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Need a non-Corsair PSU recommendation

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I need a recommendation for a PSU other than Corsair. 

 

-And I *love* Corsair power supplies.  I choose them in my computer builds because they're quiet.  -Or at least, they used to be.

Apparently new Corsair power supplies have a problem where they make a high-frequency squealing noise when under load.

 

For my first unRAID build I chose a Corsair 450VX supply, and it suffers from the problem.  -At first i thought it was just the noise of the hard drives spinning, but it's not; it's the electronics in the PSU.  it isn't the fan in the PSU, either, as it continues to make the squealing noise under load when i stop the fan with a stick.  There are complaints about this problem on Corsair PSU reviews on NewEgg and Amazon.  There are YouTube videos if you search "Corsair PSU noise".  -and it isn't limited to the VX Corsair supplies, either.

 

I processed a replacement from Amazon, and the new supply just arrived, and it has the same problem.  I'm not going to put a third Corsair in this system, I'm done with them.

 

I know a lot of you recommend Antec Earthwatts supplies, but I read that they do not work well with UPS backup power systems, which I use for all my computers.

 

So my goals, in order of importance are:  (1) MUST be QUIET.  (2) Must play well with UPS.  (3) Must supply enough power to one day run 12 drives in my unRAID.  (4) Must score well on efficiency.  (5) Must be at least price competitive.  I like to get a good deal, but i'm willing to pay $70 for a PSU that meets my needs.

 

So, any recommendations?

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Why not try one of the other Corsair models?  I've been using both the HX and TX models in both my server and HTPC for years and they're dead quiet.  If you have any plans on adding more drives to your unRAID configuration at a later date you may find the 450VX may be borderline or simply inadequate for running up to 16 drives.  Then again, it all depends on which drives you use.

 

Personally, I won;t use anything but a Corsair PSU or one of the other Seasonic variants.  If you really don't want a Corsair then check out Seasonic.  Seasonic builds the PSUs to Corsair's specifications so they're not exactly clones of Seasonic drives.  They also make some PSUs for Antec, hence the recommendation you received.

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I'm confused by the squealing you've encountered since I've been using a Corsair 450VX for years and have never heard any noise from it whatsoever.  Perhaps I just haven't put it under enough load (I think the most drives it has ever run is 8).

 

Anyway, I would also recommend either Seasonic or Antec Earthwatts.  Both are very high quality.  I currently run an 8 drive unRAID server on an Antec Earthwatts 380W, and it is also silent.  However, be aware that many new Antec Earthwatts don't come with a power cord, they expect you to use the one from your old PSU.  Those cables can be bought for $5 pretty much anywhere, but it is still an annoyance.

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The squealing problem isn't *supposed* to happen, and looks like it affects some number of Corsair supplies made in the last year or so.  Reading various user-reviews on NewEgg and Amazon, there are many people who have experienced the problem with different model Corsairs.  This video on YouTube shows the problem on a Corsair HX620W.

 

I agree with you, the past Corsairs I've purchased are silent, but the two I just got from Amazon both have the problem.  Corsair has responded to some of the user-reviews with comments like "There's no design flaw inherent in our power supply design, if you're having trouble with your unit we'll work with you to correct it."  -But the sheer numbers of people reporting the problem tell a different story.  Something is wrong with either the design, or more likely, a specific batch of components.  Without opening the PSU and voiding the warranty, I can't tell you if the squealing is coming from a transformer or a capacitor, or some other part, but it's coming from the electronics, not the fan.  

 

I could keep exchanging Corsair supplies with Amazon, or trying different Corsair models until I find one that doesn't squeal, but it was in the end easier for me to drive locally to Microcenter and buy a PCPower & Cooling Silencer 420.  It has a 30 amp single +12V rail, comparable to the 33 amp rail in the Corsair 450VX.  However, on the down side, the cables aren't as long as the Corsair's, and it only has three SATA power connectors.  I'm not completely happy with it for those reasons, although it is dead silent, which I am very happy about.  I'd love to try Corsair supplies until I find one that is quiet, but I feel like I'm gambling at this point, and don't want to keep waiting for shipping from internet retailers.

 

I'd expect that Corsair will eventually solve this problem and correct whatever faulty components or design is at the root of the problem.   Six months to a year or so from now, the defective supplies should have worked their way out of the retail channels and I'd expect to not encounter this problem again.  Let's hope so!

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I'll second the recommendation of Seasonic as an alternative to Corsair. You can also go to any of the more hardware or silencing oriented sites for specific recommendations. I use silentpcreview and johnnyguru for power supply recommendations.

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Thanks, I'm a longtime fan and member at silentpcreview.  I converted all my PCs into virtually silent computers using their guidance and techniques.  (As a sidenote, my unRAID is currently one of the quietest computers I own right now.  I love how quiet it is!)

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I'm confused by the squealing you've encountered since I've been using a Corsair 450VX for years and have never heard any noise from it whatsoever.  Perhaps I just haven't put it under enough load (I think the most drives it has ever run is 8).

 

You probably need good hearing in the upper ranges of human hearing.

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I'm confused by the squealing you've encountered since I've been using a Corsair 450VX for years and have never heard any noise from it whatsoever.  Perhaps I just haven't put it under enough load (I think the most drives it has ever run is 8).

 

You probably need good hearing in the upper ranges of human hearing.

 

Which I have.  I'm one of the people who can tell when a CRT TV or monitor is turned on anywhere in the house.  Thank god for flatscreens....

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I'm confused by the squealing you've encountered since I've been using a Corsair 450VX for years and have never heard any noise from it whatsoever.  Perhaps I just haven't put it under enough load (I think the most drives it has ever run is 8).

 

You probably need good hearing in the upper ranges of human hearing.

 

Which I have.  I'm one of the people who can tell when a CRT TV or monitor is turned on anywhere in the house.  Thank god for flatscreens....

When I was in my 20's and 30's I too could hear the horizontal output transformers vibrating on CRT TV sets....  I still can hear fairly well, but nowhere near as well as when I was young.

 

When I was a teenager, I worked in a TV shop.  I was the one they asked to "listen" when customer's complained about high pitched noises from their TV sets.  (The TV shop owner was OLD... probably over 45  ;))  I replaced a lot of horizontal output transformers back then for that complaint.

 

Enjoy your youth and good hearing...  ;D   

 

Joe L.

(I only have one CRT TV now, and it is an HTDV version with a much higher scan rate. I can hear it if I listen closely.)

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I have the very good hearing too, I can hear the scan frequency of televisions, etc. 

Re: Rajahal, I think it is fair to say that your Corsair PSU's do not have the problem.  My older Corsairs are quiet as well, and don't have the problem.  This is something new affecting the Corsairs, and is probably a batch of defective components.  In the meantime, however, it's making it frustrating for me to get a replacement supply.  When I go with another Corsair, I find it has the same problem, so I've gone non-Corsair for now.  :(

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Which I have.  I'm one of the people who can tell when a CRT TV or monitor is turned on anywhere in the house.  Thank god for flatscreens....

 

I feel your pain!

 

My Corsair 450VX bought in May 2010 seems to be running fine so far, but then again - I have only 5 drives running off of it.

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I recently bought two Corsair 400Ws as well, and both of them are silent as expected.  So I guess this problem is confined to certain models of Corsair PSUs?  Also, what constitutes 'high load' in your case?  I'm guessing something like 80% or more?  Perhaps I'm just unable to truly test out the PSUs I have since I don't have enough drives...

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Which I have.  I'm one of the people who can tell when a CRT TV or monitor is turned on anywhere in the house.  Thank god for flatscreens....

 

I've found that I can hear a pulsing frequency from some Samsung LCD monitors and TVs when they are in low power mode. Had to replace the bedroom TV, it was worse than a CRT because the sound pulsates.

 

The Samsung LCD monitors at the Network operation center where I work do this too and everyone thought I was crazy.

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So I guess this problem is confined to certain models of Corsair PSUs?  Also, what constitutes 'high load' in your case?  I'm guessing something like 80% or more?

Ah, these are very good questions for helping other people looking for components. . .

-Yes, I think it is fair to say that this problem has been seen among various VX and HX Corsair supplies.  Other models may or may not be affected, but this problem is described in NewEgg and Amazon reviews as affecting some of these supplies.

-I should definitely clarify "high load" as that isn't a very precise description.  My unRAID has only 3 drives in it, and the problem occurred even with just 2 drives, and likely even just one.  It makes the noise when the unRAID boots up, when the drives are spinning performing reads or writes.  When idling when not performing reads or writes, it is completely silent.  But if I start a parity check, for example, the PSU will begin the squealing.  Basically when the drives are pulling current during spinup or reading or writing, the PSU makes a squealing noise.  

 

It is *absolutely* the PSU, but it may come as no surprise that I originally just thought it was an ordinary normal noise being made by the drives when they were in operation.  Since it occurs when the drives are spinning up and reading/writing, I presumed it was just drive noise and normal.  Only with the side off my unRAID and sticking my ear next to the PSU could I confirm that the noise is coming from the PSU itself.  And it isn't the fan bearing either, the squealing continues even if you stop the fan.  The Youtube video I linked to in this thread is very useful for getting a demonstration of it.  The noise on my VX units is a little bit less annoying than the noise of the HX unit in the video, but it is very similar.

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Wow, 2 drives is far from what I would consider to be 'high load'.  I would call that 'any load' ;)

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Wow, 2 drives is far from what I would consider to be 'high load'.  I would call that 'any load' ;)

Yes, that's it exactly.  Under load -pretty much any load- the Corsairs produced the squealing noise.  The squealing was in the electronics, and it pushed noise back out to the AC power line, so I could hear a copy of the noise in my home entertainment system whenever the unRAID's Corsair was making its squealing noise.  I should be clear that the squealing noise itself was not very loud.  At first I dismissed it as normal noise made by the hard drives.  But after isolating the noise to the Corsair supplies, along with the noise affecting nearby electronics, they had to go.

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Yeah, that would bother me too, so I'm glad you brought this to the forum's attention.  I've been recommending Corsair PSUs to everyone until now.

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