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Making a "Passive" PSU question

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I have a Antec EA380 (Seasonic made) PSU.

I had it in my HTPC for over 3 years running pretty much 24/7. At some point in time the fan died, have no idea when. I pulled the fan out and oiled it and it works now.
I now have it in my server (almost another year of 24/7 use), but the fan is the noisiest part of my server now (no real suprise). Now I know I could replace it, but was curious if I really even need a fan?

I am about to change my server to a 45w Sempron 140 (currently a 45w AM2 x2) and will be running it headless (but the new board has a 785g chipset) with 2x2 gigs 1.8v DDR2 800 RAM, 1 80 gig WD black drive (OS drive), 3 WD green drives (storage) in a Antec 300 case with only 1 140mm fan (the CPU will be a passive A50). It uses ~ 100watts total at full load (which is rare).

I am debating taking the fan out of my PSU and running it "passively".
It won't really be passive though since I plan on making the PSU "exhaust" the only intake in my case. I plan on blocking both front intakes and the side intake on the 300, as well as removing and blocking the rear exhaust fan, leaving only the 140mm fan on top as an exhaust. This means all airflow will flow through the PSU (just reverse of normal) keeping the PSU cool.

I don't think I will have any issues since I ran for an unknown period of time having a non working fan in a system that used more power and had worse airflow through the PSU at the time
.
Mainly just wondering will the PSU shut itself off if it does get to hot? Am I just stupid for thinking this or what?
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post #2 of 10
A PSU, especially one that's only ~80-82% efficient, can generate a fair bit of heat, and it needs some airflow to prevent that heat from building up and killing the unit. Unless a PSU is specifically designed to run fanless, most PSUs just can't take those conditions.
post #3 of 10
It will get hotter than it is now, and the extra heat will lessen the life span of components. I just put a 140 mm Scythe fan (with 120 mm mounting) on my Cooler Master 850 W and it's way quieter, I can't even hear the fan over the rest of my quiet system.

Going fanless would require some better heatsinks on the Power supply components and might be way more work than just replacing the fan with a really quiet on.

The nice thing about power supplies, is that you don;t need a high-end fan, and quiet case fan will do since there's not much of a static pressure build-up.
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post #4 of 10
If it is the loudest part, why not just R&R the PSU fan it's self? smile.gif there is really no reason to leave it passive unless you can't be bothered to pay $10 to protect your system thumb.gif
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
But it will have airflow (just reversed) since the exhaust on the PSU is now the only source of air for the entire case, which has a 140mm Antec Tricool for airflow.
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post #6 of 10
Quote:
But it will have airflow (just reversed) since the exhaust on the PSU is now the only source of air for the entire case, which has a 140mm Antec Tricool for airflow.

Well yeah, but you also have to compensate for air leaks. maybe test the fan with the system powered down to see the vacuum pressure with your hand on the PSU, If it isn't easily noticeable I would definitely say just throw a equal fan in or on the PSU. You really will only hear the exhaust fan to be honest. I doubt adding a equal fan would increase the volume by an unsatisfactory amount or at all. But just do a temp check. Everyone has already mentioned that a actively cooled PSU is not specially designed to be passive unless you get into the gold/plat. efficiency which may have a few additional features to compensate for the scalable or completely off fan like my Corsair 850.

I really only see the PSU or HDD temps to be the issue.

Another thing to consider is dust especially is you have it in a carpeted room which I would assume since it is an HTPC. If you only have an exhaust fan you will have negative air pressure which will make your rig collect dust like no other without proper protection. maybe get a foam or dust filter like cover to shroud the PSU and then add the equal fan to make it manageable. but that is coming from someone who is anal about their rig wink.gif.
Edited by The_Hairy_Yak - 1/12/12 at 10:32am
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by blupupher View Post

I have a Antec EA380 (Seasonic made) PSU.
I had it in my HTPC for over 3 years running pretty much 24/7. At some point in time the fan died, have no idea when. I pulled the fan out and oiled it and it works now.
I now have it in my server (almost another year of 24/7 use), but the fan is the noisiest part of my server now (no real suprise). Now I know I could replace it, but was curious if I really even need a fan?
I am about to change my server to a 45w Sempron 140 (currently a 45w AM2 x2) and will be running it headless (but the new board has a 785g chipset) with 2x2 gigs 1.8v DDR2 800 RAM, 1 80 gig WD black drive (OS drive), 3 WD green drives (storage) in a Antec 300 case with only 1 140mm fan (the CPU will be a passive A50). It uses ~ 100watts total at full load (which is rare).
I am debating taking the fan out of my PSU and running it "passively".
It won't really be passive though since I plan on making the PSU "exhaust" the only intake in my case. I plan on blocking both front intakes and the side intake on the 300, as well as removing and blocking the rear exhaust fan, leaving only the 140mm fan on top as an exhaust. This means all airflow will flow through the PSU (just reverse of normal) keeping the PSU cool.
I don't think I will have any issues since I ran for an unknown period of time having a non working fan in a system that used more power and had worse airflow through the PSU at the time
.
Mainly just wondering will the PSU shut itself off if it does get to hot? Am I just stupid for thinking this or what?

Personaly I would install a 120mm 500rpm Gentle Typhoon if I knew the system did not take alot of power.

I would also install the PSU so it takes in cold air from outside the case so that hot component air does not go in to the psu.

Also a 500rpm has wery little noise esppecialy Scythe brand
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post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
The EA380 has a 80 mm fan, not a 120.
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Samsung  Samsung DVD-RW  Samsung DVD-RW  Cooler Master Hyper 212+ 
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post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Well, it is a moot point, I forgot I have a Antec Neo-Eco 400w still sitting in the box, so I used that instead.
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post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by blupupher View Post

Well, it is a moot point, I forgot I have a Antec Neo-Eco 400w still sitting in the box, so I used that instead.

Hope that works out for you thumb.gif
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