Antec Trupower 430W makes squeaky warbling noise when CPU under load.

Jeff7

Lifer
Jan 4, 2001
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My fileserver PC here has started locking up occasionally lately, after months of stability, being able to run for a week straight before I decided to reboot it. I just tried Prime 95, and in the In-place Large FFT test, I noticed that something toward the power supply and CPU area of the PC is making a high pitched warbling. I was able to record it.
There are three files to choose from, all in FLAC format, to prevent any quality loss that MP3 might introduce:

The first one is as it was recorded, with the background noise in place. The test was initiated at 5s into the recording, and the squeak starts immediately. The first two clicks you hear are from the mouse button as I prepared to start the test; I used the Enter key to actually initiate it though.
Link, 610KB

This is the same file, except that I removed the noise, and maximized the volume again. Just before the sound itself begins in this one, the additional artifacts typical of the noise reduction process begin. But the much higher frequency is then audible.
Link, 352KB

This file had the noise reduction filter used a few times. The noise itself still starts at 5s; the squeaks heard right before it are merely artifacts of the noise reduction process, amplified by the volume maximize process.
Link, 241KB

What the heck gives here? PSU dying? Or might I just tweak it? The voltage in MBM5 (yes, I know, these can be inaccurate) reads as low as 3.15v when the noise is being produced, but when it manages to make it to 3.20v, the noise stops. Might something like a power supply vmod help here?

For the record, I have done work around dangerous power levels before. Right now, there's a 27" TV near me, with its guts on display. Found it out for the trash at someone's house and I rescued it - it seems to have a loose wire inside. :D



Update: Got the Seasonic. News is not good. 3.3v line is at 3.10V. :( :shocked:
 

jonnyGURU

Moderator <BR> Power Supplies
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You just posted this to get us all to use FLAC. :|

Seriously, though. If a power supply is making any kind of whine or squeal, it's not a good thing. I've only seen this come from two things: leaking caps or an internal short.

At least your not hearing a buzz. That's down right scary!
 

Brian48

Diamond Member
Oct 15, 1999
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You're probably due for another PSU. Even the best can go bad, although both my 430w's have gone over the 2yr mark and appears to still be running strong. Is it still under warrantee? Antec is usually pretty good about this sort of thing.
 

bigboxes

Lifer
Apr 6, 2002
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My first guess would be that your pc is possessed. Leave your home immediately. Do not look back!

I too have heard some noises from my TruePower 430 and thought I was losing my mind. I kept putting my ear near the psu trying to figure out where the noise was coming from. It was high-pitched so I thought it was the PSU's fan, but later determined that it was just random noises generated by the PSU itself. If it was causing the problems and noises you described (and recorded) then I would rma it back to Antec.
 

Jeff7

Lifer
Jan 4, 2001
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Originally posted by: ribbon13
This is the third thread I've heard complaints about the Truepower 430...

Yeah, I'm seeing a number of them too. Might be time for me to find another brand. Hopefully this thing is still under warranty. I'll consult the Search function for the best kinds of PSU's, though I found this helpful bit in another thread (don't remember who posted it):

**So, with rebranding, i tried to put up a list of some of the PSU companies and their manufacturers:
Fortron/Sparkle makes--> PCP&C, Zalman, Powerman, AOpen, Hi-Q
Enlight makes--> Thermaltake
Powmax makes---> Demon, Chiefmax, Chiefman
Topower---> OCZ, Tagan, TTGI/Super Flower, Raidmax
Channel Well---> Antec, Enermax, XClio
Wintech---> Ultra (many think that they are made by Powmax, which isnt true. Powmax buys them from Ultra and sells them or so i heard)
Youngyear---> Aspire, Logisys, and also new TTGI/Super Flower PSU's with high amp rating.
Sirtec---> High Power, Makes some Enlight and thus makes some TT PSU's (I didn't know how to add this in!)

Fortron/Sparkle PSU's seem to be the thing to look for then, without paying the premium of PCP&C prices.
Maybe Topower too - I had a TTGI PSU one that worked quite well.

I'll have to buy a new one first, as Antec doesn't offer advance RMA.

This damn thing isn't even a year old - oddly enough, it is also a replacement PSU. The first one blew out something inside that shut down the supply's internal fans. Wonder if this one is under warranty yet?
 

DAPUNISHER

Super Moderator CPU Forum Mod and Elite Member
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Aug 22, 2001
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Originally posted by: ribbon13
This is the third thread I've heard complaints about the Truepower 430...
Well let me contrast that then :) I thought I'd have to buy a new PSU for my Dual Opteron setup because I just have a True430w SATA model. Well, I have been running 2x242@1.725ghz-2x1gb-3x120GB RAID5 on Promise SX4060-120GB deathstar-3 case fans-2 ATAPI-12-in-1 card reader-Plextor ConvertX- a 6800GT@431/1100-now a 6600gt@565/1140-FDD the +12 is 11.9v the vcore is 1.52v and it runs 24/7 Einstein@Home on top of everything else I do with zero issues. It ran my A64@2.4ghz 6800GT system for a number of months before that.
 

wisdomtooth

Golden Member
Dec 21, 2004
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Jeff7:

You might also give the Seasonic PSUs a try, since noise might be an issue for you. They are the quietest fan-cooled PSU you can buy, excellent quality too.

Ribbon is probably thinking, "I knew sooner or later Wisdomtooth is going to say that.." :D
 

Jeff7

Lifer
Jan 4, 2001
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Noise isn't a huge issue - there are two PCs in this room, with a total fan count between them of:
4 x 120mm
2 x 92mm
4 x 80mm
2 x 60mm

And 7 hard drives. Still, it isn't exceptionally loud.


My main concern now is to have a power supply that won't die a month or a year, and that'll put out stable voltages. This noise has me a bit worried. I'm considering the OCZ45012U, or maybe the more expensive OCZ420ADJ with the adjustable rails. I also am starting to like the TTGI/SuperFlower TT-450S14, though I can't seem to find information on their warranty policies.
Edit: Ok, found some, at TTGITech.com - appears that only authorized resellers can RMA through TTGI.



And I expect that my Truepower is under warranty; Antec's site says they have a 3 year warranty on most parts.

Seems a lot of the Seasonic's list Active PFC - must research that to see how important that is.
 

jonnyGURU

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Oct 30, 1999
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Don't give up on Antec because of one bad power supply.

Sure there's a bunch of posts from people with problems, but those who don't have problems far out number those who do, but simply do not post their good experiences because there's nothing that needs to be said that hasn't been said before.

You'll find that with all sorts of power supplies. For example, there's a lot of recommendation for Seasonic, but in another thread someone who works for a reseller was telling us how their RMA rate on Seasonic power supplies was unusually high. Go figure.

And as for FSP/SPI: Yes, they make the PCP&C Silencer, but that doesn't make an FSP the same as a PCP&C. Same is true with Topower. And heaven forbid you need to RMA either an FSP/SPI or Topower. You have to send the unit back to the reseller. The manufacturer does not do RMA's direct with end users, unlike Antec and PCP&C, and MOST resellers flat out refuse to take product back after 30 days REGARDLESS of manufacturer's policies.

As the Digital Underground once said, "Dowhatchalike." But keep in mind how the warranty process goes because you never know if the next PSU will last 30 days or 3 years and if you have any questions, don't post them here because most people will just repeat whatever rhetoric they subscibe to and you'll accomplish nothing. ;)

As for Active PFC, here's a good link: http://www.dansdata.com/gz028.htm Not important if your electric company isn't charging you for poor power factor, and unless you get an expensive power supply, power factor usually (not always) comes at a cost of good efficiency. Getting a power supply with PFC and efficiency averages of > 70% is rare. Go for the 75% or better efficiency if you want to keep your power bills down. ;)
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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Should have gone for an Ultra X-Connect instead of an Antec. When they start to make noises just before they go, they play Wagner's 'Ride of the Valkries', rather than just make a pathetic whining noise like Antecs. Nothing like a bit of fancy "bling", right up until the end...

;)
 

tbooth

Senior member
Apr 12, 2001
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While I cant listen to the sound files at work, I'm almost positive that my Truepower 430 makes the exact same noise under load ("squeaky warbling" sounds exactly like what I hear). Its totally stable and runs fine but it does make a strange noise under load. I never noticed it until I got water cooling and got rid of my compartively loud Vantec Aeroflow.
 

jonnyGURU

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Oct 30, 1999
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Originally posted by: VirtualLarry
...they play Wagner's 'Ride of the Valkries', rather than just make a pathetic whining noise like Antecs.

;)

That would be pretty cool. You ever go to that website where the guy took differerent radio frequencies (or something like that) and patched them together to make music. Pretty slick. Ooh! How about the guy that had dot-matrix printers playing music based on the pattern of characters it printed.

Actually, when I listened to the sound files, the first thing I thought of was the music the space ship in Close Encounters played. :D

tbooth: I guess if it's running well, it's hard to complain. But whenever I've had a power supply that made noises, good things never came of it. I have an FSP that whistled before it blew up and likewise with a Thermaltake. I've got an A.C. Ryan that buzzes and as the 12V load increases the buzz becomes louder and the voltage on the 12V drops. It makes me wonder what would happen if I were to kick a sudden load onto one of these squeaky Antecs. Would it suddenly blow up?
 

Jeff7

Lifer
Jan 4, 2001
41,599
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Originally posted by: jonnyGURU
Don't give up on Antec because of one bad power supply.

Sure there's a bunch of posts from people with problems, but those who don't have problems far out number those who do, but simply do not post their good experiences because there's nothing that needs to be said that hasn't been said before.

You'll find that with all sorts of power supplies. For example, there's a lot of recommendation for Seasonic, but in another thread someone who works for a reseller was telling us how their RMA rate on Seasonic power supplies was unusually high.

And as for FSP/SPI: Yes, they make the PCP&C Silencer, but that doesn't make an FSP the same as a PCP&C. Same is true with Topower. And heaven forbid you need to RMA either an FSP/SPI or Topower. You have to send the unit back to the reseller. The manufacturer does not do RMA's direct with end users, unlike Antec and PCP&C and MOST resellers flat out refuse to take product back after 30 days REGARDLESS of manufacturer's policies.

As the Digital Underground once said, "Dowhatchalike." But keep in mind how the warranty process goes because you never know if the next PSU will last 30 days or 3 years and if you have any questions, don't post them here because most people will just repeat whatever rhetoric they subscibe to and you'll accomplish nothing. ;)

As for Active PFC, here's a good link: http://www.dansdata.com/gz028.htm Not important if your electric company isn't charging you for good power factor, and unless you get an expensive power supply, power factor usually (not always) comes at a cost of good efficiency. Getting a power supply with PFC and efficiency averages of > 70% is rare. Go for the 75% or better efficiency if you want to keep your power bills down. ;)

2nd time I'm typing this....have I mentioned that Firefox 1.02 crashes a helluva lot more than any previous version?

This is my second Antec PSU failure actually - the squeaky PSU is a replacement. Its predecessor went back when something loudly snapped inside it, shutting down all fans inside the power supply. I had to wait 2 weeks for the replacement (actually, nearly 3 - half a week for the dead one to get to them, and the rest of the time for UPS to get the replacement back to me), as Antec doesn't have an advance RMA option.

I'm leaning towards the Zalman ZM400B-APS, as it's got a good efficiency rating (the fact that they advertise their efficiency is a good sign). And it's got the overvoltage protection and all kinds of other nice features.

Silverstone also had a good showing in this review in terms of efficiency, while the Zalman was about midrange in that respect. Antec's Neopower did the worst, topping all but one of the power consumption tests. But again, I find warranty difficulties with Silverstone.


So, summary, it looks like Zalman might get my money, unless someone has some good efficiency figures for OCZ's power supplies.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
56,327
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Originally posted by: Jeff7
2nd time I'm typing this....have I mentioned that Firefox 1.02 crashes a helluva lot more than any previous version?
MozillaZine forums are crawling with complaints about FF 1.0.2. Most people are going back to 1.0.

Originally posted by: Jeff7
This is my second Antec PSU failure actually - the squeaky PSU is a replacement. Its predecessor went back when something loudly snapped inside it, shutting down all fans inside the power supply. I had to wait 2 weeks for the replacement (actually, nearly 3 - half a week for the dead one to get to them, and the rest of the time for UPS to get the replacement back to me), as Antec doesn't have an advance RMA option.
That's actually more interesting. I would carefully double-check your mobo's ATX power connector. If one of those pins isn't making good contact, it could be putting excess strain on the PSU, and that could be a potential factor here. I've seen pics of a charred ATX mobo connectors, you don't want that to happen to you.
 

jonnyGURU

Moderator <BR> Power Supplies
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Oct 30, 1999
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Hmm.. He (the Tech Report) seems to think the ripple on the Zalman under load is pretty bad. I'm surprised the Vantec has as good of efficiency as it does considering it has Active PFC. Also, he's wrong about the Ultra's warranty. Warranty is three years through Ultra with product registration. The Silverstone looks sweet, but I have my reservations about fan-less power supplies. Sure they HAVE TO BE more efficient, but they're rated at lower wattage for a reason and when a power supply runs hot, it's less capable and no doubt fan-less power supplies run hot. I've blown one up @ 40C at only 200W. Still a little gun shy after that experience. The OCZ is too expensive IMHO. I don't see the 520ADJ being worth $150 and I'm not quite a member of the dual 12V rail bandwagon yet. I must say that the Enermax Coolergiant looks nice (well... doesn't LOOK nice, but.. you know...)

And touching on what Larry is saying one post up there... I too have seen charred boards due to bad ATX connectors. Ironically, the power supply AND the motherboard sometimes continue to work after the fire (Der Kommisar!) Just seems that the arcing and heat created by the peaks and valleys of power flow through a point of high resistance finally takes it's toll on the highly flammable plastic. ;) Also, with 7 drives in there, you could be expereriencing dirty power created by the drive motors. Perhaps hook the drives up to an old AT power supply and leave the rest of the PC hooked up to the Antec and see what happens?

Here's some good Dot-Matrix music BTW: http://www.sat.qc.ca/the_user/dotmatrix/downloads/en/frame_index.html


 

Jeff7

Lifer
Jan 4, 2001
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Originally posted by: VirtualLarry
Originally posted by: Jeff7
2nd time I'm typing this....have I mentioned that Firefox 1.02 crashes a helluva lot more than any previous version?
MozillaZine forums are crawling with complaints about FF 1.0.2. Most people are going back to 1.0.

Originally posted by: Jeff7
This is my second Antec PSU failure actually - the squeaky PSU is a replacement. Its predecessor went back when something loudly snapped inside it, shutting down all fans inside the power supply. I had to wait 2 weeks for the replacement (actually, nearly 3 - half a week for the dead one to get to them, and the rest of the time for UPS to get the replacement back to me), as Antec doesn't have an advance RMA option.
That's actually more interesting. I would carefully double-check your mobo's ATX power connector. If one of those pins isn't making good contact, it could be putting excess strain on the PSU, and that could be a potential factor here. I've seen pics of a charred ATX mobo connectors, you don't want that to happen to you.

I'll do that, but it's also not the same motherboard. The first PSU died while powering an Epox 8RDA+. That 8RDA+ is gone now, due to bulging capacitors, with an Abit NF7-S rev2.0 in its place.

I'll check more into Seasonics. That efficiency thing has me interested - and they've got a 3 year warranty. I can't find that specific model many places; Google gives 5 results for "SS-400HT APFC" - one result says it's not available in the US.
 

jonnyGURU

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Haha! Four out of the six times I've seen toasted ATX connectors were two Epox boards and two Abit boards. What a co-ink-ee-dink! :D
 

Jeff7

Lifer
Jan 4, 2001
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Originally posted by: jonnyGURU
Haha! Four out of the six times I've seen toasted ATX connectors were two Epox boards and two Abit boards. What a co-ink-ee-dink! :D

Let us hope my luck is better than yours. 0 out of the 0 times I've toasted ATX connectors, they haven't been on either of those brands. :D

Just checked the ATX connector and the little 4-pin 12V thingie - no unusual colors.


My ever shifting buying whims now favor the Seasonic SuperTornado SS-400FB.



And that dotmatrix thing is just strange.
 

jonnyGURU

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Well, those four out of six were the result of six out of a few thousand. So I think the odds are with you. ;) It's just not normal for an otherwise reputable power supply to exhibit relatively the same problem with two different builds. ;)
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
56,327
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Originally posted by: jonnyGURU
Well, those four out of six were the result of six out of a few thousand. So I think the odds are with you. ;) It's just not normal for an otherwise reputable power supply to exhibit relatively the same problem with two different builds. ;)

You know... unless the input AC waveform is somehow strange in that area, and thus causing more strain on some of the PSU's components... like the transformer windings, which would be the first thing that the AC current flows into in the PSU, and causing mechanical vibrations in the auditory frequency range.

Are these systems hooked up to a UPS? A EMI/RFI-suppressing surge filter? IMHO, they should be, at least one or the other.

I guess I'm curious now, about whether this is a symptom caused by an internal fault in the PSU, or some external environmental factor. (Or perhaps just a particular production run of Antecs, in which some component has some mechanical play and "hums" at times. Like a couple of Chaintech NF3 mobos known for similar issues in the past.)
 

sharkeeper

Lifer
Jan 13, 2001
10,886
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Most high frequencies produced by switching electronics are generated from the miniexcursions produced by inductive components producing subharmonics of the fundamental excitation frequency of the driven elements.