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 Post subject: Zalman ZM300A-PFC
PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2002 10:57 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 11:09 pm
Posts: 18
Location: Reinheim, Germany
I've always been a fan of Zalman products, been using them for the last couple of years, but I seem to have trouble with their Power Supplies. When the first generation PS became available, I bought one only to get rid of it a week later because it was too loud in use, and reverted back to an Enermax No-Noise (???) PS. At least with Enermax you don't expect it to be quiet !!

My PC is extremely quiet, only the PS has been an issue.

Reading rave reviews for the new Zalman PS, I bought one the other day and am not entirely happy with it. Before installing it, I tested outside of the PC where it's really quiet. Build it into the PC though and connect everything up so that the PS is under load and it suddenly changes its character. There is a permanent hissing sound which I assume to be coil hiss (a bit like the noise that comes from a refrigerator when the motor cuts in), something that MikeC mentioned in his Review, also a low frequency rumbling noise which comes and goes, probably bearing rumble from the fan. Fan noise seems very satisfactory, but there is no fan-speed sensor cable, so I can't tell exactly whether the RPM increases significantly as the PC heats up! The voltages are extremely stable and also almost exactly on spec.

Do I have a bad example or is this an inherent "feature" of the new Zalman PS'es ? I personally find the noise that it makes irritating, especially as the environment in which I work is extremely quiet.


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 Post subject: Re: Zalman ZM300A-PFC
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2002 12:12 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
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Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Tulip wrote:
There is a permanent hissing sound which I assume to be coil hiss (a bit like the noise that comes from a refrigerator when the motor cuts in), something that MikeC mentioned in his Review, also a low frequency rumbling noise which comes and goes, probably bearing rumble from the fan. Fan noise seems very satisfactory... Do I have a bad example or is this an inherent "feature" of the new Zalman PS'es?

The hissing noise -- sort of like something frying quietly? I have heard that before but I am not sure exactly what coimponent makes it. Coil noise is usually a high pitched whine. (Very annoying!) The review sample had a bit of it but seemed to fade as it was used more. Don't know about any low frequency rumbling noise, the sample did not exhibit anything like that, the fan seemed fairly good. You might listen to the noises and see if there is any pattern to them, any correlation with what you're actually doing on your pc. There just might be, and that might tell you something.

Just wait and see if the noises fade. Burn-in sometimes has a mysterious way of making problems go away. If they remain after another week, you might
1) go back to the shop & suggest it's not working right & ask for an exchange (maybe prepare for this possibility by letting them know you think it is noisy now)
2) swap the fan for a quieter one. The latter, as you know, can be dangerous if you're careless or unlucky, and voids the warranty.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2002 7:51 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 11:09 pm
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Location: Reinheim, Germany
No, it isn't a hissing sound exactly, very difficult to describe really. I'll wait for a few days and see if it goes away. Th rumbling is DEFINITELY coming from the fan, maybe that will also disappear with time !


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2002 7:58 am 
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OK, that hissing noise- is it like a very fast chattering or clickety-clack type of sound, sort of like the noise some HDDs make when seeking in quiet mode? Is it intermittent? Is it tied to screen movements or scrolling?

That fan noise, BTW, should be enough to justify an exchange. You bought it for its low noise so...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2002 10:12 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 11:09 pm
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Location: Reinheim, Germany
Yes, that hissing sound is exactly as you describe it, sort of like the noise you get when frying an egg !! I've let the machine run overnight and I think that this hissing has now disappeared or has reduced in level, unfortunately I can't tell because the fan has definitely increased in speed, so that fan noise is louder than the hiss !!

None of the noise is work related, the tone doesn't change even when I'm working on the machine !!

I'll give it a chance until Monday, then if there is no improvement, i'll RMA it with the shop.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2002 10:38 am 
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Location: Reinheim, Germany
Good news, it's not the Zalman !!! The PC is now so quiet that the noise I have been hearing has been there all along, it's the HDD, a Maxtor 4D060H3 basically a very quiet unit, but I suppose when something is turning at 5400 rpm there has to be SOME noise. Irritating none the less !! I'll have to see if I can decouple it from the case (Lian-Li UC60 Aluminium) somehow, any ideas ???


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2002 12:29 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 3998
Location: Phoenix, AZ
I can sympathize completely with your discovery of new noises. Everytime I silence one part of my machine I find out that its noise was masking the noise of something else. Oh well, the obsession continues.

As for ideas on decoupling you HDD, check out Mike's article on sandwiching and suspending.
Hard Drive Silencing: Sandwiches & Suspensions

I've sandwiched, sidesinked, and suspended my Maxtor drive (although in a slightly different fashion than Mike shows) and now its totally silent.

_________________
Senior Contributing Writer, SPCR


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2002 7:54 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2002 9:52 pm
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Location: United States, Mobile, AL
hey tulip is that zalman power supply still working out nicely for you? im curious cause im thinking of buying one myself and just wanted to see how yours is working out.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2002 11:45 pm 
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Location: Reinheim, Germany
@GamingGod

Yes, the Zalman is working out really nicely. No problems at all !!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2002 6:01 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2002 11:46 am
Posts: 169
Location: Stockholm
On maybe a unrelated topic (?), I sent an e-mail a few days ago to a retailer that concentrates on various cooling products here in Sweden.
I just pointed them to the zalman psu review that mike did a while back, and today I got my reply back.

So now there's a little link on the bottom of their page of the psu, directing people here. My hope is that it will in some small way contribute to the growth of silent computing. :)

Product page
Main page

Keep up the good work guys!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2002 8:20 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
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Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Thanks for the effort, Red! Every little bit helps! :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2002 8:34 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2002 11:46 am
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Location: Stockholm
No problem man, I like helping out. :-)

By the way, will zalman start making other watt-range psu:s? (I'm just curious)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2002 8:51 am 
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I thinks so; check out their site.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2002 9:45 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2002 11:46 am
Posts: 169
Location: Stockholm
Interesting... can't seem to find it though.

Well, if anyone should bump into any information about this, feel free to let me know, thanks. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2002 10:33 am 
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Posts: 2057
Location: United States, Mobile, AL
I heard a rumor that zalman was suppose to be making a 400w model, but i cant find any actual info to back it up so it may be just BS.
Hey tulip what is your system, i want to compare it to what i plan on getting: p4 2.53, 512 ddr2700, western digital 80gbse, lite-on 40x burner, asus 52x cd-rom, gefore 4 ti 4200, and 2 120mm panaflo lia's as case fans.
Hopefully the 300w will be enough, if not ill probably have to get a seasonic 350, They are making a 350 with two fans, one on front and one on back, id like to see a revie won that soon too hopefully.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2002 12:37 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 11:09 pm
Posts: 18
Location: Reinheim, Germany
@ GamingGod

My system is ...

Epox 4BDA2+ Motherboard
Pentium 4 1.8 Northwood running at 1.4V instead of 1.5V.
Zalman ZM300A-APF Power Supply
Zalman ZM6500CU CPU cooler and fan running at lowest setting (1400rpm)
512MB Micron DDR
Maxtor 60GB HDD
Plextor 40X CD-RW
LG 48X DVD
Hercules Radeon 8500LE graphics card

All this is installed in a Lian-Li UC60 aluminium case with NO additional case fans. Have not had ANY power related issues at all. The voltages on both the 5 and 12 volt lines are extremely stable and to specification.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2002 10:18 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2002 9:52 pm
Posts: 2057
Location: United States, Mobile, AL
thanks, but i think my system gonna be drawing a bit more power than that so i guess ill just take a chance and see if it can push my system or not. Im sure it can though.


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