what's a good "low noise" power supply??

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

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loren_brothers
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what's a good "low noise" power supply??

Post by loren_brothers » Sun May 23, 2004 11:22 am

I have decided not to use my AntecSL350 for my new system, instead I want to upgrade a bit. A new PSU would have to meet the following:
  • Ablity to power an Athlon64 based MSI MB (ie: compliant for that form)
  • Stable power output with low-tolerance output variance. (ie: <5%)
  • Moderate to low noise output. (fanless is not an option)
  • Adequate output connectors to run 4+ SATA HDDs, 4+ optical drives, plus a lot of other junk :wink:
  • Long length connectors to enable its use in a "super mid-tower"
  • 400-450W range
  • <$100 price range
  • MUST be quieter than my Antec :wink:
  • The PSU will not be modded
The 'quiet' factor is not the overriding consideration here, but will play a part in my purchase. I have also heard of the use of PSUs that have 2 separate 12V rails. Why?? Is this a requirement/recommendation for higher end MBs??

Any and all ideas would be welcome.

Along that line I have been looking at a Superflower 140mm, 450W PSU that was discussed in an earlier thread but I haven't be able to chase up much info about it (tolerances). Anyone here have any experience with it?
spcr thread
dirkvader review(they rate it #1 in cooling)(note that the 'titanium' model is no longer produced, that p/n is no good)
directron sales pitch
superflower (notice: no specs :cry: )

Pjotor
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Post by Pjotor » Sun May 23, 2004 11:56 am

Apart from the 4 SATA power connectors (and possibly the price limit) it sounds like the Zalman 400B-APS should suit you. 400 watts of silent power, all in a nice black enclosure. (Here is the SPCR review).

Someone wrote that this PSU is one of the quietest PSUs when left unmodded. The only mod I have made to mine is to take away the fan grill, which shaves off some of the turbulence noise.

cruelsister
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Post by cruelsister » Sun May 23, 2004 1:14 pm

I just swtched from my Antec 430w true, so I may be of some help. I tried the Enermax 420w Noisetaker- a touch less noisy than the Antec, but no great shakes.

I built a computer for a friend with that one and tried a Coolmax 450w. It is much quieter, but doesn't have the 5v line for fans as did the Antec, so I'll have to spring for a controller for my 3 currently non-operational case fans (MB temp went from 34C to 40C). It does have 2 SATA connectors, btw- don't really know if you're going to find a PS with 4.

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Post by MikeC » Sun May 23, 2004 1:40 pm

Quietest unmodded stable PSU for that power range: Enermax Noistaker. It'll work well. Check my review.

cruelsister -- others have reported hearing a much bigger difference against the Antec, so if you didn't, I would expect...

1) Other noise sources that obscured the difference
2) Too high a temp around the PSU so that both PSUs had to ramp up their fans -- again obscuring the differences.
3) A high ambient noise environment? Probably less likely...

loren_brothers
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Post by loren_brothers » Sun May 23, 2004 1:52 pm

cruelsister wrote: It does have 2 SATA connectors, btw- don't really know if you're going to find a PS with 4.
I realize that I will have to use 2 adapters :wink:

What model # was the Coolmax? CX or CT series?

loren_brothers
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Post by loren_brothers » Sun May 23, 2004 2:20 pm

MikeC wrote:Quietest unmodded stable PSU for that power range: Enermax Noistaker. It'll work well. Check my review
Are you referring to the 475W review? I would assume the data would be about the same?

So Mike, are you of the opinion that a dual fan of this type(80/92) will be generally quieter than a 120 or 140mm single fan unit? I noticed that coolmax had a single 140 on their site but no info was there. :(

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Post by MikeC » Sun May 23, 2004 2:37 pm

loren_brothers wrote:Are you referring to the 475W review? I would assume the data would be about the same?
Yes. I would assume a 425W version in the same lineup would behave similarly.
So Mike, are you of the opinion that a dual fan of this type(80/92) will be generally quieter than a 120 or 140mm single fan unit?

Definitely not, no generalization implied. Too many other factors to generalize just on basis of fan config. I refer specifically to this model.

In general, I am not a fan of bottom mounted fan PSUs. I think all it really does is make the PSU run hotter unnecessarily... and when you get above a certain amount of heat in the system (read: Faster hotter CPU), it makes the PSU fan ramp up. But this one works well regardless, becasue of the combination of good fan controller and high efficiency. (For cool operation)

loren_brothers
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Post by loren_brothers » Sun May 23, 2004 3:03 pm

mike,

the reason I was looking at single fan units is that the Noiseblocker G2 case has 4 fans... 2 front intake, 1 rear exhaust, and 1 blowhole (all 80mm). I was thinking of modding the rear exhaust to a 120mm Al fan and reversing the flow of the blowhole fan (undervolted, same as with the 2 intakes, to about 7V or less) to assist moving stagnant hot air from the case top. So there should be a s**tload of air flowing around. And a single 120/140mm fan in the PSU, in conjunction with the 120mm rear exhaust, should move enough volume to keep the case nice and "chilly". If 120 mm case fans run quieter per amount of air moved than 80mm fans, I just figured the same would hold true with a PSU. :?: I don't know if it will work, but I can always change it later :wink: .

Anyone can feel free to tell me I'm full of 'bull-pucky' :roll:

loren

cruelsister
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Post by cruelsister » Sun May 23, 2004 4:34 pm

The Taurus is the CX model. I love it.

Also, let me be a bit more clear on the Noisetaker. It was indeed quieter than the Antec True. However it is noisier than the Coolmax by far. But I didn't have any trouble with the cable either when I put it into my 1080AMG case or when I built my friends system in a mid-tower case. This was a complaint I read about in a few places and really can't see that much of a downside to it.

But to give you an idea about the Coolmax, I'm sitting about a foot away from the computer now (2.6C oc'd to 3.4 with a Zalman 7000AlCu running slow) and the prominent noise is due to one of my 3 hard drives. Current temps are 28C CPU, 37C case at an ambient of 26C.

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Post by SpyderCat » Sun May 23, 2004 4:52 pm

cruelsister wrote:Current temps are 28C CPU, 37C case at an ambient of 26C.
How can a overclocked CPU be only 2° degrees over ambient?

Some of your sensors are way off, and you just repeat the BS they are telling you?

cruelsister
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Post by cruelsister » Sun May 23, 2004 5:08 pm

Truth- temps identical both in MBM and Asus Probe (I have a P4P800-D MB). AS3 was used also, btw.

With The Antec and the 3 cases fans it was running at 26C CPU and 33-34 Case.

Update- current ambient is down to 70F, so ambient is 21C (Tornado is coming through here in Wisconsin, so temp dropped a bit).

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Post by MikeC » Sun May 23, 2004 7:27 pm

cruelsister

Your mobo underreports CPU temps by up to 10C. Ask Ralf.

loren_brothers
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Post by loren_brothers » Sun May 23, 2004 8:01 pm

cs:

that is the unfortunate truth about ASUS boards, they under-report by several degrees (I have found it's about 6C though) I don't understand why they don't correct that fault but we just have to deal with it untill they do. :cry:

Still inviting comments on the main topic, single fan PSUs, dual rail 12V's, and anyone who has used the superflower. :wink:

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Post by loren_brothers » Mon May 24, 2004 9:19 am

I re-read the review of the Enermax and the posts about the review here on the board. This brought a few problems to light which I might have. The sheathing on the cabling might prove to be a problem for me since I plan to mod the wiring. From another thread:
I also plan to 'custom length' the PSU output wires to exact lengths by cutting them off about 2" from the PSU and attaching female plug-in type 'bullet connectors' at that point. The cut off portions will then be trimmed to the exact lengths needed and male connectors added to those ends. This will result in the use of 'needed' wiring only being used, no excess wire length to hide, and the ability to add more wiring if needed.
link
The lengths were also mentioned as a probable drawback, but I won't know for sure until I get the new case this week (if Carlos shipped it on Saturday like he said he would :wink: ) and can make some measurements.

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Post by Qwertyiopisme » Mon May 24, 2004 9:44 am

Um.. Does anybody know if the Asus A7N8X-E reports temps incorrectly, I dont think it does, because I got 50-ish woth my old Arctic cooling thingy, adn with my new spiffy watercooling I get 45, and I got around 45 with my old mobo... :unsure:



Edit:Forgot to add this but the ambient temperature that the radiator gets in is roughly 20 degrees, and there is only minimal airflow through it.
Last edited by Qwertyiopisme on Mon May 24, 2004 12:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by MikeC » Mon May 24, 2004 9:51 am

cruelsister--

No question the CPU temp is way off, but... Just out of curiosity, what happens to temps under load? Have you tried CPUBurn?

cruelsister
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Post by cruelsister » Tue May 25, 2004 3:44 am

After an hour of idle, my readings are 24C CPU, 32C case. I did do a fast molex mod to make up for the lack of the 5v lead in the Coolmax. Please note that I have not increase the default (1.568v) voltage to the CPU.

I ran Prime95 ( x 2 since I have the P4c) and after 2 hours had a pretty consistant 47C CPU and 40C case.

Also I did notice that the 12v rail on the Coolmax will vary from 11.85 to 12.04, with the latter being the most consistant reading.

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Post by SpyderCat » Tue May 25, 2004 4:16 am

cruelsister wrote:After an hour of idle, my readings are 24C CPU, 32C case. I did do a fast molex mod to make up for the lack of the 5v lead in the Coolmax. Please note that I have not increase the default (1.568v) voltage to the CPU.

I ran Prime95 ( x 2 since I have the P4c) and after 2 hours had a pretty consistant 47C CPU and 40C case.

Also I did notice that the 12v rail on the Coolmax will vary from 11.85 to 12.04, with the latter being the most consistant reading.
A 23° rise in temperature between idle and loaded.. :shock:

Now, I have no experience with P4 CPUs, but that seems like an awful lot to me.
If it was my rig, I would seek another way to get some readings. Not because I would need to know, but just because I'm the curious kind.

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Post by Metaluna » Tue May 25, 2004 6:54 am

I'd say you can't go far wrong with the Enermax Noisetaker 475 for building a power-hungry box. It's in your price range and it won't ramp its fans up into the stratosphere under load, unlike many of the "quiet" PSUs that have a lower noise floor in synthetic tests (e.g. Seasonic Super Tornado 400), but turn into 30+ dB screamers at 150W or so. I have a Noisetaker running a P4 2.6c, i875 northbridge, 1GB dual channel DDR400, 2 7200RPM hds and a Radeon 9800 Pro and the fan is always quiet, unlike my Seasonic which I had to move to another system.

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Post by loren_brothers » Tue May 25, 2004 8:37 am

Metaluna...

Thanks for your input! :D It seems that my post didn't draw the response I expected (in fact it almost got 'kidnapped' lol). I guess the non-modding clause threw a wet towel on it! :wink:

I have decided to try the Superflower 140mm PSU for the simple reason that nobody here had an opinion on it! (NOW that is SCARY!)

I have decided to become the "official SPCR lab rat". I will get back to everyone here when I put the system together. If the Superflower doesn't work well I will switch to the Enermax and figure out a way to deal with all that sheathing cr*p (crud) on the cable runs :?

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