Puzzled by SPCR's PSU review/recommendations

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

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g00n
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Puzzled by SPCR's PSU review/recommendations

Post by g00n » Mon Feb 27, 2006 10:14 pm

Antec Smart Power 2 vs Enermax Noisetaker

I previously had an Enermax Noisetaker 370w. I got it right when the Noisetaker series came out. It has been the quietest PSU I have ever owned. Unfortunately, it died recently. Oddly enough I came back from a weekend to see that the power had gone out in my Apartment. All the clocks were reset and my PSU was dead. I wondered if it was just odd timing or related. I dont see how a black/brown out could cause a PSU to die. Anyway, after reviewing SPCR I decided on the Antec Smart Power 500w. It had a good price, modular cables and SPCR said it was quiet. To my dismay this thing is MUCH more noticeable than my previous Enermax. Even with just the 1 fan running its louder. I notice it more and it seems to be a higher frequency or pitch perhaps. It's hard to define. It's almost like a ringing sound. I suppose you could compare it to the ringing sensation you get from a loud noise but milder. It reminds me of an electrical sound or perhaps a motor. It doesnt seem to be due to the fans alone. On SPCR I was surprised to see that the Antec SP2 450 was ranked more silent than the Enermax noisetaker 475w. This PSU is definitely not quieter than my 370w noisetaker but perhaps the more powerful model is louder. Im puzzled and I really dont know which to go with now. Im considering RMA'ing this PSU and going back to a Noisetaker but perhaps the 485w model WOULD Be louder than the Antec. Im wondering if the various total power outputs have anything to do with certain models being louder. Obviously, the 600w would be louder but the others dont seem like they should be. Anything under 500w would seem to be about the same. My experience doesnt match up with SPCR. I would really have liked this Antec to be quieter because otherwise it is a superior PSU.

I need advice on a sub $100 PSU w/ decent life ahead of it. I would like it to last for one more complete system upgrade in a year or two. My system specs shouldnt demand a 500w but I got one anyway. Maybe if silence is my goal a lower rated PSU is in order. My PC is in my bedroom and runs 24/7 so I am very picky about noise. Maybe the 420w noisetaker would be my best bet. All I know is that my previous PSU was much more silent than this Antec.

My system:
p4 Northwood 2.8 @ 2.9 (BIOS included burn-in mode)
1gb Kingston ram
2x IDE drives
1x Optical all in one dvdr/cdr
Geforce 7800GS (cooler, less hungry than 6800)
Last edited by g00n on Tue Feb 28, 2006 12:25 am, edited 2 times in total.

tjpark1111
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Post by tjpark1111 » Mon Feb 27, 2006 10:17 pm

s12-430 should be plenty:
http://www.case-mod.com/store/seasonic- ... tml?src=fr
sub-$100
I think if you don't have one of those surge protectors, the PSU dies sometimes, that's why there is a market for surge protectors.

g00n
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Post by g00n » Mon Feb 27, 2006 10:31 pm

tjpark1111 wrote:s12-430 should be plenty:
http://www.case-mod.com/store/seasonic- ... tml?src=fr
sub-$100
I think if you don't have one of those surge protectors, the PSU dies sometimes, that's why there is a market for surge protectors.
I had an APC back-UPS pro 500 but the damn battery died and a nice "feature" was that it beeped every 3 hours until you replaced it. Ever since I'd been using a regular power strip with surge protection I got from walmart. It was one of the better ones they had although I know its not on par with the APC UPS. Regardless, it should have been enough to prevent a surge that kills my PSU, shouldnt it?

I really like what SPCR has to say about Seasonic. The only thing is the s12 430 doesnt support PCIe. I would like to invest in a PSU that has PCIe for future upgrades. The 500w model DOES but its $130. IMO this was a major blunder on Seasonics part. Bringing a new PSU to market right now w/out PCIe is just stupid...

I can get a 420w enermax noisetaker for $64. I was VERY happy with the noise level of my previous 370w noisetaker. I know the Seasonic is probably better but its more $. Im just wondering if maybe the 475w is indeed louder. This would validate the SPCR's ranking in the recommended PSU's. Otherwise I dont see how it could be quiter. It is much louder than the 370w I had.

Just a FYI about newegg. I contacted them and told them i was not happy with my purchase and wanted to try another model. They WAIVED my restock fee considering my situation. All it took was 1 email. Talk about fantastic customer service. You cant beat newegg it seems....
Last edited by g00n on Mon Feb 27, 2006 11:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

autoboy
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Post by autoboy » Mon Feb 27, 2006 10:47 pm

You could swap out the fan in the antec for a low speed panaflo if you like. that should quiet things down a bit.

g00n
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Post by g00n » Mon Feb 27, 2006 10:57 pm

autoboy wrote:You could swap out the fan in the antec for a low speed panaflo if you like. that should quiet things down a bit.
I'd like to avoid opening it up and voiding the possibility of returning it. Honestly it doesnt even sound like a fan issue. Its more like electrical/motor. Im no PSU expert though so I dont know. Besides, if i have to mod the fan in my PSU to try and make it more quiet then I dont want it. The point is this is by no means a QUIET PSU. I dont see how its rated higher (in term of silence) than the Noisetaker. That is unless my 370 was much more silent than a 475w Noisetaker is. I dont know for sure. All I know is this sucks and now I have to pay shipping to get a better PSU. I guess I should have stuck with what I knew from personal experience was quiet.

klankymen
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Post by klankymen » Tue Feb 28, 2006 12:28 am

You may want to consider a NeoHE 430 by Antec, assuming it has no problems with your system.

there's a big thread about all the problems with it, and I have had to RMA it twice in order to have a working version. but now that it does work I'm very happy with it. It's dead quiet, has modular cables, and a PCI-e cable (the 500W version I have actually has 2 PCI-e cables). I Paid 80 dollars for it (I originally got the 430, but I was upgraded to the 500 free of charge to make up for my troubles).

In any case from just about every standpoint except whether or not the damn thing actually works, the power supply is pretty much perfect.
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g00n
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Post by g00n » Tue Feb 28, 2006 1:25 am

klankymen wrote:You may want to consider a NeoHE 430 by Antec, assuming it has no problems with your system.

there's a big thread about all the problems with it, and I have had to RMA it twice in order to have a working version. but now that it does work I'm very happy with it. It's dead quiet, has modular cables, and a PCI-e cable (the 500W version I have actually has 2 PCI-e cables). I Paid 80 dollars for it (I originally got the 430, but I was upgraded to the 500 free of charge to make up for my troubles).

In any case from just about every standpoint except whether or not the damn thing actually works, the power supply is pretty much perfect.
It does look like a promising PSU. It also very quiet, on par with the S12 according to SPCR. The only thing is compatibility and all the problems people have reported with it. I dont see a mobo compatibiity list on Antec's site. I have an intel 875PBZLK.

frankgehry
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Post by frankgehry » Tue Feb 28, 2006 10:16 am

I have a sp2 500w and a noisetaker 485w and they are both quiet. The early sp2's when the fan monitor was connected to the motherboard would spin at full speed. The hack is to disconnect the fan monitor. I rma'd mine and received a new unit with a working fan controller. The intake fan should stay at ~1000rpm and is very quiet at that speed.
[size=75]
[color=#3366ff]e8400, Corsair XMS2-5400, Asus 8400GS, Gigabyte EP45-UD3R, Chenbro SR209/Nexus 120, T-Balancer, Enhance ENP-5150GH 500W, Seagate 7200.7 160MB [/color][/size][size=75][color=#cc0033](Retired: XP-120, FSP530-60GNA, Antec SP2.0 500W, Antec SLK3000B)[/color][/size]

g00n
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Post by g00n » Tue Feb 28, 2006 2:05 pm

frankgehry wrote:I have a sp2 500w and a noisetaker 485w and they are both quiet. The early sp2's when the fan monitor was connected to the motherboard would spin at full speed. The hack is to disconnect the fan monitor. I rma'd mine and received a new unit with a working fan controller. The intake fan should stay at ~1000rpm and is very quiet at that speed.
This sp2 is NOT quiet lol. Obviously there must be a major difference in standards. In comparison to the noisetaker 370w I had previously its much more annoying. Perhaps all of the new, more powerful PSU are just louder? This is my first time with anything over 400w. All I know is I'm going to RMA this and get one thats more silent.

bexx
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Post by bexx » Tue Feb 28, 2006 6:38 pm

just followed that case-mod link to the seasonic powersupply.. they raised their prices, I bought the 500watt seasonic from tehm a month ago for $105.88.... was $122 after tax and shipping (i'm in ca so i had to pay tax but it was shipped in 1 day).

http://www.censuspc.com/product.php?productid=2698 has it for $105 now.. never bought from them. I don't think you can be unsatisfied with seasonic, I will not buy any other brand psu anymore.

g00n
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Post by g00n » Tue Feb 28, 2006 8:03 pm

bexx wrote:just followed that case-mod link to the seasonic powersupply.. they raised their prices, I bought the 500watt seasonic from tehm a month ago for $105.88.... was $122 after tax and shipping (i'm in ca so i had to pay tax but it was shipped in 1 day).

http://www.censuspc.com/product.php?productid=2698 has it for $105 now.. never bought from them. I don't think you can be unsatisfied with seasonic, I will not buy any other brand psu anymore.
ZipZoomFly has the 500w for $111 + 2nd day air. Newegg is still $130. I dont see how they are getting beat so bad.

Update: out of stock / backorder @ ZipZoom. Looks like CensusPC is the cheapest. I Hope they are a decent company.
Last edited by g00n on Tue Feb 28, 2006 8:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Tibors
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Post by Tibors » Tue Feb 28, 2006 8:22 pm

g00n wrote:Honestly it doesnt even sound like a fan issue. Its more like electrical/motor. Im no PSU expert though so I dont know.
You mean you have coil whine?
As pointed out in that link coil whine is often caused by a combination of components.
g00n wrote:This sp2 is NOT quiet lol. Obviously there must be a major difference in standards.
Have you considered this might not be a case of different standards, but that you sample may have some defect? If both the reviewers say the PSU is quiet (as long as the second fan doesn't come up) and at least one regular poster does too, then that might be a more probable cause.
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Devonavar
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Post by Devonavar » Tue Feb 28, 2006 8:27 pm

g00n, are you using/have you tried unplugging the RPM monitoring cable? As someone mentioned already, there was a bug in the early versions of the SP2 that caused the fan to run at full speed when it was plugged in.

The fact that you describe the problem as electronic suggests that you might be experiencing coil whine, which is very much an individual problem. You might RMA your SP2 and find that the replacement doesn't have the problem. Unfortunately, coil whine isn't something that's consistent across model lines, so whether or not you have a problem with it seems to be pretty much luck of the draw.

g00n
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Post by g00n » Tue Feb 28, 2006 8:29 pm

I suppose it could be coil whine. Although its not really that loud. I'll admit, this is a semi quiet CPU. But it IS more noticeable than my previous enermax 370w. There is no doubt about that and it is the only measuring stick I have. I dont really think this is coil whine. It just sounds like a louder fan/motor IMO. But again, im hardly a PSU expert.

I think I am just going to go with the seasonic. I dont think I can go wrong with that.

g00n
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Post by g00n » Tue Feb 28, 2006 8:31 pm

Devonavar wrote:g00n, are you using/have you tried unplugging the RPM monitoring cable? As someone mentioned already, there was a bug in the early versions of the SP2 that caused the fan to run at full speed when it was plugged in.

The fact that you describe the problem as electronic suggests that you might be experiencing coil whine, which is very much an individual problem. You might RMA your SP2 and find that the replacement doesn't have the problem. Unfortunately, coil whine isn't something that's consistent across model lines, so whether or not you have a problem with it seems to be pretty much luck of the draw.
Yes, it is working properly. The 2nd fan IS NOT running. Its simply a louder PSU. I'm not a total noob in terms of PC hardware. The PSU appears to be working correctly (and well I might add) without any defects. However, it is more noticeable audibly than the 370w Noisetaker I had in here previously. As i said above, i suppose it could be coil whine but I would "assume" coil whine would be louder and more annoying. Dont get me wrong, this is a very faint noise. But it is definately louder than the noisetaker was. Remember this was an early 370w noisetaker.

QO
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Post by QO » Tue Feb 28, 2006 10:14 pm

The Antec Neo HE is great (if it works) I'm pretty picky but it sounded very quiet to me. It totally owned my Noisetaker 485.

Devonavar
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Post by Devonavar » Tue Feb 28, 2006 10:43 pm

Ah, I didn't realize you were being so picky. I can't say I ever listened to the two side by side, so I don't really dispute your decision. It sounded like the difference was more than just a "very faint noise".

I'm currently running the original 370W Noisetaker in my own system ... but I've never heard the fans on it... I took them out for use in a P180 tunnel.

I hope the Seasonic turns out for you...

g00n
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Post by g00n » Tue Feb 28, 2006 10:56 pm

Devonavar wrote:Ah, I didn't realize you were being so picky. I can't say I ever listened to the two side by side, so I don't really dispute your decision. It sounded like the difference was more than just a "very faint noise".

I'm currently running the original 370W Noisetaker in my own system ... but I've never heard the fans on it... I took them out for use in a P180 tunnel.

I hope the Seasonic turns out for you...
Based on everything I read it should. I just ordered from CensusPC - $115 shipped. I guess you pay for silence.

Update: CensusPC sucks. My order was placed on hold because my shipping address wasnt the same as my billing. I have no trouble with Newegg. I called support to straighten it out and the person could barely speak english. I cancelled my order.

As for the previous 370w noistaker, it was great. I didnt notice it. I dont know how well the 420-485w noisetaker stack up. I'd imagine the 600w is nowehere close. All I know is this Antec SP2 500w is not as quiet. I wish it was because the features and modular cables are outstanding. It's a great value too. This is still a great buy. But if you are really picky its simply not that quiet IMO. I'm very suprised because I based this purchase on SPCR's review and recommendation. I will have to RMA it and eat the shipping. It's a good thing Newegg has such fantastic service.

g00n
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Post by g00n » Wed Mar 01, 2006 12:21 pm

I could splurge on the s12 500w for $130 or go with the 430w Antec NeoHE for only $85. It has great features and is also said to be extremely quiet. I'm just worried about the compatibility and it working properly. I have an older Intel D875PBZ mobo. I dont know if its ATX 1.3 or 2.0. It seems a lot of people have had trouble with Asus boards. Have the NeoHE problems been identified? As in, what exactly is causing it and have they been fixed?

I would like a PSU that has some life. I dont want it to be obsolete in 1-2 years or 1 upgrade.

teknerd
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Post by teknerd » Wed Mar 01, 2006 1:25 pm

It's interesting that you are having a problem with the SP2. I have the 500W version in my main Dual Core rig and even folding 24/7 it is very quiet.
[img]http://tinyurl.com/rqlff[/img]
[size=75]Main Rig: X2-4200+ | XP-120 | A8N-SLI Premium | 2GB RAM | XFX 6600GT w/VF700 | 74GB Raptor & 320GB 3200JD | P180 | SmartPower II 500W | 2x Dell 1704FPV (Digital)
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g00n
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Post by g00n » Wed Mar 01, 2006 1:55 pm

teknerd wrote:It's interesting that you are having a problem with the SP2. I have the 500W version in my main Dual Core rig and even folding 24/7 it is very quiet.
Ya see, I dont know what your reference point is but this isnt quiet. Quiet as compared to what? Another random noname 500w? Anyway, moving on. Obviously everyones standards are different.

Onto what I SHOULD get in its place. The NeoHE seems too risky for my older mobo. I'm not sure if it would even boot. The Seasonic s12 500 has pcie so it would have some life. But its $130...

Im very suprised how few options one really has. After researching all of the various PSU's and taking into account noise and features the list gets small. Feature wise the NeoHE has it all and a lower price but all the problems scare me off. Why the s12 430 doesnt have pcie seems foolish. It wouldnt sting to pay $130 for the 500w so much if it had modular cables and twsisted/sleaved cables. I really like that about the SP2 although its not a major selling point.

TooNice
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Post by TooNice » Thu Mar 02, 2006 8:10 pm

Umm, my last PSU was a Noisetaker (though one of higher wattage than what you have). I find the Seasonic to be quieter than the Enermax.

There is still the option of getting the 430W PSU and add a PCIe power adapter later on..

frankgehry
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Post by frankgehry » Thu Mar 02, 2006 8:50 pm

The only problem with the noisetaker and seasonic 430 is they both exhaust heat from the rather large front vents back into the computer case. It's obvious with the seasonic, but you would think the exhaust fan of the noisetaker would pull air through the front vents. The bottom fan still pushes air back into the case.
[size=75]
[color=#3366ff]e8400, Corsair XMS2-5400, Asus 8400GS, Gigabyte EP45-UD3R, Chenbro SR209/Nexus 120, T-Balancer, Enhance ENP-5150GH 500W, Seagate 7200.7 160MB [/color][/size][size=75][color=#cc0033](Retired: XP-120, FSP530-60GNA, Antec SP2.0 500W, Antec SLK3000B)[/color][/size]

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Post by JazzJackRabbit » Thu Mar 02, 2006 11:30 pm

frankgehry wrote:The only problem with the noisetaker and seasonic 430 is they both exhaust heat from the rather large front vents back into the computer case. It's obvious with the seasonic, but you would think the exhaust fan of the noisetaker would pull air through the front vents. The bottom fan still pushes air back into the case.
That's actually the reason why noisetaker dumps so much heat into the case. The bottom fan is a 92 mm variety and the 80mm fan in the back does not spin fast enough to exhaust all the hot air, that coupled with the very open back vents allow for almost unrestricted air flow out of the back of the PSU. Seasonic 500/600 variety have very restrictive back vents so almost no air comes back into the case.

frankgehry
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Post by frankgehry » Fri Mar 03, 2006 8:58 am

I've never seen a post about this problem with a seasonic 500 or 600w, because as you say, they do have a much smaller front vent area.
[size=75]
[color=#3366ff]e8400, Corsair XMS2-5400, Asus 8400GS, Gigabyte EP45-UD3R, Chenbro SR209/Nexus 120, T-Balancer, Enhance ENP-5150GH 500W, Seagate 7200.7 160MB [/color][/size][size=75][color=#cc0033](Retired: XP-120, FSP530-60GNA, Antec SP2.0 500W, Antec SLK3000B)[/color][/size]

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Post by Arkham » Sun Mar 05, 2006 3:23 pm

g00n wrote: I really like what SPCR has to say about Seasonic. The only thing is the s12 430 doesnt support PCIe. I would like to invest in a PSU that has PCIe for future upgrades. The 500w model DOES but its $130. IMO this was a major blunder on Seasonics part. Bringing a new PSU to market right now w/out PCIe is just stupid...
I thought there was an adaptor for the connector that fixed this? Is this not the case? If not, I'll have to rethink my decision to get the 430... I want to be able to use PCIe in the future.

Tephras
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Post by Tephras » Sun Mar 05, 2006 9:21 pm

Yes, PCIe adapters do exist, here's one. But to my knowledge the S12-430 does not come with one if that's what you wondered.

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Post by Arkham » Mon Mar 06, 2006 1:01 pm

Tephras wrote:Yes, PCIe adapters do exist, here's one. But to my knowledge the S12-430 does not come with one if that's what you wondered.
Thansk, that's what I thought. If I need one I'll get one.

I was just caught off-guard by gOOn mistakenly stating that the "s12 430 doesnt support PCIe". Scared me for a second there. :)

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