quiet psu's


Jan 12, 2004

i am looking for a low noise psu. i am more concerned about noise levels when im just surfing the web or doing work, not when i am playing games at full volume. i am looking a the 400w zalman in this link: http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/Zalman_psu.html however it is quite expensive. is it worth the extra money?
or should i get one of the fortron sources from this link: http://www.microdirect.co.uk/productlister.aspx?GroupID=505 . i am not sure if the 400w has a 12cm fan but the 350w definately does. it also has a fan speed control however i have read in some reviews that it is pretty loud. can this really be right or are they just quoting the noise levels on full load?
basically i would like to know if the cheaper fortrons are going to be quiet enough or whether i should spend the extra cash for the zalman?




Mar 19, 2003
I have had experience with a sparkle 350w psu with 120mm fan and a fortron 350w with 120mm fan. The sparkle automatically adjusted fan speed, i can never hear it over my cpu fan (cpu fan is around 35db) i would estimate the sparkle psu to be definitly below the 30db range in normal operation. The fortron psu can be loud or quiet, my guess is that most reviewers cranked the fan up all the way on their fortron psus...and yes it <i>is</i> loud, i cannot deny that. However even on the lowest fan speed setting the psu ran pretty cool in the system i had it in (2.6c at 3.0, 2x 80gb hd raid 0, 2 opticals etc., a pretty power hungry system). At the lowest fanspeed i would say the psu was a smidged louder than the sparkle unit (but it seemed to be putting more air out of the back even at lowest setting when compared to the sparkle psu), the psu still was a good deal quieter than the retail p4 heatsink.

Basically i would recomend any fortron...i would actually recomend the sparkle psu over the fortron branded psu because it regulates fan speed on its own...less hassle IMO you dont have to play around with the pot in the back of the case. The only downside of the sparkle unit (at least the version i got which was ordered from zipzoomfly a month ago) is that unlike the fortron branded psus it had no sata HD cables.

In short i would consider fortrons quiet, just be warned the psu will (logically) be loud if you crank the fan up all the way.

If it isn't a P6 then it isn't a processor
110% BX fanboy


Sep 12, 2001
If you want really quiet PSU I think the quietest on the market are these:
Global Win GWS SAF520
Zalman ZM400B-APS
Tagan TG480-U01
I own the 420W version of the globlwin one and you cannot hear it unless you put your head next to the fan. Its rated at 18db (temperature controlled). You can find a review of all three here <A HREF="http://www.bit-tech.net/review/299/" target="_new">http://www.bit-tech.net/review/299/</A>
They are very expensive though.

P4c 2.6@3.25
512Mb PC4000
2x120Gb 7200.7 in RAID0
Waterchill KT12-L30
Abit AI7
Radeon 9800Pro


Aug 30, 2002
The Fortron PSU's are very high quality, and just so you know, they manufacture the PSU's that Zalman sells, Zalman just adds their own fancy cooling system, which I love.

I just got the 300W Zalman, and I haven't heard the thing yet, no regrets whatsoever.

<b>Just because I like AMD or Intel more at a time because of one product compared to another, does not make me a fan boy, it makes me a person who is able to make a decision for myself.</b>


Former Staff
The Fortrons have 2 speeds as far as I know, the one you set and full blast. If you set it too low, it will get hot and kick up to full blast on it's own. The key here is to set it just barely fast enough manually so it never has to kick in the full speed override.

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Aug 1, 2003
Ahanix SilenX X184

it's 400W and 14db, I installed it in a friends pc and you actually have to take a look at the leds on the pc to check if it is on.. okay, I had also installed Cooler Master noise pads, but still. It was very vaguely audible.
I goes for about 88€ here.

Soltek SL-86SPE-L - P4A -2.4@2.766 - i865PE - 1024mb ddr400@307 w. TT A1165 - Ati Radeon 9700@381mhz 128Mb@626mhz - 600W dualfan(front/rear) PowerTek Psu - maxtor 4K080H4 & 6Y120P0 - samsung sm-352b


Mar 18, 2004
Another option is the Enermax Noisetaker. At it's low setting, I can't hear the thing(and this is with a case running a VGA silencer on low, Arctic cooling HSF on low, and Antec case fan tweaked all the way down with a fan controller, so I run a quiet setup). Even on it's highest setting, it's very quiet. And Enermax of course is a good high quality, reliable power supply.

I have the 420w model that Newegg just recently had on sale.