[SOLVED] Thumping noise from PSU, does that mean it's failing ?

Jan 22, 2021
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Hello beautiful people.
A silly question for those smarter than I.
I have a psu making a strange noise.

Backstory.
Building a new desktop, focusing on budget budget primary, quiet as I can afford secondary.

I have rebuild the system using my old rig’s psu. A Corsair TX650. I have owned the psu since new (call it 2015 ish). Never noticed any sound from it with the old (loud) desktop.

Now that this psu is in a newER system (still old used gear), It has become the loudest part of my system. It’s not the fan. Fan only runs intermittently, audibly spins up for a few seconds then turns off again.

The noise in question is a mild thumping. As consistent as a “ticking” but much lower base tone. Best replicated by an index finger strongly tapping onto a solid wood surface(desk). I thought it was one of the hdd at first but can definitely say it is coming from the psu and is Not the fan making contact with anything.

Is this something of a warning sign that the psu is failing? Would a higher quality unit eradicate such noise? Anyone know what I’m talking about?

huge thanks in advance for anyone’s thoughts or guesses on the matter !!

cheers
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
My thought is that that 5 year old (perhaps +) PSU is nearing or in EOL (End of Life) per design and components.

Especially if the PSU has been heavily used for gaming, video editing, or even bit-mining.

A newer unit should not make such noise and, depending on make, model, etc. be quieter and more efficient.

With a new build I would not leave the matter in doubt. Get a new PSU with applicable wattage as best you can afford.

The PSU is a system critical component so do not go "cheap".

Start here:

https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-psus,4229.html
 
Reactions: Swampduck1311

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
My thought is that that 5 year old (perhaps +) PSU is nearing or in EOL (End of Life) per design and components.

Especially if the PSU has been heavily used for gaming, video editing, or even bit-mining.

A newer unit should not make such noise and, depending on make, model, etc. be quieter and more efficient.

With a new build I would not leave the matter in doubt. Get a new PSU with applicable wattage as best you can afford.

The PSU is a system critical component so do not go "cheap".

Start here:

https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-psus,4229.html
 
Reactions: Swampduck1311

LinuxDevice

Reputable
May 20, 2017
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To start with I'd agree with @Ralston18 that it is old and perhaps has seen better days. I'd also agree very much to never go "cheap" with a PSU.

In terms of the actual sound, if this is not fan noise, then I am guessing that a magnetic component which was previously held solidly in place may have a crack in whatever was holding it in place. A magnetic component could in theory move back and forth as the magnet strength changes. If this is the case, then probably enough movement will eventually cause the solder to crack or fail. But who knows? You'd almost have to open the supply up and and look and listen quite carefully to figure it out. It could be something completely harmless.
 
Reactions: Swampduck1311
Jan 22, 2021
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Thank you both.
I appreciate the input. For the sake of the new system build I’ll opt to not take any chance here haha.
The magnetic component explanation is fascinating and sounds pretty viable. Thanks for sharing. It’s such a strange noise to come from a component that has no moving parts (that I an aware of at least).

This might be wrong place to ask this but I’ve been eyeballing a Corsair hx750 , Corsair rm850x and a seasonic focus plus in similar price point.

Do you feel there would be much noise decrease between an HX series and RM series?
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
I am hard pressed to quantify "noise decrease". Very subjective and there are multiple factors involved.

Objectively understood but what I find "loud" may simply be "background noise" to you. Or vice versa.

Overall, I would expect that high end PSUs would inherently be quieter by design, build, and individual components. Case acoustics and the computer's surroundings may also come into play.

That said, I will have to defer to those who have used either or both series PSUs.
 
Reactions: Swampduck1311
Jan 22, 2021
8
0
10
0
I am hard pressed to quantify "noise decrease". Very subjective and there are multiple factors involved.

Objectively understood but what I find "loud" may simply be "background noise" to you. Or vice versa.

Overall, I would expect that high end PSUs would inherently be quieter by design, build, and individual components. Case acoustics and the computer's surroundings may also come into play.

That said, I will have to defer to those who have used either or both series PSUs.
Great points across the board.
I really appreciate the input! I’ll go lurk around the psu section and maybe ask a more well defined question over here haha.

Thanks everyone !
 

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