The 500W PSU Tested and SleevedUnsleeved Photos (Click to show)
Like I stated before, everything tested out great! All of my bench marks and game tests were successful! The only complaint was the noise.
Since I was waiting for the replacement fan to arrive, I immediately began working on shortening the cables.
IMO, the heatshrink work looked a lot more consistent, and all in all looked a lot cleaner. I took notes from before where some of my sleeves were too long, so I was able to adjust everything accordingly.
Because this is a completely different version of the original PSU, the cables are organized a tad differently, meaning that some of the cables are twisted differently.
This gives the new sleeving job a slightly different look, which is fine with me.
As before, the Molex connectors were immediately removed, so I could add the ground cables to the PCI-E power cable.Replacing the PSU Fan
Like I mentioned several times, the stock fan on the 500W PSU is loud. To give you a point of reference, at max speed, it sounds like a hair dryer, but maybe 2/3rds the volume. It's not good.
When you first turn on the system, the volume is not bad. It idles about the same volume of the case fans at max speed. But once you put the PSU under load, and that fan hits 100%, its absurd.
Now I know that this really not that big of a deal, and I could deal with it. But since I have already experienced this case fully assembled, and gotten used to how quiet it was, I decided to do everything I could to maintain that.
Clearly, the only logical solution is to replace the stock fan.
The first fan I stumbled across was a Noctua NF-A4x10 FLX
. It's a pricey little fan, but it comes with the adapter I needed, so I bought it.
The issue is, and I wish I would have noticed this before, is that its a 40x40x10mm fan. Also, it has relatively weak static pressure, compared to the stock fan.
After doing some tests, I determined that this fan was unacceptable for this build, so I went back to research.Noctua Fan and Stock Yate Loon Fan Photos (Click to show)
After doing a lot of comparisons, the fan I decided on was the Noiseblocker PM-2
. This is a 40x40x20mm fan, rated at 3800 RPM, 5.4 CFM, and 18 dB.
This fan actually looks very similar to the stock fan, and it is much quieter. It's not the same level of performance of the stock fan, but it had sufficient static pressure to pull air all the way through the PSU.Adapting the Replacement Fan, and Disaster
So now that I have picked the fan, its time to install it.
The first issue: The PSU uses a 2-pin fan plug. See below the cut:2-pin to 3-pin Fan Adapter. (Click to show)
Fortunately the Noctua fan came with the adapter needed.
I plugged the fan into the adapter and into the PSU, and nothing happens. The fan doesn't spin, and I am not hearing any motor noise from the fan.
To troubleshoot, I plugged Noiseblocker fan into a spare mobo I had laying around, and surely enough, it works just fine.
After doing a bit of research, I find out that the Noctua adapter has a diode in it to prevent reverse polarity from frying the fan. (A neat feature)
I confirmed that the PSU's fan does indeed use reversed polarity, meaning that I would just need to reverse the wires in the adapter.
So, I stripped down the noctua adapter, reversed the cables at a mid point, and surely enough everything worked.
However when I was doing my testing I was using bare wires, and holding them together with some clamps.
Before I shut down the PSU, the wires slipped out of the clamps, and the leads touched eachother, shorting out the fan header.
Before I realized what happened, I started smelling a slight burning smell, so I shut off the PSU.
Turns out, that the wires crossing shorted out the fan controller on the PSU, which fried it. This meant that the on-board fan header was no longer functional.
Fortunately, nothing else was damaged. But now I had no way to power the fan.The Janky SolutionMolex to 3-pin Fan Adapter (Click to show)
I remembered that I had a Molex to 3-pin Fan Adapter that I scavenged from an old computer case. This would power the replacement fan, and it would run at 100% speed.
However, if you remember what I said before, I removed Molex Cables from this case, in order to use the grounds in the PCI-E Power cable.
See the cut below for how I ended up wiring in the replacement Molex cable:Wiring Diagram for the Modded PSU (Click to show)
The Blue Wires are the cables that were originally used for the stock Molex. The Green wires are the SATA Power cables.
I added the 2 grounds from the Molex for the PCI-E cable in order to have a true 8-pin PCI-E Power cable.
I then added an extra wire from one of the SATA Grounds, Split it, and added this the shortened Molex cable.
The end result was a very short, sleeved Molex cable, that could be easily hidden.
I then ran the fan controller out of the PSU case, and plugged in the fan adapter.
In the end, the final result was a much quieter fan that pushes enough air to keep the PSU sufficiently cool.One Final Hangup
After all of this was finally finished, I was ready to get the PSU mounted in the case. Like before, I intended to do a test fit with the screws, but for whatever reason, the screws would not take.
It turns out that Athena drilled out the nuts on the PCB standoff nuts. In other words, they removed the functionality of the PSU which made this mod possible in the first place.
The solution for this was to swap the shell of the 400W and 500W PSUs, since the 400W worked fine before. This meant de-shelling both PSUs, desoldering the AC connectors, and swapping everything over.
This was the most tedious and stressful portion of the project, but it was successful.