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Silent power supply required

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Dr.Rock, Feb 17, 2004.

  1. Dr.Rock

    Dr.Rock
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    Hi,

    I'm currently building my new PC (which will be used for games, DVD authoring, etc). I need to buy a power supply to fit into the ATX case. Can someone please recommend me one (manufactureer, etc)? The PSU has to be at least 400 W (to run a top-end P4), have all the necessary connectors (including for S-ATA hard disks) and - the most important factor - it's got to be SILENT. The assembled PC will be situated in the living room, so the PSU must be silent otherwise the family won't appreciate something that sounds like an aircraft engine while their trying to watch TV.

    I've read loads of reviews out there for different PSU's, but none seem to comment on the noise factor.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Big Adam

    Big Adam
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    There is only one unit for you (other than the mega-expensive Fanless models but good luck finding them in the UK)

    You want a Silenx. I have one in my HTPC and it is truly incredible. Noise level is <14dBa which is a close to silent as you'll ever find.

    I swear that even with the case lid off and with my ear towards the PSU fan, I cannot hear it when more than 3 feet away.

    I imported mine directly from Silenx.com due to the current excellent US$ exchange rate and the fact they accept Paypal. However Silenx have a UK distributor too (details on link above)

    Big A
     
  3. MuFu

    MuFu
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  4. JohnS

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  5. jsmurray

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    The Silenx psu's in the DVine range of cases are apparently different. Not the same manufacturer or something and there's a court case going on over the trademark. The DVine one in my case is NOT quiet. At all.
     
  6. Big Adam

    Big Adam
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    Kustom got the SilentMaxx's back in stock!! :(
    Still, dead happy with my Silenx. :clap:

    Indeed, be careful with the Silenx branding. Apparantly the initial split was between the guys at Silenx.com and the guys at ExoticPC.com. There is also some other make that has a SilenX model PSU.

    ExoticPC seems to have gone belly-up judging by their website. All I can say about Silenx.com is that the transaction was silky smooth, delivery was very quick, the items (1x PSU, 3x Fans, 1x HSF) were superb quality and when I had a couple of questions, their customer support was fantastic even offering to replace my PSU free of charge (until I realised what I thought was a vibration in the PSU was a dying hard drive :rolleyes: :blush: )

    If I build another HTPC, I know where I'll source these components from again. :smashin:
     
  7. Dr.Rock

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    Thanks Big Adam for your advice. It looks like I've got my eyes set on the SilenX. Which model do you have, because the PSU's specified by the UK distributor are different to the models on the USA site?

    You mentioned the SilentMaxx. What is that like compared to the SilenX?

    Thanks.
     
  8. Big Adam

    Big Adam
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    Silentmaxx is a different beast altogether. It is available in two flavours 350W and 420W.

    They 350W is a truly fanless PSU with all the cooling being achieved via a whopping heatsink which protrudes from the rear of the case. This heatsink can get very warm and is therefore unsuitable if you are going to put your HTPC in a cabinet where there is restricted airflow. Being fanless it is silent. You cannot get quieter than 0dBa!

    The 420W is essentially the same as the 350W model (except with more power) and runs fanless for the majority of the time. If things get too toasty, a quiet internal fan kicks in to provide some airflow.

    The 350W model costs £169 at Kustom, with the 420W model running at £235. True silence is not cheap!

    I bought the "450w <14 dBA Active-PFC iXtrema PSU" model for Silenx which provides me with plenty of juice for my 2.6C P4, 1024Mb PC3200, Radeon 9800SE AIW, DVD-RW and 3x hard-drives, whilst also having plenty of head-room for future expansion.

    The PSU comes with 2x SATA power leads (v. handy) and also has auto-switching between 110V/240V.

    This, combined with the 4x thermister controlled Silenx case fans and MCX-478V heatsink I have in my system mean that this is the quietest and coolest air-cooled powerful PC I have (n)ever heard.

    Big A
     
  9. mjn

    mjn
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    I got a gobalwin 300w PSU, and its as a quiet as a mouse, but they go up to 560 w!
     
  10. ReTrO

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    I've got a 300W SilenX in my PC also, can't hear it at all, it's brilliant.

    Just need to shut the rest of my PC up now. :D
     
  11. Dr.Rock

    Dr.Rock
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    I've got my sights set on a 600 W SilenX. I know it sounds overkill, but I see myself plugging many devices and hard disks into my computer, and I'm a gadget freak.

    But £150 for a PSU!!! I wondered, are there other makes out there which produce cheaper yet quiet PSU's, maybe not as quiet as SilenX but still quiet enough? If not, I'll settle for the SilenX.

    Sorry for the silly questions here, but I'm a virgin when it comes to building my own PC. Before I part with my money, I need to make sure: All PSU's can theoretically connect and power up ANY motherboard and CPU (provided it gives enough Wattage)? It's all universal connections, no problems with not being able to connect anything? Something as high as 600 W PSU won't blow up any of my components?

    Thanks.
     
  12. Big Adam

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    Power rating relates to the MAXIMUM power the PSU will supply. If your system is only demanding 150W, a 600W PSU will only supply 150W.

    In all honesty, 600W is probably overkill unless you are running a dual-CPU setup with high end graphics card and LOTS of drives.

    For a cheap and quietish high power PSU, try here
     
  13. Chris Muriel

    Chris Muriel
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    I advise caution with Qtec.
    I have just replaced my Qtec dual-fan 550W PSU because it's more like 350 watts in reality.
    They get their 500 by summing the PEAK power outputs of the various supplies - even though peak ratings can only be drawn for milliseconds.
    This was pointed out to me by experienced folk in the MSI (mobo manufacturer) forum. 1 guy had swapped out 6 of these PSU's on his servers because 2 had blown up motherboards !
    As an example, 3.3 volt rating on my Qtec is 30 Amps peak - but only 20 Amps max.
    Most PSU manufacturers don't play these games with their specifications to the same extent. I would love a converstaion with Qtec's marketing manager.

    Chris Muriel, Manchester.
     
  14. rct

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    Big Adam, what set-up do you currently have with your SilenX kit? What CPU, graphics card etc? What sort of system/cpu temps does it reach when idle or under load. I ask as I am currently trying to silence my PC.

    TIA. :)
     
  15. Dr.Rock

    Dr.Rock
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    I just wanted to say, thanks for all the advice. I went ahead and ordered the SilenX 600 W Active PSU. :clap:

    Now to order the other components! Got my sights set on a 3.4 BHz CPU, so that's an easy choice. But choosing a motherboard is another trek with so many out there! :mad:
     
  16. cwick

    cwick
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    rct,

    I'll chip in with my silenx based experience in case it helps ...

    Antec Sonata case, single 120mm thermistor controlled case fan & a 400w silenx psu. 2.4ghz P4, Sapphire Radeon 9600 non-pro (fanless), nebula digitv card, m-audio 24/96 soundcard, dvd-rom, dvd-writer and a single seagate barracuda hard disc.

    Temps ... idle (well, just running digitv), are around 35c for cpu and case. Under load (e.g. transcoding digitv recordings before burning to CD), it'll rise to about 45c for the case, 47 for the cpu. It's never gone over 50c, although I'll be interested to see how it copes if we get a hot summer :cool:

    Have to say that the Silenx psu is a total winner - I've been trying this silent pc stuff for years, and this is the first set-up I had that actually achieves that. It really is quite unnerving switching it on and hearing literally nothing until the Bios beeps.

    Cheers, Carl.
     
  17. Big Adam

    Big Adam
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    Strata 390M Case
    Asus P4P800-VM Motherboard
    P4 2.6C 800FSB CPU
    1024Mb OCZ PC3200 EL Dual Channel DDR-Ram
    Radeon 128Mb 9800SE AIW Softmodded to 9800Pro Speeds fitted with Zalman Passive Heatsink
    1x80Gb IDE HDD + 2x160Gb SATA
    Nebula DigiTV Card
    D-Link PCI 802.11G Wireless Network Card

    TBH, I'm still tinkering with the setup and as yet have not run the system for any great length of time. Plan to do a full burn-in test this weekend if I find a spare moment or two.

    Whilst playing around, temps have not risen above 30 but to be honest, that's not a fair representation as I'm yet to fit the lid! :rolleyes:
     
  18. rct

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    Thanks Big Adam nice system! I must say it makes my AMD Thunderbird 1.4 seem decidedly geriatric :laugh: Please post your temps when you've finished tinkering :D
     
  19. ReTrO

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    I'll give you a run down of my quiet PC, AMD based.

    Athlon 2000+ 266Mhz Bus with Zalman Cu Flower heatsink and 92mm fan on arm.
    Abit KX7 mobo, with Zalman northbridge heatsink instead of fan.
    Abit GF4Ti 4400 with large Zalman heatpipe heatsink cooler instead of small heatsink and fan.
    80Gb Seagate Baracuda IV HDD
    SilenX 300W PSU
    Aopen 'el cheapo' midi tower case, with side panels removed currently.
    SilenX 80mm case fan

    Current temps are: Case 31c CPU 46c

    Noise levels are very low, barely audible, I can run silent if I slow the CPU fan right down, and cut out the case fan. Then I get temps of about 37c and 52c respectively.
     
  20. rct

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    Thank you very much for the info ReTro. I'm glad to see silence is attainable even with hot AMD chips! I just need to find out if I have enough m£dicin£ to treat my "upgrade-itis" :zonked:
     
  21. rct

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    cwick, only just noticed your post :blush: Thank you very much for posting your setup. Can I ask how you cool your CPU? The SilenX really looks like the way to go :)
     
  22. cwick

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    It's a Zalman CNPS7000A-ALCU, with the fan speed set as low as it will go with one of those fanmate thingies.

    Cheers, Carl.
     
  23. sticker

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    Big Adam,
    Did you get your PSU fitted into your case easily? The reason I ask is that I'm looking into buying one of these but I can't find the dimensions on the Silenx website. My case in question is a Accent HT200

    Regards
    John
     
  24. Big Adam

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    Dead easy. It's standard ATX size so will fit your Accent perfectly.

    Big A
     
  25. sticker

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    Cheer Adam, much appreciated.
     
  26. SunnyUK

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    Rubber washers from the plumbing section at B&Q (or any other DIY shop). Put between the PSU and the cabinet while screwing the PSU in. My HTPC went from barely audible to silent.
     
  27. Dr.Rock

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    My 600W SilenX PSU finally arrived. The thing is, I want to test if it's actually working and I have no computer to test it on. I thought that just plugging the PSU into the mains should get the PSU's fan to spin, but even that's not working.

    A friend advises me that I need a fully assembled computer to get some elecrircity running through the PSU. But apart from a few case fans, lighting and drives (HD, DVD Rom), I have no mobo, CPU, etc, yet to assemble my new computer. Those main internal parts will arrive later but in the meantime I really want to test my new PSU. Is there any way of doing it? I thought connecting one of the molex connectors to a neon tube (the type that goes into a modded computer case) and plugging the PSU into the mains should get the PSU's fan spinning and power up the light tube, but it's not working. Can someone please suggest a way of checking if my new PSU is working?

    Thanks.
     
  28. MuFu

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    To start the PSU just bridge the green contact (PS_ON) on the ATX power connector with any of the ground (black) contacts.
     
  29. Dr.Rock

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    Sorry, you totally lost me there. :confused:
     
  30. Dr.Rock

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    MuFu,

    Sorry, I jumped the gun when I misunderstood you. I now did as you advised, and connected the green wire (on the 24-pin connector) to the black wire next to it. It powered the fans and lights in mu case. And I'm totally AMAZED at how silent the actual PSU is! I can't hear it unless I put my ear right up to it. If I didn't have those bits 'n' pieces connected to the PSU, the only thing convicing me that the PSU is working is the slight breeze I feel when I put my hand in front of its fan.

    Thanks.
     

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