A fanless PSU for the P180

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

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Zorander
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A fanless PSU for the P180

Post by Zorander » Fri Sep 09, 2005 1:28 am

Currently using the TP330 (lower chamber fan not used). I've been contemplating whether changing to a fanless PSU and using a low-rpm Glacialtech fan in the lower chamber will make significant difference in accoustics. Should I? Also, what fanless PSU would you recommend (efficiency-, price- and reliability-wise)?

Thanks!

Zorander
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Post by Zorander » Fri Sep 09, 2005 4:23 pm

Gosh! No one here with a P180 and uses a fanless PSU???

I've been looking around and it seems that only Antec and Silverstone make fanless PSUs worth mentioning (Thermaltake doesn't get much mention here). How are the failure rates of current Phantom models (users' feedback plz)?

Cheers!

~El~Jefe~
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Post by ~El~Jefe~ » Fri Sep 09, 2005 4:47 pm

the current ones dont fail on Long Island.

People post about them failing but I have not had mine, nor has anyone reported problems with them at Microcenter, the store that carries them in this 4 million person town 10 million person town i live in. shrugs.

some were bad, those were OLD.

My phantom 350 is the best piece of gear i have ever bought in many years. I will bring it on to my next system and the system after that.

I just played BF2 on high settings for 2 hours. It is mildly warm. its like, hm slightly warmer than body temperature. I think. maybe less. idle when im watching a movie or doing work its cool to the touch.

the phantom 350 with an antec 120mm or a panaflo 80 mm would be more than adequate to cool it down if it was chambered on its own.

Zorander
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Post by Zorander » Fri Sep 09, 2005 5:39 pm

Thanks for the post, ~El~Jefe~. I was thinking of using a Phantom in the lower chamber with a low-rpm fan, but since you mentioned it does not get too warm under stress, I wonder if I can do without the fan. And is it worth it to go for the higher Phantom500?

How about the Thermaltake though? It has an extruded heatsink and should even be just as efficient or more in conducting away heat.

Cheers!

cotdt
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Post by cotdt » Fri Sep 09, 2005 5:46 pm

phantom 350 is the best PSU i have ever owned! i will use it for the next 60 years until i die!

Pgh
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Post by Pgh » Fri Sep 09, 2005 9:05 pm

I've got a P180 with a Phantom 350 and a Nexus fan in the lower chamber. It works great.

It seems to me that those with a P180 who need the higher power Phantom 500 might be better off having a Nexus blowing through the PSU to keep it cool and thus preventing the noisier 80mm x 15mm fan kick on. Has anyone tried this?

MikeC
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Post by MikeC » Fri Sep 09, 2005 10:30 pm

I don't recommend any fanless PSU in the P180 w/o a fan. I never intended it to be used with a fanless PSU. If It had been, I'd have specified a much bigger path for heat conduction from the PSU to the case. A good fan blowing like 10~15cfm is inaudible and will keep any decently efficient, reasonably designed PSU cool enough in the P180 in a huge range of situations. Take that fan away, and you are borderline except in 20C with a modest system. Why take the risk? There are going to fans elsewhere, and they are part of your ambient anyway. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure -- I think that's the philosophy I suggest here.

cotdt
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Post by cotdt » Sat Sep 10, 2005 12:22 am

MikeC does have a good point in that even a slow-spinning fan can reduce temps drastically while being virtually inaudible. There have been many fanless PSUs that did fail, but the newer model of the Phantom seems to be fine. However, myself and a friend of mine have been running the Phantom 350 (newer model) with no ventilation and it has been running fine for six months and there are no other fans in the system because both computers are passively watercooled. Although a very slow fan is virtually inaudible and is great assurance, I don't think it's too big of a risk, especially with long Phantom warranty. It may depend on how silent your computer already is, but from my point of view adding a fan to a computer anywhere at all to cool its fanless PSU defeats the purpose of fanless since any high-efficency PSU can have its fan replaced with a Nexus for much cheaper. IMHO fanless PSUs should only be for completely passive computers to get that last bit of silence, because in some computers even Seasonics are clearly audible and therefore unacceptable. Since my Phantom 350 has made me so happy, I feel it is my duty to recommend it to any computer with a cool-running case. Cool-running case not because the PSU will overheat, but because it makes the case even hotter if it is poorly ventilated.

shokunin
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Post by shokunin » Sat Sep 10, 2005 10:16 pm

I run a Phatom 350 in the P180, but I do have the lower Tricool fan running to cool both the drives and the Phantom. Works great. I tried using my enermax PSU and it didn't cool the drives at all (without the lower chamber fan). Add the antec with the tricool fan on medium was just as quiet and cooled better.

Zorander
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Post by Zorander » Sat Sep 10, 2005 10:37 pm

I'm actually planning to replace the Antec Tricool fan with a Glacialtech (standard thickness). Can I use a 'less-thick' fan (compared to the lower chamber Tricool?

~El~Jefe~
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Post by ~El~Jefe~ » Sun Sep 11, 2005 12:05 am

nah, no way. A slow moving nexus is inaudible. You will not notice the noise. if you have any other fan in the case. Which you do, at least 1 other.

the p180 does look better to me than it did. I do give it a bit more respect than I used to. The idea of no water cooling yet much quieter for just about anyone does deserve some acolades.

I just think that spcr types should mod their own until it becomes silent and at a low cost too.

DGK
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Post by DGK » Sun Sep 11, 2005 12:52 am

Pgh wrote:I've got a P180 with a Phantom 350 and a Nexus fan in the lower chamber. It works great.

It seems to me that those with a P180 who need the higher power Phantom 500 might be better off having a Nexus blowing through the PSU to keep it cool and thus preventing the noisier 80mm x 15mm fan kick on. Has anyone tried this?
I have a phantom500 in my P180 with a Nexus in the bottom chamber, I like it so far. As far as I know the fan in the Phantom has not kicked on yet.

Zorander
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Post by Zorander » Sun Sep 11, 2005 5:42 am

Comparing the specs of the Phantom350 and its 500 sibling, there is actually very little difference in current delivery between the two (with the 500 being able to deliver just 2A more on some voltage rails). The 500 has a built-in fan that kicks in at certain temperature.

In that case, why did Antec label their power rating so differently when their current deliveries are virtually similar?

Kwiet
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Post by Kwiet » Sun Sep 11, 2005 8:04 am

I think running hard drives and a fanless CPU in the bottom chamber without airflow would really cook the hard drives. A 7V Nexus fan and an Antec Phantom500 would be a good combo though. Even if the Nexus fan failed, the Phantom500 fan would kick in to let you know it is getting hot in the tunnel. I am with Mike on this one...horizontal tunnels are made for fans. 8)

nici
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Post by nici » Sun Sep 11, 2005 8:05 am

I have a Phantom 350, and a 120mm nexus at ~6V(wont start at 5v) in the lower chamber. PSU stays cool, my Finger-Probe measures about 40c after 12hours of looping 3dMark05. It felt warm, but just so warm it felt nice warming my hands on it :) My system is air-cooled, and the loudest part(the only thing audible) is my HDD. Its a FDB Raptor so its slightly louder than a 7200rpm drive, but im certain i could hear my samsungs if mounted in the P180 also. The raptor is just barely audible mounted int he lower chamber, and the comp is sitting about 30cm from my head on the desk.

I couldnt be ha happier with the Phantom, a good 120mm fan isnt audible cooling it, so yes i would definately recommend it :)

Pgh
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Post by Pgh » Sun Sep 11, 2005 8:46 am

Zorander wrote:I'm actually planning to replace the Antec Tricool fan with a Glacialtech (standard thickness). Can I use a 'less-thick' fan (compared to the lower chamber Tricool?
Yes.

You can either screw it into the strange plastic mounting thing Antec uses, or use the normal mounting holes in the metal part of the case. EAR or the Nexus brand fan isolators work.

Pgh
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Post by Pgh » Sun Sep 11, 2005 8:53 am

DGK wrote:I'd be interested to know how much difference in noise there is between the 80mm Antec fan and the Nexus.
Night and day. No comparison needed. Just look at the Phantom 500 review data & noise recordings... compared with 22 dBA @ 12V for the Nexus 120. Plus the qualitative difference. The Nexus is smooooooth.

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Post by hmsrolst » Sun Sep 11, 2005 9:06 am

I use a Silverstone with a 120mm Nexus at about 5v (bottom setting of a Fanmate) in a P180 with no drives in the tunnel. For all practical purposes it's silent, and it works without problems.

Pgh
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Post by Pgh » Sun Sep 11, 2005 9:30 am

Pgh wrote:
DGK wrote:I'd be interested to know how much difference in noise there is between the 80mm Antec fan and the Nexus.
Night and day. No comparison needed. Just look at the Phantom 500 review data & noise recordings... compared with 22 dBA @ 12V for the Nexus 120. Plus the qualitative difference. The Nexus is smooooooth.
Strange how my question and your answer got squished into one post with the incorrect opposite attribution. Must be some bug in the forum software.

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Post by MikeC » Sun Sep 11, 2005 9:45 am

Ooops :oops:

Tha was me. I somehow edited your post instead of replying to it... Sorry -- but I think you got my drift?

mrochester
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Post by mrochester » Sun Sep 11, 2005 9:46 am

I use a Silverstone with a 120mm Nexus at about 5v (bottom setting of a Fanmate) in a P180 with no drives in the tunnel. For all practical purposes it's silent, and it works without problems.
My setup is the same as this, minus the fan in the lower chamber. The Silverstone does get quite hot, but in the past month or so it has not been a problem, so I don't see why it would suddenly start to be.

Lubb
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Post by Lubb » Sun Sep 11, 2005 11:39 am

I just got a Coolmax CF480W and a P180 case. I too expect to run a lower fan. I am still running the stock fans at the moment; triple Nexus are currently in-transit. And yes 480 W was far more than I needed, this was just to provide a large margin of safety.
----
I get some buzzing from the case with the stock tri-cool fans in use, I don't know where exactly. I am -really- hoping it is the fans and not coil noise from the PS. The fans are all on "low", but that means that the top two fans are running at very-nearly the same speed, and I suspect they are resonating each other.

Also I may ditch using the included filters. The filters won't keep all the dust from getting in, and very little air is getting through with the fans on low and the (clean) filters in place.
~~~~~

nici
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Post by nici » Sun Sep 11, 2005 1:56 pm

I dont think taking the filters out would help airflow at all, the filters are wery unrestrictive and probably wont catch anything smaller than dog-hair.. I have my computer on the desk so i doont get any dust in the computer, but when i had a computer on the floor i had to clean doghair off the filters at least once a week.. :lol:

Freelancer77
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Post by Freelancer77 » Mon Sep 12, 2005 7:54 am

nici wrote:I dont think taking the filters out would help airflow at all, the filters are wery unrestrictive and probably wont catch anything smaller than dog-hair.. I have my computer on the desk so i doont get any dust in the computer, but when i had a computer on the floor i had to clean doghair off the filters at least once a week.. :lol:
The P180 intake filters DO catch most dust, they DO reduce airflow, and they DO increase airflow noise.

My case is about 3 inches off the floor, and in the dustiest room of the house. I keep the lower intake filter in place because the lower tunnel has less total airflow to begin with, given the TriCool fan on LOW, and no real noise is added.

For the upper intake, there is a very noticable increase in noise, as well as an increase in temperature after just a minute or two, with the filter in place. So that one stays off.

For that matter, just closing the case door reduces airflow slightly, though it also reduces external noise substantially.

I don't know how you can look at these filters and think they won't catch anything but dog hairs. They are of a smaller mesh than any metallic fan filter found on many cases that regularly gets plugged with dust.

nici
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Post by nici » Mon Sep 12, 2005 9:15 am

I just had a look at the bottom filter and have to admit they do catch some dust.. yuk. i just thought they would be ineffective because they are plastic and not very dense. Oh wwell, it seems i was wrong..,

BoB-O
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Post by BoB-O » Tue Sep 20, 2005 9:37 pm

MikeC wrote:I don't recommend any fanless PSU in the P180 w/o a fan. I never intended it to be used with a fanless PSU. If It had been, I'd have specified a much bigger path for heat conduction from the PSU to the case. A good fan blowing like 10~15cfm is inaudible and will keep any decently efficient, reasonably designed PSU cool enough in the P180 in a huge range of situations. Take that fan away, and you are borderline except in 20C with a modest system. Why take the risk? There are going to fans elsewhere, and they are part of your ambient anyway. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure -- I think that's the philosophy I suggest here.
How does this change with 4 SATA drives in the bottom bay? Can a 120mm Nexus (12V) still pull enough air to cool the Phantom 350?

BoB

MikeC
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Post by MikeC » Tue Sep 20, 2005 9:50 pm

BoB-O -- probably.

BoB-O
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Post by BoB-O » Tue Sep 20, 2005 9:51 pm

MikeC wrote:BoB-O -- probably.
Hmmmm. Are you a bettin' man?

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