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 Post subject: Silent(ish) PSU advice
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:35 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:32 am
Posts: 3
Hi all

First time poster looking for some advice.

Basically, I've got a Dell Studio 540, which I've had for a couple of years now, and I'm looking to do a few small upgrades. My PC has 4gb RAM, intel Q8200, and a NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT graphics card. I mainly use this PC as a HTPC, and I run xmbc. However the PC is a little on the loud side as all of the fans and PSU are the stock ones that came with the original unit.

I’ve recently purchased a new case fan and CPU cooler, and now I’m looking to swap out the PSU. I’ve done a lot of research on PSU’s ( which Is how I found these forums :wink: ), and I have a list of 5 possibilities, which are all within my price range (£60ish)

Basically my main requirement is that the PSU is silent or as close to silent that you can get on my budget. Below is the list of contenders
Silverstone Tech. Strider SST-ST50F-ES 500W
BeQuiet Pure Power L7 530W '80 Plus' Power Supply
Antec Earthwatts 430W ATX 12V 80Plus
Antec TruePower New Modular 550W '80 Plus Bronze' Power Supply
ZALMAN ZM500-ST

Do any of you guys run any of these PSU’s? Or is there an obvious choice that I’ve missed?
Any help is greatly appreciated. :D

Thanks,
Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Silent(ish) PSU advice
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:22 am 
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Location: Denmark
Which reseller do you intend to purchase from?

From the top of my head, I'd recommend these affordable PSU's:

Cooler Master Silent Pro M 500, 600, 700
Enermax (a majority of their models)
Nexus NX-5000
Nexus Value 430

Be aware, that Corsair VX450W, CX400W, HX520W and others from that generations (made by Seasonic btw) might have been quite back five years, but things have changed: They're not that quiet by today's standards (I had the VX450W, and though quiet, I could easily hear a medium-to-high noise from the PSU). And the Corsair CX400W, essentially the VX450W with cheaper components, performed 19 dBa/1m with the newest testing paltform which goes as low as 11 dBa.

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Cooler Master Elite 341, Athlon II X3 425, Radeon 5750 (passive, fan zip-tied on), Crucial M4 64 GB.
Cooling: AC Alpine 64 Pro, rear exhaust Scythe Slipstream 800 rpm @ ~5 V


"SSD's: The difference between a casual jogger and a dog chasing a ball"


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 Post subject: Re: Silent(ish) PSU advice
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:33 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:32 am
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kuzzia wrote:
Which reseller do you intend to purchase from?

From the top of my head, I'd recommend these affordable PSU's:

Cooler Master Silent Pro M 500, 600, 700
Enermax (a majority of their models)
Nexus NX-5000
Nexus Value 430

Be aware, that Corsair VX450W, CX400W, HX520W and others from that generations (made by Seasonic btw) might have been quite back five years, but things have changed: They're not that quiet by today's standards (I had the VX450W, and though quiet, I could easily hear a medium-to-high noise from the PSU). And the Corsair CX400W, essentially the VX450W with cheaper components, performed 19 dBa/1m with the newest testing paltform which goes as low as 11 dBa.


Thanks for the reply Kuzzia. I don't really have a reseller in mind, once I've decided on the best one, I'll shop round for the best price. I'll take a look at those models you mentioned now


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 Post subject: Re: Silent(ish) PSU advice
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:35 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:41 am
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Location: Denmark
Du you live in the U.S.? If so, you'll have almost every model available, unlike many small countries.

I would prefer modular Enermax PSU's. Modular, affordable and very quiet (just read the reviews here at SPCR). I don't know if that applies to all of their PSU's though :( But I have a feeling that SPCR has a wealth of informations about those PSU's.

The Nexus NX-5000 is also VERY VERY quiet, practically inaudible. 11 dBa/1m, bordering the ambient noise level in SPCR's own anechoic room. Editor's choice here at SPCR and my brother owns one, & couldn't be happier, except for the lack of modular cables. But I've heard that those PSU's are not that available outside of EU (Nexus is a Dutch company).

The Cooler Masters that I've recommend may be a bit too loud for the über silencer. (14 dBa/1m)

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Cooler Master Elite 341, Athlon II X3 425, Radeon 5750 (passive, fan zip-tied on), Crucial M4 64 GB.
Cooling: AC Alpine 64 Pro, rear exhaust Scythe Slipstream 800 rpm @ ~5 V


"SSD's: The difference between a casual jogger and a dog chasing a ball"


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 Post subject: Re: Silent(ish) PSU advice
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:33 pm 
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Location: Monterey Bay, CA
kuzzia wrote:
Du you live in the U.S.?


I think the OP referring to pounds sterling is a fairly good indicator of where he might live :D

I'm going to go sideways and suggest another component to replace. Fans spin up to combat heat. Best way to lower fan rpm is to lower the power use in the case. The 9800GT is a bit of an old school power hog with 35-40W idle power, 40-45W 2D power and 85W or more power when gaming.

If you don't game, you can put in a passive, current gen card for $50-75 that idles ~6W and uses <20W with media.

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 Post subject: Re: Silent(ish) PSU advice
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:49 pm 
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Ahh, didn't see that Steve :)

quietpc.com (based in the UK) sells the Nexus NX-5000 for an affordable price. 60-70 GBP I believe. But their non-modular, and inside what a relatively small case, this might be an issue. Do they sell any PSU's from the Enermax Modu-series in the UK?

_________________
Cooler Master Elite 341, Athlon II X3 425, Radeon 5750 (passive, fan zip-tied on), Crucial M4 64 GB.
Cooling: AC Alpine 64 Pro, rear exhaust Scythe Slipstream 800 rpm @ ~5 V


"SSD's: The difference between a casual jogger and a dog chasing a ball"


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 Post subject: Re: Silent(ish) PSU advice
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 8:36 am 
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Location: Germany
i'll recomend the Lepa w series. Lepa sells rebranded Enermax products at a fair price.

http://skinflint.co.uk/616891

http://skinflint.co.uk/674412

be quiet! Pure Power CM 530W might also be worth a closer look, since it is modular and should be on the silent side of psu.


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 Post subject: Re: Silent(ish) PSU advice
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:37 pm 
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In addition to the other suggestions, if the machine is a few years old, you might consider replacing the case fans. They may not have been quiet originally, and a few years of use certainly aren't going to improve them.


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 Post subject: Re: Silent(ish) PSU advice
PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 2:57 am 
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Posts: 3
Thanks for all the great replies guys, you've given me plenty to think about.

I'm based in the UK and I think I'm going to go with the Coolermaster silent Pro 500w. Its not the quietest of the selections offered, but it is modular and I can get it for £40 from a local PC store.

This may sound like a stupid question... Do you guys think I might get away with not running a case fan? My case is small and at the moment the case fan is mostly blocked by the CPU cooler. I thinking because my graphics card has its own fan, and the CPU cooler is quite decent(Arctic freezer), I might not need a case fan. What do you guys think, is it too risky?


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 Post subject: Re: Silent(ish) PSU advice
PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 3:31 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:41 am
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Location: Denmark
Personally, I would never not run any case fans, but I have tried it before without any issues. Try to experiment and check if the temps become too high, that's the best way to determine whether you need any case fans.

_________________
Cooler Master Elite 341, Athlon II X3 425, Radeon 5750 (passive, fan zip-tied on), Crucial M4 64 GB.
Cooling: AC Alpine 64 Pro, rear exhaust Scythe Slipstream 800 rpm @ ~5 V


"SSD's: The difference between a casual jogger and a dog chasing a ball"


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 Post subject: Re: Silent(ish) PSU advice
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 5:53 am 
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Posts: 374
kuzzia wrote:
The Nexus NX-5000 is also VERY VERY quiet, practically inaudible. 11 dBa/1m, bordering the ambient noise level in SPCR's own anechoic room. Editor's choice here at SPCR and my brother owns one, & couldn't be happier, except for the lack of modular cables. But I've heard that those PSU's are not that available outside of EU (Nexus is a Dutch company).

For 10 euro more you've got the modular RX-5300.


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 Post subject: Re: Silent(ish) PSU advice
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:48 pm 
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Posts: 229
Location: UK/Eire
Been using the Cooler Master Silent Pro M series for some (better) builds and so far I've no problems and been very pleased with them (yes they are quiet and so far at least reliable)
Main appeal is decent PSU, modular, quiet, long warranty and reasonable price.


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