Can I just buy a crappy PSU and make it quiet?

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

Moderators: NeilBlanchard, Ralf Hutter, sthayashi, Lawrence Lee, Devonavar

Post Reply
thepwner
Posts: 175
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:19 pm
Location: US

Can I just buy a crappy PSU and make it quiet?

Post by thepwner » Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:26 pm

So I went on silectpcreview's reccomended list for power supplies, and their expensive, at least to me. So I was wondering, can I buy some POS power supply, such as this, (good, I can't post links, well it is a Hercules 500W from eBay for 20 bucks free shipping, you get the idea) and just replace the fan?

I have opened up power supplies before, I know the fans aren't connect via molex connector, I know how to solder so I'll be fine replacing the fan.

So what I am trying to ask is is it worth it to buy an expensive quiet power supply or should I just buy a POS one and replace it with a very quiet fan. (I had my eyes on the Enermax magnetic barometric ones)

thepwner
Posts: 175
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:19 pm
Location: US

Post by thepwner » Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:29 pm

O yeah, I forgot, if I would replace the fan (even if I wouldn't) I would take my dremel and cut out the grill behind the fan to hopefully increase airflow. That wouldn't make the fan any louder would it? (And I know I am double posting, I just want to get to 3 so I can post links if I would need to.)

incorrect
Posts: 79
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:48 pm
Location: USA

Post by incorrect » Sat Mar 07, 2009 1:44 pm

removing the grill and smoothing any jagged edges will aid in airflow while reducing noise. however if i was going to attempt a fan mod on a cheap psu i'd rather use a 120mm-fanned model, just due to the increased airflow provided.

the idea of letting a cheap psu get hotter than it normally would while being responsible for the well-being of my components, doesn't fill me with confidence. best to go with an over-spec'ed 120mm model and mod that instead. all imho of course.

porkchop
Posts: 496
Joined: Thu May 25, 2006 1:19 am
Location: Australia

Post by porkchop » Sat Mar 07, 2009 2:02 pm

don' forget that a pos is a pos.
meaning low quality components- shorter life, less efficiency, average/poor performance(tech stuff, voltage regulation etc.).
i think the idea of buying better stuff that lasts longer, thus making it better value works here.

lm
Friend of SPCR
Posts: 1251
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2003 6:14 am
Location: Finland

Post by lm » Sat Mar 07, 2009 2:23 pm

POS PSU will cost you more on your electricity bill, so by paying more up front you end up saving.

Then a good PSU does not need modification, and is less of a fire hazard or at least does not nullify your fire insurance.

Also a POS PSU might just die and take the rest of the system with it, much sooner than a good one.

NyteOwl
Posts: 536
Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2006 7:09 pm
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada

Post by NyteOwl » Sat Mar 07, 2009 2:52 pm

Sure you can silence a crappy PSU. And when you're done you'll have a quiet crappy PSU.

You generally get what you pay for. Buying a low quality PSU might save you a few bucks on the PSU but if it fails (which is more liekly with lwoer end units) it may take your video card, hard drive, motherboard, memory etc with it. AT which point it would have been cheaper to spend a bit more for a quality unit in the first place.
Obsolesence is just a lack of imagination!

jaganath
Posts: 5085
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2005 6:55 am
Location: UK

Post by jaganath » Sat Mar 07, 2009 3:13 pm

you can get a Corsair CX400W for $40 shipped after rebate at newegg:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6817139008

this is a high quality and quiet psu. that $20 POS will be more like $30 after you have bought a good quality fan to install. with the corsair you also get a 3-year guarantee.
[size=75]JFK:
What do our opponents mean when they apply to us the label "Liberal?" If by "Liberal" they mean...someone who looks ahead, who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions,who cares about the welfare of the people, who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad...then I'm proud to say I'm a "Liberal."[/size]

incorrect
Posts: 79
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:48 pm
Location: USA

Post by incorrect » Sat Mar 07, 2009 3:43 pm

jaganath wrote:you can get a Corsair CX400W for $40 shipped after rebate at newegg:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6817139008

this is a high quality and quiet psu. that $20 POS will be more like $30 after you have bought a good quality fan to install. with the corsair you also get a 3-year guarantee.
there's also a $38 seasonic ss-330gb.

line
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 338
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2005 10:07 pm
Location: Israel

Post by line » Sat Mar 07, 2009 4:01 pm

jaganath wrote:you can get a Corsair CX400W for $40 shipped after rebate at newegg.
I can also see a promo code "Mar20" for instant $10 savings at checkout.

thepwner
Posts: 175
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:19 pm
Location: US

Post by thepwner » Sat Mar 07, 2009 8:50 pm

Not bad! 40 bucks free shipping, 10 dollar rebate after the like 3 months it takes for the rebate. Anyone know how many dBs we are looking at here? I have a Artic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro arriving Monday, if I throw this in my system...damn I'll be running quiet! Got a kind of old WD 80 SATA hdd, and no case fans, (I am in between cases and have this one's side panel off all the time...when I get a new case for my BDay I might pick up some good case fans.) I also need a new video card (got onboard) so I can do dual monitors...

zendragon
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 6:43 am
Location: Portugal

Post by zendragon » Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:00 pm

I did it and I didn't even change the fan. I would buy a better psu instead of spending money on an expensive fan!

Let's face it most people don't need super power so they can live with undervolted fans. I had plenty of hairdryers, but silenced them.

The graphics card at lower frequencies can handle wow just fine. And the psu is only warm at worst.

So, it's doable, cheap and simple.

Too bad about the noisy seagate though.

QuietOC
Posts: 1407
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2005 1:08 pm
Location: Michigan
Contact:

Post by QuietOC » Wed Mar 11, 2009 4:19 am

Don't buy a crappy PS, but there are decent <$25 PS with 120mm fans that benefit from a fan swap. My In-Win IP-P300AJ2-0 with a $6 Global Win NCB fan is probably quieter than the $50 power supplies, and the fact that it is 79% instead of maybe ~85% efficient is not going to make a noticeable difference in power bills.

thepwner
Posts: 175
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:19 pm
Location: US

Post by thepwner » Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:35 pm

Ya well I bought the Corsair, it should arrive tomorrow if UPS isn't lying!

Aris
Posts: 2299
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 10:29 am
Location: Bellevue, Nebraska
Contact:

Post by Aris » Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:13 pm

the power supply is the single most important item in your case. its also the most overlooked item when building a new system.

POS power supplies arnt just loud, they are also unstable and typically have short life spans.

So is it possible to make a crappy/cheap psu quiet? Sure. But you'll still have the inherent stability and longevity issues that come with cheap power supplies.

It would be better to spend an extra 100 bucks on a quality PSU than an extra 100 bucks for a faster CPU or VGA card.

Eyedolon
Posts: 98
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 8:46 pm
Location: Seattle, WA

Post by Eyedolon » Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:41 pm

I just spent 6 months living with a crappy unstable PSU and the significant increase in noise with my new one is more then offset by the fact that I can actually USE my computer.

thepwner
Posts: 175
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:19 pm
Location: US

Post by thepwner » Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:25 pm

Aris wrote:the power supply is the single most important item in your case. its also the most overlooked item when building a new system.

POS power supplies arnt just loud, they are also unstable and typically have short life spans.

So is it possible to make a crappy/cheap psu quiet? Sure. But you'll still have the inherent stability and longevity issues that come with cheap power supplies.

It would be better to spend an extra 100 bucks on a quality PSU than an extra 100 bucks for a faster CPU or VGA card.
OK, OK, I get it guys, I was trying to go the cheap-o method, thought I could beat the system, that was not the case so I invested in the Corsair. Now I am going to invest in a new case or a new hard drive...I think the case will be a big decision...

thepwner
Posts: 175
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:19 pm
Location: US

Post by thepwner » Thu Mar 12, 2009 3:29 pm

Got it today and it is great, a LITTLE bit louder than my Arctic Cooler 64 Pro though...maybe I'll remove the 120mm fan and put in a quieter one.

thepwner
Posts: 175
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:19 pm
Location: US

Post by thepwner » Sat Mar 14, 2009 10:14 am

OK well my Corsair uses this fan.

http://www.mouser.com/search/ProductDet ... gnYA%3D%3D

According to my calculations it gets 2.12CFM per dBa.

Also, I took apart the PSU, and the fan is mounted with rubber grommets between the fan frame and the metal PSU. I also soldered 2 wires to the bottom of the fan power connector, and as I type this, the fan is running at 4.12v, so that's the setup I have running now. (If its running a 4v, that's 1 3rd of 12v, so I doubt it actually works out this way but that comes out to 26.57cfm.

I was just looking around NewEgg, and this Scythe 120mm fan caught my eye, you guys probably know it, it's the 800rpm one, 40.17cfm at 10.70 dBa.

So would this be a good fan to replace this Adda with? My Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro is sitting at 1000rpm and my CPU is sitting around 100F, my WD 80SATA hard drive is easily the loudest thing in my system (I'll post a thread asking about a new hard drive soon) Other than that I can hear the Adda fan, so if I replaced it with this 10dBa fan, I mean I would have a kick ass quiet system (except the hard drive which I'll upgrade later) So what do you guys think I should do about this whole PSU fan situation?

JamieG
Posts: 822
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Post by JamieG » Sat Mar 14, 2009 3:45 pm

Scythe S-Flex fans are probably the best for PSU fan swaps. From memory, Slipstream fans supposedly do not do so well if they are mounted horizontally, like in a PSU.

The problem about getting low RPM fans for a PSU fan swap is that they are undervolted quite severely when put in a PSU and therefore provide almost no airflow.

Unless you plan on manually controlling the fan swapped into the PSU (eg with a fan controller) instead of wiring the fan to the PSU fan wires, I would get a higher speed fan.

I have swapped a S-Flex 1600rpm into my Zalman ZM600 and I can't hear it above the rest of my system. If you have a cooler system with less power draw, you might want to try a S-Flex 1200rpm but go no lower than that IMO.

Hope that helps!
My PCs:
Main PC (E5200, G31, Lian Li Q07) | Gaming PC (E6850, X38, 5870 Vapor-X, P182) | HTPC (4850e, 780G, 3450, NSK2480B)

thepwner
Posts: 175
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:19 pm
Location: US

Post by thepwner » Sat Mar 14, 2009 4:20 pm

JamieG wrote:Scythe S-Flex fans are probably the best for PSU fan swaps. From memory, Slipstream fans supposedly do not do so well if they are mounted horizontally, like in a PSU.

DAMN! 15 dollars for a fan? To me that just seems exuberantly expensive. Probably is a great fan and worth every penny, but damn.

The problem about getting low RPM fans for a PSU fan swap is that they are undervolted quite severely when put in a PSU and therefore provide almost no airflow.

Right, my PSU as I type is sitting at 4.16v. I could just heat up my soldering iron, 1, 2, 3, and I have myself the fan running 2 wires out of the PSU to a molex connector so I connect to either 12, 7, or 5v. Or I could hook it to a LM317 and do 9v or something, I mean I could work out a power situation here, that isn't my issue. These fans seem quiet enough I could run them at 12v all the time really.

Unless you plan on manually controlling the fan swapped into the PSU (eg with a fan controller) instead of wiring the fan to the PSU fan wires, I would get a higher speed fan.

I have swapped a S-Flex 1600rpm into my Zalman ZM600 and I can't hear it above the rest of my system. If you have a cooler system with less power draw, you might want to try a S-Flex 1200rpm but go no lower than that IMO.

Well, since you're obviously more versed in this subject maybe you can make a recommendation for me. I have a Corsair 400CX, a Biostar MCP6P M2+ motherboard, (integrated video) a Sempron 3400+ CPU overclocked to 2.3ghz cooled by my Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro, a Pioneer 116D (DVD burner drive nothing special) and a Western Digital semi-oldish 80GB SATA HDD. (Thinking of replacing this soon as well) I almost forgot, 1 GB of Kingston Single Channel RAM. So ya I don't have a power hungry system. I am planning on getting more RAM, a dual core CPU, and a new video card, I don't need a good video card, just something that will run me a dual monitor setup (I love high resolutions, I want each monitor at 1600x1200) and I am hoping to get a fanless GPU for this, I have posted my concerns on this matter in a thread in the fan section of the forums.

So yeah I don't have a power hungry system, what fan and what voltage do you should I should throw in my PSU?


Hope that helps!

NeilBlanchard
Moderator
Posts: 7681
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2002 7:11 pm
Location: Maynard, MA, Eaarth
Contact:

Post by NeilBlanchard » Sat Mar 14, 2009 5:59 pm

Hi,

Here's a $40 PSU from Fortron Source that is very quiet and very efficient:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6817104051

Here's an SPCR review of an older version, that is not as efficient as the new one:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article280-page1.html
Sincerely, Neil
http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/

thepwner
Posts: 175
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:19 pm
Location: US

Post by thepwner » Sat Mar 14, 2009 6:13 pm

Thanks but I just got this Corsair like a week ago.

JamieG
Posts: 822
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Post by JamieG » Sat Mar 14, 2009 8:18 pm

I guess I'm just used to higher hardware prices here in Australia. From memory, my S-flex cost me $29 AUD = approx $20 USD ...

I can't speak to US prices, so if S-Flexes cost too much for you, then I can't say what fans will suit your budget. While I'm not sure about vertically mounting them, a Yate Loon 120mm fan may work.

I guess your system doesn't have a high power draw, probably 150W or so at load at most. This means you won't go above 6V in terms of power supply fan ramp up normally, as a very rough guess. So I would recommend you go and read the SPCR 120mm fan roundups in the Fans section of the main page and find a fan that suits your budget and is quiet at 5V to 7V while moving 15-20CFM at that speed.

Also, what case have you got your setup in?
My PCs:
Main PC (E5200, G31, Lian Li Q07) | Gaming PC (E6850, X38, 5870 Vapor-X, P182) | HTPC (4850e, 780G, 3450, NSK2480B)

thepwner
Posts: 175
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:19 pm
Location: US

Post by thepwner » Sat Mar 14, 2009 9:10 pm

Well I'm using some shitty eMachines case but I am ready to chuck it out the window it is so bad. Have had my eyes on the Antec cases that SPCR reviews so well about, but they're expensive for me so I have my eye on this Cooler Master, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811119068 but nothing is set in stone I don't know what I am going to get.

JamieG
Posts: 822
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Post by JamieG » Sun Mar 15, 2009 12:21 am

Have you considered the Antec 300?

It is about the same price as the case you suggested. There is at least one system in the General Gallery section of the forum that uses this case, although from memory it required a little work to make this case quiet. (It is probably a better place to start than that Cooler Master case, however.) If you're on a budget, it might suit you to buy a slightly cheaper case and work on it as you can afford it. Quiet PCs are expensive sometimes ...
My PCs:
Main PC (E5200, G31, Lian Li Q07) | Gaming PC (E6850, X38, 5870 Vapor-X, P182) | HTPC (4850e, 780G, 3450, NSK2480B)

thejamppa
Posts: 3142
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 9:20 am
Location: Missing in Finnish wilderness, howling to moon with wolf brethren and walking with brother bears
Contact:

Post by thejamppa » Sun Mar 15, 2009 2:09 am

JamieG wrote:Have you considered the Antec 300?

It is about the same price as the case you suggested. There is at least one system in the General Gallery section of the forum that uses this case, although from memory it required a little work to make this case quiet. (It is probably a better place to start than that Cooler Master case, however.) If you're on a budget, it might suit you to buy a slightly cheaper case and work on it as you can afford it. Quiet PCs are expensive sometimes ...
Yeah, but its amazing what some self adhessive bitumen mat can do or self adhessive vinyl floor tiles can do that case with good 140mm top fan. Coolermaster have some good cases, they're good choices unless you want to put some effort in Three Hundred. Changing the horrendeous top fanother model does a lot though.
If seeing is believing, how can blind person believe in anything?
Maturity is just not experience in life but also ability to make compromises.

thepwner
Posts: 175
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:19 pm
Location: US

Post by thepwner » Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:37 am

I was looking at the Antec 300, but I decided I kind of didn't like it because of it having that 120mm fan and the 140mm fan. Like how loud are those fans? And it seems like the hard drive mounting thingies go down the the floor of the case what are the possibilities of suspending a hard drive in there? In another thread someone suggested the Antec Solo, so I am looking I guess at the Solo, 300, and the Cooler Master.

thejamppa
Posts: 3142
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 9:20 am
Location: Missing in Finnish wilderness, howling to moon with wolf brethren and walking with brother bears
Contact:

Post by thejamppa » Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:11 am

thepwner wrote:I was looking at the Antec 300, but I decided I kind of didn't like it because of it having that 120mm fan and the 140mm fan. Like how loud are those fans? And it seems like the hard drive mounting thingies go down the the floor of the case what are the possibilities of suspending a hard drive in there? In another thread someone suggested the Antec Solo, so I am looking I guess at the Solo, 300, and the Cooler Master.
About 300:
You can suspend 2 or so HDD's there if you mount the vertically or several 2,5" HDD's. The fans are relatively quiet but 140mm fan is off balance and has terrible vibration which is heard entire light case and definately needs changing.
If seeing is believing, how can blind person believe in anything?
Maturity is just not experience in life but also ability to make compromises.

thepwner
Posts: 175
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:19 pm
Location: US

Post by thepwner » Sun Mar 15, 2009 7:04 pm

I am really liking the looks of the P180/P182

http://cgi.ebay.com/Antec-P180-Advanced ... 240%3A1318

Is that really the same as the P182? Says it is 1.1 version or some balogna.

Post Reply