Higher PSU rating = quieter?

PSUs: The source of DC power for all components in the PC & often a big noise source.

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Higher PSU rating = quieter?

Post by henners » Tue May 11, 2004 12:25 pm

Would I be best off getting a really high rated PSU (e.g. 480w) because it wont be running nearly at top speed so would therefore be quiet. Or, get something smaller but will be used more to its max and therefore be louder. Does this make sense?! :?

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Post by shathal » Tue May 11, 2004 12:44 pm

Not really.

Generally, it's the TEMPS that count (as well as the fans) - and those won't change overly much. Most systems nowadays draw ca. 250W (depending on CPU and GFX-card primarily, of course, nowadays), so a decent quality 350W PSU should be enough for most.

If - like me - you're going for the deep end (P4 3.4 Prescott + Geforce 6800 or ATI 800XT) you do need somewhat higher wattage, mostly for the additional Amps (12V rail).

What system you looking at constructing? If you're not going for the high-end, you don't need to worry about getting something like me (Enermax Noisetaker 475).

The logic of "if I have a 480 PSU, but only need 250W, it only runs at 50% heat" doesn't quite work out that way, 'fraid to say. :)

Hope this helps? Give us some more infos on what you want to build, and hopefully we can help :).

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Post by henners » Tue May 11, 2004 1:00 pm

Thanks for the detailed quick reply, I always know I can trust you guys to give the best information the fastest!

Basically Ive built myself this system:

Athlon 3200+ (zalman a7000cu)
Radeon 9800 (arctic cooling vga silencer)
Antec 3700AMB (all stock)
160gb seagate barracuda.

I'm looking to quieten it down some more. So, I unplugged the stock Antec case fan and found that the most noise was coming from the PSU including a high pitched whine. Now, as you imagine, I cant be doing with this! I suppose with the system listed as above, I'll want a something over 350w as you say. Not sure which one because I read all the reviews and postings but none seem to be that good (i.e. none stand out as being especially good). I was going to get the Zalman zm400b but I'm not sure anymore! Should I get a cheap one and mod it? I'd rather not but I want the best for my baby.. :lol:

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Post by axle » Sat May 15, 2004 10:05 am

I'd say 350-400 watts sounds good. 300 would probably do it (actually I'm 99.998% certain it would do it), but larger may last you longer (ie when you buy a 64 bit chip and Radeon 12000XT).

Anyway, it all depends on price for 400 watts. If you have $150, PC Power & Cooling probably makes the best units around (if not that quiet; you can replace the fan). If you feel more like spending $100, I like Seasonic. If you have more like $50, Forton/Sparkle/SPI (FSP) makes really solid units. If you $35, you can often snag a good Antec 350watt unit for that. If you have around $20 and don't really plan on doing any Overclocking, Channel Well Tech (CWT) makes passable units. I can't speak for many of the PSUs reviewed by MikeC on the main site, but a lot of those look mighty fancy.

Honestly I wouldn't spend anything under $70 for a good unit. Are you looking for quiet out of the box, or do you have no problem with modding something? Because if you have no problem modding, you're FAR better off buying a quality unit with high efficiency (low heat) and screwing in a Panaflo L1A.

Out of curoisity, what do you use now?

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Post by henners » Sat May 15, 2004 1:13 pm

The 3200+ is a 64 bit processor. At the moment I have the stock 3700AMB PSU which is a smartpower 350w thingy or something. I'm looking to get an enermax noisetaker cos theyre the quietest I've seen and have good power + efficient although I cant find any in UK yet.. I was considering the zalman zm400b but it doesnt look that quiet.

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A good quality 300watt PS is *plenty*

Post by NeilBlanchard » Sat May 15, 2004 4:27 pm


A good quality 300watt PS is *plenty* for your system. Period.

I've built two Athlon 64 3000+ systems, with 1GB RAM, two 160GB HD's in a RAID 1 array, one had a Parhelia and the other a P650, and they were quiet and stable -- and never stressed their 300watt PS's. One used a Fortron 120mm and the other a CleverPower -- both of which are ~$40 units. I liked the CleverPower better because it is quieter, has the four AC plugs on the back and if has (I think) active PFC, as well.

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Post by fmah » Sat May 15, 2004 5:22 pm

What you want is a more efficient PS so that when it operates it generates less heat. Also you want one with a quiet fan. Aside from that, you only need enough power to make the system work, which is like a 300-350W unit.

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