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High pitched noise from the PSU when the PC is off

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May 23, 2010 8:27:23 PM

when the pc is off (but conneted to AC power), the PSU (new CoolerMaster elite 460) produces low level high pitched noise.
is it a real problem or should i ignore it?

More about : high pitched noise psu

a b ) Power supply
May 23, 2010 8:43:49 PM

The CoolerMaster elite 460 is a very low quality PSU which can’t deliver its labeled power. Another example of false advertisement is the manufacturer listing over current protection (OCP) as a feature available on this power supply: inside the unit the space labeled “OCP control board” is empty...

I think that you should read this interesting review about your PSU:

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/1005/1

If the PSU produces strange noises...it's not a good thing. It could die soon.
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May 23, 2010 9:06:04 PM

There are two main causes of PSU making strange noises. Other than the fan, there are typically no moving parts inside of a power supply unit. Since the fan or fans is/are the only moving parts, they are often the culprits behind funny noises.

Unfortunately, few power supplies give you the option to replace the fans and under no circumstances should you open up the power supply to get at any part inside. PSUs contain capacitors that can hold powerful electrical charges even when powered off. If one of your PSU fans is making a high-pitched noise, then bring it to a qualified electrician to replace the fan or lubricate its bearings or sleeves.

The second cause of noises is the several copper coils within the PSU. Over time, these coils are heated and cooled as the PSU is switched on and off. After a while, the copper metal can become brittle and create squeezing to screeching noises as they heat up and then cool.

Again, there is really no way to fix this problem. It is too dangerous for an amateur to open the PSU and fix it and the cost of fixing the power supply isn’t worth it in comparison to buying a new one.

usuallly,,,i would not buy a coolermaster psu,,,but they do make nice cases. read psu reviews, and get one that get good reviews from either of the 2 sites i linked ya too
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/page/power
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
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a b ) Power supply
May 23, 2010 9:43:10 PM

Capacitors also make a high pitched squeel when they are faulty, or are very cheap ones.
Or start to bulge due to heat.

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May 23, 2010 10:11:57 PM

Shaun o said:
Capacitors also make a high pitched squeel when they are faulty, or are very cheap ones.
Or start to bulge due to heat.

According to an old thread here: Capacitors do not make audible noise, the coils do.
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a c 121 ) Power supply
May 23, 2010 10:22:05 PM

When the PSU is OFF, the +5VSB circuit is still on, and most likely the noise is coming from its transformer. While not a sign of imminent failure, it is a sign consistent with others that this is a low-quality unit.
A proper PSU to power a computer has full range active PFC (no little voltage switch) and is 80+ certified. Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, PC Power & Cooling, and Enermax are among the better brands. OCZ and Silverstone are hit-and-miss; some good, some mediocre.
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May 24, 2010 2:07:52 AM

kikireeki said:
According to an old thread here: Capacitors do not make audible noise, the coils do.



I have heard capacitors make all kinds of noises from low pitched humming to very high pitched squealing.
Now, I don't know if they will make noise in a situation where they are not getting ready to go off like a little bomb, but rest assured they can make noise.
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May 24, 2010 5:23:03 AM

coolermaster makes fairly good cases,,,but just don,t understand why they are so terrible in the power supply business....at least the reviews i have read on them are usually not that great.. i stay away from them when i purchase a psu, usually lean toward enermax, seasonic, pc power and cooling( owned by someone eles now, oz i think), corsair.......i use to be a big believer in antec, until one went back. screwed up my p1 connector on my motherboard, and i discarded the power supply....when things like this happen, makes you wonder about em..
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May 24, 2010 5:27:26 AM

i have also read in a lot of the reviews , that some power supplys today are over-rated, and does not support there advertised stated voltage...i thought in the usa this would not happen,, its surprising that our gov allows this sort of thing....but they let this country be over--run by illegals......so it does not surprise me
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a b ) Power supply
May 24, 2010 6:26:17 AM

ronss said:
i have also read in a lot of the reviews , that some power supplys today are over-rated, and does not support there advertised stated voltage...i thought in the usa this would not happen,, its surprising that our gov allows this sort of thing....but they let this country be over--run by illegals......so it does not surprise me

Its not that they cant produce the power most of those cheapos can but what people fail to notice is that what it is labeled at is its peak power rating. But most of those cheap units will blow up when pushed to their peak power rating also usually in fine print somewhere it will say that it can produce the rated power at a said temperature so if the case is too hot or the unit is overheated BOOM. That is why we cant stress enough on here dont skimp on the power supply it is THE most important component in your system a bad cheap PSU can kill a whole system.
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May 24, 2010 11:50:37 AM

saaiello said:
Its not that they cant produce the power most of those cheapos can but what people fail to notice is that what it is labeled at is its peak power rating. But most of those cheap units will blow up when pushed to their peak power rating also usually in fine print somewhere it will say that it can produce the rated power at a said temperature so if the case is too hot or the unit is overheated BOOM. That is why we cant stress enough on here dont skimp on the power supply it is THE most important component in your system a bad cheap PSU can kill a whole system.

agree completely,,,with ya 100 %
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a c 121 ) Power supply
May 24, 2010 11:59:55 AM

I've read in some reviews, I'm pretty sure on HardwareSecrets (GT does more explanatory dissections than Oklahoma Wolf), that the parts used in cheap PSUs often CANNOT support the labeled rating, no way, no how; the silkscreening may even indicate the project is for a lower wattage than is on the label.
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a b ) Power supply
May 24, 2010 2:54:42 PM

My quess - Fan, or Transformer/Coil. Not current is relatively low when computer is off and fan is probably off which would eliminate the fan. I would replace the PSU as others have suggested.

ronss
(1) While PSUs contain Large value Caps (ie 1000 uF or greater) the voltage is low - less than 20 V. If you discharge one of these ie Metal short across the cap a LOUD bang may cause a slight wetting between legs - Not a reason for replacing a fan in a "GOOD" psu that is out of warrenty. The fan may, or may not use a connector. If it does it is easily replacable and if it does not use a connector and your handy you could splice the wires. ( crimp or solder). However you do VOID warrenty if you open it up.

(2) singing, or high pitched whisle. Almost always a transformer/coil oscillating at the fundamental switcher freq ( about 20 KHz).

Shaun o
Caps, while possible, do not normally "vibrate",, however if one is marginal, it could shift a frequence causing a xformer/coil to vibrate.
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May 24, 2010 4:07:34 PM

Henry Chinaski said:
The CoolerMaster elite 460 is a very low quality PSU
isn't FSP (the manufacturer) considered good manufacturer?
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a b ) Power supply
May 24, 2010 4:26:52 PM

_xyz said:
isn't FSP (the manufacturer) considered good manufacturer?


Yes, FSP is a good manufacturer. Anyway, They don't make excellent products. The quality of their products depends on what you are asking them. If you want a cheap PSU that is what you will get.
Some examples of good enough PSUs are the following ones:
- OCZ GameXStream 600, 700 and 850W.
- OCZ StealthXStream 500, 600 and 700W.
- THERMALTAKE Toughpower W0296RU 800W
- THERMALTAKE Litepower W0293RU 450W
- ANTEC BASIQ 350, 500W
...
An example of bad PSU form FSP is yours (I'm sorry).
In my opinion, Delta Electronics, Seasonic, CWT, Enermax,.. are better manufacturers.
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May 24, 2010 5:22:34 PM

1)when you say "bad", do you mean "bad for PC with powerful GPU" or "bad even for PC with on-board GPU"?
2)if the noise is very weak, is it still problematic?
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a b ) Power supply
May 24, 2010 5:46:38 PM

_xyz said:
1)when you say "bad", do you mean "bad for PC with powerful GPU" or "bad even for PC with on-board GPU"?
2)if the noise is very weak, is it still problematic?


1) When I said "bad" I meant "very low quality", so it's bad for all kind of systems, although if you try to get a few watts from your PSU, the weaknesses of your PSU will see less than if you try to get all the power from your PSU.
2) It should not be any strange noise (only the fan). As I have said before, it's not a good signal. The appearance of noise is often the prelude to something worse. Anyway, it's possible that your PSU works fine for years or it could die tomorrow morning. A bad psu is a Russian roulette.
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a c 121 ) Power supply
May 24, 2010 7:15:40 PM

If the noise is coming from a poorly-made transformer, it isn't necessarily a prelude to anything worse, it's just screaming "Hey everyone, I'm low quality!"
The fact that it's a Coolermaster, and badly reviewed, is the reason why it should be replaced.
You're not looking at a lot of money here. Although you do not list your parts, anything that Coolermaster can power would be nothing to a 380W Antec Earthwatts. They're only $40 now, with free shipping and no rebate game: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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May 24, 2010 7:55:53 PM

Henry Chinaski said:
1) When I said "bad" I meant "very low quality", so it's bad for all kind of systems, although if you try to get a few watts from your PSU, the weaknesses of your PSU will see less than if you try to get all the power from your PSU.
2) It should not be any strange noise (only the fan). As I have said before, it's not a good signal. The appearance of noise is often the prelude to something worse. Anyway, it's possible that your PSU works fine for years or it could die tomorrow morning. A bad psu is a Russian roulette.
in their review of elite 400 (which is apparently the same model...),
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/975/10
hardwaresecrets wrote
Quote:
it...won’t damage your computer.

Your opinion is different?
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a b ) Power supply
May 24, 2010 8:29:57 PM

Gabriel Torres has a very wide experience and deep knowledge in this matter. Moreover, in my opinion Hardware Secrets is the best website testing and analizing PSUs.
I don't think that your PSU is a danger. this PSU will probably die sooner and at high loads will provide a worse stability to the system.
therefore, I wouldn't recommend it due to its low quality. There are many better choices from a lot of manufacturers. The Cooler Master policy about the quality of some of their PSUs is not the best. I think that CM should learn something from Corsair, XFX or Antec (for example) on how to market ONLY quality PSUs.
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May 24, 2010 8:41:21 PM

Henry Chinaski said:
Gabriel Torres has a very wide experience and deep knowledge in this matter. Moreover, in my opinion Hardware Secrets is the best website testing and analizing PSUs.
I don't think that your PSU is a danger. this PSU will probably die sooner and at high loads will provide a worse stability to the system.
therefore, I wouldn't recommend it due to its low quality. There are many better choices from a lot of manufacturers. The Cooler Master policy about the quality of some of their PSUs is not the best. I think that CM should learn something from Corsair, XFX or Antec (for example) on how to market ONLY quality PSUs.

I already have this PSU, on system with integrated GPU (G41). if it isn't dangerous to the hardware, i don't think that i should buy another PSU...
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a b ) Power supply
May 24, 2010 8:58:42 PM

_xyz said:
I already have this PSU, on system with integrated GPU (G41). if it isn't dangerous to the hardware, i don't think that i should buy another PSU...


Yes. You are right.
Since you have already pay for it I would wait until it dies.
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a b ) Power supply
May 25, 2010 5:23:42 PM

^ do not concur, I would recommend, after reading the review, that you save up and replace. A high quality PSU rated for 400 Watts can be had for 50 Buck.

One thing reviews do NOT touch on is possible failure modes and the effects on the output voltages. Remember this PSU has NO OCP, or OVP on outputs. The PSU did shut down, on it's own, above 420 Watts. But, that was diven by increasing the Load, NOT from an internal failure.

Most PSU failures do not result in wiping out your MB/GPU/Memory/HDDs. But a low percentage DO. That percentage increase as the quality goes down. When a failure in the PSU occures (depending on the failure mode) a Voltage spike may occur on the output (remember no OVP on output). This "spike" may be very short duration (milliSecs) - But that is long enough to wipe out some components.

A little more on Hih ptched noice, first concurr with jtt283. You do not Hear a E-M wave, you hear a change in air pressure. Which is caused by a component vibrating. The most common cause is xformers, or Large value inductors that use a laminated iron core. In el cheap ones this lamination breaks down and you hear the core vibrations. If it is a small ferite core, the hole inductor is vibrating - Not good as it could cause the solder joint to resemble (act like) a cold solder joint over time.

Continue use at your OWN risk. When you know the risk and accept thoes risk and should you fall into the small category of a wipped out MB - remember YOU made the decision!
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a c 121 ) Power supply
May 25, 2010 5:52:40 PM

All right then. Just replace it and move on.
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a b ) Power supply
May 25, 2010 6:44:50 PM

RetiredChief said:
^ do not concur, I would recommend, after reading the review, that you save up and replace. A high quality PSU rated for 400 Watts can be had for 50 Buck.

One thing reviews do NOT touch on is possible failure modes and the effects on the output voltages. Remember this PSU has NO OCP, or OVP on outputs. The PSU did shut down, on it's own, above 420 Watts. But, that was diven by increasing the Load, NOT from an internal failure.

Most PSU failures do not result in wiping out your MB/GPU/Memory/HDDs. But a low percentage DO. That percentage increase as the quality goes down. When a failure in the PSU occures (depending on the failure mode) a Voltage spike may occur on the output (remember no OVP on output). This "spike" may be very short duration (milliSecs) - But that is long enough to wipe out some components.

A little more on Hih ptched noice, first concurr with jtt283. You do not Hear a E-M wave, you hear a change in air pressure. Which is caused by a component vibrating. The most common cause is xformers, or Large value inductors that use a laminated iron core. In el cheap ones this lamination breaks down and you hear the core vibrations. If it is a small ferite core, the hole inductor is vibrating - Not good as it could cause the solder joint to resemble (act like) a cold solder joint over time.

Continue use at your OWN risk. When you know the risk and accept thoes risk and should you fall into the small category of a wipped out MB - remember YOU made the decision!


That Cooler Master PSU is not as "dangerous" to throw it away. I mean, it's not a crappy generic PSU. C'mon, it has been made by FSP...
I think that we are being a litle paranoid. By this token, a super PSU like the SEASONIC X-series can become dangerous (just watch the video that Antec has posted on their website: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdqsUX6fMj4 )
I agree with much of what you have write, but take in mind that he will never stress the PSU for becoming a risk (just see his system configuration, He has much more power than enough). That PSU is safe.
Anyway, this is just my opinion.

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a b ) Power supply
May 26, 2010 2:39:03 AM

Henry
I fully realize he is not stressing the PSU. At Idle he is probably around 100 watts, and I dought that he goes above 250 W max. This PSU, regardless of who made it, is very close to being “crappy” as you put it.Bear in Mind, “low end” PSUs do not need to be stressed to fail – when stressed they almost always fail, the only question is how long will it last and will it have a greater pensivety to take out other components.

The review you linked to was very polite in their conclusion. It is just a 400 watt PSU relabeled as 460 Watts (Shame on FSP). No OCP or OVP on the outputs.

I’m not saying to not use it, what I am saying is save up and get a better one.
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