A Replacement PSU Advice (No Static Electrical Noise One)

paraiso

n00b
Joined
Apr 26, 2017
Messages
26
Hi, I have a Corsair 1200W PSU, I need to check the exact model but I think it is AX1200i. It is a reliable and generally very good power supply, never had problems with it or the system ever became unstable. I've been having it for probably 6-7 years already.

However from day one in use and in stand-by mode, this PSU has had some sort of a permanent electrical noise. When in stand-by, it is physically noticeable when very close to the unit and when in use, it is like a power transformer noise that is variable in intensity but one that gets your ears ringing. This sort of electrical noise is different to coil whine (for example from a graphics card) and to (broken) fan noise. And although other parts of the rig may have such to a certain extent presumably, I definitely know the PSU is producing one of its own since when the PC is off but connected to the mains I can hear slight humming from the unit that only increases when running.

I have been considering changing this PSU for years but always convinced myself that this is a very minor issue compared to the hassle of rewiring the whole case and buying a new one.

The computer rig I am currently using will soon (1-2 years ahead in time) be a second PC or a gift to a relative so will still have its use for at least a few years to come. It has an overclocked 6850K CPU, GTX 1080Ti graphics card, a few NVMes and SSDs, a discreet PCI-E audio card, quite a lot of fans, card reader + USB & charging port unit and a blu-ray drive. I know this system never required that powerful PSU but I wanted something good at the time, also planning to use it in future upgrades.

I am definitely replacing this PSU now and want to get a let's say 1-1.2 kW unit so would like to ask for advice which one I shall go for. I am generally not too sensitive to electrical noise but in my case it is audible beyond fans - my PC is designed to be very silent idling - and when not playing music or there is some kind of noise background.

I built this rig like 3 years ago and used the AX1200 PSU from the previous build so don't really have impressions with the most current PSUs. Are the current 80 Plus Platinum/Titaniums any better? I know most people don't care about electrical noise as far as the PSU is stable (like me until recently) but excluding coil whine and fan noise, do you still get any constant electrical/transformer's noise/humming/buzzing when in operation/stand-by? Once again, this is not coil whine but transformer's/electrical noise that varies in intensity but is more or less constant.

I am not going for Corsair again and am currently considering Seasonic, beQuiet! and even Asus? Shall I go for it?
 
Joined
Apr 16, 2018
Messages
957
Ive never had coil whine or electrical noise(knocking on wood) from a psu thankfully. Ive heard of people having it from every manufacturer unfortunately.
I only use seasonic or a company that i know for certain uses seasonic. Evga used to be the exception (g2 series) until they changed oems from superflower to cwt. I dont have any experience with cwt other than some 450w budget units 10 or more years ago but i dont know enough about them to trust them yet. Without JohnnyGurus guys doing their seemingly weekly reviews things have become much harder to sift through. I generally dont buy platinum or titanium units unless theres a great deal on one. The return on investment just isnt there vs gold. As things stand i stick with old reliable, Seasonic or a company i know that uses them like asus or bequiet! Just be sure to confirm the model your considering is actually built by seasonic or an equally high quality oem.
 

paraiso

n00b
Joined
Apr 26, 2017
Messages
26
Good be a ground fault with house wiring or in PC.
The PSU is connected to a high quality APC surge protector but I don't think it will make much of a difference if connected to the wall plug directly. The APC reports no ground faults, it has a special LED for this only.

The PC is dead stable and has been so for years, it's just this electrical noise that is subtle but audible enough when not listening to music or with no background noise. I can hear it through a bunch of fans that are almost completely silent when idling. This is why I have been ignoring this for a long time but even random search online will display dozens of results of people complaining about Corsair PSU hum/electrical noise irrespective to PSU class. Probably not only Corsair though.

All I want is not getting the same in a new product if I decide to replace it.
 

AzixTGO

n00b
Joined
Feb 21, 2016
Messages
47
All one could say is they don't have the same problem with this PSU or that PSU. The actually cause could be very specific to you or just a noisy unit. My Seasonic px750 doesn't make that kind of noise.
 

drutman

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 4, 2016
Messages
268
Mine is the same the UPS shows a LED for a ground fault in my house wiring but no hum there could be a star ground problem somewhere, my powered Logitech speaker does hum when vol is turned down too. I used to be a QC inspector for MV switchgear and faults can be hard to trace down.
 

paraiso

n00b
Joined
Apr 26, 2017
Messages
26
All one could say is they don't have the same problem with this PSU or that PSU. The actually cause could be very specific to you or just a noisy unit. My Seasonic px750 doesn't make that kind of noise.

Yes, I know this is pretty hard to identify, especially mains' faults. I am still considering whether to go for a new PSU but reading the comments above, are Seasonic PSUs (and Asus ones made by them) the best choice? Any other brands/models to consider?

The reason I am asking is because Corsair in particular have had quite a lot of problems with coil whine and humming from their PSUs, possibly fixed in their latest generations, and here quite a lot of people change their hardware often so definitely have more recent experience than me currently.
 

Mizzer

Weaksauce
Joined
Jan 21, 2021
Messages
122
I'm running a Corsair RM850x and a Corsair RM1000x with no issues. My last PSU was a Corsair HX850. Quiet as a mouse fart.
Aside from using a power line conditioner I don't know what to say. First, however, I would start with the idea that it is the fault of the unit only and then troubleshoot from there.
 

paraiso

n00b
Joined
Apr 26, 2017
Messages
26
Any thoughts on Seasonic Prime TX 1000? It is hard to get at the moment, also will be around £300 where I am if lucky to get it. Not many reviews and those available simply refer to the specs.

This one, not certain how tested though, provided more details, mostly positive apart from these:

Protection Features: OCP at 12V should be lower since it allows for high ripple, a clear sign that the PSU is stressed with 114A on this rail. OCP on the minor rails is too high, although it doesn’t seem to affect load regulation and ripple suppression. Still, 38.6 Amps at 5V and 32.9 Amps at 3.3V are way too much.

Transient Response: The transient response is satisfactory at 12V, 5V, and 5VSB and, although not great, still problem-free at 3.3V.
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I know I can go lower but would rather replace my PSU with the most reasonable for the price power efficiency and also power threshold. Looking at alternatives it seems there is almost nothing platinum or titanium available 850W+ anywhere.
 

Tsumi

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Mar 18, 2010
Messages
13,463
Seasonic PSUs historically have had higher incidents and complaints of coil whine. Not sure if that is still the case with their new designs.

Coil whine is random, and one of the biggest factors is how sensitive someone is to it. My sister could hear coil whine from one of her old laptops while no one else in our family can.
 

paraiso

n00b
Joined
Apr 26, 2017
Messages
26
I used to be pretty insensitive to any coil whine for many years (more like purposefully ignoring it), then gradually started sensing it everywhere and today cannot stand it. I think this has started happening since a 4 USB port AC charger that was permanently on and I used for charging my smartphones, camera, bike lights and computer etc. It was humming pretty noticeably. Now I have a few RGB LED strips, including a 10 m. one under the bed, that are pretty cool but their transformers whine/hum too, all of them.

I guess I am going to pull the trigger and get the Seasonic (unless I find something better) and hope for the best. BeQuiet! have a 1200W Titanium version that is crazy expensive (like £500 or unavailable) which is much above MRSP (darn scalpers), so are all equivalent Corsairs. Not really sure about the latter but I've been reading customer reviews the whole day and they report a mountain of problems with their newest units, mostly dead on arrival and dying within a few months. Some report coil whine too. Phone in the US and RMA (pretty hard to get) to the Netherlands irrespective to where bought in Europe at user's cost and users getting not new units but mostly refurbished. Not certain if other brands don't do the same here (Europe).

As everyone says, it is random but if it's in your unit, you don't have many options. Unless like me ignored the problem pretty long time as otherwise the PSU worked perfectly.
 

AzixTGO

n00b
Joined
Feb 21, 2016
Messages
47
Yes, I know this is pretty hard to identify, especially mains' faults. I am still considering whether to go for a new PSU but reading the comments above, are Seasonic PSUs (and Asus ones made by them) the best choice? Any other brands/models to consider?

The reason I am asking is because Corsair in particular have had quite a lot of problems with coil whine and humming from their PSUs, possibly fixed in their latest generations, and here quite a lot of people change their hardware often so definitely have more recent experience than me currently.
Seasonic I know is usually good. Others should be as well but I am not that knowledgeable. IIRC a lot of them use the same platforms or something like that. i.e. same basic designs. Had good experiences with corsair in the past.

I think you shouldn't just go by brand. Make sure you read reviews on the particular PSU you intend to buy just in case the reliable brand did something weird with that particular model.
 

mda

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Messages
2,023
Just letting you know that I've experienced coil whine that has ranged from a buzzing sound to a clicking sound to a high pitched whining sound...

Might still be coil whine.
 
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