Acoustic Noise Comparison

Our acoustic chart shows four different levels; the first one represents 10% load, the second 20% load, the third 50% load, and the fourth 100% load. We know most of our readers like to see more information in the first half of loading, which is why we chose to show these three levels of loading. Unfortunately, we cannot provide comparisons at specific loads each (i.e. 100W) because in a chart like this with 20 power supplies it becomes confusing and senseless. The color differences indicate relative noise levels: light green means barely audible, darker green will not be audible once the power supply is inside of a chassis along with normal graphics card and CPU coolers, and red means the noise is clearly audible -- in our chart this is from 25dB(A) onwards. The more green a power supply has, the less audible. We use percentages to compare the power supplies which is necessary since most units have a different power output. Loading charts like we use to include in separated reviews makes it impossible to compare many units in one graphic.

Of course, we need to mention at this point again that a quiet power supply will not cool well with higher loadings and ambient temperatures. Noisier power supplies typically mean better cooling for the components. You need to decide for yourself what the most important factor is, but since most people choose PSUs that are far larger than necessary they will not reach anything near the full load results.

Quiet units are quickly visible. First we have the brand new Cooler Master power supplies, then the Corsair VX450W, HEC, the Silencers, Seasonic's S12II, the Silverstone Element, and Tagan's SuperRock. From these very quiet units, both Enhance built power supplies (Silverstone Element and Tagan SuperRock) stick out from the masses. Both are less than 20dB(A) acoustic noise at all times and are therefore "silent" -- or at least close enough that it shouldn't matter.

Thermaltake TR2 QFan 400W - Performance Efficiency Comparison


View All Comments

  • Martin84a - Monday, January 5, 2009 - link

    I think it says the german and the english site, run things pretty seperately.

    250watt, 16a on the 12v rail that results in a ~300mV ripple. That's a lot. We are not even talking 80% or 100% of its max rated capacity.

    I know that are "allowed" to vary 10% on the 12V rail, but i still think it is a testament to the quality of the PSU. Look at the competetion next to it, nearly straight line.

    I recently had an Antec Truepower 480 watt dying on me. I had it for a little more than 3-4 years. Prior to buying it i did a tons of research. Anandtech also gave it a very good score. Today it is clear that a lot of these has failed, because of some very shitty caps being used. You don't see this in most of the reviews, because they only test if for a day or a week or so. Warranty is a big deal for a lot of people, including myself. I won't buy western digital or maxtor anymore, because i have had too many dying on me, granted they have been running for 3-4 years. Seagate give a 5 year warranty as the only HDD manufactor, so of course i pick them.
    The same with PSU's, I still consider the Seasonic S12II a good PSU, but i would rather pick a PSU with a better warranty.
  • kenyee - Friday, January 2, 2009 - link

    They just don't make them as well as they used to. I bought one of the expensive ones a year ago because it was the quietest around at the time...croaked after a month. Didn't bother sending it back under warranty because I didn't think it was worth it. It also doesn't support older 2.0 systems which I did send it back to them for but they could have told me via email :-P
  • Finraziel - Thursday, January 1, 2009 - link

    Although I understand what you're saying about the 10% load and how no PSU comes close to 80% efficiency there, would it be possible to still post the actual results of the different psus rather than only the rather blunt comparison in the graph? Many systems may not go far below 20% load with these psus, but if you're intent on setting up a very efficient pc it's not that hard to approach or even duck onder 30 watt idle. So in those cases, even though it's not close to 80, it'd still make a big difference wether the efficiency is 50, 60 or 70%... Reply
  • Christoph Katzer - Thursday, January 1, 2009 - link

    Did a small update to the efficiency page. Thanks for the suggestion. Reply
  • sonci - Thursday, January 1, 2009 - link

    So, best PSU regarding efficiency should be ENERMAX Liberty ECO, cause for 24/7 use, you hardly need 50% load..? Reply
  • Christoph Katzer - Thursday, January 1, 2009 - link

    Depends on your system power requirements. There is a difference if you just need 50 watts or 150. Check the power consumption first, then check in which state you are running most of the time and then check which PSU would fit best. From some of the tested units we have separated reviews already where you can check the exact efficiency at a specific load. Reply
  • JonnyDough - Wednesday, December 31, 2008 - link

    You really DO listen to your readers! KUDOS. You're one of the few companies that does. Reply
  • sonci - Wednesday, December 31, 2008 - link

    Thankyou for your honest work..
    Happy new year!!
  • JeBarr - Wednesday, December 31, 2008 - link

    I can vouch for the S12II 330W and it's ability to run an hd 4850. Originally I had installed the FSP group ZEN 400W fanless, but due to orientation of PSU inside of htpc case did not allow the heatsink to function as designed, so I gave the seasonic a try and have no regrets. It also helps that the rest of my components are low-power, of course. Reply
  • marc1000 - Wednesday, December 31, 2008 - link

    why does akasa products never show on Anandtech?? well, I have one Akasa AK-P300PG (or something like that), it's a 300W unit. I used to power a Pentium-D 945 with a radeon 3850 (now i have a C2D e7200) and it works just fine. silent and stable power. It's a great product that could be included in future reviews.

    by the way: HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! :D

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