Help me end my miserable quest for a 100% silent power supply - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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post #61 of 122 Old 03-29-2014, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StinDaWg View Post

Is it OK to run an aftermarket fan cooling the PSU, but undervolted using the molex pin swap trick, running directly off the molex connector on the power supply itself?

Depends on how much load the PC puts on the power supply and how well the power supply cools itself and the rest of the system with the slower fan.

There is no "One size fits all" answer for all PCs and all PSU's.

If you are running a 500 watt PSU the approximate SWAG derating of that PSU for no fan would be under 100 watts. It is possible to build a stripped back PC running multimedia applicaitons that won't push that to the breaking point.
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Just as I was about to buy a Nexus D12SL-12, they've went out of stock at Newegg. There wasn't a sale or anything, so I wonder if they are discontinuing this model. I'm wondering if I should just pick up a $5 Rosewill model or something and undervolt it, would I really be able to tell the noise difference on any of these models at less than 700 rpm?

You can start out by undervolting the fan in the PSU if the PSU manufacturer hasn't beat you to that trick. I have been surprised recently to see how many undervolted fans I have found in my travels.

The best PSUs to start out with are the ones with 120 mm or 140 mm fans. The fans in cheap PSUs are usually the bottom of the barrel noise wise and $5-10 spent well at Newegg or competitive sources can save you a lot of dB.

If you want to undervolt fans or put in quieter fans with any degree of safety, you will obtain a IR thermometer and check various critical component temperatures while stress-testing it.

A non-contract thermometer need not be a big investment and they are nice to have around.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hot-Digital-Thermometer-DT-480-DT-360-DT-500-Gun-With-Laser-Sght-Non-Contact-IR-/111276552800

For under $30 you can find them at Home Depot and Harbor Freight stores.
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post #62 of 122 Old 03-29-2014, 10:48 AM
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Two questions:

What happens if a PS overheats? Does it simply burn out (in which case I can just replace it)?

What exactly is the "5 volt trick? Is there a post in this thread explaining how to find a 5v source?

Sent from my generic not my computer device.
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post #63 of 122 Old 03-29-2014, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leebo View Post

Two questions:

What happens if a PS overheats? Does it simply burn out (in which case I can just replace it)?

What exactly is the "5 volt trick? Is there a post in this thread explaining how to find a 5v source?

Sent from my generic not my computer device.

Hopefully it will shut down before anything happens. If it doesn't you'll blow the PSU and possibly other components. Running a PSU above heat specs can also cause problems with voltage regulation which can also lead to component damage.

Looky here!
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post #64 of 122 Old 03-30-2014, 06:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leebo View Post

Two questions:

What happens if a PS overheats? Does it simply burn out (in which case I can just replace it)?

About 99 out of 100 PSU failures harm only the PSU. The other one sends a power surge through the PC and it is not pretty.
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What exactly is the "5 volt trick? Is there a post in this thread explaining how to find a 5v source?

The 5 volt trick takes many forms, but this is an easy one to explain:

Here is a typical adaptor for connecting a fan to a hard drive power connector:



As you can see the red wire to the plug for powering the fan is connected to the yellow wire on the hard drive connectors. The yellow wire carries 12 volts.

Probably the simplist form of the next step is to cut off the red wire where it enters the hard drive power connector, and then splice it with the red wire in the hard drive cable. It carries 5 volts.

Or, you can spend a little money on one of these that just plugs in line with the fan power:

http://www.amazon.com/Zalman-Fan-Speed-Controller-FANMATE-2/dp/B000292DO0/ref=sr_1_1

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post #65 of 122 Old 03-30-2014, 10:49 PM
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I'm surprised this topic is still going now that there is the Corsair RM series of power supplies, available up to 1000W.
Every component in the RM series is chosen for silence. (fanless does not necessarily mean silent)
The 1000W version should be silent under any HTPC load (up to 400W) and only run the fan at once the PSU has been running at higher loads for extended periods of time.

Here is an extensive review and test of some of the RM series power supplies. (testing starts halfway into the video, fan testing starts at 40 minutes)
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post #66 of 122 Old 03-31-2014, 03:06 AM - Thread Starter
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That looks nice, but not everyone is willing to pay $100+ for a power supply when a $10 fan swap will do the same thing. $100 is just a bit less than my cpu+motherboard+ram combined.
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post #67 of 122 Old 03-31-2014, 05:58 AM
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$100 isn't exactly the street price of the RM1000 - Newegg is asking twice that.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139057

According to Manufacturer specs:

http://www.corsair.com/en-us/rm-series-rm1000-80-plus-gold-certified-power-supply



It is fanless up to 400 watt output, and very quiet up to 700. Depending what the rest of the PC is doing and needs in the way of power, it could be effectively fanless even for a very overbuilt HTPC or media server.

However we live in a world of choices and options, it is just one more choice, one more option for the system builder to consider. I can construct a scenario where a $10 fan in a $20 power supply is equally effective for a real world HTPC even though it can't hope to actually compete with the RM1000 head-to-head.
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post #68 of 122 Old 03-31-2014, 06:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

However we live in a world of choices and options, it is just one more choice, one more option for the system builder to consider. I can construct a scenario where a $10 fan in a $20 power supply is equally effective for a real world HTPC even though it can't hope to actually compete with the RM1000 head-to-head.
Compete as in what? It's a power supply, it either works or it doesn't. CX430 vs that $200 will perform no different at 100-200 watts, other than the fan. Sorry, I just don't get spending that kind of money on a power supply for HTPC use unless you just have money to burn (must be nice).
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post #69 of 122 Old 03-31-2014, 08:35 AM
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Does anyone know if the Seasonic fanless supplies are absolutely required to be mounted right side up? What if you mounted them upside down in a typical bottom mount case?
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post #70 of 122 Old 03-31-2014, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by augerpro View Post

Does anyone know if the Seasonic fanless supplies are absolutely required to be mounted right side up? What if you mounted them upside down in a typical bottom mount case?

That depends on the other sources of air flow in the case. IME a totally fanless PC is a bit of a reach if you have a high performance processor that you actually load up. A fanless power supply can be a reasonable part of a system that has case fans to prevent stagnant air from building up in the case.
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post #71 of 122 Old 03-31-2014, 03:25 PM
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I run a Seasonic fanless on its side in a Silverstone LC16m case. The airflow from the case fans provides enoguh ventalation for the PSU - there is a slight air pressure that can be felt from the back PSU vents.
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post #72 of 122 Old 03-31-2014, 05:46 PM
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I'm looking at the Silverstone ML03B so I'm guessing fanless is out - in any orientation. The Rosewill Capstone Platinum might be what I end up going with.
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post #73 of 122 Old 03-31-2014, 06:00 PM
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While I am not a HTPC expert, I have dealt with a lot of stand PCs.

I used to own a small custom computer shop in the 90's, customize box/rack servers for gaming/webpages, host LAN events at hotels, etc.

At one point my house was cluttered with 11 PCs for all my tinkering, Ventrilo & TS servers, FTP & Game servers.

 

I still have about 3 of the corsair CX 430 PSUs and 1 or 2 of the 400 PSUs.

One of the 400 PSU fans became loud and I replaced it with a standard antec 80mm case fan I had laying around. This worked for a little over a year. Just a warning.. this was the only PSU I had that actually sparked up when it failed. And I've personally owned about at least 30 PSUs.

When customers would ask me to silence their computer, the noise was usually something easily overlooked. Wires or other obstacles close to the case/psu fan or psu vent opening.

The other common problem I found was a PSU or rear fan that was "tweaking" the case when installed. This sounds like your first problem you discovered when loosening PSU screws.

 

Personally I have not had a 'loud' corsair PSU and I have used them in at least half my PC builds (mostly 400,430,600,650 CX & HX versions)

Sometimes a grid on a case can make a fan loud. What I do is take the case fan or PSU and set it outside the case in a safe unobstructed spot and run the computer.

This will tell me if the case grid/opening or something else like screw alignment tweaking the case is causing the fan to work harder or send vibrations throughout the computer.

Very few scenarios I have found large cpu heatsink with the fins running parallel to PSU and about 1/2 inch from PSU fan opening has caused enough restriction to make the fan work hard enough to create loud noise.

 

Recently I have built my first HTPC and insisted on 100% dead silent PC. I have seasonic fanless PSU with i7 4770k, 16G ran, 3 SSDs, 1 HDD, 1 OD, GTX 650, dual TV tuner. Runs 100% quiet and temp runs 28-32 C (running 24/7). I can only lightly hear the CPU churning when I load it up with work.

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post #74 of 122 Old 03-31-2014, 06:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StinDaWg View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

However we live in a world of choices and options, it is just one more choice, one more option for the system builder to consider. I can construct a scenario where a $10 fan in a $20 power supply is equally effective for a real world HTPC even though it can't hope to actually compete with the RM1000 head-to-head.
Compete as in what? It's a power supply, it either works or it doesn't. CX430 vs that $200 will perform no different at 100-200 watts, other than the fan. Sorry, I just don't get spending that kind of money on a power supply for HTPC use unless you just have money to burn (must be nice).

Compete (or not), as in that they apparently don't have you as a customer! ;-)
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post #75 of 122 Old 03-31-2014, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StinDaWg View Post


Compete as in what? It's a power supply, it either works or it doesn't. CX430 vs that $200 will perform no different at 100-200 watts, other than the fan. Sorry, I just don't get spending that kind of money on a power supply for HTPC use unless you just have money to burn (must be nice).

 

I look at the long term factor.  520W fanless/noiseless at 93% efficiency with 7 year warranty for $140 vs a $40-70 possibly noisy 80% efficiency with 2-3 year warranty?

Higher efficiency creates less heat and wastes less electricity. Running 24/7 i'll save the money in time and have my quiet and cool system. ;)

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post #76 of 122 Old 04-01-2014, 04:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Murphy View Post

I look at the long term factor.  520W fanless/noiseless at 93% efficiency with 7 year warranty for $140 vs a $40-70 possibly noisy 80% efficiency with 2-3 year warranty?
Higher efficiency creates less heat and wastes less electricity. Running 24/7 i'll save the money in time and have my quiet and cool system. wink.gif
CX430 is $19. It would have to fail 7 times to make it worth the cost in your scenario.
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Originally Posted by Jerry Murphy View Post

I still have about 3 of the corsair CX 430 PSUs and 1 or 2 of the 400 PSUs.
One of the 400 PSU fans became loud and I replaced it with a standard antec 80mm case fan I had laying around. This worked for a little over a year. Just a warning.. this was the only PSU I had that actually sparked up when it failed.
You replaced the stock 120mm fan with a 80mm fan and were surprised that it died in a year? lol
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post #77 of 122 Old 04-01-2014, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StinDaWg View Post


CX430 is $19. It would have to fail 7 times to make it worth the cost in your scenario.
You replaced the stock 120mm fan with a 80mm fan and were surprised that it died in a year? lol

$19 is an awesome deal.. I never seen it below $39 myself but I don't hunt for hardware anymore.

 

Wasn't surprised at it failing. The PSU was way past its warranty before I swapped fans. And btw, the 80mm did just fine, the PSU never got hot until the 80mm stopped working and I didn't notice  :eek:

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post #78 of 122 Old 04-02-2014, 05:34 AM
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The Corsair CX430 goes on sale frequently for $19.99 (After Rebate) at NewEgg.
At least once a month.

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post #79 of 122 Old 04-02-2014, 06:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Murphy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by StinDaWg View Post

Compete as in what? It's a power supply, it either works or it doesn't. CX430 vs that $200 will perform no different at 100-200 watts, other than the fan. Sorry, I just don't get spending that kind of money on a power supply for HTPC use unless you just have money to burn (must be nice).

I look at the long term factor.  520W fanless/noiseless at 93% efficiency with 7 year warranty for $140 vs a $40-70 possibly noisy 80% efficiency with 2-3 year warranty?
Higher efficiency creates less heat and wastes less electricity. Running 24/7 i'll save the money in time and have my quiet and cool system. wink.gif

On the efficiency front, a typical 100 watt drain PC draws 125 watts with the 80% PSU and 107 watts with the 93% PSU. That's a difference of 18 watts or 1 KWH (say $0.18) or every 55 hours of operation. It appears to take over 20,000 hours of operation to balance the books using the above numbers for PSU pricing which themselves can be argued with on the grounds that they understate actual PSU cost differences.
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post #80 of 122 Old 04-02-2014, 07:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StinDaWg View Post

CX430 is $19. It would have to fail 7 times to make it worth the cost in your scenario.
Well that's quite different from the pricing here. Here, the CX430 is $60 and an RM450 is $110.

I don't agree that all power supplies are the same - especially if you want a silent system - there are fanless power supplies which still make noise.
The RM series has every component selected for the quietest operation, even when the fan isn't spinning.
Being fully modular promotes better airflow inside the case, as you typically have far less cable clutter inside.

A CX430 only has a 2 year warranty compared to the RM450's 5 year warranty as well.
While unlikely, power supply failure could potentially kill everything in your system, so I refuse to operate outside of the warranty period on my power supplies.

If you factor that in, you have to buy three CX430's ($180 here) to cover the same warranty period of a single RM450. ($110)
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

On the efficiency front, a typical 100 watt drain PC draws 125 watts with the 80% PSU and 107 watts with the 93% PSU. That's a difference of 18 watts or 1 KWH (say $0.18) or every 55 hours of operation. It appears to take over 20,000 hours of operation to balance the books using the above numbers for PSU pricing which themselves can be argued with on the grounds that they understate actual PSU cost differences.
20,000 hours is about 2.3 years, so the difference will have been made up twice over if it's running 24/7 for five years then.
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post #81 of 122 Old 04-03-2014, 09:48 PM - Thread Starter
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I finally got around to doing a fan swap on my CX430. I needed a P1 bit for the smaller screws which I didn't have. I recently bought a new Coolmaster case that came with a 1200 RPM 120mm fan so I used that. I followed the guide from silentpc posted above. I removed the shell of the psu, unplugged the 2 pin fan and very gently removed the plastic connector that was covering the pins. Once removed the 3 pin fan plugged into the 2 pin and starting working without issue. However, it's running really slow. If I had to guess, I'd say around 400-600 RPM. Putting my hand over the top I can feel some air but not too much. The center hub isn't really spinning tightly it's more like a bob because of the low speed. I'm running the psu outside of the case for now while I'm testing and its been OK for 24 hours. The fan that I pulled out is a Yate Loon HA1225M12S-Z. Google search comes up inconclusive on the rpm of that.

I'm a little concerned though, do you think it's running too slow to be effective? It's obviously being voltage controlled by the psu, but I'm not sure if it will ramp up the fan speed if the unit starts overheating. I could run it off a 3 pin header outside the psu but then I'd probably have to get a 7v resister because at 1200 rpm it's no quieter than the fan I just took out.

Thoughts?
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post #82 of 122 Old 04-03-2014, 09:52 PM
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Maybe the fan is temperature controlled?
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post #83 of 122 Old 04-05-2014, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StinDaWg View Post

I finally got around to doing a fan swap on my CX430. I needed a P1 bit for the smaller screws which I didn't have. I recently bought a new Coolmaster case that came with a 1200 RPM 120mm fan so I used that. I followed the guide from silentpc posted above. I removed the shell of the psu, unplugged the 2 pin fan and very gently removed the plastic connector that was covering the pins. Once removed the 3 pin fan plugged into the 2 pin and starting working without issue. However, it's running really slow. If I had to guess, I'd say around 400-600 RPM. Putting my hand over the top I can feel some air but not too much. The center hub isn't really spinning tightly it's more like a bob because of the low speed. I'm running the psu outside of the case for now while I'm testing and its been OK for 24 hours. The fan that I pulled out is a Yate Loon HA1225M12S-Z. Google search comes up inconclusive on the rpm of that.

I'm a little concerned though, do you think it's running too slow to be effective? It's obviously being voltage controlled by the psu, but I'm not sure if it will ramp up the fan speed if the unit starts overheating. I could run it off a 3 pin header outside the psu but then I'd probably have to get a 7v resister because at 1200 rpm it's no quieter than the fan I just took out.

Thoughts?


If it's quiet and works I'd run it until it burns out just the way it is.

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post #84 of 122 Old 04-05-2014, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StinDaWg View Post

I finally got around to doing a fan swap on my CX430. I needed a P1 bit for the smaller screws which I didn't have. I recently bought a new Coolmaster case that came with a 1200 RPM 120mm fan so I used that. I followed the guide from silentpc posted above. I removed the shell of the psu, unplugged the 2 pin fan and very gently removed the plastic connector that was covering the pins. Once removed the 3 pin fan plugged into the 2 pin and starting working without issue. However, it's running really slow. If I had to guess, I'd say around 400-600 RPM. Putting my hand over the top I can feel some air but not too much. The center hub isn't really spinning tightly it's more like a bob because of the low speed. I'm running the psu outside of the case for now while I'm testing and its been OK for 24 hours. The fan that I pulled out is a Yate Loon HA1225M12S-Z. Google search comes up inconclusive on the rpm of that.

I'm a little concerned though, do you think it's running too slow to be effective? It's obviously being voltage controlled by the psu, but I'm not sure if it will ramp up the fan speed if the unit starts overheating. I could run it off a 3 pin header outside the psu but then I'd probably have to get a 7v resister because at 1200 rpm it's no quieter than the fan I just took out.

Thoughts?

To determine if your PC is overheating or not, measure critical parts temperatures with an IR or non-contact thermometer or their own built in thermometers (CPU, chipset, video card, hard drives). Here's the IR thermometer that I use - works great::

http://www.harborfreight.com/non-contact-infrared-thermometer-with-laser-targeting-69465-8905.html



A freeware program called CPUID HWmonitor will let you inspect the parts on your PC with built-in thermometers:

http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/hwmonitor.html

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post #85 of 122 Old 04-06-2014, 05:45 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm not really considered about any other part of my computer overheating, just the PSU itself. Temps of the motherboard, cpu, gpu, haven't changed since swapping the fan and the psu itself is cool to the touch (outside of the case).

It's hard to know if the psu will ramp up the fan speed inside the case if needed, since I can't actually see it.

Maybe I need to make an account at SilentPC forums since it seems more people have done this over there.
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post #86 of 122 Old 04-06-2014, 08:05 AM
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it will ramp up, shoot a hair dryer at it and see. Either event, just enjoy it. You could take the fan out and the psu would probably be fine anyways. If it's spinning even a little just relax and use it till it burns out. I had a psu fan burn out and I used the psu another year without any troubles. I still have it too...

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post #87 of 122 Old 04-06-2014, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StinDaWg View Post

I'm not really considered about any other part of my computer overheating, just the PSU itself. Temps of the motherboard, cpu, gpu, haven't changed since swapping the fan and the psu itself is cool to the touch (outside of the case).

Those are all good signs.
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It's hard to know if the psu will ramp up the fan speed inside the case if needed, since I can't actually see it.

It is so quiet that you can't hear it if it ramps up?
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Maybe I need to make an account at SilentPC forums since it seems more people have done this over there.

Thanks for the not-so-subtle put down. Its the sort of thing you have to put with when you try to help some people.
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post #88 of 122 Old 04-06-2014, 11:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Those are all good signs.
It is so quiet that you can't hear it if it ramps up?
Thanks for the not-so-subtle put down. Its the sort of thing you have to put with when you try to help some people.
Sorry, I didn't mean anything by it at all, just that I should probably post where the original article was to get some more opinions from people who have done it before.
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

it will ramp up, shoot a hair dryer at it and see. Either event, just enjoy it. You could take the fan out and the psu would probably be fine anyways. If it's spinning even a little just relax and use it till it burns out. I had a psu fan burn out and I used the psu another year without any troubles. I still have it too...
OK, it's probably fine then. I actually removed a fan from an OEM HP once, it had one of those smaller form factor PSUs with a tiny 40mm fan or something and it was god awful. It lasted about 3 months and then died.
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post #89 of 122 Old 04-07-2014, 01:20 AM
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HA1225M12S-Z is a 2000rpm fan? PSU changes the fan speed (by adjusting voltage from the 2pin connector) in accordance with the load, like this way:



You won't see fan speed change until ~50% (215W) load. CX430 is 80 PLUS Bronze, that means, for example, when the load is 50%, AC-DC conversion process emits 215W/0.85 - 215W = 38W heat inside the PSU. A 120mm fan even at a very slow speed like 800rpm can handle it easily. Nothing to worry about overheating with moderate load.

When PSU is fully loaded, 430W/0.82 - 430W = 94W will be emitted inside PSU, that's pretty high, but a 120mm fan at ~1200rpm should be still enough.
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post #90 of 122 Old 04-07-2014, 05:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for that graph. I rarely if ever use 200 watts so that's probably why I never see the fans spin faster. I don't think I would even hit 200 watts gaming with a 7850 and G1620. It is a little odd that fan speed is controlled by wattage and not temperature though, since some cases are worse than others for airflow and will run hotter at less wattage.

You don't think the 3 pin fan will have any issues being controlled by the 2 pin connector?
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