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Need to replace power supply (fan), same model or new?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by BBL, Sep 8, 2008.

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  1. BBL

    BBL Thread Starter

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    Hello all,

    My computer has been making a lot of noise lately, in fact it's been going on for probably the past 8 months or so. The first month I mostly ignored it hoping it would go away, which it did, then a few weeks later it came back and I decided it was time to investigate.

    I have narrowed the problem down to being the power supply fan, mainly because it's very easy to hear and detect that it's coming from the back of my PC (and in that area). So I cracked the case open, unscrewed a buncha stuff, took the power supply apart somewhat so I could try to dust off the fan, but there was no dust to be seen. I dusted it anyway, removed some plastic pieces they had in there that seemed to serve no purpose, popped it back together, crossed my fingers that I had fixed it, but no luck.

    The odd thing is that this noise will seem to come and go, usually it will be on jet engine sound level for ~2 weeks, then be relatively quiet for a month or so, every time I hope that it magically fixed itself, but now I've decided I need to do something about it.

    The model is a SilverStone SST-ST65ZF, 650 Watt supply w/ PFC (whatever that means).

    So on to my actual question. What I'm trying to figure out is, should I order the same replacement piece? Is this a solid piece of equipment and I just stumbled across a bad one originally? Is there a more ideal power supply with a quieter fan (in the same general price range, say <$200) that I should order instead?

    Also, I'm able to replace video cards and memory in my PC, but this power supply seems to be connected to 50 different things in my computer and I'm really just afraid to touch it. I'm sure it depends on my local area, but are there any recommended places for doing this sort of job? BestBuy, CompUSA, TigerDirect?

    Thanks in advance for any help!
     
  2. Phalcon352

    Phalcon352

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    Have you tried cleaning the dust out of the power supply?? Buy a can of compressed air (usually under $5 ) and blow all the dust out of PSU. Through all the little vent slots and the fan. I think you'll find it runs much quiter. (a lot cheaper than a new PSU )
     
  3. BG-0

    BG-0

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    That is actually a "bad" PSU by today's standards... It's not even 80% efficient, and has very low amperages on the 12 V rails. If you don't want a modular PSU, get something like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341002, or this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139005
    Modular ones: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371010, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151031, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817256021

    EDIT: "bad" compared to the newer PSUs of that price range. Low amperages compared to the PSUs at that price range.
     
  4. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    That is actually not a bad psu. It has approx 55amp on the combined 12V rail. You can usually replace just the fan. On your unit, it is an 80mm fan. If you want to replace just the fan, then do this.

    1 Pull the pw cord from the back of the psu
    2 Push the ON button 2~3 times to remove any residual charge from the psu caps.
    3 Pull the psu and open the unit up. The fan should just be secured with 4 screws. Note you may need to cut and splice or solder the fan wires.
    4 Reassemble and reinstall; good to go.
     
  5. BBL

    BBL Thread Starter

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    When I dusted it off before I'm pretty sure I tried to dust through all the cracks and openings since I saw no visible dust on the actual fan (and when I say dust I do mean using compressed air). It may be worth trying that again and just making sure I really get every little spot.

    I wish I knew if it was the actual fan or something in the power supply unit. I'm sure just a fan replacement would be cheaper but the fan appears perfectly normal, though I'm sure it could be some microscopic detail that's causing it to rotate funny.

    And I'm getting mixed reviews on whether it's good or not! :p Not even sure what a modular PSU is, but if I do replace it I'll try one of your recommendations.

    Any recommendations for where I could order just the fan piece? And any ideas on the best place to take the whole machine to if all else fails and I need to replace the whole PSU?

    Thanks for the replies and help!
     
  6. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    Just about any 80mm fan should work. Open the psu and see how it is connected. Here is a link to a newegg page with about a 150 80mm fans to choose from. Newegg 80mm fan link

    BTW as a test, with the psu OFF stick a coffee stirrer or something similar in to hold the fan stopped. Now pw ON and see if you still get the noise. If not, you have found the cause; the fan.
     
  7. win2kpro

    win2kpro

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    On some power supplys the fan is controlled by a thermal switch, and doesn't run all the time. It only switches ON when a certain temperature is reached.

    If the power supply was noisy previously, most likely the fan bearing has failed. Replacing the fan on some units is fairly easy, on others unsoldering the old connections and resoldering the new connections may be necessary.

    On a modular power supply the main connector for the motheroard is "hard wired", and the accessory cables are plugged into the unit as needed. Modular power supplys generally make for a "neater" wiring routing and installation, however I personally don't recommend modular power supplys since you potentially have twice as many potential points of failure than in a power supply where all the cables are "hard wired". In any kind of wiring, every additional connection is a potential source of power loss and failure.

    Dependent on your power requirements, either one of these two units should serve you well.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817703019

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817703005

    The first unit has 60 amps on the +12v rail, and the second unit has 49 amps on the +12v rail. On both units the output is calculated at 40C (a realistic temperature), and both have 5 year warranties.

    By using a single +12v rail, you get away from the problems of potential rail "overload" that sometimes occurs on units that use multiple +12v rails.
     
  8. BBL

    BBL Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the replies again!

    I think I am going to try ordering just a fan replacement first, since that's something I'm probably able to do... replacing the whole power supply with all of the cords is something I'd like to keep as a last resort I guess.

    My current PSU has a "Single 80mm ball bearing" fan -- browsing through the link that was posted above ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...&N=2010110573 1372726528&bop=And&Order=RATING ) some of the fans here have additional dimensions, i.e. some are 80 x 80 x 25mm and some are 80 x 80 x 38mm -- how do I know which will fit my PSU? I'm going to assume 25mm but I'm not quite sure.

    Also can anyone recommend a specific fan to order? I am most concerned about longevity, then noise level, and I am not very concerned about price. The #1 result on that page (based on best rating) was rated high because it's so cheap, I'm more concerned about a quiet fan that won't fall apart in a month.

    Thanks!
     
  9. BG-0

    BG-0

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  10. BBL

    BBL Thread Starter

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    Thanks, going to order the Noctua you linked.
     
  11. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    If you are concerned about all the plugs, you do understand you are going to have to remove the unit from the case; correct? You end up doing exactly the same amount of work as replacing the unit.
     
  12. BG-0

    BG-0

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    Well, only thing you won't have to do when replacing the fan is to disconnect the cables(at least all of them..) inside the case; if you're lucky, and can slide the unit out with most of the cables still connected. Otherwise it's basically 6 times more of work to do. Also 6 times cheaper. Anyways, disconnecting the cables shoudln't be that much feared... You could just take pictures of all the connections, then replug them according to your pics.
     
  13. BBL

    BBL Thread Starter

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    I am able to life the PSU out of the case with all of the cables still plugged in, and from what I've read I won't have to cut any wires or anything to replace the fan piece. So hopefully all I have to do is unscrew the PSU from the back of the case (done this before), leave all the connectors/cables as is, and just work on the unit while holding it above the case pretty much. That's the plan at least...
     
  14. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    Be sure you discharge the ps before opening the unit. A ps is like a TV set. The caps maintain a charge even with power OFF. To discharge; pull the power cord out. Now hit the ON button 2~3 times. This removes all residual charge from the unit.
     
  15. BBL

    BBL Thread Starter

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    Will do, thank you
     
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