1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Fanless PSU

Discussion in 'Computer Components' started by Stereo Steve, Apr 10, 2005.

  1. Stereo Steve

    Stereo Steve
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    1,915
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +7
    I've been looking into making my P4 system truly silent. I note that these fanless PSU's seem to be the way to go but it seems that in a completely fanless case, they get too hot. I was wondering about the posibility of running the PSU outside the case and away from it using extension cables for the power etc.

    Has anyone used one of these PSU's and could comment?
     
  2. PannyAdams

    PannyAdams
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2004
    Messages:
    661
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Epsom
    Ratings:
    +5
    Because of the way noise accumulates (although not entirely the case but) Your system will only be as noisey as it's loudest part.

    There are plenty of fan cooled PSUs that are quiet enough so that the noise from your hard drives drowns them, especially if you don't need masses of power. I recomend the Silenx PSU I recon I'm drawing nearly 400w and struggle to here a peep from it. I'd give Fanless technology another year or so yet.
     
  3. MikeFish

    MikeFish
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I too have been trying to make my P4 system as quiet as possible. Don't know why really, as it's in a different room. I think I just like the thought of achieving it.
    Have you got a socket 478 or 775 processor? There were no silent socket 775 processor coolers when I built mine, but now Thermaltake do one, although they recommend you attach a fan if you have no system fan. Kind of defeats the object for me as I have no case fan (I do but it's disconnected). The only fans I have is a 21dB processor fan (turned down to 1200 rpm) and my PSU which is supposed to be only 18dB under normal load. The PSU seemed quiet until I swapped my ATI card for an Nvidia one. The Nvidia card is fanless but my PC sounds noisier. I can only imagine that the Nvidia is drawing more current than the ATI and as a result the PSU is making more noise.
    I'm thinking of getting a Silentmaxx PSU, the newer one (450w I think) has a fan that only comes on when it gets hot (you can set the temp it comes on at or leave it off completely). That will mean I have just one fan left.
    Check it out here.
     
  4. betamac

    betamac
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I have the Thermaltake Fanless 350Watt PSU,

    Very good i have no stability problems and i just use 2 fans in my PC (intake and outtake) both running as slow as they will go before turning off (using fan controller) and its a nice practically silent PC.
     
  5. MikeFish

    MikeFish
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I looked at the Themaltake 350w when I was building my PC, but as it my first one I was worried about stability problems (due to lack of power). decided to play it safe and ended up with an Akasa 460w.
     
  6. betamac

    betamac
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    The problem is manufacturers quote stupid figures sometimes for power requirements which make people think they need 450 - 600Watt PSUs, the truth is for the average user (who dos not have 10 hard drives, 5 DVD Drives etc) you dont, a GOOD QUALITY PSU with 350Watt would out perform a 500 - 600Watt Cheap PSU any day for maintaining power output

    I kinda proved that by using a 250Watt Seasonic PSU with the same spec as i have now (see my sig) with no crashes whatsoever under heavy load like gaming, playing movies etc

    P.S not using your PSU as an example as there good quality just stressing a point
     
  7. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2002
    Messages:
    1,937
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Manchester, England
    Ratings:
    +81
    Have a look at the SilenX PSUs mentioned above, I've got one in my HTPC and it is completely inaudible. No need to go fanless with one of these.
     
  8. Stereo Steve

    Stereo Steve
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    1,915
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +7
    Thanks for all the replies. I currently use a Mini-itx PC for my business and have a standard P4 ATX system for everything else. The itx is the 5000 board with no fan in a Morex case with 90w fanless PSU and also a 30gb 2.5" laptop HDD. The system is as close as I have come to inaudible. The only thing to generate mechanical noise is the HDD and you can only hear that by pressing your ear to the case. So, I have solved my problem.

    My new problem is that my new business requires more power. My P4 is a 486 chip with a flower cooler on it and one of those fancy 'silent' psu's. The 3.5" HDD is in a silent drive and all I hear from that is vibration through the chassis which I hope to solve by removing the metal legs on one side and wedging it into a 51/4 bay with acoustic foam!

    So, we have the PSU and CPU. AS with everything, noise is subjective. Most people say a PC is silent when it is quiet. It also depends where you live. I used to live in town and the PC never bothered me over the ambient 'town' noise outside. Now I live in a completely isolated spot and sometimes it's dead quiet. My 'silent' P4 can really bug me then. What I am trying to do is make the P4 system as quiet as my mini atx. I require completely fanless cooling. A fan makes noise, end of story and I will hear it. So, fans are out. I may also revert to using my 2.5" HDD in the P4 if the 3.5" is too noisy.

    I am investigating those fanless P4 tower coolers and also water cooling. I figure that with a fanless PSU outside of the case, there will be significantly less ambient heat in there anyway for the tower cooler to deal with. I could also attatch a bigger copper heatsink to it.

    I don't need a powerful system. Just something that will run modern software with ease.
     
  9. Stereo Steve

    Stereo Steve
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    1,915
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +7
    I should also add that this PC will run 24/7 and anything that spins all the time will become noisy in the end. That's why I don't like fans as they get worse with age and sometimes quite quickly. I really want to try for 100% passive cooling for the whole system if that is at all possible. CPU will be the biggest problem.
     
  10. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2002
    Messages:
    1,937
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Manchester, England
    Ratings:
    +81
    Whilst I accept that any moving part has the potential to make noise have you heard the SilenX PSUs? Believe me I am VERY sensitive to what noise my HTPC makes, I just can't stand trying to read or sit in a room with a PC on making noise, but I honestly have no idea whether it is turned on or not. Might be worth trying one of these out if you haven't already as they are only about £100 (so cheaper than the fanless PSUs I've seen before) and won't require any special modding of cables etc.

    owain
     
  11. Stereo Steve

    Stereo Steve
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    1,915
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +7
    My problem is that I am currently using a Zalman ZM400 PSU which cost me the thick end of £100 at the time and was supposed to be completely silent according to most reviews and people I spoke to. Yeah right. Maybe I have a different idea of silence to everyone else.

    I don't want to sound like I'm doubting you over the SilenX but I have fired so much money at 'silent' fans over the years and all of it was wasted. The ONLY thing I have been happy with is my ITX system which relies purely on passive cooling. Of course, it can do this because it's not too powerful and more power means more heat.

    I think I will try the fanless PSU and then go to work on the CPU, either passively or by water cooling.
     
  12. Stereo Steve

    Stereo Steve
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    1,915
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +7
    Just re-read that and it does sound like I'm doubting you :).

    I just can't afford another £100 to find it's no better. At least I KNOW the fanless will be silent. It's just a matter of keeping it cool and I think it may be best off out of the case, maybe with an extra chunk of copper plate wedged in it's heatsink!
     
  13. betamac

    betamac
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    My Thermaltake Fanless PSU cost me £85 from Kustom

    I can actually turn the 2 fans off on my system so there is litterly nothing moving atall, and heat wise its fine for windows use (as long as AMD Cool N Quiet Is Running so the CPU is stepped down to 1GHz)

    Of course if i want to watch a movie or play a game i have to have a little airflow as the hard drive gets too hot.

    I find the hard drive is the hardest part of the system to keep cool.
     
  14. Stereo Steve

    Stereo Steve
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    1,915
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +7
    Thats interesting, according to Dtemp, my Samsung 120gb stays at 39-42 degrees whatever I'm doing and it's inside a SilentDrive enclosure. I may install a case fan system that I can turn on and off from the front cover if I want to play a game, which is not often.
     
  15. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2002
    Messages:
    1,937
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Manchester, England
    Ratings:
    +81
    Don't worry, no offence taken steve, just wanted to make sure you'd considered more conventional methods before plunging for the extra cost and hassle :)

    That thermaltake one sounds interesting, not seen fanless PSUs that cheap before (but I've been out of the loop for 3 months or so with being in america). I do remember that at the time I was researching my setup I read a review of fanless PSU that said that although there was no fan noise it was not silent as it had a certain degree of whine from the transistor coils when in use :(

    I presume you've read a lot on silentpcreview.com ?

    I'd be interested to know how you get on, I'm going to be building a few new quiet HTPCs when we move and if you find any suitable PSUs for less than I paid for my silenX I may be tempted to switch brands.

    Owain
     
  16. betamac

    betamac
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    If you stick you ear right onto the PSU you can hear a faint whine, but as soon as the take your ear off you cant hear anything so IMO if you cant hear it when stood over it then its silent, as your not gona keep your ear on it 24/7 :)

    Heres the link to the one i got

    http://www.casetech.co.uk/product.php?productid=17702
     
  17. Stereo Steve

    Stereo Steve
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    1,915
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +7
    I have read with the silentmaxx ones that they can't cope in a truly fanless system as there is no way for heat to get out of the case. That's why I'm planning on running it out of the case. I may also try the Heatlane Zen CPU cooler with the side of the case off as I can't see my PC and see if that can passively cool the CPU. I guess I could investigate some kind of system that activates a fan when the CPU temp reaches a certain point (is there such a thing?).

    That Thermaltake looks good and seems to have a better heatsink than the Silentmax. Maybe I'll give one of those a go.
     
  18. MikeFish

    MikeFish
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    The Silentmaxx 450w PSU activates it's own fan when the PSU temperature rises (you decide what temp). Not quite what you are looking for, I know, but thought it was worth pointing out. My theory is that if the CPU gets hot, the heat will rise to the PSU, the PSU will get hotter and eventually activate the fan, exhausting the hot CPU air.
    I can live with a PC that has a fan that only comes on when PC temperatures rise alot, and turns off again when 10 degrees cooler.
     
  19. Stereo Steve

    Stereo Steve
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    1,915
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +7
    Yes, it's a good idea but I have disregarded it on the grounds of cost really. Maybe that'll be a common solution in years to come. Think I'm going for one of them Thermaltek ones to try it. My Zalman should make a quid or 8 on Ebay.
     
  20. Leporello

    Leporello
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I recently bought a Dell something or other 5000 with a 3Ghz Pentium, a Gig of RAM and a 17" TFT all for less than £600.00. I bought it as a second machine for my wife to use for email and Microsoft Office. My main machine is a 3Ghz with expensive memory, a high end graphics card that I use for the Web, Games, i.e., Half Life 2 and FS2004. I've spent about £300.00 on high end case, PSU and air cooling on top of the £700.00 I spent on CPU, Mainboard, Memory and Graphics card. This system is relatively quiet. However the Dell whatsitsname 5000 is absolutely silent! If my wife would allow it I'd swap systems and throw a new Gfx card into the Dell and have an equally fast but silent system.

    I think Dell makes good use of the new BX system arrangement. For those of us interested in silence with high end performance BX seems to be the way to go if this Dell is anything to go by.

    Just thought I'd share this thought.
     
  21. betamac

    betamac
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    The thing with BTX is its just moves the hot components together at the top of the motherboard so 1 good flow of air through the case cools everything together, now that is a nice improvement but it does not take away the need for airflow which obviously needs fans to create so personly i dont think BTX will make any difference for someone who wants a fanless system as the hot air created wil still linger about,

    Also Only Intel support BTX right now and they tend to run much hotter than AMD, i have always though AMD to be best for HCPC use for the reason they do run much cooler and support Cool N Quiet.
     
  22. Stereo Steve

    Stereo Steve
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    1,915
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +7
    I currently run a P4 486 but would happily swith to AMD if they are easier to cool. Do you have any idea what would be a good comparison with the P4? Cost based as well as I would have to sell the P4 second hand and buy a new Athlon/ Sempron. Plus I would have to buy a new board although I think I have an MSI athlon board somewhere but I'm not sure what it'll take. It had a Sempron 2600 in it.
    What are the benefits of an Athlon over a faster Sempron (socket A)? WOuld a Sempron run cooler than an Athlon and P4?
     
  23. D_A_R

    D_A_R
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2005
    Messages:
    20
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    Huntingdon
    Ratings:
    +0
    I run 3 machines with Silentmaxx fanless PSUs and I'm very happy with them. All 3 are Intel based (2@2.5GHz and one at 3Ghz) and all run without any problems; in 2 cases (HTPCs) the PSU is off to the side and in the 3rd the PSU is in the bottom. However, they are not cheap (£116-186) see http://www.quietpc.com/uk/psu.php#silentmaxx
     
  24. Stereo Steve

    Stereo Steve
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    1,915
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +7
    I got my Thermatake 350w fanless and installed it. Got to say I'm impressed. My current setup is a P4 2.4g witha Zalman flower cooler in an alloy case. With the PSU the CPU temp stays around 27 degrees at idle and the MB temp around 35. Running CPU Burn in does increase temps into the high 50's after half an hour but that's extreme use and I don't really do that.

    I am now investigating, firstly the Scythe CPU cooler (fanless) and also those internal fan controllers you can get that can turn fans on and off with their own temp sensors. So I could have a 120mm case fan and a 120mm fan on the Scythe and use a controller to turn these fans on gradually as the case or CPU heat up. Maybe if I was playing a game or something. It uses pulse modulation as opposed to a rheostat so can run fans extrememly slowly at first.

    I hope that this way the PC would be totally silent most of the time but the fans should cut in if things get a bit heavy and eventually would run flat out in really hot conditions (probably never happen). I could also set one up to run through a duct over the pSU's cooling fins of that got too hot maybe.

    Pleased with progress so far and would recommend the Thermaltake to anyone as it's a quality item.
     

Share This Page

Loading...