I'd like to upgrade my PC soon and currently I'm thinking about getting a new PSU. Are there any websites that compare PSU noise levels?
Here are some more details: My current PSU is an Antec 500W unit that I got together with an Antec Sonata case. It is now about 3 years old.
The specs of the upgraded PC are: -Core I5 2500k -probably a cheap gigabyte motherboard -4gb ram -AMD/ATI 6970 GPU
Ideally the PSU should be rated for a bit more than 500W. 530 or 550 would be good, although a 500W PSU will work as well. It should be quiet and somewhat efficient (doesn't need a gold rating). It shouldn't be overly expensive either.
If I can't find a good deal I'll probably keep my current PSU, which does the trick for a similar system with an Intel E8400 CPU and 6970 GPU.
I'm tempted to rattle off quiet, efficient, cheap. Pick two.
But that may not be the case. Forgoing the usual warnings about PSU price-versus-reliability (which I assume you're well aware of), your best source will probably be the good (if anal) folks over at SPCR. They love their quiet computers, and if anyone has taken the time to compare PSUs for noise as anything more than an afterthought, it's probably them. Anandtech also tests noise levels, but they focus primarily on build and output quality.
For what it's worth, I'd start with Anandtech, as they're pretty technical, and I find that a PSU is generally the quietest thing in my computer anyway. I think you'll probably find the same to be true.
Check out Jonnyguru.com for sure if looking for a PSU. Hardocp does noise tests IIRC. But these days I wouldn't be too worried about PSU noise, even one with an 80mm fan will run pretty quiet due to how efficient they are these days.
Former Network Admin and Former Forum Admin
26th July 2005
kow_ciller;5572371 But these days I wouldn't be too worried about PSU noise, even one with an 80mm fan will run pretty quiet due to how efficient they are these days.
That ^^^ Any descent one with a 120 fan is usually quiet but like Kow said nowadays unless your going for the super cheap most are quiet.
The Cooler Master Silent Pro* series are pretty quiet. A friend of mine has the M700, and it's pretty much inaudible at low load. I was so impressed in fact that I just ordered one to replace my Thermaltake unit.
If I remember correctly, it starts at about 16dBA, up to around 34dBA at full load.
I spent the last few days looking for a PSU that has a lot of the same qualities that you're looking at. There are quieter PSUs, and there are more efficient PSUs, but this one is a lot cheaper than those. Enermax Revolution85+ for efficiency, Be Quiet Dark Power Pro for noise.
It also is very good power output-wise:
* Not to be confused with the Silent Pro Gold. These are more efficient, yes (about 4%), but they're louder, and more expensive.
Thanks for the help! That Cooler Master Silent Pro M 500W looks like a good choice, it isn't too expensive either. 34dB(A) at load doesn't sound that great, although it is probably impossible to compare these levels as everyone seems to have his own idea about how to measure them.
What do you think about the the Antec High Current Gamer 620? It has about 100W more than I need, but it is quite cheap (60€) and supposedly very quiet.
The only website with some sort of noise level comparison between several PSUs I could so far is a German site called technic3d.
I agree that 34dBA doesn't sound very good, but the friend of mine that has the 700W model was powering a GTX 570 and an i7-something. We had it out of the case, with barriers between it and the PC for noise, and the fan didn't spin up from idle at all.
Didn't look at the HCP series at all, to be honest. I know they're touted as quiet, I just have it engrained in me that 80mm fans are loud. End of. =p
It is a 135mm fan, same as the Cooler Master Pro M and actually made by Seasonic.
The whole silent thing can easily become pointless depending on the noise levels of the other fans in your system. Also, I agree that cheap doesn't = high quality. Even some made by Seasonic are OEM grade with Chinese vs Japanese caps.
In the end it really depends on how hard you push it, how long you want it to last, and how efficient you want it to be though. There ARE some units that are fairly efficient, quiet and high quality, but at best they're typically moderately vs cheaply priced.
I ended up going with the XFX Black Edition 850w. It's modular, silver certified, 70A rated and one of only a few PSUs at time of it's release that got a perfect 10/10 performance rating at jonnyGURU, one of the foremost PSU reviewers.
Normally I'd not have opted for a modular design, as they usually cost more, but this one was reasonably priced despite having that feature. I also felt the slight extra efficiency of a gold rating was not worth the higher price, and cheap gold ones are to be avoided from what I've seen.
When I bought mine they were going for around $135. The Corsair HX850 is also a very good unit, and rarely seen as cheap, but Newegg has it on MIR right now for $144. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139011
The HX850 btw is also 70A, silver rated, with all Japanese caps, and also got a 10/10 performance rating at jonnyGURU. This is the PSU I wanted when I bought mine, but couldn't find it at a good price when I was building my rig. Just look at the reviews, enough said. It's made by CWT vs Seasonic like some of theirs are, but I'd much rather have this than an OEM grade unit built by Seasonic that has Chinese caps like some manufacturers are selling.
Beware of the "made by Seasonic" endorsements, there are various grades of Seasonic PSUs. The funny thing is, CWT is primarily an OEM supplier as far as the units they sell direct, but they'll make a PSU to anyone's spec. That's why it's important to check reviews like jonnyGURU. He tears them apart and shows you exactly what grade of parts and soldering it has, along with stress testing them hard.
If you want to push a fairly high end gaming system hard for years, this is the quality of PSU you should be looking at, and the price is very good. Lowest I've seen these is a one time holiday email subscriber promo of $135, and that was one of those have to hit it within a few hour window sales, or you miss out.