New PSU for Antec Sonata III

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New PSU for Antec Sonata III

Postposted on Sat Aug 31, 2013 5:43 am

Hi guys,

I'm hankering for one of those 400W Seasonic Platinum Fanless PSUs for my Lounge Room pc (linux htpc, occasional windows games & audio recording).
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151097

Overall power consumption is pretty low most of the time, and case temps are modest (although living in Australia, ambient temps won't be so benign in a few months time and then I guess we'll see how it goes). The existing EarthWatts Bronze PSU is 4 years old, and although everything is still working the voltages visible in the bios seem more unstable, and I'm having occasional problems with hanging during startup, or failing to initialise the usb systems (including, importantly, the keyboard).

The Antec case is a bit old fashioned and has the PSU top rear, with no convection vents in the top of the case. On the other hand, I find it easy enough to work in, solid, quiet and the front door locks to keep little fingers away from exciting buttons.

I'm looking for advice on my options. Should I:
0. Go ahead! What's the worst that could happen?
1. choose a more appropriate PSU with a semi-active (thermally switched) fan. I'd like to, but the Seasonic ones don't put a fan in until you get a lot higher up the power levels (possible that the fan makes it hard to get to 'platinum'?) Options I'm missing here?
2. Go ahead, but add a thermally switched fan.http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835220028
3. Case mod - put those vents in the top using my trusty drill (reluctant due my fairly modest hand skills - likely to end up with a very uneven array of holes or off-center window)
4. get a more modern case & PSU combo (seems unlikely to be superior).

Any advice or experience welcomed!
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Re: New PSU for Antec Sonata III

Postposted on Sat Aug 31, 2013 6:33 am

I selected Option 1: SeaSonic SS-660XP² for my gaming PC. With the switch on the PSU set to hybrid mode, it turns off the PSU fan when it's cool, but it still spins up the fan when things get toasty. It's Au$ 219 from a supplier a little more local than Newegg.

If you do decide to add a fan to your case, you'll want to cut a hole in the side. For a 120mm fan, you need a hole smaller than 140mm. Remove the panel from the case to your workshop. Lay the fan on the panel and mark the fan mounting hole locations. Draw an "X" connecting the 4 hole locations. Use a center punch to dimple the middle of the "X" and the four hole locations to keep your hole saw and drill bits aligned.
Last edited by JustAnEngineer on Sat Aug 31, 2013 6:58 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: New PSU for Antec Sonata III

Postposted on Sat Aug 31, 2013 6:46 am

Personally, I'd probably go for something a bit more basic PSU-wise, unless I was absolutely sure the noise floor would be determined by the PSU fan. Plus for the reasons you listed re: the Sonata III, I'd probably want a fan on the PSU.

Something like the Seasonic 360G at $60:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6817151117

Gold rated, quiet fan. Plenty of power as long as you only use the single PCI-E connector. Gets good marks from SPCR for noise too.

http://www.silentpcreview.com/Seasonic_G360
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Re: New PSU for Antec Sonata III

Postposted on Sat Aug 31, 2013 1:32 pm

i would personally skip the passive psu and get something with a quiet fan instead. I am sure you would have zero problems throwing that passive psu into your sonataIII and having it power everything, but it would probably get really hot in there. it's not exactly the best for airflow in the psu area.

also i would check your current psu voltages with a digital multimeter. don't rely on software values to determine if your psu is stable.
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Re: New PSU for Antec Sonata III

Postposted on Sat Aug 31, 2013 2:32 pm

I have a Seasonic X750 and I don't believe I have ever heard it running. I'm sure it spins the fan up when I load a game onto it but so does the video card which is all I ever hear.
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Re: New PSU for Antec Sonata III

Postposted on Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:11 pm

Thanks gents. You're right that I should get over the passive cooling thing.

The Seasonic G-360 looks good - plenty of praise for its low noise. The newegg power budget calculator estimates I don't need more than 345W, so that fits real nice and kentucky. It's about half the price too at A$100 delivered.

I guess I had the fanless blinders on - there are a few alternatives with quiet fans for significantly less than the platinum Seasonics, and the streetnoise, fridge noise etc are loud and continuous. The Antec EA 450 is platinum rated, praised for quiet on newegg and about $130+delivery. That would give me a bit of headroom for maybe Kaveri if it proves attractive.
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Re: New PSU for Antec Sonata III

Postposted on Sun Sep 01, 2013 2:28 am

Note that swapping the PSU probably requires the motherboard to be removed in the Sonata.
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