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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Requirements:

HTPC only (no games, just playing DVD, streaming, and decoding videos).

Intel i3/H55, DVD player, SSD, maybe 1 hard disk in future (right now I use NAS).

Case Antec Fusion Remote.

I want 0 fan noise from 3 feet away, no humming from poor PSU quality, no heat problems, no sacrifice.

The HTPC system will be on every day, for most of the awake hours.

Basically, I want to build a HTPC that is similar to my current Windows Media Extender.

I figure since my HTPC is low power, there won't be any excessive heat problems nor high wattage demands.

PSU Choices:

Fanless

Silverstone Nightjar ST40NF ($160)

SilenX Luxurae Series 400W ($40)

Fan

Nexus NX-5300 ($110)

Hybrid

Seasonic X-650 ($160)


From looking at the cost, my first choice of consideration is the obvious SilenX. I'd rather spend $40 rather than $160. So I ask the question, anything wrong with SileX? If not, then I'd like to go this route and save money, but I'm not sure what kind of problems I may have (won't last long, poor quality, humming noise from the poor electronics used, etc).


My next level in cost would be the Nexus. However, I'm not sure what noise I would hear from the fan from 6 feet away. If there's a chance I can hear the fan, then I'd rather spend $50 more to make sure I don't. Rather spend the extra $50 to make sure I don't have to rebuy another PSU.


Ultimate choice is the Seasonic X-650. Fanless when I'm low power, yet I can have the fan if ever required. But this is $120 more than SilenX. And I don't know if my low power system would ever need a fan. Maybe in the summer when the room temperature is 80º?

This is $50 more than the Nexus, but if the fan is going to remain on, then I'll never have the fanless benefit, and might as well buy the Nexus.

Perhaps this choice is over done for a low wattage system, and the SilenX is sufficient?


I wonder why someone would choose the Nightjar when it is the same price as the Seasonic? The Seasonic seems to be the better deal. Am I missing something?


In order to keep case heat at minimum, considering modular PSU for better air circulation.


Spending the money is relative. I rather spend $160 now to buy something once, than to buy something cheap and having to repurchase every year.


To summarize, I'd like to go with SilenX if I won't be disappointed. However, if I'm going to have problems with SilenX a few months down the road, I'd rather spend the money now and get the Seasonic X-650.


Help me chooseanyone see a problem with SilenX? Or is Seasonic the better choice (unless someone comes up with a better choice)? But...spending $160 for a PSU is crazy!


Thanks,

Jake
 

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Look at the Nexus Value 430W.


SilentPCReview did a review not too long ago: http://www.silentpcreview.com/article922-page1.html


Newegg seems to be one of the only places selling them: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...xus-_-17610002


The top review on newegg is someone who had a bad fan and voided their warranty, and is pissed off that he didn't do what everyone else does by returning it... instead he voids his warranty and when it later develops a fan tick in addition to his previous problem with the fan rubbing against the grill, he posts a bad review of a product when it is really his own damm fault....


These power supplies are pretty much the quietest things aside from fanless that silentpcreview has seen, especially on low power systems.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by snakyjake /forum/post/18184222


I figure since my HTPC is low power, there won’t be any excessive heat problems nor high wattage demands.

You have system with low power requirements, yet you're looking at PSUs in the 400 to 650 watt range???


PC power supplies use switch mode to convert the AC to DC. If the electrical load (mobo + GPU + disk drives + other peripherals) on the PSU is too small in comparison to the maximum output, then the PSU operates very inefficiently. When underloaded or no load the PSU typically emits a whine sound, and can be damaged. The idle load on the PSU should be about 20% of the max output. Or in other words, too big of a PSU is a waste of energy (and generates extra heat).


A 90 or 120 watt PicoPSU would probably suffice, depending on the mobo + GPU.


BTW I recently swapped out a 500-watt 80Plus PSU with a smaller 380 watt, also 80Plus, in a desktop PC. The idle power consumption dropped by 23 watts (as reported by a Kill-a-Watt meter). The explanation for the power savings is that the PC has less than the 20% load the bigger PSU needed so that it operated efficiently; I estimate that it was at 50% efficiency. Heck, the 380 watts may still be too big of a PSU.


Regards
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue_z /forum/post/18184676


You have system with low power requirements, yet you're looking at PSUs in the 400 to 650 watt range???

I am in the same boat as the OP. I am building an HTPC and I want a modular PSU due to space limitations. The problem is that there doesn't seem to be too many decent (quality/quiet) modular PSU under 600 watts. Corsair used to make a 430 watt (?) modular PSU but I don't see any places with it in stock. The one I'm looking at now is the SeaSonic M12II 520 Bronze 520W but it doesn't look to be in stock at newegg right now and it looks like the only place that sells it!?!
 

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Space limitations and you want silent, get a Pico-PSU or other equivalent, no fans, 90%+ efficiency and they're tiny. the true pico's go to 150W, other tiny psu's go to 200 or so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the great comments. I've been reading about the efficiency ratings and finally read what blue_z mentioned...It is only 80% when running near maximum, and can be very inefficient when running less than 20% load.


The reason why I was leaning towards 400-650 is because I haven't found anything that has less output, and quiet.


Why not just a fanless ATX PSU? I've read that a fanless still may rely on a fan, not from the PSU, but the case fans. If this is true, then it really isn't solving my requirement of having a completely silent HTPC. The case will then draw the heat from the PSU over the motherboard, then exit the case. It will also require the case fan to make some noise. But not too sure how true this is.


The PicoPSU sounds ideal. What do I use to power the DVD player, SDD drive, and the case display screen? And the case fans?


Jake
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by snakyjake /forum/post/18193925



The PicoPSU sounds ideal. What do I use to power the DVD player, SDD drive, and the case display screen? And the case fans?


Jake

The picoPSU has a few power connectors which does vary on the model. The 120W version has a ATX, SATA, IDE and floppy power connectors. My friend has the 150W and it does away the the floppy power connector and instead has a 4pin motherboard connector (much more useful). In my case I needed an additional SATA power connector and the 4pin motherboard power connector. I managed to pick these up for a few bucks from the same place I ordered the picoPSU
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The picoPSU is looking like my holy grail answer.


I'm considering this: picoPSU-150-XT + 102W Adapter Power Kit . Or maybe a 150w power adapter to be on the safe side, but not yet sure which 150w adapter. Some have fans, some are fanless...makes me wonder if there's a quality difference that requires a fan.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by h8red /forum/post/18185481


I am in the same boat as the OP. I am building an HTPC and I want a modular PSU due to space limitations. The problem is that there doesn't seem to be too many decent (quality/quiet) modular PSU under 600 watts. Corsair used to make a 430 watt (?) modular PSU but I don't see any places with it in stock. The one I'm looking at now is the SeaSonic M12II 520 Bronze 520W but it doesn't look to be in stock at newegg right now and it looks like the only place that sells it!?!

they made a 450. they still make a 520. The 450 is probably still in stock in some places.


See here for a reseller
http://www.corsair.com/wheretobuy/default.aspx
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by snakyjake /forum/post/18199224


The picoPSU is looking like my holy grail answer.


I'm considering this: picoPSU-150-XT + 102W Adapter Power Kit . Or maybe a 150w power adapter to be on the safe side, but not yet sure which 150w adapter. Some have fans, some are fanless...makes me wonder if there's a quality difference that requires a fan.

Not necessarily a quality difference so much as different components in different layouts. 150W passive AC-DC converter is entirely possible with decent components, though in the size of the bricks they put these in, it's getting near the top for now.
 
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