Replacing a power supply and making my PC quieter in the process

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chad Ellinger, Feb 19, 2003.

  1. Chad Ellinger

    Chad Ellinger Second Unit

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    I've started to notice an unusual behavior when powering on my PC. I normally leave my PC on 24/7, but occasionally I have to power it down fully (when disconnecting cords, for instance). If I cold boot my PC, it almost always hangs in the middle of the boot process. When I hit the reset button, the boot process goes without a hitch.

    I am assuming that this is due to an insufficient power supply, since the cold boot process requires more power than standby operation. I have a 300W power supply with 3 hard drives, a DVD-ROM, a CD-RW, video card, sound card and network card. I'm assuming I'll need at least a 400W replacement.

    I figure that if I replace my power supply, this will be an excellent opportunity to make my PC a little bit quieter. I am currently running an Athlon XP 1600+ on an Epox 8K7A+ motherboard. There are three fans in the system: the power supply fan (Enlight, came with case), the CPU fan (standard AMD retail) and a motherboard chipset fan. What make/models should I look for to quiet my PC down? I really don't want to replace my CPU heatsink if I can help it. Are there adapters required? Thanks for your help.
     
  2. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    Enermax has some good Power supples. They also have a quiet series.

    Not much help, but I use an enermax supply now and it's great.

    Brent
     
  3. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    If you want really quiet you have to pay for it.

    www.quietpc.com do a 300 and 400 watt model, but they aint cheap. I run two of the 300w PSUs and they are quiet. The 300w model is also quite conservate in it's power rating. My main system has two internal HDs, a DVD, CD-RW, Matrox graphics card, PIII 600 (your AMD will suck more juice though), three case fans and often has two additional hard drives running in removable bays - not a hitch.
     
  4. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    If the fan in a power supply is noisy, wouldn't it be cheaper to just swap the fan out?

    Glenn
     
  5. Chad Ellinger

    Chad Ellinger Second Unit

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  6. Eric Alderson

    Eric Alderson Stunt Coordinator

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    If you want quiet, take a look at this!

    Fanless PSU
     
  7. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    If you don't want to break the bank and still get a good power supply I would recommend the Antec True series. I just installed this morning one in a friends machine 480watt and my Jaw dropped when I turned it on. I actually didn't think that the computer was running with the side of the case off. I heard a little bit but it didn't sound like it was booting. When I noticed the BIOS posting I was amazed. Simply one of the quietest Power Supplies I have ever seen.

    KyleS
     
  8. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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  9. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    unless they've changed recently, Athlon CPU/heatsink fans tend to run around 6000RPM and is probably the loudest fan in your system. You can look at some of the third party CPU fan builders and pick one that runs at lower RPMs. Unfortunately because of the great need of cooling for the Athlon line, their fans tend to run very high and, subsequently, very loud.
     
  10. Dave Sabo

    Dave Sabo Stunt Coordinator

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    Well I just picked up an Enermax Whisper and I love it. It's extremely quiet and has more plugs than you can shake a stick at. Check out that link for a good review.

    But I will agree with Carlo... The fan on the heatsink of your Athlon XP is going to be your loudest fan in the system, I experience the same thing. I'm moving to water cooling to work around that noise myself.
     
  11. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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  12. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    I have a dual fan Enermax "Whisper" 431w PSU and it's the loudest I've ever had. So loud I swapped it out for a 400 watt PSU from quietpc.com. It has dual fans and is still louder than my 275w PCPowerCooling Silencer.

    I just bought a 300 watt Fortron for my other PC and it's the quietest I currently have.

    Chad can you tell us the specs of your current PSU, specifically the Combined wattage on the 3.3v and 5v rails? There should be a label on the side telling this. This rating is the most important and involves hanging PCs while booting. Anything less than ~185 watts would create a problem on your system. A good quality 300 watt PSU should be adequte with your specs.
     
  13. Chad Ellinger

    Chad Ellinger Second Unit

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    Hi Scott,

    The specs on the Enlight PSU I have list 165W Max for the 3.3v and 5v rails.

    I went ahead and ordered an Antec TruePower 430W power supply from NewEgg this afternoon. It's already shipped and will hopefully arrive on Friday. The reviews I've read have raved about this unit's reliability and quietness, so hopefully it will live up to the hype (and $75 price tag [​IMG])
     
  14. Dave Sabo

    Dave Sabo Stunt Coordinator

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    Scott L, I have the same exact PS and mine is extremely quiet. Are you sure you haven't gotten a defective one?
     
  15. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Well Enermax's have never been particularly quiet and with this going in an HTPC I was very picky. Under Max ouput Tom's Hardware rates a 350 watt Enermax at 49db, with the 300 watt Fortron just under 35db (the Fortron actually puts out more power than this Enermax). That's a huge difference and I would suspect a dual fan version with more wattage should be louder.
     
  16. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Scott, I have the same PSU as you. It's damn loud too. It has the manual fan control and I have it set to the slowest speed. It's louder than my heatsink fan, which is a low-speed Panaflo 80mm on an SLK-800.

    A local computer store now stocks the Antec TruePower 430W. Hmm, time for an upgrade!
     

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