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 Post subject: Best fan to replace the stock fan on Zalman 300a?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2002 6:31 am 
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Posts: 149
Hello,

I'm getting Zalman 300w ps soon. People say after I change the fan it's the quietest ps one can get, due to its big heatsink.

So now the question becomes, which fan should I use? I think I narrowed down my selection to the Papst 12db version with thermo sensor. any other recommendations?

Where do I draw the power from? from the motherboard or do I use the same one in the power supply? if so, should I add on the voltage regulator?

thanks :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2002 10:15 am 
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Quote:
after I change the fan it's the quietest ps one can get, due to its big heatsink.

Be careful here: ANY psu can be super quiet. It's just what fan/voltage you put in there. But this does NOT mean than 2 equally quiet PSUs are equal. Far from it. One might survive 3 months with the reduced airflow; the other, 5 years. One might die after a dozen peaks near the full rated output; the other, survive a thousand.

Do keep in mind that when you reduce the airflow from the stock, you are probably shortening the lifespan of the PSU, and in some cases, its reliability.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2002 11:08 am 
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mm... would i be okay with using a fan with a thermo sensor then? what would you say would be the top end of psu temp is for good reliability? i'm keeping p3 just for reliability so, if psu would like to give out on me, that would defeat the whole purpose of trying to keep a p3.

i was thinking papst 12db fan with thermo sensor.

and why isn't there much talk about peltier cooling solution in this forum? they don't need fans do they?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2002 11:57 am 
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Location: Worcester, UK
SungHyun7 wrote:
and why isn't there much talk about peltier cooling solution in this forum? they don't need fans do they?


peltiers are just heat pumps (which also create heat), so as more heat needs more cooling and hence more noise, thats probably why people dont use them for quiet applications.

I bought a 60W TEC to play with, and it creates a bucket load of heat, AND its not powerful enough to put on any half decent CPU!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2002 12:24 pm 
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Quote:
what would you say would be the top end of psu temp is for good reliability

Very tough question. See this thread: http://forums.silentpcreview.com/forums ... php?t=2301

Short anwer: I don't know, and I don't know how even to measure. Again, see the post above.

The large HS in the Zalman should help with lower than intended airflow, and it does seem like a good quality product. Keep in mind that compared to Q-tech or Seasonic models reviewed, its fan control provides more airflow at a lower power level. IE, the fan speeds up sooner in response to thermistor temp rise. This suggests:

    1) The Zalman folks want to keep the internal PSU temp lower & even at the cost of a bit more noise
    2) The Zalman PSU components need more airflow to remain as stable (unlikely?).
    3) Both of the above?
My own PoV and approach to PSUs:

    1) Noise is paramount. I mod them with super quiet fans -- Panaflo at 5V, NMB at 7V.
    2) I am willing to take take the risk of hgaving the PSU blow & the cost of replacing it if/when this happens.
    3) I have killed 2 PSUs with low airflow (high temps):
    - an old generic 250W died after nearly 2 years with a 4.5V Panaflo in a low power system
    - a 350W Enermax died after a year with similar mod in a mid power AMD system.
    4) Both of the above failures were preceded by a couple of weeks of audible whining that was not there before. Seems to be a sure-fire indication of imminent failure. I pulled them out of their respective systems and avoided potential damage to other components. They failed soon thereafter during routine checks (not torture testing) on the testbench.
    5) I always have a complete PC that duplicates the power/functions of the main one with a complete HDD backup of the main.

BUT if I find a PSU that is as quiet as my modded ones, I would stop hacking and buy that instead for the assurance of the warranty and the comfort of knowing(maybe) that the unit was designed specifically to survive the low airflow.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2002 12:41 pm 
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mm wise words from the great minds.

well i intend to keep my current psu and the case, and leave it as back-up when my zalman decides to give out on me.

my current plan is as follows:

zalman psu - replace the fan with panaflo @ 5v.

passive cpu cooling by slk-800

passive gpu cooling by zm80-hp

barracuda v 120mb w/ 8mb cache, decoupled with simple elastic bands.

i think that should do it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2002 9:32 pm 
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Location: Walnut Creek, CA
I bought the zalman psu, and thought it was quiet, but then I modded my two other 'stock' PSUs with quiet fans and voltage reducers (I use the zalman fan control units so I can adjust the speed manually), and they are much quiter ... so now I'm ready to mod the zalman also.

I do notice that the Zalman runs pretty hot - the air coming out is quite warm, compared to my other 'cheap' modded PSUs. This seems counter-intuitive, since the Zalman is more efficient, and should therefore convert LESS energy to heat, not more? The system the Zalman is in is a P4 1600, compared to the other two which are P3 600s, but still - I didn't think the P4 1600 would consume that much more power than the P3 600; and all other components are the same.

Anyway, I'll be modding the Zalman pretty soon.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2002 9:48 pm 
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Quote:
I didn't think the P4 1600 would consume that much more power than the P3 600

Check http://users.erols.com/chare/elec.htm. The P3s are ~15W; the P4-1.6 (256K cache, not A) is ~62W "nominal" and the P4-1.6A (512K cache) is 47W. Pretty significant difference either way!

Adding 32~47W power draw naturally means the PSU is delivering (and dissipating) more power AND dealing the with added heat from the CPU located just on the other side of the PSU intake vents. Not surprised your Zalman is blowing hotter air.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2002 2:31 pm 
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Location: minneapolis, MN
I now have a Zalman ZM300A-APF and a Q-Technology QT-02300 PSU. The q-tech is subjectively quite a bit quieter when running at full cpu usage, (and the review here at SPCR supports this observation). I dont understand why everyone is so interested in the zalman when the q-tech is quieter, right off the bat, with no modding. Granted, I modded a couple "normal" psu's to be quiet, but if your going to spend 70 bucks for a quiet psu, why do you want to have to mess with it?

There are definately things I like about the Zalman--its cooler running, more connectors and better package (multi-connector). But its simply not as quiet as the Q-tech. Not much more to say.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2002 4:53 pm 
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Reason why I got zalman is because it's much cheaper (about 2/3 of the price). We also must be economical, don't we? :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2002 2:17 pm 
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Location: Walnut Creek, CA
Can anyone recommend a specific model of fan for the Zalman? I've visited your friends at Silicon Acoustics (want to support a sponsored supplier!), and see they have numerous Papst and Verax fans.

I don't care much about the cost. The criteria would be - a) quiet b) no 'chatter' when voltage is reduced to slow it down, c) little risk of 'no start' at low voltage, d) decent airflow at less than full voltage (assuming some fans may drop off significantly more than others).

Based on all that, any recommendations? I seem to recall some fans also are not 'symmetrical' in their mounting, which may be an issue.

Thanks! Chris


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2002 3:06 pm 
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Panaflo 80 "L". There is a cost: higher temp in the PSU. maybe in the system. I do it mine but am willing to accept possibly shortened life (of PSU) and use expensive CPU HS to ensure cooling. I think the fan in the Zalman may be soldered to the circuit board, which means cutting leads and soldering...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2002 6:11 pm 
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hey mikec, should i buy a soldering iron if i intend to modify the fan in the zalman psu?

just a simple question. i'm going to do it right after i get the psu. so as i understand it,

#1 open the psu with simple screw drivers (right?)
#2 take out the fan. (i was going to clip the wires and wrap the ends with an electrical tape).
#3 replace the fan with panaflo 80mm L1a. (i was going to power this one by 5v from inside of the case (from the adapter that comes with the psu)).

is that a good plan? or more involved?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2002 6:56 pm 
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That's exactly how you do it, its no more complicated than that.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2002 9:24 am 
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Mike C - FYI, over at Silicon Acoustics, they don't show the (one and only Panaflo) fan as 'Panaflo 80 L' - they simply show "Panaflo FBA08A12L, 1900 RPM". A general search of the web confirms that the FBA08A12L is what is commonly called 80L and/or 80L1A. Not sure why there are so many different 'names' for this! Why this fan and not the others? It's the cheapest! Is it that it is actually BETTER, or just that it is no worse, and you may as well get the cheapest?

To SungHyun7 - be careful about 'putting electrical tape' over the ends of the wires. I did this, and months later opened up the case to find the tape lying on the bottom of the case. I used pretty generic electrical tape picked up at Home Depot. It stuck well when I applied it, but months of heat caused it to uncoil and fall off. I would recommend instead buying insulated adapters; these are short, hollow metal tubes encased in plastic; you slide the tube over the end of the wire, then 'crimp' (squash) the tube onto the wire. Not only is this more reliable, but you can later re-attach something to the wire by inserting a wire in the 'other' end of the tube.

To SungHyun7 and Rusty075 - Is a permanent connection to a 5V source a good idea? For a PSU fan? At 5V, the speed is very slow, and you can't do anything about it if you want to increase it. 7V would be more 'reliable' (7V is achieved by going between +5 and +12, adapters are readily available for this). I recommend buying a Zalman fan speed controller (fanmate). Only costs $9 or so; you can set it to it's lowest setting and get (presumably) 5V or less, but you can also crank it up on hot days and/or if you think it's necessary. Downside is you have the controller 'dangling around' in the case!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2002 9:42 am 
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Quote:
'Panaflo 80 L'

FBA08A12L is correct; I am just being sloppy. There's only 3 basic versions of the hydrowave beairng 80mm Panaflo - L, M & H. (low, med & high speed). I say 80L for obvious reasons. My sloppy shorthand.
Quote:
'putting electrical tape'

Heatshrink is probably best.
Quote:
controller 'dangling around' in the case

A zapstrap (wire tie) is handy to secure it somewhere to avoid this. I agree this makes it very convenient & adjustable for extreme conditions -- hot weather, heavy stress work on system. A fan baybus controller makes it even more slick if it has variable speed control for all your fans, but it's more money.


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