Seasonic X-400 fanless in Antec Solo

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

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netmask254
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Seasonic X-400 fanless in Antec Solo

Post by netmask254 » Sun Sep 26, 2010 9:26 pm

Just start to use it a couple of days before, some experience sharing:

1 The PSU is mounted upside as Seasonic suggested. Though there are no any ventilation holes on the top of Solo, some space (~0.5cm) exists between the PSU top and the case.

2 X-400 can be cooled very well in Solo. After 30-minute CPU Burn + GPU Burn (pull 130W AC power on my system), I can hardly perceive any warm when put my hand on the PSU rear (the environment temperature is 22C during test).

3 The air flow of this PSU in Solo is somewhat weird. It pulls fresh air from outside, I use a piece of preservative film to check this, note that the film sticks the PSU in below picture.

4 Though X-400 cools itself very well, the overall system temperature is actually degraded comparing with my previous PSU Antec EA-380 (3~10C for different components). See another thread (viewtopic.php?t=60171) for temperatures.

5 During CPU Burn+GPU Burn, I can hear very faint buzz noise if I press my ear on the PSU. It's not perceivable with several cm distance.
[UPDATED on 2010/09/27] Previous description is not true, the buzz noise can be a real problem for this fanless PSU. (1) I can hear the buzz noise from 10-cm away, sometimes it becomes a very annoying high frequency noise which is even more noticeable than rear fan noise (800rpm Noctua S12). (2) Even after system shut down (PSU is not off), the buzz noise still exists and can be clearly heard if close enough. At this time, the system pulls only 1~2W AC power.
I will check this with other X-400/460 owners.

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Last edited by netmask254 on Mon Sep 27, 2010 5:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

MikeC
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Post by MikeC » Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:34 pm

That airflow pattern is to be expected. The case fan pulls air through the lowest impedance source -- closer, w/ less restriction vents end up being primary inatke air sources. I discuss this in every fanless PSU review.

No surprise that the system is running hotter than w/ your old Antec EW380 -- you have one less fan now, and the intake air through the PSU gets warmed by it. The system should be way quieter than before, tho.

If you want to reduce temps overall, increase intake airflow from the front. With quiet enough 2nd 92mm fan, this can be done w/ virtually no increase in noise.

sub
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Post by sub » Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:31 am

That airflow pattern is to be expected. The case fan pulls air through the lowest impedance source -- closer, w/ less restriction vents end up being primary inatke air sources. I discuss this in every fanless PSU review.
Hi mike, so the best place for a good airflow pattern with a x-400 in a case with only one extraction fan is on the bottom like in Antec 300 ?

b_rubenstein
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Post by b_rubenstein » Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:44 am

MikeC wrote: The system should be way quieter than before, tho.
I doubt it. I've built several systems using the EA380 (older, Seasonic OEM), that drew around the same power as the OP's and the PS couldn't be heard from .5m away. There may be a measurable, but not audible difference. Granted, if someone places the PC on top of a desk right next to them they may hear something.

Modo
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Post by Modo » Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:57 am

Have you tried opening slot covers below the graphics card? This should allow for more air to come in not through the PSU.

Also, maybe positive pressure is the way to go with this setup. By that I mean turning the back fan around. (And still creating a vent near the graphics card.)

netmask254
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Post by netmask254 » Mon Sep 27, 2010 5:58 pm

Modo wrote:Have you tried opening slot covers below the graphics card? This should allow for more air to come in not through the PSU.

Also, maybe positive pressure is the way to go with this setup. By that I mean turning the back fan around. (And still creating a vent near the graphics card.)
Yes, that's what I'm going to try but not tested yet:
Image

Regarding positive pressure, actually I have tried (due to insane during first installation, both case fan and CPU fan are reversed, and the case fan pulls air from outside) but the temperature is not as good as negative (~5C difference especially VGA card).

Luke M
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Post by Luke M » Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:38 pm

For a power supply to be cooled passively, the case should be vented on top and there should be no air path between the system fan and the power supply. Example:

viewtopic.php?t=60050&start=0&postdays= ... highlight=

Modo
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Post by Modo » Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:43 am

netmask254 wrote: Regarding positive pressure, actually I have tried (due to insane during first installation, both case fan and CPU fan are reversed, and the case fan pulls air from outside) but the temperature is not as good as negative (~5C difference especially VGA card).
But is it deadly for the card? Did it cause artifacts or hang ups under stress? Did it go over 100 C, or was it still much lower? Once that vent at the back is in place, I'd go back and try it again.

netmask254
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Post by netmask254 » Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:42 am

Modo wrote:
netmask254 wrote: Regarding positive pressure, actually I have tried (due to insane during first installation, both case fan and CPU fan are reversed, and the case fan pulls air from outside) but the temperature is not as good as negative (~5C difference especially VGA card).
But is it deadly for the card? Did it cause artifacts or hang ups under stress? Did it go over 100 C, or was it still much lower? Once that vent at the back is in place, I'd go back and try it again.
No, it's just ~72C after 30-minute Furmark burn. Note that this is a HD3650 which has ~40W power consumption according to xbitlabs' test. For the other parts, they are ~5C rise comparing with negative pressure setup.

netmask254
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Post by netmask254 » Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:54 am

Luke M wrote:For a power supply to be cooled passively, the case should be vented on top and there should be no air path between the system fan and the power supply. Example:

viewtopic.php?t=60050&start=0&postdays= ... highlight=
That's a good thread.

However, cooling fanless PSU is a totally new story for case design. As I know, there is almost no existing case has PSU top mounted AND open holes on the top (though NSK3480 did so, the holes are not on the exact top of PSU). If I made another build with X-400, I would select a PSU-bottom-mount case, such like Lianli's PC-7F.

Compddd
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Post by Compddd » Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:34 pm

netmask254 wrote:
Luke M wrote:For a power supply to be cooled passively, the case should be vented on top and there should be no air path between the system fan and the power supply. Example:

viewtopic.php?t=60050&start=0&postdays= ... highlight=
That's a good thread.

However, cooling fanless PSU is a totally new story for case design. As I know, there is almost no existing case has PSU top mounted AND open holes on the top (though NSK3480 did so, the holes are not on the exact top of PSU). If I made another build with X-400, I would select a PSU-bottom-mount case, such like Lianli's PC-7F.
The Silverstone FT02 does, it's the perfect case for the X-400/460

netmask254
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Post by netmask254 » Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:57 pm

Agree, though FT02 seems too powerful and huge for non-gaming users.

Another interesting alternative is Lianli A05N, which places PSU at the front. If we reverse the rear fan direction (The original design is to pull air from outside into the case, i.e. positive pressure. This is not necessary for guys who like positive pressure), it's a perfect air flow design for X-400. However, this case looks very odd, just like FT02 :lol:

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Rebellious
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Post by Rebellious » Sat Oct 02, 2010 8:54 am

The Seasonic X-series don't create their own air flow since they have no fan or a fan that rarely spins. So a case with negative pressure could cause heat from PSU to back INTO the case. I posted that here viewtopic.php?t=54023

That's not necessarily a bad thing, it can be used to advantage. I have two X-650 and I consider them bi-directional. Your example of the Lian-Li A05 is a good one, airflow can be set either way, front-to-back or vice versa.

sub
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Post by sub » Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:08 am

Maybe you can mod the solo with a separate chamber and a top blowhole:


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