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Hello TechSupport! :)

About a month ago I built my first PC, and originally I was using an AMD CPU and GPU (FX-8350 4,0Ghz and Radeon R9 290). but then I got a very nice deal for a GeForce GTX 780, grabbed it and sold the R9 290. A little bit later I also decided to go with Intel's i5 4670k as it suited my needs more, and with it I got the Asus Z87-A motherboard.

Somewhere along the road my PSU has started to make a ticking sound. Chances also are that it's always been there but I hadn't noticed it because I had a really loud chassis fan which I have now removed. I took a sample of the suond and put it on YouTube:

Power supply ticking - YouTube

Everything works 100% fine, I haven't had any random crashes and generally the computer has been performing like a dream. That sound just not only worries me, but also annoys me.


I first had a Corsair VS650w but when I first noticed that sound, I instantly switched the PSU to a ThermalTake 630w Smart SE. Both produce that same sound, yet I'm 100% sure it's coming from the PSU. So to me this is all very weird.

Has anyone ever had a similar issue?
 

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Hi and Welcome to TSF!

First off, a very low quality Thermaltake 630W PSU is not powerful enough for that system. You should be running with a XFX or Seasonic branded PSU rated at 650W.

I would recommend replacing it.
 

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I don't hear any ticking.
 

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The odds of two PSUs both "ticking" are slim. I'd look to see if you have something that is hitting a fan. However, as stated above, I can't hear anything but normal fan noise in the video you posted.
 

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I find it hard to believe two different PSUs from different makers would be ticking then same way so I agree with MPR and think you need to look at other potential sources - like a cable too close to a fan blade (be sure to check the CPU fan wires too), or a noisy HD.

If you REALLY want to prove to yourself it is (or is not) the PSU clicking, pull the PSU out of the case then connect it to a PSU Tester. These testers will allow the PSU to start and from there, you will (or will not) hear the sound.

I do not agree with the comment the TT 630 PSU is not "powerful" enough. If you use the eXtreme PSU Calculator Lite to determine the minimum and recommended power supply unit (PSU) requirements, even when padding the results by setting Capacitor Aging to 10% and both TDP and system load to 100%, (and using 3 120mm fans, 1 SSD, 2 HDs, and 1 BR player), you get a minimum 490W and recommended of 540W. So 630W is plenty... ...but...

I agree 100% with the "low quality" comment. And that TT is not one of their better supplies - by a long shot! :(

If you look here, you can see the supply boasts about an 87% efficiency. And that is outstanding!!! BUT if you look at the "efficiency curve", you can see that great rating is only at one point on the curve. A "bell curve" (not "flat") efficiency rating for a computer power supply is lousy!!! :nonono:

You want a "flat" efficiency rating with a computer PSU because computers present a "variety" of loads on a power supply, from a few watts when idle, to maximum loads when pushed, and everything in between. So to address that, you want a 80 PLUS certified power supply. 80 PLUS certified PSUs are required to have fairly "linear" (flat) efficiencies. This is important to ensure the PSU is running at or near peak efficiency regardless the load or power demands.

Understand, power supplies inherently have efficiency ratings similar to that 1-point bell curve. For ANY power supply to achieve a linear efficiency rating across the full spectrum of "expected" loads, it MUST be of a quality design and use quality parts. This is why even once shunned Rosewill are earning top reviews with their 80 PLUS certified PSUs, as seen at Tweaktown, Overclockers, and Anandtech.

That Corsair you had originally is 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified - certified to be at least 80% efficient across the full range of expected loads.

That TT is junk, IMO.

I agree with the Master Chief and recommend you at least go back to the Corsair.

BTW, I am disappointed with TT and that PSU! Note the 87% Efficiency "logo" they use on the supply and the webpage. Then note the 80 PLUS logos in the link above and note how similar they are. I feel TT is engaging in misleading (if not illegal) marketing tactics by trying to deceive users into thinking this supply is a "quality" and "80 PLUS Certified" supply - when it clearly is not. :angry: I am reporting TT as soon as I figure out who I should report them too.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Hello and sorry for the slow response, i've been at school and work most of the day and then fiddling with the PSU.

frankly I feel a bit like an idiot at this point hehe :p I took a piece of plastic and stopped the PSU's fan while it was running - and guess what - the sound stopped. It continued as soon as I let the fan start spinning again. so the culprit is in the fan. I took a flashlight and took a look at the fan. I couldnt see anything hitting the fan's blades though. Maybe its the bearings?

Thank you for your in depth answer Bill :) And everyone else, as well!

I must agree this TT PSU is a bit dodgy, with the 87% efficiency logo. I noticed it right away myself too. And I must say my initial thought was, when I looked at it, "hey this must be a good PSU then".

However the VS650w as far as I know isn't 80+ certified either (the legit way lol). I dont plan to overclock any time soon so I will be keeping this TT PSU in the rig until I get my next paycheck, will look into one with a proper certification, and one that has a proper fan too.:)

thank you everybody!

P.S: Taking recommendations for a good, solid PSU! I work in a garden shop but sadly my money tree hasn't bloomed yet. So a reasonable price would be nice.
 

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I do not agree with the comment the TT 630 PSU is not "powerful" enough. If you use the eXtreme PSU Calculator Lite to determine the minimum and recommended power supply unit (PSU) requirements, even when padding the results by setting Capacitor Aging to 10% and both TDP and system load to 100%, (and using 3 120mm fans, 1 SSD, 2 HDs, and 1 BR player), you get a minimum 490W and recommended of 540W. So 630W is plenty... ...but...
Nvidia recommend a minimum of 600Ws for a GTX 780. We do not want to recommend minimum and add 15%. You would want a 650W PSU for a system running a GTX 780 unless you want to have a low power ratio to the system. 630Ws is not plenty...
 

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We do not want to recommend minimum and add 15%.
Nobody's doing that!

630Ws is not plenty...
Oh, but 650W is??? :( Come on. That's barely 3% more!

I did NOT say that TT630, is plenty. I said 630W is. But to be sure, if me, I would probably go for a 750W 80 PLUS certified. Why? To ensure my PSU had plenty of headroom for any future (known or unknown) upgrades, and so it would not be straining under the computer's maximum load, thus would run cooler and, in turn the fan would run slower, thus quieter.

Too much PSU does not hurt anything, but maybe add a few $$$ to the initial costs. I note for just $10 more (with rebate), you can go from an Antec 600W to an Antec 750W 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified.
 

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Which PSU would you recommend?: )
My recommendation is a XFX or Seasonic branded PSU rated at 650Ws.

Nobody's doing that!

Oh, but 650W is??? :( Come on. That's barely 3% more!

I did NOT say that TT630, is plenty. I said 630W is. But to be sure, if me, I would probably go for a 750W 80 PLUS certified. Why? To ensure my PSU had plenty of headroom for any future (known or unknown) upgrades, and so it would not be straining under the computer's maximum load, thus would run cooler and, in turn the fan would run slower, thus quieter.

Too much PSU does not hurt anything, but maybe add a few $$$ to the initial costs. I note for just $10 more (with rebate), you can go from an Antec 600W to an Antec 750W 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified.
And yet, everybody is doing that.

Power supplies rarely hit their 100% efficiency. So a 630W PSU may only operate that the minimum Nvidia requirement of 600Ws. So yes 3% can make a difference.

You're right on the brand of TT. I'm not going against your argument there.
 

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And yet, everybody is doing that.
No they aren't! And for sure, I didn't! So please don't attempt to speak for "everyone"! Extremes and absolutes don't set the rule.

For one, I used the highly regarded eXtreme PSU Calculator Lite. Then I added buffer space by bumping Capacitor Aging to 10% and both TDP and system load to 100%. And I added additional fans and drives to get a minimum of 490W. 490 + 15% = 563.5W.

630W (if 80 PLUS from a quality maker) is more than 28.5% above the 490W minimum required. Not 15%. :(

And FTR, I said I would go with a 750W 80 PLUS certified for a 25% buffer over that 600W.

So clearly - not everyone is doing it! :(

So a 630W PSU may only operate that the minimum Nvidia requirement of 600Ws. So yes 3% can make a difference.
:(

Okay - so you report 600W is the minimum, then are critical of "everyone" for adding 15%. Yet you recommend 650W which is just 8.33% over your 600W minimum!!! 8.33%??? :banghead:

And let's be realistic about that extra 3%, okay? Yes, technically, an extra 3% "can" make a difference. But the reality is, if the demands are such that just 3% more capacity does make a difference, then the supply was too small to begin with!

A PSU needs considerably more than 3% headroom - ESPECIALLY if it might be expected to support additional hardware (more RAM, added or attached drives, or bigger graphics solution) some time down the road.

Also, all electronics "age" over time. PSUs are no exception and tend to lose more than 3% of their capacity over their lifespan just through normal component aging! This is exactly why the better PSU calculators allow you to factor in aging.

Power supplies rarely hit their 100% efficiency.
:( No power supply will EVER hit 100% efficiency. As in NEVER EVER!!! Or at least not in the next couple centuries! And even then, "superconductor" technologies will likely be too expensive for home consumers.

BTW, you can follow the link in my sig to decide for yourself if I might know a little something about electronics, electronics theory, power demands, and how power supplies in electronic systems work. I am not just an enthusiast or experienced user.

And to be sure, I am not trying to argue or to point fingers by saying this person is wrong and that person is right. I am just trying to get the best correct information out to the posters.

****

I have used XFX and Seasonic PSUs and like them too. But just like Antec and Corsair (my preferred brands) or TT and other brands, they all make lessor quality, entry-level, budget PSUs, better quality mid-grade (and mid-priced) PSUs, and top quality higher priced PSUs. So buying just for the brand name is not a good idea. Research the PSU under consideration by specific model number.

Look at reviews from professional review sites. Do NOT put your total faith in "user reviews" at retail sites like Amazon and Newegg unless there are MANY reports of the exact same problem! Note that most happy users don't complain, or write reviews. And most user reviews are written within a day or two of receiving the product - not after months of real-world use. And most users don't know how to properly test, compare, or review electronics, even if they had the proper test equipment to do so - which they likely don't.

And regardless, until Man can create perfection 100% of the time, there will always be samples coming off the production line that fail prematurely - even from the most reliable makers.
 

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No power supply will EVER hit 100% efficiency. As in NEVER EVER!!!
Yes, as described in the laws of thermodynamics. In the computer's power supply a lot of manipulation is going on to convert mains AC to clean DC of the required voltages. At each of these steps, entropy dictates that a bit of useful power will be lost to the environment. The result of this power loss is heat, which is why PSUs need cooling fans.

Seasonic PSUs currently are among the better-built ones but this doesn't mean that other brands are all terrible (though some, like Diablotek, certainly are). One thing that Seasonic often does is to actually underrate it's wattage output description. Therefore, the same Seasonic-made power supply may be rated as a 620 W if sold by Seasonic and a 650 W if sold by a re-brander.

The best way to see if a new PSU has enough headroom for component aging while still maintaining its rated output is to go to those better hardware review sites where the techs use the proper equipment to load test them. Here, you may find that a good Seasonic can actually provide 15% more power than it says it will, whereas a mid-quality PSU might be just within specs and a horrible Diablotek literally explode at only 75% of its rated output. The gist of this being that a "fudge factor" is probably more important when considering a cheaper PSU versus a quality one.
 

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No they aren't! And for sure, I didn't! So please don't attempt to speak for "everyone"! Extremes and absolutes don't set the rule.
Yet, your comment of "nobody" is acceptable? So please don't attempt to speak for "everyone".

Instead of going back and forth in the OP's thread we will end this here. If you would like to continuing the convocation then please PM me.
 

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:( Gee whiz, was that really necessary? I meant "nobody" in this thread was doing that - which was true! My apologies to "everyone" for not making that perfectly clear. :(

I am not here to split hairs, but you suggesting "everyone" adding 15% is wrong while you added a mere 8.33% in your recommendation hardly makes sense. :facepalm:

Have a good day.

***

@MPR :thumb: Thanks for the reiterations and additional detail. I might add that power output is also a function of efficiency and while the better 80 PLUS PSUs have a relatively "flat" curve across a wide range of expected loads (20%, 50%, and 100% - plus 10% for 80 PLUS Titanium PSUs), it is not perfectly flat. And sadly, the ATX Form Factor Standard for PSUs does not stipulate a specific load level to be used to determine the advertised rating. It could be peak at this one load rating (like that TT above) or an average across the entire range - or something in between. But the 80 PLUS Certification standards do stipulate how to establish the true ratings. How marketing weenies :angry: advertise it is for another discussion, however.

So the actual load values when testing, in addition to tolerance variations between each production line sample is why this professional review site might say 620W and that review site might say 630W.

Also, arguably, the current available on the +12VDC rail is the most critical value, yet the total "advertised" output consists of the power across all rails, including 5 and 3.3VDC. So technically, the advertised power rating alone is not enough to ensure you get the right PSU for your particular hardware. This is where adding a sufficient buffer to ensure adequate overhead can save you money in the long run - not to mention, sticking with a reliable brand, and model that is 80 PLUS Certified.

***

@bearsus - sorry for unnecessary distractions. While 620 - 650W is technically enough, I would urge you get a bit bigger - in the 700 to 750W range to ensure the supply will meet your needs 2, 3, or 4 years into the future. Also, a larger PSU will be less strained when pushed and that will help minimize PSU fan noise.

Remember, the computer will draw only what it needs, not what the PSU can deliver. That is, if your computer (motherboard, graphics, drives, RAM, PC powered USB devices), needs 400W, it will draw from the PSU 400W, regardless if the PSU is rated at 620W or 1KW. And the PSU will draw from the wall 400W, plus another ~60 to 120 watts due to PSU inefficiencies (based on 70 - 85% efficiency) wasted in the form of heat - again regardless if the PSU is rated at 620W or 1000W.
 

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For a GTX780 GPU, you want to be at 650W with a good quality PSU. SeaSonic-XFX-Antec HCG are top quality.
 

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@Tyree - thanks but I don't discuss technical issues via PM. That goes against the very concept and nature of "forums" (not to mention, the rules of the site) where everyone has, or should have, an opportunity to participate, share, and perhaps learn something new along the way.

But to your concerns, I understand fully, and my post above ended my participation in the side issues, and I have replied to the PM I got.

****

So back on point and @bearsus - I agree, based on what "we know", a 630 - 650W from a quality maker will "probably" meet your needs just fine. Not that TT 630W, but a quality 80 PLUS certified PSU (which includes your 80 PLUS Bronze Corsair 650W). All quality PSUs are designed and rated for "continuous" output so no harm (in theory!!!) will come if the 650W is continuously pushed near its limits. But a pushed PSU will generate lots of heat, and will force the PSU fan to spin at or near full speed - and maximum noise levels - with no room for future expansions and power hungry upgrades.

The problem is, no one here knows what you have in your computer! We don't know how many hard drives, SSDs, case fans or RAM sticks you have installed. And neither does your graphics card maker. We don't know what, if any, attached devices (without separate power supplies) you have attached to your system via USB or eSATA. Or if you have any installed cards, besides the one graphics card.

We don't know if you are thinking about adding more RAM, more drives, more fans or a second or bigger graphics card in the next year or two. We don't know if you might want a bigger 130W i7 instead of that 84W i5.

So 650, or even my 750 are just guesses and opinions.

That's where the PSU calculator comes in. No guessing!

Oh, and btw, I recommend the Pro version of the calculator for enthusiasts and for those who provide technical support. $10 for a lifetime (well, 200 years anyway) license is worth it, IMO. The pro version not only allows you to factor in upto 6 graphics cards and actual current on the 3 rails, but will calculate UPS requirements too. Very handy since we all have our computers and network gear on a "good" UPS with AVR, right?
 

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The GPU is the primary consume of power so if the PSU has sufficient power for the GPU, you're good.
630W would be sufficient for the GTX780 but the PSU's we use/recommenced have no 630W models.......so we suggest 650W.
 

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630W would be sufficient for the GTX780 but the PSU's we use/recommenced have no 630W models.......so we suggest 650W.
:) Thanks for that!

I see a Seasonic 620W on the list, but it makes sense to "round up" rather than down.

That said, I note the site's [excellent!!!] Power Supply Information and Selection guide containing your suggested 650W supply also recommends the use of the eXtreme Power Supply Calculator I mentioned above. But it clearly says,
We highly recommended that you use the capacitor ageing feature set to 30% or add 30% to the total watts the calculator determines
I was more conservative with 10%, but nevertheless, if using the guide and the recommended 30%, with 1 SSD, 1 SATA HD, 1 DVD, 2 120mm fans, 2 sticks of DDR3 RAM, and CPU utilization and Load set to 100%, I get a minimum of 549W and recommended 599W.

650W provides barely 9% headroom, and the user may have 4 sticks of RAM and more drives and fans. We don't know. But I personally would like more headroom if I expect the PSU to carry me through several years of service and upgrades. So I stick with my recommendation for a good, 750W 80 PLUS. The recommended Corsair TX750, which is what I have, BTW, seems like a good choice.
 

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power supply calculators are only good if actually know how to use them properly.

You have to factor in things such as capacitor aging and such.

I always go by the old rule although its not really needed these days due to high efficiency but I take the recommended psu wattage for the gpu and add 30%. I always go seasonic for my power supplies and most are 90% or more efficient.

Seasonic put 90% on their PSUs but most are actually higher than this. They are actually working on their newer designs at the moment and one model it is claimed to be 97.5% efficient.
 
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