silent computer power supply!

silverstone ST30NF - $145 :confused:

just thought i’d share this with the n-track community. i saw it on slashdot. it’s a power supply that’s nigh unto silent! very useful for recordist types. anyway, here’s a review:

anybody heard of it? or know any other silent psu’s? or just wanna say ‘woot’?

Edit: Hmm, now that i’ve actually read a little bit of the slashdot discussion, i see that this might not be as amazing as i thought…


Can you give us a quick synopsis of why it’s not the bee’s knees? Sure, your CPU still has a fan, but a quieter PS is a big help. And you can always go liquid-cooled on the CPU if you want.

erm, uh… well, it runs hot since it’s fanless, so it’s supposed to be run in a case with a fan in (according to some guy on slashdot). also, it’s only 300W, which may be a little low. aaand, apparently silent power supplies are not a new thing. and once i thought about it, i went over and put my ear up to various points on my computer (whose case is open). it seems that the psu fan adds only 1/3rd of the noise at most; a lot is coming from the hdd (which is admittedly old) and the cpu (maybe older).

so, perhaps i got li’l excited :wink:

If you got a new system and selected a hard drive that’s on the quiet side, you’ll find that most of the noise, by far, comes from the fans (including CPU fan).

300W should be fine for a DAW. Don’t put the hottest fastest biggest video card, those babies can be real heat sources. There are a number of quiet options for CPU fan. Avoid loading down the system with any unnecessary stuff.

For a processor, consider a Centrino M, which uses less power (= dissapates less heat, requires fewer watts). The M is for “Mobile”, but if I got the facts right (check me), they found out that P3 is a lot faster design than P4, and Centrino uses P3 core (mostly) but with much faster clock, so they started making desktop MOBOs to take Centrino processors. I thought I read something about that, anyway. Not a cheap solution, unfortnately. Just remember that a 2GHz Centrino blows the doors off a 2GHz P4

That still leaves the case fan. Bigger fans (is it 6", or 8"?) can spin at lower rates and are therefore much quieter for the same airflow. Just one should be sufficient. Finally, use a SATA drive. Folks think they’re faster, but they aren’t yet but eventually will be. The real advantage is the round cables rather than flat cables (or stranded ones, a little better than flat). The relatively narrow round cables are far better for airflow so you need less fan speed. And get a MOBO that supports muliple fan speeds.

Since the PS sits at the top of the cage, and it’s hot, it actually helps cool the rest of the chassis by letting hot air out the back and sucking cool air from below. But quite possibly not enough. Therefore, the case fan should always be set to blow INTO the case.

Bottom line: yes, this could easily be used to power a much quieter DAW. But no, it doesn’t eliminate fans entirely, not by itself.

There are also the Sonata cases, which are sound insulated and have quiet built-in fans (including power supply).

good gravy! that’s a wealth of information.

To pick up where learjet left off regarding the cases:

I picked up an Antec Sonata at the beginning of the year and it was one of the best purchases I have ever made for my PC. The fact that it comes with an Antec Truepower PS is a bonus. It’s one of the quietest PS’s I have ever owned. The case itself weighs a tonne, but the only noise that comes from it is a slight whirrr from the CPU fan because it’s the stock P4 fan and I haven’t bothered to replace it. Doesn’t really matter though because the whirrr is barely noticable. My vid card fan is a Zalman VF700 and it makes next to no noise.

Cheap cases are often a big no-no for music because they are designed to be one thing: cheap. And cheap, more often than not, equals LOUD.

The biggest difference I have found is rubber grommets for the drive bays (both 3.5 and 5 inch). This cuts back on the drives vibrations - a very noticible difference once you hear it.

Solidly constructed cases are a must. Cases that are just thrown together tend to be super loud because they are flimsy and every whir of any fan reverberates like crazy.