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  • numberoneoppa - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    Well, in most quiet systems, the PSU generates most of the noise. This seems to really address that. Sure, 460W seems like the perfect amount of power for all but high-end gaming machines (this is fine for a single-card arrangement).

    I agree with the need for some sort of airflow, though, like a 120mm CPU fan pushing air along, which for all intents and purposes, is silent.

    You need some fans somewhere, its up to you where you want to put them, though.

    Me likey.
    Reply
  • defacer - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    Not sure what you mean bu "most quiet systems", but in my experience the most noise is generated by the GPU fan and/or the HDDs (for the latter, vibration-induced noise can be a major pain unless your case or HD mounting can take care of it).

    My main system runs a few undervolted Nexus fans (2x120mm + 1x80mm on the CPU heatsink), an Arctic Cooling Accelero Turbo Module on the GPU heatsink and a Corsair HX520 PSU. The Nexus fans are louder than the Corsair (although of course you can't tell unless you open up the case -- there's not much to hear otherwise).
    Reply
  • Hrel - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    well that's a quiet system not a silent one. It's not that hard to make a system with no fans at all and rubber grommets to mounts everything. In that case, you would want to use a low CFM 120mm fan somewhere to get some kind of airflow going, exhaust fan or on the CPU. Scythe makes a nice one rated at 8db, can't hear it. Reply
  • defacer - Saturday, October 23, 2010 - link

    Technically I have to agree it's quiet and not silent. However, encased in an Antec P182 and placed under the desk you would be hard-pressed to hear anything at all unless it's the dead of night, and even then it's no more than a whisper.

    Anyway, the OP was referring to quiet systems and used the word silent with the disclaimer "for all intents and purposes", kinda like I tend to use it as well.

    Of course I would use this PSU if I were gifted one, but I really don't think it's good value for money spending double for a PSU to make a practically silent system also be technically silent.
    Reply
  • mindless1 - Tuesday, December 27, 2011 - link

    You would not want to use a low CFM fan "somewhere" with a passive PSU. That's worse than no other fans but the one in the PSU because it pulls the PSU heat into the case or if it were only an intake fan, to be effective it'd be on the front of the case where a much larger % of noise reaches the user than if it were a rear exhaust fan. Reply
  • dj christian - Friday, December 30, 2011 - link

    Eehh what? What's a CFM fan? If you put a fan in the front of the psu it would have to be small and noise so i don't see that as an option. Reply
  • Souka - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    I see this in a more open case design...where natural convection would disappate the heat.

    For shame anyone who sticks this in a closed case, with a hot HD, and a gaming grade video card.....especially if they play games! :)

    But yeah, in the case a single large fan, spinning slowly, would all the system needs.
    Reply
  • numberoneoppa - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    Yeah, like those new Antec Lanboy Air cases I see advertised on the banner here all of the time. Sounds like a match made in heaven. Reply
  • AstroGuardian - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    Convection is not possible inside a case where there are few other fans. Reply
  • hangfirew8 - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    "Convection is not possible inside a case where there are few other fans. " -AstroGuardian

    In an open case design, as Souka stated, fans only affect what they are blowing against, and convection will happen whether you want it or not.

    Convection assisted ventilation is entirely possible in a closed case with one or more fans. Just set the case fan(s) near the top to blow out (create negative pressure). A bottom mounted power supply will then draw cool air in, and once inside the case, that P/S-heated air will be heated will rise to meet the fans.

    A blow-down CPU fan (Intel, AMD stock) can be disruptive of convection, while a blow-through CPU cooler design (Hyper 212+, Freezer Pro, Mugen 2) can assist convection, or if ducted both in and out, can co-exist with convection. Since we are talking about a $160 P/S targeted to the Silent PC market, there is no reason to assume stock CPU coolers and unmodded case internals.
    Reply
  • bahamakyle - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    What sort of temps did it get to while you were testing it Martin? Did it ever get hot to the touch? Reply
  • Martin Kaffei - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    I've added a table. The difference between the ambient and exhaust temp is always below 15 °. It's just warm to the touch +-1 °C. But that came as no surprise, since they use the 860W design with slight differences. Even 110 % load is no match for the X-460. Reply
  • jed22281 - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    crap, wish it was out at the time of my recently purchased X-650.
    It would've been perfect.... X-650 is a bit overkill for my build.
    Reply
  • wintermute000 - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    your X-650 is a sweet unit so that should ease the pain LOL.
    Just wish I had this in my media centre!!!

    The point about the significantly cheaper unit being nearly silent is a good point though, price/peformance wise I can't see how that is not such a better proposition for most.

    Unfortunately for me I decided to give it a bit more gaming card headroom in my media centre and settled on an S12-550. Then proceeded to throw in a card that didn't need anywhere near 550W (sigh)
    Reply
  • josephclemente - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    I've had this PSU since the beginning of September and have been very happy with it.

    With a Radeon HD5850 and a quad-core Q9550S, I'm pulling about 271 W AC from the wall with Prime95 and FurMark.

    My case is a Lian Li PC-A05NB with only two case fans and one CPU fan. I have no fans anywhere near the PSU - only two exhaust blowhole fans on the opposite corner.

    The PSU has no issues with heat. There is no need for a more open case design. This PSU is designed to handle itself without extra help.
    Reply
  • Gigantopithecus - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    Given the cost & modest output, this is a boutique model. 460W is serious overkill for a well-built HTPC, & likely insufficient for a high-end gaming rig. Besides, gaming rigs should emphasize cooling, not noise mitigation. I think a lesser wattage (e.g. 250-350W) silent psu would make much more sense for an HTPC than this 460W'er. A lower-wattage psu would also be a much better choice for a completely passively cooled setup. With Llano almost upon us, I hope someone starts making a lower-wattage silent psu. Reply
  • hangfirew8 - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    SFF 250W HTPC silent power supplies are boutique models.

    An ATX form factor is not "boutique", and a 460W rating is neither "modest" (like an Antec EarthWatts 380W) nor "overkill". It is exactly a mainstream rating (especially since it can actually deliver the rated power and more), and makes perfect sense as it is sufficient (plus reserves) for the vast majority of PC's with bottom mounted power supplies, some top exhaust, and a single mid-range gaming video card. In other words, a mainstream gaming desktop.

    The ONLY thing remotely "boutique" about this P/S is the price, which compared to an (inferior) SilenX P/S looks quite affordable. It is also cheaper than a high-end video card, so it has not exceeded any kind of threshold for reason for a buyer looking for a quiet system.
    Reply
  • ///// - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    I don't feel I benefit from such a test. What if it gets hotter sometimes? Reply
  • rundll - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    Great power, but way too powerful. Those PCs this is meant to take only 200 W or less from power's output lines. Or, what the heck, most new PCs don't max out that 200 W barrier. Reply
  • HangFire - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    Most power supplies' efficiency peak around 50% of rating, and most buyers like a reserve of power in case of upgrades, so I would say it is just about right. Reply
  • Stuka87 - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    This looks like a top notch supply, and I think it would go great in my current system (Antec 300 case). The top fan should easily pull out any heat that is generated. And while my current Antec PSU works fine, its not modular and has a fan (that I can hear). Plus its not as efficient as this PSU (Which is one of the best I have seen).

    I can see one of these in my future :)
    Reply
  • MeanBruce - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    This fan vs fanless argument is really kind of silly! It makes the assumption that all fans are noisy. I consider myself a silent enthusiast, certifiable! We are a crazy bunch, we purchase a new Corsair HX-850 and then break the amazing 7 year warranty by performing a little PSU surgery and changing out the 20db Yan Loot fan for a perfectly silent 6db Noctua NF-S12B ULN or attenuate a larger 140mm Noctua FLX fan down to 8db, and are computing in silent heaven! Normal healthy human breathing generates 10db of sound pressure, so you will not even hear 6 or 8 db even when your desktop is sitting ON your desktop, next to you. For those who work at their pcs and need to hear themselves think, this is a wonderful solution providing substantial cooling to your PSU and in my opinion offering not just silence but absolute quiescence! Bruce out! Reply
  • sinPiEqualsZero - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    I didn't know that people who made costumes would be really into the SS-560KM. Maybe this is a subtle Halloween theme? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    LOL... just a little ghoulish slip-up on my part. Reply
  • Timewasted - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    The reviewer mentions exercising caution when using this power supply in a typical system, but that's just not warranted. While other fanless power supplies may be designed to be used under ideal situations with plenty of airflow around it, as well as not staying at load for any significant amount of time, the Seasonic units are designed to work exactly as stated.

    I'd like to point to silentpcreview.com's fanless PSU torture test roundup: http://www.silentpcreview.com/Fanless_PSU_Torture_...

    In that article, each of the fanless power supplies is run for 15 hours straight at full load, with the temperature of the air in the "case" reaching 50C+ and no fans to exhaust that heat away from the power supply. The Seasonic power supply performed this test flawlessly, while some of the others had their safety measures kick in, or the power supply just outright died. Sure, this power supply is expensive compared to the alternatives, but you absolutely get your money's worth from it.
    Reply
  • MeanBruce - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    So fanless PSUs are more expensive per watt and they are limited to 460 or 560 watts and you have make sure your case adds passive cooling to the unit and lose sleep worrying that the unit still might overheat? I must really be missing the point here, except that PSU manufacturers want to add more units to their product line. I just don't understand how this concept is any kind of solution. You will still hear your 20db case fans and 40db vpu fan. A real solution is to over-heatsink all heat generating components, switch to internal ssd drives and external HDDs for storage, use gold efficiency rated PSUs and replace all stock fans with ultra low noise fans, 8db or less. Some people choose loud components and then add sound proofing to their cases, it's just silly. Start with ultra quiet parts and even full open mesh cases will remain silent. I am really not gettin' this fanless thang at all! Reply
  • earthzero - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    Actually, you don't need any special ventilation for this product. It is so efficient that it doesn't really generate that much heat in real world usage. Most people who get these silent, fanless PSUs already have silent or nearly silent parts. They just want a PSU that can provide more than 150-200w of power without any added noise--with no further modifications necessary. They have a 400W version of this PSU witch would also be more than appropriate for many mid-level gaming rigs (as power consumption for both brands of major gaming cards is coming down in the mid-range every year) that costs $139.00.

    The name of the game here is efficiency, not "overheatsinking...."
    Reply
  • MeanBruce - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    Ok here is the low down, the skinny, the dawg’s drawers on this fanless concept. I called a friend of mine who works at Harris Corporation, in Melbourne, Florida. He oversees thermal management for server environments and helped design the computers and electronics for the new Amway Center in Orlando Florida, where the Magic play, the basketball team, there are also bars, shops, and restaurants in the center or centre.

    He said given two power supplies being equal in every aspect efficiency, output, load, ambient environment, all constant, except one with a closed (psu)case drawing fresh air in “fan-assisted” and pushing the warmed air out the back of the (psu) case, and the other “fanless” with no active cooling relying on heat to simply rise out of the psu into the computer case and then dissipated into the room, the fan assisted power supply would over time move much less heat into the computing environment.

    He said the fan-assisted unit would move the warmed air into the computing environment much faster yet that air would be at a much lower temperature.

    Whereas the fanless unit would move the warmed air into the pc case and then into the computing environment much slower, that air could be up to twice as warm, double the temperature, since no active air is cooling the power supply components they are allowed to reach a much higher temperature, even though not harming the unit. So over time the computing environment will become much warmer.

    With 300 servers to watch out for I am sure this becomes very important and a huge cost consideration. The bottom line it seems is even considering only a single pc, your computing environment will be much warmer with a fanless psu, and much cooler with a fan assisted psu. If you live up north the fanless design might be a benefit. I still think/feel considering environment and acoustics, a fan producing sound that cannot be heard 6db, is a much better solution overall than a fanless design. I guess it just comes down to how many watts you need, what you consider silent, and on what part of the planet you do your computing. Hope this helps.

    Bruce out!
    Reply
  • Sunburn74 - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    Well... I have a gaming mid tower in my room. Silence is the name of the game. I already have 2 ssds as my drives, a 5850 that at idle is silent, a cpu that idles at 25 degrees with 10 percent fan speed, and acase that encapsulates sound and generates massive airflow with practically no noise. The loudest thing in my box is probably my seasonic x-750w and it generates just alittle too much hum when idling for my tastes. Air exhausted out of the back of case can't really be sound proofed by a case's internals. When I lie in bed talking to my gf, I can hear my psu faintly in the background. Its not annoying. Just.... distressing in a quirky way. I'm like 95% satisfied with the build. 95....

    Anyway, this power supply is extremely tempting and I assure you, if I do well on a few tests and board exams, I'll probably be shelling out for it as a reward for good behavior.
    Reply
  • MeanBruce - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    Ok here is the low down, the skinny, the dawg’s drawers on this fanless concept. I called a friend of mine who works at Harris Corporation, in Melbourne, Florida. He oversees thermal management for server environments and helped design the computers and electronics for the new Amway Center in Orlando Florida, where the Magic play, the basketball team, there are also bars, shops, and restaurants in the center or centre.

    He said given two power supplies being equal in every aspect efficiency, output, load, ambient environment, all constant, except one with a closed (psu)case drawing fresh air in “fan-assisted” and pushing the warmed air out the back of the (psu) case, and the other “fanless” with no active cooling relying on heat to simply rise out of the psu into the computer case and then dissipated into the room, the fan assisted power supply would over time move much less heat into the computing environment.

    He said the fan-assisted unit would move the warmed air into the computing environment much faster yet that air would be at a much lower temperature.

    Whereas the fanless unit would move the warmed air into the pc case and then into the computing environment much slower, that air could be up to twice as warm, double the temperature, since no active air is cooling the power supply components they are allowed to reach a much higher temperature, even though not harming the unit. So over time the computing environment will become much warmer.

    With 300 servers to watch out for I am sure this becomes very important and a huge cost consideration. The bottom line it seems is even considering only a single pc, your computing environment will be much warmer with a fanless psu, and much cooler with a fan assisted psu. If you live up north the fanless design might be a benefit. I still think/feel considering environment and acoustics, a fan producing sound that cannot be heard 6db, is a much better solution overall than a fanless design. I guess it just comes down to how many watts you need, what you consider silent, and on what part of the planet you do your computing. Hope this helps.

    Bruce out!
    Reply
  • dustcrusher - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    Such a fuss indeed.

    Not sure I buy the "up to twice as warm" argument- warmer, yes, but I doubt one fan can halve a PSU's operating temperature.

    Suggesting that he'd use this power supply in a server environment is pointless- the cost per watt and lack of redundancy would rule it out before he even got to heat issues.

    The key is making sure the chassis is a good match for this unit. In a small HTPC-type box, I would also be worried about the increase in heat output. Not everyone wants to crack open a PSU and replace the fan.

    I'd like to hear from more folks who own one of these, or a similar fanless power supply. Has it been working for you?
    Reply
  • Myg - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    I placed my order before anandtech posted their review and I was really happy with my choice, that was until I got it...

    The thing makes more irritating line noise then any fan could ever do! It sounds like someone is electrocuting a pixie in there, its terrible!

    I would recommend anand re-review this product with one from the shelves to confirm their findings.
    Reply
  • MeanBruce - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    I really like the fanless idea, I want to like it, I want to buy one, it just seems the tech needs to develop a little, too many what ifs out there. Maybe when efficiencies go platinum or higher.

    Sorry for the confusion my engineer friend did not mean using this psu in a server, he works with servers but was making an example to me considering consumer grade gold-rated PSUs identical, one with and one without a fan.
    Reply
  • dustcrusher - Friday, October 22, 2010 - link

    It's cool (no need to apologize, I mean). I just felt it was a bit of a diversion from your point. I'm an expert at going off on tangents when I write, so I know them when I see them.

    It's great that anyone can make a fanless PSU that will hold up to hot box testing at all, much less perform as well as this one does. I think that this would be an excellent purchase with the right setup; but as you've said I don't know if I'd put it in just any case.

    Something like this, on the other hand, seems tailor-made for a fanless PSU (look like they put it into their display model here, too): http://atechfabrication.com/products/HeatSync_7000...
    Reply
  • MeanBruce - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    Hey Myg you should RMA that noisebox! I am sure Seasonic will replace it no problem. Man, nothing worse than a pixie on death row. Reply
  • Hrel - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    You guys really need to stop pushing SSD's at EVERY single turn. They're too expensive. It's not even like they're a little too expensive. It's laughable how expensive they are. Stop pushing them so much, seriously, I'm sick of reading it over and over and over. Rubber grommets are much less expensive way of silencing your PC than buying a stupid SSD. Combine that with a case with sound dampening material and you won't hear a thing.

    P.S. You can start pushing SSD's again when the price/GB goes under 30 cents.
    Reply
  • Gonemad - Friday, October 22, 2010 - link

    I second to that.
    For the price of a single given SSD, I would be able to fancy me 2 HDDs, 10 times the capacity or more, and get them RAID'ed to become as fast or more. No dice.

    Not to mention that around here they are still "imported" parts, where we pay 100% taxes, and HDDs are hell cheaper and are not paying the "novelty hype" price point.

    We are no long talking about those 40GB HDDs units that sounded like a masonry mill or a woodpecker on drugs, anyways. Today HDDs are way much more quiet. If you are doing HTPC, a single romantic dialog is louder than any HDD. Oh, reading it from a Blu-ray? I bet the BD reader is louder. You fail again.

    If you want to sleep in the same room while it is running, and you fancy splurging some money leaving it on overnight, then this PSU and some SSDs are the 'thang.

    It is a 800W part, with cooling removed; it should support anything you throw at it on the new 460W rating with flying colors, as it proves.
    Reply
  • solinear - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    Someone who is willing to pay $160 for a 430 watt power supply when they can get easily get a decent 500+ watt one for $50 probably doesn't think that an SSD is too expensive.

    That being said, Anandtech pushes SSDs because they are now the single highest impact upgrade you can make to a system. Everyone I know who owns a SSD says, when asked, that they would rather spend $100 on their CPU and get a $250 SSD than $100 on their HDD and get a $250 CPU. The performance increase from going to a SSD is that big.

    Regardless though - they're reviewing a $160 power supply. I think that mentioning SSDs is more than reasonable. If they were mentioning $40 power supplies, comments about $150 SSDs would be out of place.
    Reply
  • ProDigit - Sunday, October 24, 2010 - link

    A fan would immediately increase powerdraw both in low taxation as high taxation.
    The powersupply would have a lower than 80% efficiency at 10%, and lower than 90% at the other taxation percentages.

    most computer cases don't have ventillation, and mount the powersupply on the top back of the case.
    In those cases the powersupply will heat the case and probably burn up.

    It probably relies on a 120mm fan on the back of a computer to suck out the hot air and blow it out of the case.
    Reply

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