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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm currently assembling my first media server. so far it only has a 200Gb system drive and one 3TB drive for storage.


It's doubtful I will add more than one more storage drive before the end of this year (due to $).


I also have a DVD reader installed, but may replace it with a BR reader for ripping.


I'm using an old PS (Enermax 380 watt I think). It's fine for now, except it has two fans, and the outer fan sounds like a jet engine.


If I stick a pencil in there to stop that fan, the computer is fairly quiet. It's located in a back room, so noise isn't that critical, but I do want to do something about that fan. I plan to let this server run 24/7.


Can I install some kind of resister, or one of those Zalman fan control devices to slow down the fan? How do I determine where to connect the fan speed regulator, or what resister to get?


Otherwise, it might be better to replace the PS rather than take it out to replace the fan, unless finding and replacing the fan is super easy.


Whats this weeks decent and CHEAP relatively quiet PS?


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PSU noise I have found is VERY subjective on this forum. Personally, for budget PSU's, I like the Corsair CX line. It has a single 135mm fan, and IMHO quite quiet. The CX430 would be enough for the immediate future, and can be frequently found on NewEgg for about $20 after rebate. If you want a little more headroom, there is also the CX500 and CX600. All can be found with semi-modular designs as well (CX430M, CX500M, CX600M). Just be sure that they have all the connectors that you will need.


I'm not a fan of recommending modifying a PSU.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by leebo  /t/1523980/recommend-a-quiet-ps-number-86-452#post_24520762



Whats this weeks decent and CHEAP relatively quiet PS?

What's your definition of cheap? I was going to give you a link to the one I just bought that i can't hear at all but i just looked again and evidently I bought it on a pretty good sale because now it's $109 and I sure didn't spend that much on it about two weeks ago. I was concerned about noise so I filtered on Newegg for 80 PLUS PLATINUM certified power supplies. My thought was that if it was high efficiency with a big fan it would almost have to be quiet. If it is efficient it won't give off much heat and if it has a big fan it shouldn't need to spin it very fast to get rid of the little heat. I then read all the reviews to see if anyone was complaining about the fan noise. If you filter the results that way they start at about $80 though so that probably doesn't fall into your cheap definition. I was willing to spend a little more to not have to listen to it for the next five years.


Here is what I bought but it was $30 less when I bought it a couple weeks ago. There is a 450 Watt version that is less but still more than what I paid.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182082
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Cheap like $30-40. Like I said, I don't anticipate having many drives installed for several years at least, so my power requirements shouldn't be great. And it doesn't need to be "living room quiet. I just don't want to hear it from the next room.


Thanks StinDaWg, I'll go check it out now.


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I have a CX430 that I got for $20AR, and I think I'm going to replace the fan with a Nexus for $11. You may not even need to do this, but for me I'm willing to pay that small price for silence. The fan on the CX430 is not loud at all, but it's not quiet enough for my super anal needs. I just have to decide if I'm going to run it at 7V or connect it to the power supply fan controller and let it run that way.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835610006

http://www.silentpcreview.com/Simple_PSU_Fan_Swap_Technique
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I read through your entire thread, and decided to try replacing the fan b4 I buy a new PS. How did you determine what size fan you needed? My PS is kind of old so I'm not sure if I can find the specs online (will search tomorrow).


Also, any idea how you fit a case fan into a PS??? Is the case fan removable from the housing?


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I would just suggest you make sure to do the math and don't spend more trying to make a cheap power supply better with modifications than it would have cost to just buy the better PS in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I opened the PS up. There are actually two fans in it, but only the rear is making all the noise. After contemplating whether to try to attach a speed controller or replace the fan, I just removed it.. I could have simply unplugged the cable, but I thought removing it would allow more air flow (it still has a grill keeping fingers out). And trying to figure out how to attach the three leads from the supposed control to a two lead fan plug was more trouble than it is probably worth.


It's only a 350 watt, and still has the bottom fan. I'll see how it runs. If it dies I'll get the CX430 for $25 from Newegg.


Thanks everyone for the input!


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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I guess I spoke too soon, as is my custom. Ten minutes after my last post, the fan ramped up to jet engine levels again. I just finished connecting in a Zalman fan speed controller. It's been almost 30 mins and it's a lot (acceptable for the den) quieter. If I was using this for a HTPC it would still be too loud. If it dies I'll get the CX430.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by leebo  /t/1523980/recommend-a-quiet-ps-number-86-452#post_24521883


I read through your entire thread, and decided to try replacing the fan b4 I buy a new PS.

While buying cheap PS and upgrading it can be false economy, upgrading a PS that you already have can make more sense.
Quote:
How did you determine what size fan you needed?

Let's put it this way: I have before me a 120 mm fan. My tape measure says that it is 4.75 inches across. 4.75 * 25.4 = 120.65
Quote:
My PS is kind of old so I'm not sure if I can find the specs online (will search tomorrow).

Ya got a ruler and a brain, right? That is all you need!
Quote:
Also, any idea how you fit a case fan into a PS???

Find the same sized case fan as the one that is already in the PS.
Quote:
Is the case fan removable from the housing?

If you mean the housing of the PS, then yes you can remove it. Be sure to unplug it first! In almost every case there are 4 tiny Phillips flat head screws that hold the halves of the PS case together.


There are generally 4 larger screws that almost look like worm gears that hold the fan into the PS.


There are cheap dodges related to noisy fans.


(1) Run a 12 volt fan off of 5 volts. Usually this involves swapping a wire from the fan to the PC's 12 volt supply (usually a yellow wire in wiring harnesses and adapters) to its 5 volt supply (usually a red wire). Please see (3) below.


(2) If your mother board has spare smart fan connectors (that is fan connectors that can be controlled from fan control software running on the PC) move the noisiest fans that are currently running from fixed power sources to the motherboard fan socket.


(3) You can replace the 2 wire fan in a power supply with a 3 or 4 wire fan. Route the new fan power cable to outside the power supply case, and plug it in where you wish or add a fan controller to its power source.


(4) You can generally run more than one low speed low noise fan off of a single MB fan power socket because slow speed = low current drain.


(5) Temperature controlled fans often work out best when their operation is based on CPU temperature.


When you are reducing fan noise you are almost always reducing cooling. Beware of overheating parts. You can monitor parts temperatures with an IR thermometer, which now run as low as $10 or less. you can usually maximize the power dissipated inside your PC with software like FFT-Z (freeware).


Beware of overheating parts by slowing down fans.


Beware of overheating parts by slowing down fans.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, I have a ruler anyway.


I had never opened a PS b4 starting this thread. I hadn't realized they just use a case fan, including it's housing.


I currently have one of the two fans disconnected, and the other connected to a Zalman fan speed controller. This way, I can leave it on low, and when I'm using it for something like Handbrake, I can turn it up. Not sure if the MB has "smart connectors". It's something to try next time. I ordered the CX430 from Newegg for $20 AR. When this PS dies I'll install the CX, and if it's too noisy, I'll use your suggestions. Thanks again.


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