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Old 09-08-2012, 11:38 AM   #1
antef
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Default Please recommend quiet PSU

Hi, I currently have a PC P&C Silencer 610 and despite its name I've determined it's by far the loudest component in my system. I'd like to replace it with the quietest PSU I can obtain for still reasonable money.

Current parts:
i5-2500K, 16 GB memory, Crucial m4 and 500 GB HDD

Intending to buy either GTX 660 Ti, GTX 670, or HD 7950.

As you can see I don't have a ton of components. I want to go as low as is reasonable on wattage while still making sure the PSU isn't too stressed to keep it quiet. Maybe 500W? If it can run without the fan spinning at all at idle that'd be even better. Max price is ~$140 but would prefer to stay < $100.

Thanks for any recommendations.
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Last edited by antef; 09-08-2012 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 09-08-2012, 12:11 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antef View Post
Hi, I currently have a PC P&C Silencer 610 and despite its name I've determined it's by far the loudest component in my system.
If I had a nickel for every time someone posts their realization that PCP&C "Silencer" PSUs are a misnomer... I could buy a chocolate bar now. Damn inflation.

I don't recommend any passive or hybrid/passive PSUs because they cost too much (starts $100+) and your graphics card will likely be louder than a truly quiet PSU with a spinning fan.

How about a nice Rosewill Capstone 450W modular PSU for $56 after coupon EMCNANC35 (exp.9/13)? It is 80Plus Gold for efficiency, made by Super Flower (known to be good quality) and is reasonably quiet. 450W should be sufficient for your parts list plus proposed single graphics card.
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Old 09-08-2012, 12:55 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zap View Post
If I had a nickel for every time someone posts their realization that PCP&C "Silencer" PSUs are a misnomer... I could buy a chocolate bar now. Damn inflation.
Here's another nickel to add to your collection.

My PC Power and Cooling MK III Silencer 600w, manufactured by Seasonic is quiet.
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Old 09-08-2012, 03:57 PM   #4
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Corsair AX / Seasonic X / Corsair HX V2 / Corsair TX V2

They are all passive at low loads, im not 100% sure that the TX V2 is passive but ive heard that it is.
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:19 AM   #5
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Seasonic X-560 Fully Modular 80PLUS Gold
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zap View Post
If I had a nickel for every time someone posts their realization that PCP&C "Silencer" PSUs are a misnomer... I could buy a chocolate bar now. Damn inflation.

I don't recommend any passive or hybrid/passive PSUs because they cost too much (starts $100+) and your graphics card will likely be louder than a truly quiet PSU with a spinning fan.

How about a nice Rosewill Capstone 450W modular PSU for $56 after coupon EMCNANC35 (exp.9/13)? It is 80Plus Gold for efficiency, made by Super Flower (known to be good quality) and is reasonably quiet. 450W should be sufficient for your parts list plus proposed single graphics card.
Thanks, I appreciate the more value-oriented suggestion. What's tricky is there isn't much in the way of technical specs to verify noise output for PSUs so it's mostly going by opinions and reviews. You're right that the video card would probably be louder during gaming, so I'm more concerned about idle noise. It's tough to know how silent it will be at idle without getting a direct recommendation from somewhere like SPCR, which mentions options like the Seasonic X-560. It would be great to get something that is very reasonably quiet for half the price like the Rosewill. Maybe some PSUs publish their fan's noise levels? The key thing is to make sure it's much quieter than my Silencer.

Should I consider the Enermax NAXN ENP450AWT-B 450W or the FSP Raider 80Plus Bronze 450W from the recent Anandtech roundup?
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Old 09-11-2012, 06:46 AM   #7
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Unlike Zap, Iíd thoroughly recommend hybrid or fanless PSUs, and Iíll never go back to regular ones. You canít get more silent than fanless. In particular, the Seasonic-X or newest Kingwin/Super Flower variants.

My Seasonic-X 560 often doesnít turn on even during extended gaming periods, and I donít exactly have low end components either.

Itís also definitely worth it to pay extra to get gold or platinum certification, not so much for the electricity savings, but for the fact that thereís less waste heat to dissipate, which means you need less cooling.
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Old 09-11-2012, 03:16 PM   #8
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I'd say hybrid psus are by far the best. Fanless is extremely limited in application since they cost a lot more to guarantee fanless operation and you will have active airflow somewhere in your computer generally. Definitely a hybrid that can be fanless sometimes is the best of both worlds, you have silence, and you have scaling to max power. How can you beat that?
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Old 09-11-2012, 03:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antef View Post
What's tricky is there isn't much in the way of technical specs to verify noise output for PSUs so it's mostly going by opinions and reviews.
You can't go by technical specs of fans, because fan manufacturers are almost as shady as crappy PSU manufacturers, plus sometimes it isn't the measured noise output but the tone or bearing noise that makes one fan less tolerable than another.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BFG10K View Post
Unlike Zap, Iíd thoroughly recommend hybrid or fanless PSUs, and Iíll never go back to regular ones. You canít get more silent than fanless.
So your graphics card and CPU run fanless too?

My point with the OP is that a 120-140mm PSU fan (if done properly by the manufacturer) will probably be no louder at idle than the graphics card fan (which on a gaming card always runs), especially if the PSU is on the bottom of the case as is becoming the norm with current gaming and enthusiast level cases.
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Old 09-11-2012, 04:57 PM   #10
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I doubt you will find them for as low as the $56 the Rosewill is going for, but it seems like Newegg regularly has deals on Seasonic power supplies. Both my server and my main rig have Seasonic power supplies and they are are close to silent as I would ever hope for considering they have fans in them. They both sit within a foot or two of me on my desk at ear level too. My main rig has a X650 and the server has a much cheaper 300W unit (no idea what the model number is now). If you aren't in a hurry you can always wait for a deal.
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Old 09-11-2012, 07:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zap View Post
If I had a nickel for every time someone posts their realization that PCP&C "Silencer" PSUs are a misnomer... I could buy a chocolate bar now. Damn inflation.

I don't recommend any passive or hybrid/passive PSUs because they cost too much (starts $100+) and your graphics card will likely be louder than a truly quiet PSU with a spinning fan.

How about a nice Rosewill Capstone 450W modular PSU for $56 after coupon EMCNANC35 (exp.9/13)? It is 80Plus Gold for efficiency, made by Super Flower (known to be good quality) and is reasonably quiet. 450W should be sufficient for your parts list plus proposed single graphics card.
I own a pair of the Capstone Gold 450W's and can vouch for them. They do need protection via surge protector but you should be doing that anyway instead of relying on the PSU to protect against power surges. Anandtech had a review of it, here: http://www.anandtech.com/show/5698/r...0w-80plus-gold It's really hard to beat for the price and has almost the entire 450W available on the 12v rail, unlike cheaper PSUs. I ran it with a 1055T and 7970 for a long time with no issues and your CPU is less power-hungry. It wasn't completely silent but it was quite quiet. The Gold power efficiency rating is the cherry on top, as it will pay for itself over time, compared to less-efficient PSUs.

Imho a hybrid solution is even better, and I eventually moved to a Platinum hybrid PSU, but frankly it is not not as good price/performance for most people and the Rosewill Capstone is a far better bargain at $56.

I would add that I would not recommend 100% fanless PSUs for people with bottom mount cases because you need to keep the vents open up top to let hot air escape. This heats up your case more, and it also lets dust and debris (and small screws if you aren't careful) into the PSU unless you use some sort of air filter, but that filter will obstruct airflow and lead to a hotter PSU which is not good for component life. I would only recommend them to people who place a massive premium on silent operation.

P.S. Zap know his s~~t. I am impressed. I second his discussion about fans and dBA measurements, etc. I am a fan and PSU enthusiast as well. Well done, Zap!
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Old 09-12-2012, 12:43 AM   #12
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Thanks, are you saying that other PSUs offer more robust protection against surges? I'm using a surge protector but having another layer of protection sounds good in case it fails or doesn't work properly. Other than that, the Rosewill is sounding like a good deal. Are there other Super Flower/Seasonic/Enermax-branded PSUs in the $50-70 price range I should be considering before buying? All of those seem to be good brands that run quietly with good reviews.

My case is a SilverStone PS07 with the PSU top-mounted. If I get some type of hybrid PSU I just want to make sure it doesn't result in more hot air being left in the case at idle if the PSU fan is off. I've also read mixed opinions of whether the PSU should be mounted right-side-up or upside-down.
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Old 09-12-2012, 05:59 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zap View Post

So your graphics card and CPU run fanless too?
Itís not feasible for a GTX680 to run fanless and even if it was, I wouldnít want 225W being dropped into my case. Thatís why I go for blower designs.

But I do have the CPUís fan off until it reaches a certain temperature.

Depending on the game, I can go hours without either my CPU or PSU fan turning on.

Quote:
My point with the OP is that a 120-140mm PSU fan (if done properly by the manufacturer) will probably be no louder at idle than the graphics card fan (which on a gaming card always runs), especially if the PSU is on the bottom of the case as is becoming the norm with current gaming and enthusiast level cases.
Understood; the problem is that thereís always the possibility of variation, so the only way to be sure is to go fanless, at least when things are idle.

That way if you ever have a noise problem, you can immediately eliminate the items that donít have spinning fans. Thatís not so easy to do if your PSUís fan always spins.

Also even with the PSU fan spinning so slow that itís below the noise floor, itís still dropping some dust in there, no matter how good your intake filters are.
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:36 AM   #14
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I got an X-460 for my living room PC a few months ago to replace my S12II-380 (was on sale for $125 I think). Depending on how quiet your other components are, it might be worth it, but I doubt your video card is going to be quiet enough unless you change out the stock cooler.

However, empirically, my S12II was easily the loudest component when loaded up to maybe 150W (Radeon 4830 + undervolted Q8200 + 4 HDDs while playing movies). It didn't sound annoying, but was easily heard over 2xNoctua S12B at 500rpm + 1x800rpm S-flex. The 4830 is passive (Accelero S1). It was probably partially due to being temperature sensitive, as my case runs slightly warm. However, the X-460 eliminates the noise issue and based on most reviews, it is very hardy so running at 20C vs 40C is unlikely to make much difference.

So, if you have a very quiet PC with good fans running <800rpm, your PSU might be the limiting noise contributor, in which case a silent one would perhaps lower the noise ceiling, particularly if you're in the power range; the X-460 has 2 6/8-pin PCI-E connectors meaning it can power pretty much any single card. I have never tried hybrid PSUs (my builds never need that much power), but I'd rather be guaranteed silence than relying on specific conditions for silence; it also reduces the moving parts in your PC by one that is not exactly easy to replace.
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Old 09-12-2012, 12:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFG10K View Post
Unlike Zap, Iíd thoroughly recommend hybrid or fanless PSUs, and Iíll never go back to regular ones. You canít get more silent than fanless. In particular, the Seasonic-X or newest Kingwin/Super Flower variants.

My Seasonic-X 560 often doesnít turn on even during extended gaming periods, and I donít exactly have low end components either.

Itís also definitely worth it to pay extra to get gold or platinum certification, not so much for the electricity savings, but for the fact that thereís less waste heat to dissipate, which means you need less cooling.
Agree.

I'm running the Seasonic X560 right now, and it's super quiet b/c the fans don't spin up unless they need to such as when I'm gaming. But it's a bit pricey at$130, but it's worth due to the full modular aspect as well as the 5 year warranty.
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Old 09-13-2012, 01:34 AM   #16
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So is fully modular generally preferred or are there trade-offs? I have 3 120mm case fans spinning relatively slowly (< 1000 RPM I think), so I feel like a quiet 120mm PSU fan wouldn't necessarily add much to the noise. I'm not sure if the $70-80 price difference for these hybrid/fanless Seasonics is worth it, but a lot of people here seem to really like them.
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:56 AM   #17
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Another vote for Seasonic
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:19 AM   #18
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Seasonic X-series with APFC in Gold or Platinum efficiency. The fan won't spin until it hits about 43% of rated load. Yet win it does whirl it's silent since it's the best fan in the market. The Sanyo Denki San Ace PWM Silent Fan is about $35 itself. And unlike so many psuedo badging and nomenclature gamesmanship, this unit is 100% modular. The X750 is 20% today on nEgg.
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:47 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antef View Post
Hi, I currently have a PC P&C Silencer 610 and despite its name I've determined it's by far the loudest component in my system. I'd like to replace it with the quietest PSU I can obtain for still reasonable money.

Current parts:
i5-2500K, 16 GB memory, Crucial m4 and 500 GB HDD

Intending to buy either GTX 660 Ti, GTX 670, or HD 7950.

As you can see I don't have a ton of components. I want to go as low as is reasonable on wattage while still making sure the PSU isn't too stressed to keep it quiet. Maybe 500W? If it can run without the fan spinning at all at idle that'd be even better. Max price is ~$140 but would prefer to stay < $100.

Thanks for any recommendations.
the seasonics are great but why not open the psu up and put in a quiet fan? if you have a 120 mm fan and put this fan in

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835185056

it is cheaper then buying this

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...easonic%20560w


or this

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817151087

or this

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817151095
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Old 09-18-2012, 05:43 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philipma1957 View Post
the seasonics are great but why not open the psu up and put in a quiet fan? if you have a 120 mm fan and put this fan in

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835185056

it is cheaper then buying this

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...easonic%20560w


or this

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817151087

or this

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817151095
I'm not sure but I think the fan that's already in there is 80 mm. Would be great if that was a viable solution.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:38 AM   #21
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I am very happy with the power supply in my sig. Anandtech did a review of a lower voltage model...

http://www.anandtech.com/show/3902/a...d-green-380w/6

and the numbers look good. I especially appreciated the good efficiency numbers at the low end, where it spends most of its time. I cannot even hear the thing.
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:00 PM   #22
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I would look into the FSP Aurum 80 Plus Gold series if you are on a tight budget. I bought a 400 watt version on ebay for $34.99 + shipping brand new wrapped. Installed in my machine last night and it ran much quieter than my old corsair cx400. My cx400 used to rev up as soon as I play games while the aurum stays quiet.

http://www.plugloadsolutions.com/psu...00W_Report.pdf
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:07 PM   #23
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So I'm about ready to buy and seriously considering the Rosewill that Zap linked to, because it looks quiet and I don't want to overspend (considering I'm only doing this to reduce noise). I have a Silverstone PS07...given that the Rosewill has a fan on top, should I orient it in my case with the fan facing out through the top grill or facing down into the case? The construction of my case seems to imply they want you to face the fan out through the top...I'm assuming this fan sucks in and not blows out? So orienting it up would pull in cool air, orienting it down would pull in hot case air - good for case, but maybe not good for PSU. There's also the concern of fan noise if I orient it up through the grill where nothing will be obstructing it.

Edit: I also see that the 7950 product pages state a minimum of 500W PSU is required. Do I need to worry about this when considering the 450W Rosewill?
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:12 PM   #24
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I don't suppose you can get Be Quiet! psu's in the states yet?
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:24 PM   #25
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Edit: I also see that the 7950 product pages state a minimum of 500W PSU is required. Do I need to worry about this when considering the 450W Rosewill?
No.
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