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Can I make my PSU semi passive?

post #1 of 8
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Now that there are PSU's like EVGA Supernova P2 and Corsair RM1000 that are completely passive up top 400w I wonder if I can do my own PSU passive up to 400watts?

It's a 80+ Gold 1000watt PSU,
here is a Jonnyguru review mine is a Superflower, this one is a rebranded Kingwin:
Jonnyguru review and inside of the PSU

rwlabs review and inside pictures of the PSU:







I have already opened PSU and can control the fan from motherboard, but not sure how to make it passive up to 400w, so far only way to control fan is with motherboard temperature control.
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post #2 of 8
That photo doesn't show the heatsink that's normally sits at the left, next to the big brown capacitors, because it was removed, probably to show details blocked by it. Here's a photo that includes it (heatsink at the top):



And here's a photo of the bottom side of the circuit board:



The important thing is that the PSU has a high voltage section that you must not fool with, and a low voltage section that's kind of safe. In the first photo above, the dangerous high voltage is around the AC power receptacle and everything below the big transformer (middle, blue on top & yellow around it, marked "VIKING"). IOW don't do any modding there. In the bottom photo, of the other side of the circuit board, you can see a 1/4" or wider area running horizontally, a bit above the middle, where there are no copper traces (2 square rubber pieces near the middle). That area is void of metal because it separates the high voltage from the low voltage, and anything crossing that void needs to be built to withstand thousands of volts, to make it virtually impossible for high voltage from ever getting into the low voltage section, and engineers are very, very serious about this. IOW the only practical mod you can make is to the big heatsink in the low voltage area, shown near the top of the first picture. I doubt you can turn this PSU into a fanless one by substituting a bigger heatsink, even one made of copper, but adding a heat pipe might work. But don't play with water cooling that heatsink unless you use only metal tubing and have the hose fittings located far from the power supply and below it (definitely do NOT try a water cooling mod if the PSU sits at the bottom of the case).

Don't try any mod with the other big heatsink, near the front of the first photo, especially any mod that extends outside the power supply case, because that kind of heatsink not only has high voltage components mounted on it (MOSFETs, maybe a chip for the +5Vstandby) but also is often deliberately connected to over 300 volts DC. But even if it isn't, you have to build any mod so it's safe even if there's a failure in electrical insulation and the AC wall outlet has no earth ground.


Frankly I don't think a typical 80% efficient PSU can be modded to be fanless, safe, and reliable, and it's probably better to go no further than install a quieter fan (with at least as much CFM as the original). Some commercial fanless units offered during the past 5 years ran very hot and apparently had higher than average failure rates, despite having loads more heatsink metal than the 1000W Kingwin and much lower power ratings (no more than 500W). Newer fanless units have higher efficiency, at least 90%, which cuts the waste heat in half. There's no easy way to improve efficiency DIY.
Edited by larymoencurly - 11/17/13 at 9:28pm
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by larymoencurly View Post

T

Thanks for input greatly appreciated

I'm not entirely sure if the (PSU/ PSU fan / motherboard) can take damage if I connect it to motherboard and when cpu is below 55c I put it on (0% fanspeed / 0rpm), then when cpu goes above 55c I make the motherboard give 25% fanspeed to psu fan?
Can this be done with Motherboard fan connector?
I can temperature adjust PSU fanspeed % but not sure if it's possible to run from 0% to 25% (from dead to 25% basicaly)

My CPU/GPU is watercooled and I have external radiator, so basicaly there are no components in PC to really heat up the PSU (PSU is in bottom, I prefer having fan facing up because it makes better noise.

It was difficult just to open the PSU case, unless it's easy to modify PSU at most I would just change the fan, if I can have it passive up to 55c CPU temp then maybe I'm glad with the current fan.

I was more asking if it's possible for me to lets say when the CPU temperature is below 55c then the PSU fan is at 0%, then when CPU goes above 55c the PSU fan is at 25%, then if CPU goes to 61c then the PSU goes to 30% fan speed.
I have already extended the PSU fan cable and I'm able to control it throught the motherboard, atm the PSU is not in use.
What I'm mainly worried about is if the PSU overheats, when I play games like CS:GO the CPU would not go above 55c and I could run my gpu at lower clocks aswell, I have not measured but I'm assuming the total watt is below 400w, then when I play CRYSIS 3 the GPU is overclocked and the CPU goes above 55c.

I dont want to make the PSU fanless, I want it to be semi-passive, there are in the market atm PSU's like Corsair RM1000, EVGA Supernova P2 and others that are passive up to X watts or X celsius and then the fan kicks in. RM1000 is specified to be passive to 400watts so is P2 I think.
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post #4 of 8
is your PSU making so much noise at low utilization that you feel it's necessary to make this type of modification? if it IS in deed making "too much noise" then you may simply have a defective unit... superflower doesn't really make crappy PSU's. so it' shouldn't be too loud in the 1st place. in fact the JG review you linked gave "quiet" as one of its good points. i'm sure there are "other" noises within your system that can be addressed before you even reach the point of addressing a slow spinning PSU fan from a good OEM.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Edit--> Can I replace the current PSU fan with a fan that has much lower ampere and connect it to PSU?
Would the new fan be fried if it's much lower Ampere compared to the old fan?
I guess it's controlled by Voltage and as such it recieves the correct Ampere.

Can someone plese help me can I run it semi passive from motherboard?
would PSU / PSU FAN / Motherboard take damage if I did this?
Is it even possible from motherboard start PSU at 0% fanspeed then increase % as load increases


Quote:
Originally Posted by psyclum View Post

is your PSU making so much noise at low utilization that you feel it's necessary to make this type of modification? if it IS in deed making "too much noise" then you may simply have a defective unit... superflower doesn't really make crappy PSU's. so it' shouldn't be too loud in the 1st place. in fact the JG review you linked gave "quiet" as one of its good points. i'm sure there are "other" noises within your system that can be addressed before you even reach the point of addressing a slow spinning PSU fan from a good OEM.

I have watercooling and pump/fans are ultra quiet, sure air cooled gpu's make more noise in LOAD then this PSU but my GPU/CPU is under water.
Also have SSD's so no noise there.

Also regarding that review, it's flawed, Ive read another review that says the Blue fan is noisy.
Jonnyguru is good PSU review site but I dont trust it when it comes to noise there are better places like silentpcreview.com for noise related reviews.

The only component in my PC making any noise is the PSU atm (GPU/CPU is watercooled and pump/fans make very barely any noise, D5 at speed 1, 9x 120mm fans at 200rpm).
I only have SSD's in my system.
Edited by grandpatzer - 11/19/13 at 9:20pm
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post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by grandpatzer View Post

Edit--> Can I replace the current PSU fan with a fan that has much lower ampere and connect it to PSU?

...

can I run it semi passive from motherboard?
would PSU / PSU FAN / Motherboard take damage if I did this?
Is it even possible from motherboard start PSU at 0% fanspeed then increase % as load increases
You don't want the motherboard to control the PSU fan because that fan is too important to depend on something as unreliable as software, even BIOS software, especially if the PSU lacks its own overtemperature protection.

Noise levels, not amp ratings, are what matter, but noise ratings don't seem to be stated consistently among manufacturers, only among different models from the same manufacturer. So you'll have to rely on reviews or personal testing.

You also shouldn't care about fan speed vs. load, only fan speed vs. PSU temperature.

Generally the quietest fans of any diameter and air flow rate are those with the most fan blades and with blades that are curved. Don't rely only on computer parts dealers for fans; check electronics dealers as well, like Jameco. Companies like Mouser and Digikey also sell high quality fans but charge a lot more than Jameco and computer dealers.

What have you done to keep the inside of your computer case cooler so the PSU fan runs more slowly? A single big case fan can provide more air flow with less noise than multiple smaller fans, and you don't want fans to fight one another fight one another.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by larymoencurly View Post

You don't want the motherboard to control the PSU fan because that fan is too important to depend on something as unreliable as software, even BIOS software, especially if the PSU lacks its own overtemperature protection.

Noise levels, not amp ratings, are what matter, but noise ratings don't seem to be stated consistently among manufacturers, only among different models from the same manufacturer. So you'll have to rely on reviews or personal testing.

You also shouldn't care about fan speed vs. load, only fan speed vs. PSU temperature.

Generally the quietest fans of any diameter and air flow rate are those with the most fan blades and with blades that are curved. Don't rely only on computer parts dealers for fans; check electronics dealers as well, like Jameco. Companies like Mouser and Digikey also sell high quality fans but charge a lot more than Jameco and computer dealers.

What have you done to keep the inside of your computer case cooler so the PSU fan runs more slowly? A single big case fan can provide more air flow with less noise than multiple smaller fans, and you don't want fans to fight one another fight one another.

Thanks for the input, I have Fractal Design R2, there is External Radiator Phobya 1080, all heat from GPU and CPU goes outside the case.
I only have 3 SSD so 1-4w heat there.

I have 2 intake front fans 120mm, 1 exhaust fan 120mm.
Maybe I put a fan on sidedoor as intake, it could help the PSU aswell, the PSU if fan is facing up.

I ordered Corsair AF140 1150rpm, I'm well avare it's not as good as SP140 and less air pressure but I decided to take the AF140.
Only problem is that it's starting voltage is 5.5v according this review.

Incase the AF140 is not starting up through the PSU then I will run it through Motherboard or run it at 12v if not too noisy.
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post #8 of 8
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Wish me luck with the AF140, hope it cools well the PSU biggrin.gif
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