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Question Inspiron 5680 Power Supply Making Loud Noise

Jun 23, 2021
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Hi,

I have a Dell Inspiron 5680 since around June 2018. I had heard these noise in the past few months. I thought it was the CPU fan or the rear fan but it is not. I opened the case and when it was making that sound, I placed my hands on the power supply and I could feel something. But when the noise stopped, it stopped too. Do I have to be worried about the machine and do I have to change the power supply unit. It still works, but just make this noise.

Link To Video: View: https://imgur.com/a/YbPo0up


Thank you.
 

TommyTwoTone66

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Apr 24, 2021
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The PSU is overheating and the fan is spinning up to cool it down.

Have you added stuff to this PC? If you added a graphics card you will likely also need to upgrade the PSU. Dell tend to spec their machines with the exact power supply they need with only a tiny amount of headroom to add more hardware.

If not, it may just be in a hot room.
 

Barty1884

Retired Moderator
It ramp up and down periodically.
Then it's likely working as intended. Might be a questionable fan, but if it's spinning up as needed (periodically), cools the internals of the PSU and shuts off.... it's behaving as expected.

If it was full-bore, 100% of the time making that noise, I'd be more concerned.

You could switch it out, but it's probably fine.

The PSU is overheating and the fan is spinning up to cool it down.
To be clear, it's not "overheating", or the fan would run 100% of the time.
PSUs do get warm, and most require periodic active cooling - exactly what is happening here.
 

TommyTwoTone66

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Then it's likely working as intended. Might be a questionable fan, but if it's spinning up as needed (periodically), cools the internals of the PSU and shuts off.... it's behaving as expected.

If it was full-bore, 100% of the time making that noise, I'd be more concerned.

You could switch it out, but it's probably fine.



To be clear, it's not "overheating", or the fan would run 100% of the time.
PSUs do get warm, and most require periodic active cooling - exactly what is happening here.
It shouldn’t be that loud, no. This is not “working as intended” operation, no. this is the fan spinning up to max, on overheat protection mode.

Dell PSUs run silent all the time unless they start to overheat.
 

Barty1884

Retired Moderator
Dell PSUs run silent all the time unless they start to overheat.
This is not “working as intended” operation, no. this is the fan spinning up to max, on overheat protection mode.
So it operates silently, until the fan spins up when it's detecting overheating... Cools the PSU down, then reverts to 'silent'.

Therefore, working as intended , no?
 

TommyTwoTone66

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So it operates silently, until the fan spins up when it's detecting overheating... Cools the PSU down, then reverts to 'silent'.

Therefore, working as intended , no?
No. The intention is that it should not overheat. The overheat protection mode is there just in case it does.

Either the room the PC is in is very hot or there is too much load going through the PSU and it is triggering the overheat mode regularly.

You could likely run the PC like that forever and it would work fine, the only issue is the loud noise coming from the PSU, which is what OP was asking about.
 

Barty1884

Retired Moderator
No. The intention is that it should not overheat. The overheat protection mode is there just in case it does.

Either the room the PC is in is very hot or there is too much load going through the PSU and it is triggering the overheat mode regularly.

You could likely run the PC like that forever and it would work fine, the only issue is the loud noise coming from the PSU, which is what OP was asking about.
"Overheat" in this context is only 'overheating beyond the fanless operation threshold'.

Unless it's specifically targeted to be a "fanless unless absolutely necessary", most PSUs will eventually heat up to the point of triggering a fan when being utilized to any decent degree. Not the same as strictly overheating outright.

As far as I can find, there is no such marketing for the unit in the Inspiron 5680, meaning it's entirely within it's design for the fan to ramp up periodically as/when necessary.

The unit is extremely loud though. That might suggest a hotter than average room, with a higher starting point heating the PSU faster than average........ but more likely, it was a cost cutting measure on the part of Dell (via their OEM for the PSU, potential Delta or ACBel depending).

Agreed, shouldn't be a problem using it like that beyond the noise.

On the plus side, from some internal shots I can find for the 5680, it appears to be a standard ATX and the board uses standard 4 pin & 24 pin.... So it could be replaced with anything off the shelf.
 

TommyTwoTone66

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"Overheat" in this context is only 'overheating beyond the fanless operation threshold'.

Unless it's specifically targeted to be a "fanless unless absolutely necessary", most PSUs will eventually heat up to the point of triggering a fan when being utilized to any decent degree. Not the same as strictly overheating outright.

As far as I can find, there is no such marketing for the unit in the Inspiron 5680, meaning it's entirely within it's design for the fan to ramp up periodically as/when necessary.
No, the PSU always runs the fan, but normally only at 20% or so. You wouldn’t be able to hear it at that speed. It only ramps up to 100% during overheating events, which may be caused by abnormal load or abnormally high ambient temp.

There’s no marketing for this behaviour since it’s a fairly normal safety feature. The unusual thing about Dell units is that they spin up to 100% with no curve whereas most PSUs will gradually increase the fan as they overheat.

the other unusual thing about Dell units is that they tend to spec them for the exact machine they’re in. So if the system used 130W peak out of the box, the PSU will probably be 260W, the tolerances are extremely small and Dell pinch every penny they can.

So if OP has added, say, a 200W graphics card, the PSU might actually be overloaded and hence the periodic overheating.
 

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