Upgrade Corsair HX450 for studio audio pc?

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

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dickiefunk
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Upgrade Corsair HX450 for studio audio pc?

Post by dickiefunk » Tue Aug 10, 2010 4:29 am

Hi,

I'm looking for a new PSU for the audio PC in my studio.

The main components inside my PC are :-

1.Gigabyte GA EQ45m S2 motherboard
2.Intel Q9550 cpu
3.Gelid Tranquillo cpu fan
4.Gainward nVidia 8400gs graphics card
5.Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB hard-drive x2
6.Pioneer cd/dvd drive
7.2x 2gb DDR2 RAM (adding more soon)

I am using the following external hardware connect to my computer :-

1.Focusrite Saffire Pro24 DSP firewire audio interface
2.Steinberg Cubase 5 USB key
3.M-Audio Keystation 88ES USB controller keyboard
4.Korg Pad Kontrol USB controller

On occasions I will be using another USB controller device.

I've been reading various online reviews and the Nexus Value 430w, Enermax Modu87+500 and the Scythe Kamariki 4 550w appears to be the quietest options under £100.
Which would be the best and most efficient and quietest PSU for my setup?

Thanks

Parappaman
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Post by Parappaman » Tue Aug 10, 2010 7:16 am

I really think you won't find any difference. Your PSU is already among the quietest and most efficient units you can find. The Value 430 is quiet but has worse cabling, is inefficient, ugly and less reliable. The Modu87+ is really good in almost every way (I don't like the "bling") but disgustingly overpriced. And the Kamariki is noisier at higher loads due to the smaller fan, and has no advantage whatsoever if compared to your HX. Really, why change just for the sake to do it?

If you find your rig noisy, you really have to look elsewhere. Is your video card passive? Is your CPU fan idling at a low enough speed? Are the hard drives placed on something soft to dampen vibrations?
[url=http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=57275]Corsair HX750W - My personal experience[/url]
[quote="xan_user"]Nothing thermaltake makes is ever quiet. If they could figure out how to make a flash drive noisy, they would.[/quote]

dickiefunk
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Post by dickiefunk » Tue Aug 10, 2010 8:12 am

Hi,

Thanks for the reply.

I thought my Corsair HX450 was the noisiest component in my PC.

My hard drives do have some rubber pads on the shelves that isolate them vibrating from the case but there is still a little noise from them.

The cpu fan is a Gelid Tranquillo which is extremely quiet and as far as I can tell I can only hear it when my ear is up close to the case.

My graphics card is passive so no fan there.

My Fractal Design case has 2 case fans which seem to be very quiet.

I'll try a few things like disconnecting the case fans to see if these are the source of the problem. I'll also check what speed my cpu fan is running at.

MikeC
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Post by MikeC » Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:16 am

from FAQ for Newbies -- Identifying the noise sources:
Finally, a few words about PC noise diagnostics:
  • Your computer is too noisy. You know you want to quiet it down.

    Q: Where to start?

    A: Identify the noisiest components.

    This means removing the cover while the computer is on, stopping each of the fans one by one, and listening carefully. The fans can either be unplugged or stopped by hand by pressing on the center hub of the blades while it is spinning. 10-20 seconds of this will not overheat or hurt anything. (To reduce the chance of static electricity causing any damage, just touch an unpainted, uninsulated part of the PC case -- like the back panel -- with your bare fingers a couple of times before you poke around in there; that will discharge to ground any static elect. you might be holding.)

    Fans can be found on:
    - CPU heatsink (always)
    - motherboard Northbridge chip heatsink (not always; usually tiny & whiny)
    - video card heatsink (not always; also tiny & whiny)
    - case intake/exhaust fans (not always; on front/back panels)

    Note that there are 2 other steady noise sources (we'll ignore the optical drives for now, at least you can choose not to use them):
    - fan in the power supply unit (PSU)
    - hard drive

    The simplest way to stop the fan in the PSU is to stick something softish but not totally floppy and non-conductive into the blades while it is running. It's not exactly good for the fan, but I've never really hurt one doing this. I've used sturdy plastic straws, thick plastic "zap straps" (plastic locking wire tie, unlocked) and other similar things.

    Listening to the hard drive by itself means stopping all the fans, which can be a bit of a challenge.
Once you have established the noisiest offenders, consider:
  1. If one is much louder than the rest, a simple swap for a quiet replacement will make a dramatic improvement in noise. It might be enough.
  2. If a number of components are all equally noisy, quieting one or two will not make much of a difference, the loudest thing will still tend to dominate. That usually means changing everything. You could then choose to
    • replace the whole PC with a quieter one,
    • replace all the noisy components at once, or
    • start with one swap and consider it the start of a long term project.
I suspect the OP is right... we never did get a HX450 sample, and sometimes reps deliberately avoid sending us stuff they know we won't like. :lol:
Mike Chin, SPCR Editor/Publisher
Support SPCR by buying your gear through this link: Amazon

Mats
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Post by Mats » Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:44 am

Parappaman wrote:I really think you won't find any difference. Your PSU is already among the quietest and most efficient units you can find. The Value 430 is quiet but has worse cabling, is inefficient, ugly and less reliable.
Less reliable? Where did you get that from? Ugly? HDD's are ugly too, but they sit inside the case, just like the PSU, so I couldn't care less.. :P
80plus is very close to 80plus bronze.

I've seen a fair amount of forum members complaining about the fan in the HX450.
viewtopic.php?t=57744
http://silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=55287
viewtopic.php?t=54249

If it's anywhere near the CX400 in fan noise then I can understand why people are complaining. It's in the bottom of the list, far behind the Nexus.
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1008-page6.html

Parappaman
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Post by Parappaman » Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:40 pm

Random answers down here. :D
@dickiefunk: If you find the PSU to be the noisiest part in your pc, and have the cash, then the Modu87+ might be a good choice.

@MikeC: No, it's not that bad. You may not have received one as it's gone out of production pretty soon due to having a sale price too close to the HX650W (you may guess it didn't sell a lot), but it's not bad. I had the 750W, that was bad noise wise, but the 450W is a different platform, and different story.

@Mats: It's not like the CX, it's like the HX520W: not the quietest by today's standard, but still decent in absolute terms. Efficiency-wise the Nexus doesn't even catch 80+ in SPCR review, I dont care about what the sticker they placed on it says, it's inefficient. Just keep searching and you'll find a few reports of Nexus Values blown up. By ugly I mean grey box and unsleeved cables with clear plastic connectors, that's ugly by 1999 standards and I wouldn't want to ever open my case to find that ugliness in there. Yes it's quiet, but the question is: "is it worth it to buy one over a HX450W"? I say "hell no"!
By the way, the first link you provided refers to a psu bought in 2006, a year when it wasn't even produced. OP mistake. :P
[url=http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=57275]Corsair HX750W - My personal experience[/url]
[quote="xan_user"]Nothing thermaltake makes is ever quiet. If they could figure out how to make a flash drive noisy, they would.[/quote]

Mats
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Post by Mats » Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:18 pm

Parappaman wrote:It's not like the CX, it's like the HX520W: not the quietest by today's standard, but still decent in absolute terms. Efficiency-wise the Nexus doesn't even catch 80+ in SPCR review, I dont care about what the sticker they placed on it says, it's inefficient. Just keep searching and you'll find a few reports of Nexus Values blown up. By ugly I mean grey box and unsleeved cables with clear plastic connectors, that's ugly by 1999 standards and I wouldn't want to ever open my case to find that ugliness in there. Yes it's quiet, but the question is: "is it worth it to buy one over a HX450W"? I say "hell no"!
That's not what I'd qualify as less reliable, with some searching I could easily find blown PSU's from most manufacturers.
If I'd care that much about the looks of something I have to look at once a year, which I don't, I'd buy the Nexus NX-5000 instead.

It doesn't matter how quiet you think the HX450 is, the OP is not satisfied with it. Maybe it's all about sample variance, maybe his PSU fan is faulty, but it isn't quiet enough for him.

dickiefunk
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Post by dickiefunk » Tue Aug 10, 2010 8:08 pm

Thanks for the replies guys.

dickiefunk
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Post by dickiefunk » Tue Aug 10, 2010 8:09 pm

I've just found a noise spec sheet for the Corsair VX450 :-

http://www.corsair.com/_images/charts/vx450w_noise.jpg

Corsair say they don't have a spec sheet for the HX450.

danimal
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Post by danimal » Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:10 pm

the psu fan could be going bad, or it might not be the source of the noise.

stick some *non-conductive* material into the psu fan, just far enough to stop it from turning, and see if that affects the noise level.

dickiefunk
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Post by dickiefunk » Sat Aug 14, 2010 1:48 am

Ok guys I've been trying a few things out and tested some stuff and it turns out that the PSU and hard-drives are the source of the noise.

My hard-drives are 2x 500gb WD Caviar Blacks.

Hmm looks like I need to get a pair of new hard-drives aswell as a new PSU.

The problem with my case is it only has 2x 5.25 " bays and one of these is used for my cd/dvd drive. This means thats I can't put both drives into silent cadies.

dhanson865
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Post by dhanson865 » Sat Aug 14, 2010 5:16 pm

WD black isn't a terribly noisy drive. To get quieter cheaply you'll want to look at the Seagate LP drives and the Samsung Ecogreen F3.

If speed is a concern you'll want to spend extra for SSDs though they get quite expensive when you are looking above 128GB capacity.

Do you have 2 WD black in RAID or just as two single drives?

Do you need 1 TB capacity or could you afford to replace one of the 500GB drives with a SSD for the OS and put a quieter hard drive in for the capacity?
.
Please put a country in your profile if you haven't already.
This site is international but I'll assume you are in the US if you don't tell me otherwise.
RAID levels thread http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=388987

dickiefunk
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Post by dickiefunk » Sun Aug 15, 2010 6:30 am

dhanson865 wrote:Do you have 2 WD black in RAID or just as two single drives?
Hi, I'm not sure what RAID means so I guess not!?

Yes I would need around 1TB due to loads of massive sample libraries and projects! I also need the hard drives to be fast due to the use of lots of VST's!

Hmm perhaps I should just stick with the Caviar Blacks then?

MikeC
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Post by MikeC » Sun Aug 15, 2010 6:55 am

You can solve the PSU noise problem by replacing it with a quieter one (from http://www.silentpcreview.com/Recommended_PSUs) or replacing the fan inside for a quieter one -- which of course voids the warranty.

I agree w/ dhanson865 that you should move to a single high capacity HDD and run the OS on an SSD. Then you can go one step further by putting the drive in some type of muffling box -- and suspend it in elastic or put it on soft foam at the bottom of your case.
Mike Chin, SPCR Editor/Publisher
Support SPCR by buying your gear through this link: Amazon

dickiefunk
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Post by dickiefunk » Sun Aug 15, 2010 7:08 am

Yes I think I'll be getting a Enermax Modu87 500gb to replace my current PSU.

I could consider getting a Kingston KTC 30GB SSD drive but the cost £64 for 30GB.

To be honest I haven't tried running my current Caviar Blacks in AAM and don't know how to do this? Any advice?

I'm probably going to stick with my current Caviar Blacks and mount my OS/applications drive into one of the 5.25 bays with these :-

http://www.quietpc.com/gb-en-gbp/produc ... stabiliser

I'd then leave the storage drive in the 3.5 bay.

Finally I will then probably replace my Corsair HX450 with an Enermax Modu87 500w.

Hopefully this should make a worthwhile difference?

MikeC
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Post by MikeC » Sun Aug 15, 2010 7:35 am

dickiefunk wrote:To be honest I haven't tried running my current Caviar Blacks in AAM and don't know how to do this? Any advice?
try this -- http://hddscan.com/ It will only affect seek/write noise, btw, not idle.
I'm probably going to stick with my current Caviar Blacks and mount my OS/applications drive into one of the 5.25 bays with these :-

http://www.quietpc.com/gb-en-gbp/produc ... stabiliser
Not worth it imo -- not effective enough. a diy suspension would be way better.
Finally I will then probably replace my Corsair HX450 with an Enermax Modu87 500w.
You might consider the Seasonic x-400 fanless. No fan to get noisy over time.

But w/ 2 relatively noisy drives, the PSU change will only be partly effective.
Mike Chin, SPCR Editor/Publisher
Support SPCR by buying your gear through this link: Amazon

dickiefunk
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Post by dickiefunk » Sun Aug 15, 2010 12:56 pm

MikeC wrote: try this -- http://hddscan.com/ It will only affect seek/write noise, btw, not idle.
Thanks I'll try this
MikeC wrote: a diy suspension would be way better.
How do I do this?
MikeC wrote: You might consider the Seasonic x-400 fanless. No fan to get noisy over time.

But w/ 2 relatively noisy drives, the PSU change will only be partly effective.
That PSU looks amazing but I can't seem to find anywhere in the UK that sells these??

sub
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Post by sub » Sun Aug 15, 2010 1:10 pm

Hi,

Seasonic just released them, only NewEgg sell them now, I think you'll buy them in september.

dickiefunk
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Post by dickiefunk » Sun Aug 15, 2010 1:18 pm

Ah that explains it! Shame could do with one now.

MikeC
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Post by MikeC » Sun Aug 15, 2010 3:51 pm

afaik, it will be available worldwide this week.
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dickiefunk
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Post by dickiefunk » Mon Aug 16, 2010 12:06 am

Just had an email form Seasonic saying it will be available early September.

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