has a good point. I had meant to totally revise the ranking system when I did this last revision but got so exhausted by everything that went before the lists that I decided to leave them alone for now. However, I agree that it needs to be refined.
Currently, the noise ranking is explained thus:
old noise ranking wrote:
The amount of noise the component makes. Ranked from 1-10, 10 being completely noiseless, 9 being effectively inaudible, and 1 being over 50 dBA, or as loud as a PSU can be. We suspect there will never be any product on our list with a noise rank below 4: it would simply be too noisy to be of interest to us. A number rank followed by "?" indicates we have not fully verified the assessment. Any audible coil buzzing is noted in the comments.
This system limit the rankings, essentially from 6~9, which is a very tight numerical range. Why bother with 1-10 if only this range is used? So, here's what I will do in the next revision:
new noise ranking wrote:
Ranked from 1-10, 10 being perfection. A number rank followed by "?" indicates we have not fully verified the assessment.
Noise: The amount and quality of noise the component makes. Ranked from 1-10, 10 being completely noiseless, 9 being effectively inaudible, 5 being ~25 dBA/1m with a benign acoustic signature, and 1 being ~30 dBA/1m. A number rank followed by "?" indicates we have not fully verified the assessment. Any audible coil buzzing is noted in the comments.
Keep in mind that we strongly weigh the acoustic performance at <200W when ranking the units for noise. This is because systems typically do not draw more than 200W, even at maximum power. Those seeking quiet systems should do everything possible to minimize power draw because low heat makes low noise much easier to achieve. For higher power PSUs, the noise performance >200W is considered as well, but the <200W is still weighted more heavily, because the vast majority of systems run at much less than full load >90% of the time. (Typically, the load is about at idle 90% of the time.)
This helps explain why a fanless PSU gets a rating of 9 when the quietest fan cooled units can get a rating as high as 8. In actual use, the difference is very marginal, as the system using a fanless PSU still needs an exhaust fan which may actually have to spin slightly higher than the one in a similar system with a fan-cooled PSU. It is only when the quietest fanned PSUs are pushed beyond the 150~250W ramp-up point of their fan controller that the fanless PSU gains a significant acoustic advantage. However, the fanless PSU system will be more stressed thermally unless it has airflow from case fans -- in which case, the acoustic advantage may diminish again.
It won't happen right away.
And kojak71, I'd suggest a high efficiency ATX12V 2.0
>400W PSU on the recommended list for your system. The S12s & Enermax Noisetakers are obvious choices, with the S12 getting the nod. Also, you could try the Silverstone or Antec fnless ones -- with the caveats already noted all over the place here.