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Low-Wattage Coil Whine - Return or Upgrade?

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June 21, 2012 8:15:09 AM

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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a c 115 ) Power supply
June 21, 2012 12:03:27 PM
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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
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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)
June 21, 2012 1:12:32 PM

Because you are using an unorthodox chassis you are limited to what you can select.

mid tower ATX chassis are the standard and that is where options are at their best
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June 22, 2012 5:16:45 PM

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... said:
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:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=17-104-...

Perhaps I will give that a try.

veganfanatic 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.
June 22, 2012 5:17:33 PM

Best answer selected by dmz2112.
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