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Fanless power supplies?

bradly1101

Diamond Member
May 5, 2013
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Recently I upgraded our HTPC and had to get a new power supply, but I foolishly went cheap and no longer have a silent HTPC.

I have seen fanless PSU's before, but this case (Corsair 330R- I know it's big but I needed a totally neutral [with the ports covered], monolithic speaker stand) has too many filtered vents to have much positive pressure, so I wonder if a fanless PSU would get enough air.

And now that the power supplies go on the bottom I have to flip them so they aren't trying to get air through the carpet. In this orientation wouldn't its hot air just make the case get hot?

It's not a super low powered system. It runs at its minimum clock speed (1.6Ghz) 98% of the time but can ramp up to its stock 2.66Ghz if it's doing a bunch of HD recordings, playing another and streaming (out) at 720P, whch rarely happens.

So I don't need more than 400W. Given the above conditions, do you think this is a workable solution? Are there any with fans that you know to be silent with moderate loads?
 

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
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WOW... that's an expensive PSU!

Help me out... what PSU do you have in it now?
 

LoveMachine

Senior member
May 8, 2012
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And what are the other components of the system? CPU/Video most importantly. I have the 460W version of the PSU you linked to. It's very nice and runs cool in my well vented case with just a single low RPM fan. It's complete overkill but I wanted it to last. There are PSUs that have a fan, but only spin up above a certain load. I have no idea who makes them or what models, though. Perhaps others can chime in. Much cheaper and just as quiet during HTPC use.
 

bradly1101

Diamond Member
May 5, 2013
4,690
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www.bradlygsmith.org
And what are the other components of the system? CPU/Video most importantly. I have the 460W version of the PSU you linked to. It's very nice and runs cool in my well vented case with just a single low RPM fan. It's complete overkill but I wanted it to last. There are PSUs that have a fan, but only spin up above a certain load. I have no idea who makes them or what models, though. Perhaps others can chime in. Much cheaper and just as quiet during HTPC use.
-i7 920 (overkill I know, but I had to upgrade the P4 that was there and it made sense to upgrade the desktop and move its guts to the HTPC, and this never goes past 35% usage [with all the above happening] at about 35-40C).

-Fanless Geforce GT 630/2GB

Also I use a 2-drive RAID0 array for the data/recordings drive plus a small SSD.
 

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
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On the surface I would say you shouldn't have problems... even with the i7. It's a big enough case that everything isn't piled on top of each other.

Are there any case fans in the 330R? There are a few aftermarket case fans that are next to silent running at reduced RPM... the names of which escape me at the moment.

I have a CX430 in my HTPC, it's never been a bother in a damped case like my Define Mini, I wouldn't think yours would be a problem in the 330R...? Are you sure you aren't hearing the CPU fan?

In any event, I think the PSU you linked would work. I'm not saying it's not going to get a tad warm inside the case, but even if you have 1 or 2 case fans working I don't see any issues.
 

MongGrel

Lifer
Dec 3, 2013
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I'm still personally leery of getting near a CX ever myself, but maybe that's just me.
 

bradly1101

Diamond Member
May 5, 2013
4,690
293
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www.bradlygsmith.org
Are there any case fans in the 330R? There are a few aftermarket case fans that are next to silent running at reduced RPM... the names of which escape me at the moment.
Yes, a 120 in and one out. They're silent at a couple of feet.

I have a CX430 in my HTPC, it's never been a bother in a damped case like my Define Mini, I wouldn't think yours would be a problem in the 330R...? Are you sure you aren't hearing the CPU fan?
It's a Scythe Mugen2 and it can't be heard at more than a couple of feet away. The loudest sound is definitely coming from the PS, I tested with a paper towel tube up to my ear and moved the other end around each fan to check.

It's not at all loud, but where we live is very quiet, and it can be heard when everything else is off.

In any event, I think the PSU you linked would work. I'm not saying it's not going to get a tad warm inside the case, but even if you have 1 or 2 case fans working I don't see any issues.
Cool. Thanks!
 

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,210
38
91
I'm still personally leery of getting near a CX ever myself, but maybe that's just me.
Yes, it's just you. ;) I have 3 CX430s in service and they have all been tip-top.

Yes, a 120 in and one out. They're silent at a couple of feet.
Right on... that's what I was thinking. I would position the front intake at the bottom of the case. Only other thing might be put a 3rd fan in the bottom of the case pointing up... that may help the thermals some, but it will add a bit of noise.

My Fractal cases have their fan controller running all the case fans... I have my HTPC (2x 120mm in, 1x 120mm out) running them all at about 40%, my desktop (same fan setup) at about 70%... I don't hear the HTPC's, and I don't really fool with the desktop's. Sunbeam PCI fan controller. That would at least allow you to adjust the fans to where they would run the quietest, even adjust around the resonant frequency all fans seem to have.

Just food for thought... :biggrin:
 

bradly1101

Diamond Member
May 5, 2013
4,690
293
126
www.bradlygsmith.org
-i7 920 (overkill I know, but I had to upgrade the P4 that was there and it made sense to upgrade the desktop and move its guts to the HTPC, and this never goes past 35% usage [with all the above happening] at about 35-40C).

-Fanless Geforce GT 630/2GB

Also I use a 2-drive RAID0 array for the data/recordings drive plus a small SSD.
Yes, it's just you. ;) I have 3 CX430s in service and they have all been tip-top.



Right on... that's what I was thinking. I would position the front intake at the bottom of the case. Only other thing might be put a 3rd fan in the bottom of the case pointing up... that may help the thermals some, but it will add a bit of noise.

My Fractal cases have their fan controller running all the case fans... I have my HTPC (2x 120mm in, 1x 120mm out) running them all at about 40%, my desktop (same fan setup) at about 70%... I don't hear the HTPC's, and I don't really fool with the desktop's. Sunbeam PCI fan controller. That would at least allow you to adjust the fans to where they would run the quietest, even adjust around the resonant frequency all fans seem to have.

Just food for thought... :biggrin:
Thanks! I probably would draw the line at adjusting the only fan that can be heard (the PSU's). The temps are fine, and it does no gaming (maybe have a 3D aquarium screen saver on during a party). The tuner is an external, networked cable-card one, so that heat stays out of the case.
 

bradly1101

Diamond Member
May 5, 2013
4,690
293
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www.bradlygsmith.org
It arrived and is installed. The switch allows two fan modes. Normal mode runs the fan very quietly and will ramp up with load and temp. Switching to 'Hybrid' adds a fanless mode when loads are nominal - where an HTPC usually lives, incl. mine. And since it is a platinum PSU it's great for HTPC use too.
 

tential

Diamond Member
May 13, 2008
7,363
641
121
Never knew there was that much that went into powersupplies on the highend. Maybe one day I'll make that upgrade for myself!
 

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