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 Post subject: Like top tier, but Bronze/semi and cheaper?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:34 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2014 7:24 am
Posts: 45
There are many great options around $110-120 (@Northern Europe), if I were to pay that much I might choose EVGA G3 550W or Seasonic G550.
However while I'm willing to pay for top tier (ish) quality (reliability, stability), I don't need the best efficiency or fully modular cables, and feel that such an expense is unwarranted. I would be happy if I could find a PSU with a Bronze rating and semi-modular cables for $60-70 and still know that it's otherwise a similarly solid product.

My definition of "quiet enough": I currently have an SFX Silverstone ST45SF-G where I have replaced the stock fan with a Noiseblocker fan, which I can only hear at all if I open the case and get within half a meter. I'm looking for something that will be equally quiet (or fanless) up to, say, 150-200W, and then ramp up gradually.

Available at my location I have the EVGA Eco Mode B3 450W which has decent user reviews but seems untested. Then there is the Fractal Design Integra M 450/500/550W, and Corsair CX450 and VS550.
Are any of these acceptable? The rest are Chieftec and Cooler Master, which I haven't included because it seems "cheap".

The build in question:
Fractal Design Node 304 - thus need either a shorter 140-150mm ATX PSU, or suitably positioned cables (like I've heard the Seasonic G-series has).
3 case fans
i5-7600K
2 DDR4 sticks
NVMe drive, might add mechanical disks later
Will add one discrete graphics card later
Probably lots of drives and music equipment connected with USB


Aaaand it IS the wrong forum section, but since all the other information is already here, I also need to pick a CPU cooler. Same issue: Dark Rock 3 is perhaps a little bit on the expensive side... Pure Rock 3 is cheap and very quiet but has weak cooling performance considering that CPU, motherboard and memory will all be OC compatible. Cryorig H7 has stellar reviews but some said it is audible over case and PSU fans, which doesn't sound nice.
Noctuas are, well, brown, and aren't much cheaper than the Dark Rock 3 anyway.
Any other options to consider? Max height is 165 mm and there is a large exhaust fan right behind.


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 Post subject: Re: Like top tier, but Bronze/semi and cheaper?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:21 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 3041
Location: Guatemala
gaidal wrote:
Fractal Design Node 304 - thus need either a shorter 140-150mm ATX PSU, or suitably positioned cables (like I've heard the Seasonic G-series has).
What makes the G Series work on the Node304 is not its length, although its a with in what the case will accept, the reason is, when installing it with the fan facing down, the none modular cables (24pin,8pin,etc) end up oposite to the GPU on the bottom, with the case motherboard raisers (where you screw your mobo in) also the modular cables end up at the bottom, so its a very practical PSU for the Node304. As a suggestion, try to check OCN [Official] Fractal Design Node 304 Owners Club, you will find tons of build there, a lot of owners hang there where you can ask almost anything, and probably has already been tested or used.

gaidal wrote:
However while I'm willing to pay for top tier (ish) quality (reliability, stability), I don't need the best efficiency or fully modular cables, and feel that such an expense is unwarranted. I would be happy if I could find a PSU with a Bronze rating and semi-modular cables for $60-70 and still know that it's otherwise a similarly solid product.
I dont doubt there are good bronze psu out there, but personally i would suggest against, a golden rated on average will be more efficient and thus creating less heat output, needing less cooling (im generalizing too much, as other things influence like the heatsinks and power delivery, but you get the picture), thus less noisy. I think we are at a time where Gold is what most should be looking for, platinum and titanium are more premium PSU that overall dont warrant their cost, but to me bronze is something that i would try to avoid if possible, and silver never really took off as a standard. On the Node304 is a little more complex, as its design will limit a lot what PSU you can use, in the past, there were only 3 PSU you could use on it, Seasonic G450/550/650 and Coolermaster VS450/550... and another that the name cant recall, worth mentioning that you can still mount other PSU but you do need to do some modding into removing the PSU mounting and rotate the PSU placement and find a way to secure it, some do it with big zip ties, you can find builds like this in the thread above. Another PSU that i started seeing being used on the node304 is the Corsairs SF450/600, being smaller, semi passive and fully modular should be a good option. If you still want a cheaper PSU, the fractal rep recommends the Fractal Design Integra M, they are 140mm, semi modular and bronze, the 450W retails for $60, i never tested one of these PSUs, and not that many reviews out there.

Quote:
if I were to pay that much I might choose EVGA G3 550W
On paper it seems like a great PSU, smaller and modular... and cheap, whats not like. But not to discourage you, but as a warning, a fellow SPCR forum member had issues with one buzzing while playing, things like this imo are not just the PSU fault, but a condition setup by all the components chosen, again not trying to say not buy it, its more a warning, just in case. If you wish to read more or ask him, check EVGA G3 650w buzz during games (also causing electromagnetic).

gaidal wrote:
The build in question:
Fractal Design Node 304 - thus need either a shorter 140-150mm ATX PSU, or suitably positioned cables (like I've heard the Seasonic G-series has).
3 case fans
i5-7600K
2 DDR4 sticks
NVMe drive, might add mechanical disks later
Will add one discrete graphics card later
Probably lots of drives and music equipment connected with USB
More important i dont see a motherboard chosen, in a build like the Node304, motherboard is one of the most important things as the CPU socket placement can screw up the build, even limiting a lot what CPU coolers you can use. My top suggestion for a node304, as long as you like software based fan control, is Asus, their FanXpert software is going to allow you to undervolt the Fractal fans to their minimum and if you wish to setup the graphs as you like. That said, i prefer more AsRock and MSI for pure bios fan control, the problem here is that on mini itx you will have very few fan headers, and thus PWM fans work much better overall as you can get a PWM fan splitter and control multiple, but since you are probably on a budget, i think Asus might work out better, try to get one with at least 3 headers.

gaidal wrote:
Aaaand it IS the wrong forum section, but since all the other information is already here, I also need to pick a CPU cooler. Same issue: Dark Rock 3 is perhaps a little bit on the expensive side... Pure Rock 3 is cheap and very quiet but has weak cooling performance considering that CPU, motherboard and memory will all be OC compatible. Cryorig H7 has stellar reviews but some said it is audible over case and PSU fans, which doesn't sound nice.
Noctuas are, well, brown, and aren't much cheaper than the Dark Rock 3 anyway.
Any other options to consider? Max height is 165 mm and there is a large exhaust fan right behind.
Max height on the Node304 is not an issue, probably can fit 200mm or more, the problem might be the design and where the fan is located, coolers like Thermalright Macho RevB fit but dont allow the usage of the back case fan, so i dont recommend a cooler that has too much lenght. Ideal coolers for it are narrow towers, although twin towers like Noctua NH-D15 and thermalright silver arrow should work fine (without the frontal fan, just using the middle one). For the Node304 thinking on good quiet coolers that are not that expensive, i would suggest to look into Scythe Kotestu and Thermalright True Spirit 140 Power.

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 Post subject: Re: Like top tier, but Bronze/semi and cheaper?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 2:56 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2006 1:53 am
Posts: 469
Location: 61.6° N, 29.5° E - Finland
If you want quiet staying PSU its capacitors are wrong place to go cheap.
Cheap capacitors don't like heat to stay reliable.

And lower efficiency PSUs themselves generate more heat to cool.
http://www.silentpcreview.com/A_Better_ ... Efficiency
So of course almost all 80+ Bronze PSUs use cheap capacitors...
Because old efficiency doesn't mean they can get away with enough fewer parts to decrease price.

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