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New HTPC - PSU too noisy!

Last response: in Systems
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January 20, 2013 7:12:11 AM

Hi everyone!

I used this site when building my new htpc and I found it especially helpful. Here's what I ended up with:

CPU - i3 2120
Motherboard - AS Rock H77
64 GB Zalman SSD
2 TB Seagate HDD (7200 rpm)
Samsung DDR3 4GB
PSU - Big Beam 450 Watt
Case - Silverstone Milo MLO3B


Now, I am very happy with my build. Its running Windows 8 and its speedy as ****. use it only for XBMC and streaming sports online. So in that regard its brilliant! However, the PSU is too noisy for my liking. In fact, its very cheap ($15), but I had no idea it would interfere in such a way. Anyway, I am going to replace it and to be honest I am very uninformed when it comes to sorting out power needs. So, I have a few questions.

1 - I plan on adding an additional HDD (3TB) in the next few weeks. In that case should I go for a 500 Watt? Or would 450 still be enough?

2 - At what price range do PSU's become quiet? I have seen some for $100-200 - can I get something decent below $100?

3 - Should I be going 80-Plus, Bronze???

Any help would be MUCH appreciated. Thanks in advance!

More about : htpc psu noisy

January 20, 2013 7:15:11 AM

1 - I plan on adding an additional HDD (3TB) in the next few weeks. In that case should I go for a 500 Watt? Or would 450 still be enough?
psu 500-600 is now cheap. why not?

2 - At what price range do PSU's become quiet? I have seen some for $100-200 - can I get something decent below $100?
this one is on sale http://pcpartpicker.com/part/corsair-power-supply-cmpsu...

3 - Should I be going 80-Plus, Bronze???
exactly :) 
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January 20, 2013 10:06:11 AM

thanks for the reply!

the one you linked is 600 watt.....isn't that overkill for my purposes?

and i was under the impression that 80plus and bronze ratings are different. if thats the case then which would suffice?
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January 20, 2013 11:22:41 AM

yeah overkill but why not? low % load will let PSU operate stressless

the link i gave you is 80+ bronze...

do you want to go with silver/gold instead :) ?
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January 20, 2013 11:30:39 AM

agree with radeon but hey you can find fanless solution on seasonic 80plus gold ^_^ from both lower wattage to higher wattage. but hey if you got money to blow up just get some 1500watts and be done with it......

lol all jokes aside, the seasonic brand has some fanless solutions that might interest you.
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January 20, 2013 11:35:26 AM

Most any PSU with 120mm fan is quiet, the 80mm fans are loud.
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January 20, 2013 12:02:00 PM

600W? Really? He isn't using a plug in GPU, so his total draw is somewhere around 125W max. This is only 21% of what the 600W PSU can output, and thats only if he stresses the CPU a lot. In idle mode it will be much lower. Yes its not stressing the PSU, but the PSU will also be very inefficient compared to whats possible because its not designed for such a low load. Using something like the Antec 380W green would be a much better idea. You are still looking at only 33% of what the PSU can do, but there aren't many lower power supplies I trust. (there is a 300W seasonic unit out there that would also be a good idea, but I'm not sure how quiet it is.) It's a little pricey at the moment, but it will probably go on sale soon.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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January 20, 2013 9:43:00 PM

Thanks everyone. So far Ive learned a couple of things.

1 - a 120mm fan will be much quieter than an 80 mm?

2 - If I go with more wattage it can be less stressed - but too much can be ineffecient.

3 - It seems like I have to spend close to $100 to get the PSU best for me.

Ive heard the Antec recommended before, but Im a bit concerned about the low wattage (380).

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January 20, 2013 9:58:50 PM

1) Yes and no. I would bet an 80gold with an 80mm fan would be quieter then a 80/80bronze with a 120. The internal design and efficiency also matter.

2) Correct. Why does it matter? Because if a PSU isn't being efficient, its drawing more power from the wall then it needs to, and you'll pay for that in your electric bill.

3) Not really. $45-60 should do well. 80bronze is really would I would consider to be minimum. You don't need a massive PSU because as I pointed out you aren't using a GPU. (video card, like a GTX650 or 7870.) Because you are using the onboard GPU your only big power draw will be the CPU itself, which is rated for 77W. In idle or light surfing your total system draw could be less then 100W. A 600W really isn't designed for supply such little power.
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January 20, 2013 10:09:33 PM

I have a silverstone strider 400 watt unit in my office pc

Cheap , and utterly silent
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January 21, 2013 5:01:00 AM

This is all very helpful - thanks a lot! As a bit of background, I'm a Canadian living in Seoul, Korea. The shop I use has most models, but prices seem different than what some guys are quoting. Anyway, here are a few Silverstone models first.

*The prices below include all taxes, and tho the prices on the websites are in Korean won, I’ve put the $ equivalent here for conveniences.

Strider Plus ST50F-P [500W/ATX] 80PLUS Bronze - $90.00: http://icoda.co.kr/goods/detail.html?num=225308

Strider SFX ST45SF [450W/M-ATX] 80PLUS Bronze - $90.00: http://icoda.co.kr/goods/detail.html?num=172591

By the way, the second Strider is M-ATX....does that mean for M-ATX cases or motherboards? My board is M-ATX, and my case can take both ATX (tho things can be a bit tight) and M-ATX - should I be getting a M-ATX PSU as well?

Coolermaster GX450W 80PLUS Bronze [450W/ATX] - $70.00:
http://icoda.co.kr/goods/detail.html?num=217307

Plus there are lots of other not-so-name-brand PSU’s that are selling 80PLUS Bronze 500Watt ranging from $50-70: http://icoda.co.kr/goods/goods_list.html?crid=040301000...

I think I know which way I should go, but I would like some more expert advice. So far things are looking up!

:) 
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January 21, 2013 5:02:19 AM

right now the corsair cx600 is onsale for $39.99
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January 21, 2013 5:19:02 AM

You mean this Corsair CX600: http://icoda.co.kr/goods/detail.html?num=219918

Its listed here as $80. Sure, that includes tax. But still quite a bit pricier than what you're quoting. I've noticed that PSU's are more expensive here than on newegg, etc. Since I'm in Korea, I'll be using the shop with the links I've posted. Oh well.
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January 21, 2013 5:21:53 AM

It is $39.99 on newegg.
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January 21, 2013 5:24:47 AM

Blake Obviously doesn't get outside the USA much...
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January 21, 2013 5:28:30 AM

When the op uses the "$" i assume he is in the US or Canada.
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January 21, 2013 5:31:55 AM

I have found the Antec Green 380D for around $80 as well.
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January 21, 2013 7:39:03 AM

The 500 watt strider with the 120 mm blue fan
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January 21, 2013 9:35:28 AM

Will that be the quietest of them all? Thats my whole reason for changing after all.
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!