Low-Wattage Coil Whine - Return or Upgrade?

Hello, everyone, I've been lurking for a while now, but this is my first post -- I just completed my first PC build this evening, a very inexpensive mini-ITX box, and everything went very well with a single exception:

The machine gives off a high-pitched warble from the moment I turn it on to the moment I turn it off. I can hear it clearly from eight feet away, over the resonance and fans of every other electronic device in the room (and I own a few). It's annoying, and my cats are convinced there's something tasty living inside the case.

After some Internet research I suspected coil whine from my PSU, so I disconnected all the internal power cables and plugged in the power supply to give it a listen. I could only hear the noise when I put my ear down to the PSU vent, but it was still there.

So here's my question: my components have pretty minimal draw, but it's only a 250W supply. Could I be taxing it? Is it worth calling in an RMA to Rosewill for an equally cheap (but free!) replacement, or should I just upgrade to more watts and a better brand? Estimating power supply requirements is one thing I still haven't been able to wrap my brain around.

My specs follow:

Rosewill RS-MI-01 case with included 250W PSU (model #AL8250SFX; manufactured by Apex?)
ASRock AD2700B-ITX Intel NM10 Mini ITX Motherboard with included Intel Atom D2700 processor (2.13GHz, dual core)
2x2GB Samsung DDR3 1066/800 RAM
OCZ Vertex Plus R2 60GB SSD

...and that's it. Not a whole lot of moving parts.

Any advice you can provide is appreciated!
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  1. Best answer
    Most people here will tell you to steer clear of PSU's that come with a case, with few exceptions, they really aren't worth much more than their scrap value.
    I would suggest a 300W like this one
    FSP Group ATX300-PA 300W ATX 12V (v2.2) Power Supply - OEM
    or something along those lines. I have a Power Man 300W by FSP that tested within specs at 10 years old (it's now 12 and is on my test bench)
  2. C12Friedman said:
    Most people here will tell you to steer clear of PSU's that come with a case...

    I'd like to say, "I knew that!" but I still bought the case, didn't I? ;) Thank you for the advice -- I will remember it next time!

    I would suggest a 300W like this one...

    Unfortunately I don't think I can mount that; I don't think I have an inch of clearance between the existing PSU and the CPU heat sink. However, there is a positively rated 300W SFX12V power supply from FSP that is certified 80 Plus for only $15 more:

    Perhaps I will give that a try.

    Anonymous said:
    mid tower ATX chassis are the standard...

    Don't worry, this build was entirely experimental. Just a self-test to see if I had the chops to avoid frying $250 worth of electronics before I drop $1,300 on my one-way ticket out of the console wars.

    The gaming rig will be safely installed in an ATX mid-tower.
  3. Best answer selected by dmz2112.
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