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:15 pm
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Post by Arbutus » Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:35 pm

Cheapest mod is to let the 120mm intake fan do all the work:

1. Use some clear plastic to completely block the I-O slot side of the case.
2. Use some clear plastic to completely block the top of the case.
3. Stop the noisy PSU fan with a coffee swizzle stick or....
4. Use some clear plastic to partially block the CPU side of the case in a way that some air flows past the CPU area and some air flows through the PS. Temporarily use tape during the trials and then switch over to clear plastic for the final setup.

Also, blocking those acoustic leaks with clear plastic will quieten the system a little.

Have fun.

Steep
Posts: 54
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2007 12:44 pm

Success

Post by Steep » Mon Jul 12, 2010 4:09 pm

Got the Evercool fan in the mail today. I hooked it up to one of the motherboard's case fan connectors so that I could compare it to the stock PSU fan. First results had me worried because the Evercool fan was much louder than the stock PSU fan. Next I used a fan controller to slow down the fan and at low voltage. It was nearly silent compared to the stock PSU fan.

I assumed the stock PSU fan was running at its minimum speed setting if I did the fan swap, things would get better, not worse.

Happy to report that it was a success and the PSU is running the new fan at a low speed and it is much quieter now. I did dremel out the original finger guard on the PSU and have installed it flipped upside down since it was sitting on my desk like that for a week. I also think that the cable management is better with the PSU flipped. By Default, the large mass of wires is in the middle of the case, flipped they are on the side of the case out of the way of the front airflow path.

With the little extra work, I really like this Silverstone case. It's small, it looks good on the desk, and its good for some occasional gaming. Right now, the loudest thing in the system is the 2.5 inch WD Scorpio Blue Drive. If I had installed an SSD it would be even quieter, but it's pretty good right now and I prefer having the extra disk space (and cash in my wallet).

Steep
Posts: 54
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2007 12:44 pm

Post by Steep » Mon Jul 12, 2010 4:14 pm

Arbutus wrote:Cheapest mod is to let the 120mm intake fan do all the work:

1. Use some clear plastic to completely block the I-O slot side of the case.
2. Use some clear plastic to completely block the top of the case.
3. Stop the noisy PSU fan with a coffee swizzle stick or....
4. Use some clear plastic to partially block the CPU side of the case in a way that some air flows past the CPU area and some air flows through the PS. Temporarily use tape during the trials and then switch over to clear plastic for the final setup.

Also, blocking those acoustic leaks with clear plastic will quieten the system a little.

Have fun.
Hey Arbutus. Thanks for the suggestion. I would be afraid of that setup in this case because the optical drive tray would block some direct airflow to the PSU.

Also, when it comes to fans, I've discovered (to my ears anyway) that 4 quiet fans sound about the same as 2 or 3 quiet fans.

Muelloz
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:59 pm
Location: Denmark

Post by Muelloz » Tue Jul 13, 2010 12:10 am

@Steep:
Have recently build a setup akin to yours (though use a hd5770),
and as well find that the PSU is the premiere noise culprit.

I am very tempted about copying your fan swap - however I wonder how/if you have done anything to judge whether your new fan setup cools the PSU adequately?

(First post on SPCR - love this site, its articles and forum has been extremely useful!)

Steep
Posts: 54
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2007 12:44 pm

Post by Steep » Tue Jul 13, 2010 4:07 am

Muelloz wrote:I wonder how/if you have done anything to judge whether your new fan setup cools the PSU adequately?
I haven't done any tests like that. I'm not even sure how I could? I did read some reviews that indicated my setup core i3 + graphics card + peripherals, draws somewhere between 180-200 watts on load, which is only 2/3 of the PSU's rating. If I were pushing it harder I'd be more concerned. Also, I've read posts where people have taken the shell off of the PSU and are running it passively with a flipped CPU fan pointing up. I figure having a dedicated fan in there has to be better than that. Lastly, the fan I swapped in there isn't an ultra low speed fan, it's considered medium speed and can hit 2500 RPM.

After some load testing last night, I'm still not sure if having the PSU flipped up or down is best. The heat from the CPU + Vapor-X seem to escape upwards. You could feel the heat escaping from the perforations on top of the case, where the PSU is sucking in the air. This could be made worse by the fact that the Vapor-X doesn't exit air towards the back of the case. During the load test, the PSU fan and the GPU fans ramped up a bit. It's hard to say if it got louder than the stock fan at idle. After I shut down my load test (Grand Theft Auto 4 :D )... All of the fans quieted back down in about 3-5 minutes.

Good luck with your system Muelloz, and welcome to SPCR!

Arbutus
Posts: 234
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:15 pm
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Post by Arbutus » Tue Jul 13, 2010 2:26 pm

RE: "the optical drive tray would block some direct airflow to the PSU"

I was assuming the same PSU as in the 2009-08-19 spcr review. Also I didn't make myself clear about about the CPU fan and the GPU fan; leave them operating. Also I missed the part about the Radeon 5750 Saphire Vapor-X not pushing air out the back of the chassis, else I would have recommended having some air pushing past the GPU and exiting on the I-O slot side of the case.

By controlling the airflow and allowing only the required amounts the pass by the main heat generators and not escape via ineffective routes then the input chassis fan noise can be reduced as much as possible.

My amended suggestion for a budget solution for the SG05 case would have all the air entering at the front and leaving at these 3 locations:
1. The rear of the chassis through the PSU.
2. The I-O slot side of the case adjacent to the rear of the chassis.
3. The CPU side of the case adjacent to the rear of the chassis.

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