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Old 10th October 2009, 02:13 PM   #11
wwenze is offline wwenze  Singapore
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A good part of A-Open PSUs are by FSP (models starting with FSP-) and it's a good manufacturor, those that aren't by FSP are pretty reliable also. Definitely a candidate for fan-swapping especially for your low-power system.

Swapping a fan is pretty straightforward - a few screws to remove the PSU top-cover, 4 screws that secure the fan to the exhaust hole, cut the power wires and connect them to the new fan the way one joins two wires, that's it. Though if you're not comfortable with that, buying a new PSU is still good. And a new PSU will be quieter.

Shouldn't spend more than $7 on the fan, or maybe $10 if it's a 120mm fan. Get a 12V fan with a similar amperage rating compared to the original, 0.10-0.25A are common for 80mm, while 0.2-0.4A are common for 120mm.

And the HDD, get a new replacement, HDDs during that era had noisy motors, who knows maybe the noise is from the HDD and not the PSU instead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by java View Post
So how difficult is it to replace the fans, and what do good quiet fans usually cost?

I have "junked" a few power supplies over the years because the fans, where totally buggered - (seized up), but the supplies themselves where still fine ...
Have junked many also, some even in working condition. Most of them are extremely lightweight that came free with the casings, I'm not risking them blowing up any system.

Before the fans seize they spin slower and noisier, which is why fan swap works in old power supplies. Or the fan are just noisy to start with in low-quality supplies.
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Old 10th October 2009, 02:46 PM   #12
mrevie is offline mrevie  Australia
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I've always wanted to play with a completely passively cooled HTPC - it's definitely possible, just hellishly expensive. Especially the passively cooled cases.
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Old 10th October 2009, 07:46 PM   #13
java is offline java  South Africa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwenze View Post
A good part of A-Open PSUs are by FSP (models starting with FSP-) and it's a good manufacturor, those that aren't by FSP are pretty reliable also. Definitely a candidate for fan-swapping especially for your low-power system.

Swapping a fan is pretty straightforward - a few screws to remove the PSU top-cover, 4 screws that secure the fan to the exhaust hole, cut the power wires and connect them to the new fan the way one joins two wires, that's it. Though if you're not comfortable with that, buying a new PSU is still good. And a new PSU will be quieter.
Will look at a power supply, seems it is do-able from your description ...

Quote:

Shouldn't spend more than $7 on the fan, or maybe $10 if it's a 120mm fan. Get a 12V fan with a similar amperage rating compared to the original, 0.10-0.25A are common for 80mm, while 0.2-0.4A are common for 120mm.
Will check around and see what fans are available ...

Quote:

And the HDD, get a new replacement, HDDs during that era had noisy motors, who knows maybe the noise is from the HDD and not the PSU instead.
The Seagate I have is quiet, not dead quiet tho, the power supply fan, and the CPU fan make noticeable noise, but one needs to make an effort to hear the HDD's ... , when I replace the HDD, I want a 500Gig'er or a 1-Terabyte drive ...


Thanks,

Russell
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Old 10th October 2009, 07:48 PM   #14
java is offline java  South Africa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrevie View Post
I've always wanted to play with a completely passively cooled HTPC - it's definitely possible, just hellishly expensive. Especially the passively cooled cases.
So do I, but, I will have to win the LOTTO first, and it will help if I buy a ticket once in awhile ...
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Old 11th October 2009, 07:04 PM   #15
Glowbug is offline Glowbug  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrevie View Post
I've always wanted to play with a completely passively cooled HTPC - it's definitely possible, just hellishly expensive. Especially the passively cooled cases.
Water-cooling isn't too bad...but I wonder what the reliability is for 24/7 operation.
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Old 11th October 2009, 07:50 PM   #16
phofman is offline phofman  Czech Republic
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Water-cooling isn't too bad...but I wonder what the reliability is for 24/7 operation.
I had problems keeping the water pump quiet. Unlike fans it produced low-frequency vibrations which were impossible to damp in my case.
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Old 11th October 2009, 08:01 PM   #17
CBRworm is offline CBRworm  United States
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I tried passive cooling a few years ago - the technology at the time did not work really well for that era of power hungry pentium D9xx series processors.

Today it might be more possible with a lower power E series processor or even a mobile chipset.

I went through many power supplies before finally finding ones that were quiet enough for me. many had low db ratings, but the noise they did make was annoying.

I ended up using Corsair HX & VX series supplies in the 500 watt range (I think they are made by Seasonic also?) and surprisingly an Antec TPQ-1000 with an 80mm fan - you would expect it to be louder, but under reasonable current demands it is inaudible. I remember trying and returning Ultra X-1000, Enermay Galaxy DX.

For reference, my work/media server PC has 9 SATA 7,200 rpm hard drives (on a PCI RAID controller), an E8500 CPU, 4GB RAM and a radeon 4870 GPU. On an external power monitor it has never crossed the 500 watt input mark and idles around 180 watts. It has the 1000 watt PS but clearly would work with a smaller one.

I use the Ninja Scythe passive CPU coolers in my HTPC and the above work/media server PC. Just a little bit of airflow from 1 or 2 120mm fans at a really low speed moving air through the case will keep it cool. In both of my machines the GPU is the only thing that needs additional cooling - and keeps the machines from being virtually silent other than hard drive seek noise. I am planning to upgrade both machines to the newer Radeon 5850 or 5870 cards to lower the idle power draw by about 60 watts. That should result in much less heat and noise when I am not gaming (97% of the time).

I don't know what effect PSU electrical noise has on audio output, but I imagine it is pretty minor compared to the noise made by the CPU and VRM's.
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Old 11th October 2009, 10:58 PM   #18
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I've also got a Seasonic supply and can attest to their overall quality. It's a 430 watt device with a 120 mm fan and it powers a Q9300 and GTX260 with no problems whatsoever. But most importantly its as good as silent. I've had it for a few years now and its still silent.

I've got third party coolers from Xigmatek and Arctic Cooling on the CPU and GPU. Using both speedfan and Rivatuner to set up my own fan profiles, the PC is as good as silent. The noisy bits are the hard disks.

And just as CBRworm said, you can literally remove the fan from the CPU cooler if you want. As long as you've got a decent flow of air through the case the CPU should be kept within reasonable limits.
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Old 12th October 2009, 06:31 AM   #19
mrevie is offline mrevie  Australia
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Does anyone have any particular advice about replacing the fan on the GPU - this is the noisiest component of my HTPC by far and it drives me nuts.

On an aside - I'd love to build a HTPC with passive cooling + SSD - no moving parts!
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Old 12th October 2009, 07:25 AM   #20
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I've replaced the cooling on a number of graphics cards .... depending on the model it can be quite involved but has always been worth the effort in my experience.
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