I want a quiet power supply
The fan always has lot of noise. Which brand is better?
hi alex first you should tell what your config is.
as a general rule ill tell you to look for high efficiency (80%and up)
because noise from fan in a psu is related to how much power is wasted as heat that have to be cooled.
from all i have read on the subject antec and seasonic makes very good psu that are efficient and quiet so you should have a look at theses
but first tell us what you are planning to use it for (ie; overclocking/sli or simply make a basic config run quieter also you should determine a budjet but dont skip on the quality of this critical component
(p.s. sorry for my english im from quebec !):D
I've heard really good things about nMedia. I've had a chance to play around with this model
and I gotta say I was impressed with the noise level, as well as the overall build quality. I've heard of people running pretty decent SLI rigs off this unit (with an adapter b/c it's only got one PCIe connector) with no trouble.
You'd be suprised at what my OCZ PowerStream 420W has handled over the year or so I've had it:
With my X2 4400+, 2GB RAM, 3 HDD, 2 optical drives, 3 LED case fans, a fan controller plus these different video cards:
X800XL AIW @ X800XT
I've never had a stability problem at all. Even overclocking tests haven't led to any instability problems - I've quite impressed!
My 520W Powerstream crapped out on me when I tried to run the following on it:
Opteron 165 @ 2.88GHz
2x 7900GT (overvolted and overclocked to GTX stock clocks)
3 hard drives
audigy 2 ZS
1/2 a dozen fan
4 cold cathodes
I've had a gameXstream 600W since then and I can only recommend it highly. OCZ's warranty service has been very good to me. They replaced my 520W powerstream for me with no questions asked. Even did advanced RMA for me.
In general there are 3 things to look for:
1) Active PFC
2) High efficiency - 80% minimum...look for 80 plus certified power supplies. Higher efficiency = less heat generated = slower fan speeds
3) 120mm fans only
Seasonic is usually a good bet to meet this criteria.
Fanless is an option but unless you have a case with good airflow that exhaust the ambient heat (multiple 120's) they just create pockets of heat.
Once you solve the power supply noise factors there are a few other things to consider:
1) Video card - If you have an ATI, you WILL need an Arctic cooling aftermatket cooler. Most Nvidia are reasonable.
2) Optical drive - The biggest noise polluter in any system. Avoid Liteon and Benq like the plague. An external enclosure is your best bet as you can simply power on and off when you need the optical to be running.
3) Heatsink - Any of the massive Scythe or similiar heatsinks where you have multiple heatpipes and the ability to mount a 120mm are a good bet.
4) Drive suspension/isolation - rubber isolating grommets are a must to silence hard drives. Even the quietest drives can have vibration issues with cases. Antec does a good job with their cases in this respect.
5) Aftermarket 120mm fans - avoid PWM fans and just go for a 120mm with a low DB and decent CFM fating.
Asus had a silent model they were marketing in Europe, not sure if they brought them here. In general I've found Samsung and Plextor (with the software setting "quiet mode") to be less offensive, but few drives have much effort put into them since they are such a commodity these days. Nero has a drive speed utility which can limit the maximum read speed of optical drives. It's a bit buggy and doesn't support every brand, but worth a shot. If it's not a speed sensitive application such as dvd playback, lowering to 2x-4x read speed can have it's auditory advantages.
I find Samsung's latest particularly non-offensive. I've always been partial to LG drives for overall compatibility and hassle-free usage though. That's probably just my own personal bias talking though.
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