Whineless PSU.... Do They Exist?

PSUs: The source of DC power for all components in the PC & often a big noise source.

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rapoon
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Whineless PSU.... Do They Exist?

Post by rapoon » Sun Aug 13, 2006 12:01 am

*note* ive read all the stickys and recommendations

In the past two weeks, ive gone through literally 37 PSU's. Fry's and Micro Center hate me.

Brands ive used - OCZ, Silverstone (The worst & it was $196), Antec, Enermax, Zumax, Ultra and Thermaltake.

I am 99% positive the whining on the psu is emitting from the transformer. I repair and modify hi-fi stereo equipment.... and in the event of whining from cd players, transports, DACs, receivers, preamps and power amps.. its always the transformer. i hope my experience with stereo equipement is applicable to PSU's

im currently using a 480w Antec Truepower. If a whineless psu doesnt exist, ill have to dampen the sound. I already have 3x 120mm fans on high... but they dont seem to help. Other problem is I have the antec p180 case. PSU sits on a steel chassis and the interior of the panels is steel. This amplifies the whine.

Im currently looking into the seasonic 600w but ive seen a couple complaints on these forums regarding its noise. If any of you who are extremelly sensitive to whines/high-pitched noises....id appreciate any and all recommendations for either a new PSU or dampening methods.

*edited* Should note - testing all PSUs I have disconnected All fans (including PSU fan), all case fans, cpu and video card fan, hdd, dvd drive and tested the psus out on multiple boards.

jaganath
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Post by jaganath » Sun Aug 13, 2006 12:58 am

I already have 3x 120mm fans on high... but they dont seem to help.
You would think the fan noise would drown out the whine, but because the whine is high-pitched and fan noise is generally broadband, you ca still hear it.

Ironically, the (whineless) PSU in my current PC is some no-name generic (ColorsIT) which cost me like $5. I also have a Seasonic 330 which is whineless.
*note* ive read all the stickys and recommendations....
Brands ive used - OCZ, Silverstone (The worst & it was $196), Antec, Enermax, Zumax, Ultra and Thermaltake.
I don't mean to be rude, but if you've read all the stickies and recommendations, why did you try all those brands which SPCR does not recommend?

Also, what is the quality of the whine? Is it constant, does it vary, is it louder when you perform certain actions on the PC, etc?

rapoon
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Post by rapoon » Sun Aug 13, 2006 1:33 am

I don't mean to be rude, but if you've read all the stickies and recommendations, why did you try all those brands which SPCR does not recommend?

Also, what is the quality of the whine? Is it constant, does it vary, is it louder when you perform certain actions on the PC, etc?
I dont mean to be rude, but what are you talking about? Have you read the "Power Supply Fundamentals & Recommendations" list and other 6 pages? Antec, Enermax and Silverstone are all on the list. Antec, Enermax and Silverstone are on my list. OCZ and Thermaltake both make decent items. The Zumax and Ultra were purchased on a whim.

The high pitched whine starts immediatley when the psu is plugged into a wall or surge protector. ive tried multiple sockets and protectors. The whine is constast... maybe a little pulse to it. its volume does not fluctuate with load though.

justblair
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Post by justblair » Sun Aug 13, 2006 2:54 am

I have never experianced a whining psu, I use the Silverstone one and its silent.

I have on the otherhand experianced a whine from a mobo, in the power regulation circuits of course.
The high pitched whine starts immediatley when the psu is plugged into a wall or surge protector. ive tried multiple sockets and protectors. The whine is constast... maybe a little pulse to it. its volume does not fluctuate with load though.
I am reading this right? Do you mean the whine is there even without the puter fired up? This could be down to power regulation on the 5v rail (not sure personally wether mobos even have such regulation and if it would be powered when the pc is off.

When I first got coil whine on my mobo, I was convinced that it was the psu that was whining. It was ony when I set the components up spread across my desk that I twigged where it was coming from.

I cured it accidentally by adding heatsinks to my mosfets and doing a pencil mod to my mobo. I say accidently because I was trying to resolve another issue at the time. (Which I didn't resolve in the end). From others experiance glueing or laquering the coils can also cure whine.

This may be an unhelpful post, or maybe it is helpful. I suspect the former. :)
[url=http://www.justblair.co.uk]www.Justblair.co.uk[/url]

Beel
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Post by Beel » Sun Aug 13, 2006 4:37 am

We suspend drives to keep them from transmitting seek vibrations back to the case. Might the same concept apply to PSUs?

Part of the post has pictures of using Stretch Magic to isolate the PSU from the case.

http://forums.silentpcreview.com/viewto ... light=lian

If the noise comes from coil whine being amplified by the case, his idea might help your situation.

jaganath
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Post by jaganath » Sun Aug 13, 2006 5:19 am

I dont mean to be rude, but what are you talking about? Have you read the "Power Supply Fundamentals & Recommendations" list and other 6 pages? Antec, Enermax and Silverstone are all on the list. Antec, Enermax and Silverstone are on my list. OCZ and Thermaltake both make decent items. The Zumax and Ultra were purchased on a whim.
Specific Antec, Enermax & Silverstone models are recommeded, SPCR recommendations are not meant to cover all the models of any one brand. OCZ & Thermaltake may make decent items (debatable) but in terms of noise they have never been recommended by SPCR. The fact that all these PSU's whine makes me think it may be something to do with your electricity supply. Of course if it is the transformers you can try putting silicone goop on them to stop the vibration.

IsaacKuo
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Post by IsaacKuo » Sun Aug 13, 2006 6:48 am

rapoon wrote:The high pitched whine starts immediatley when the psu is plugged into a wall or surge protector. ive tried multiple sockets and protectors. The whine is constast... maybe a little pulse to it. its volume does not fluctuate with load though.
At first, I was going to suggest that maybe the whine was actually coming from the motherboard or the fans (yes, fans can have very high pitched whine that can be confused with electrical coil whine--I think it comes from the metal rings in a ball bearing).

However, I've experience the effect you're talking about and usually it's with old low quality power supplies. I've heard some ungodly bad PSU coil whine upon plug-in from old IBM and Dell power supplies, and also from HP and eMachine power supplies.

If this coil whine is occuring upon plug-in even with brand new high quality power supplies, then I suspect the quality of the electrical power going into them. It may be worth your while to invest in a UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply). These essentially use a rechargeable battery to give the computer a nice steady power supply, with electrical power from the wall outlet constantly recharging the battery.
Isaac Kuo

JazzJackRabbit
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Re: Whineless PSU.... Do They Exist?

Post by JazzJackRabbit » Sun Aug 13, 2006 10:12 am

rapoon wrote:*note* ive read all the stickys and recommendations

In the past two weeks, ive gone through literally 37 PSU's. Fry's and Micro Center hate me.

Brands ive used - OCZ, Silverstone (The worst & it was $196), Antec, Enermax, Zumax, Ultra and Thermaltake.
I might be wrong, but I thought spcr psu recommendation page had a section on PSU whine where it explained that most of the time PSU whine is caused by a combination of components. In other words one PSU may whine in one configuration, but not in another. I myself experienced the same thing, one enermax had a whine in my computer, but slightly different model did not.

That said there are two possibilities.
1. You have some really really unlucky choice of components that no matter what PSU you buy it whines.
2. You are mistaking some other noise for whine.
3. Seeing that you've gone through 37 PSUs, is it possible that it's not PSU that whines, but rather your HDD or motherboard coils for example? It's very easy to confuse those unless you have absolutely no ambient noise in the room you're testing at.

Devonavar
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Post by Devonavar » Sun Aug 13, 2006 12:33 pm

I think it's time to look for other whiny components. Motherboards in particular also have power components that whine from time to time.

If you are certain it's the power supply, it may help find some way of loading the +5VSB line. I've encountered several models that whine when there is no load on this line.

For the record, the vast majority of people do not have an issue with the whine you mention, and certainly not whine that can be heard over multiple fans on high (which fans BTW?). If you're having so much trouble finding a PSU that doesn't whine, I think it's time to take a look at the other components in your system.

Do it methodically. Start with the most minimal system you can and add components until you find the culprit.

If you are certain it's the PSU (whine is present when nothing is plugged into the PSU), I can only suggest a UPS (IsaacKuo's suggestion) that will clean up the power going in to the PSU.

rapoon
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.

Post by rapoon » Sun Aug 13, 2006 1:04 pm

If i take these PSU's out of the box and immediatly plug them into the wall... i can hear this whine. The whine gets louder if the psus are switched to the On "I" position. Whine immediatly stops once they are unplugged from the wall. ive tried every socket in my apartment.

Could poor wiring be a cause of this? would a heavy duty power conditioner or UPS help this?

Thanks guys. i appreciate alll the responses so far

KingofGroove
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Post by KingofGroove » Sun Jan 07, 2007 8:03 pm

Sorry this is kinda late but I was having the same problem except my crt monitors were making the buzzing as long as they were plugged in, on or not. The PSU did it also a little but only when it was on. It turns out my kitchen lights are on a dimmer switch and as soon as they are turned off the buzzing stopped. I would guess a power conditioner would help. I haven't purchased one yet but I plan to.

David

Aris
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Post by Aris » Sun Jan 07, 2007 9:15 pm

to have the same problem with so many different PSU's from different name brand manufacturers, i would have started thinking it was somthing else alot sooner.

mabey you have dirty power where you live. try getting a UPS to clean up the power going to your computer.

Ive never had coil whine with Seasonic. I find it a little ironic that you went down the SPCR list and never bought one from them, as it is general knowladge around here that Seasonic makes the best quality and quietest stock PSU's there are.

My current PSU is labeled antec, but is actually the SFX Seasonic PSU, which is shipped with the NSK3300.

I'll never use any PSU that isnt originally made by seasonic. Rebadged is ok, long as seasonic made it originally.

Worker control
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picoPSU

Post by Worker control » Wed Jan 10, 2007 8:01 pm

My picoPSU has no whine. Something about the design (encasing things in ceramic?) prevents the high-pitched whine most electronics make.

My picoPSU-powered EPIA CL6000E is totally silent, except for the occasional noise from its HD (a Samsung SP2514N). It sits in open air, with no case, and stays very cool. The HD gets a bit warm, but it's not too bad.

I bought the picoPSU to replace a different mini-ITX power board, which had a really loud high-pitched whine.

specular
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Post by specular » Wed Jan 10, 2007 11:02 pm

My original Seasonic S12-380W PSU made a coil whine-type noise when in Windows. I RMA'd it, and thankfully the replacement from Seasonic doesn't whine. If I listen really carefully, I can hear a slight ticking sound from the fan, but from a normal distance I can't hear it.

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