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Noticeable, regular clicking sound from new AX1200i


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I bought a new AX1200i from a UK retailer 3 months ago, but only got round to installing it 3 days ago. One of the main reasons I got it was for the silent mode since I've built my PC for quietness which is really important for me, as well as serious gaming power. Even running demanding and power hungry stress tests such as Furmark didn't spin up the fan either in the short time I ran them, which is fantastic.

 

It worked fine, an absolutely awesome PSU just like all the reviews, but today, it started making a regular clicking noise - a soft, but very noticeable "k" sound - every 10 seconds or so once the fan stopped spinning at power on. In my quiet environment it's very annoying indeed and defeats the whole purpose of buying it, so I've had to put back my HX850W v1 which has worked flawlessly since I bought it 5 years ago.

 

Looking at this forum and this thread from November 2012 in particular, it's not clear if this is a design issue or a manufacturing fault, possibly with the fan control circuitry. I'm also surprised to see this problem in a unit made so much later, expecting a niggly issue like this to have been ironed out. Either way, I don't want to live with this problem and feel very disappointed right now with Corsair. To be fair though, I've bought many different types of Corsair products over the years and this is the only one I've ever had a problem with. They've all been high quality, so Corsair is a top brand for me.

 

As a test, I tried lightening the load on it by removing the graphics card, disconnecting all the drives and booting the PC to the BIOS, but the problem remained.

 

I fear that if I RMA it with the retailer, I may get a replacement unit that does the same thing and they won't refund it due to the length of time since I bought it, so I would really appreciate help from the Corsair reps on here.

 

PC specs as in my profile.

Edited by GPU
Got a more accurate measurement of the clicking period
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Thankyou very much, I will do that.

 

I'm going to wait for ram guy before I do though, as he might be able to give me some useful info to help with the RMA. I expect he'll probably reply on Monday when the office opens.

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Damn, I've just realized that ram guy is no longer posting on this forum, the last post being in February. Anyone know what happened to him?

 

Is there any other Corsair rep who can discuss this with me here before I RMA it?

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Damn, I've just realized that ram guy is no longer posting on this forum, the last post being in February. Anyone know what happened to him?

 

Is there any other Corsair rep who can discuss this with me here before I RMA it?

Ram Guy = the TS team. The TS team have separate accounts, but the forum's a user forum largely. You can ask questions in the ticket itself.
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So.... the problem is that the fan "checks itself before it wrecks itself".... to make sure there isn't something blocking the fan, it gives itself a little kick and if it moves, even a little bit, it says "I'm good". If it doesn't move, it assumes there's something stuck in the fan and the PSU will actually shut down.

 

Obviously this is a good feature for if your fan fails, but it's a nuisance when the fan is supposed to be altogether off. So in later revisions of the AXi, they removed delivering any power to the fan at lower loads. If the fan isn't supposed to spin, it doesn't bother to check to see if the fan is spinning. If the fan is supposed to spin and it doesn't, then it will do the check and if it fails, it'll shut off the PSU.

 

I'm getting the lot codes for when the change to the PSU's circuitry was changed from the former to the latter. Stay tuned.

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So.... the problem is that the fan "checks itself before it wrecks itself".... to make sure there isn't something blocking the fan, it gives itself a little kick and if it moves, even a little bit, it says "I'm good". If it doesn't move, it assumes there's something stuck in the fan and the PSU will actually shut down.

 

Obviously this is a good feature for if your fan fails, but it's a nuisance when the fan is supposed to be altogether off. So in later revisions of the AXi, they removed delivering any power to the fan at lower loads. If the fan isn't supposed to spin, it doesn't bother to check to see if the fan is spinning. If the fan is supposed to spin and it doesn't, then it will do the check and if it fails, it'll shut off the PSU.

 

I'm getting the lot codes for when the change to the PSU's circuitry was changed from the former to the latter. Stay tuned.

Ah, that makes sense. I've seen your PSU reviews and know what an expert you are on these things, so I really appreciate your insight. :): Still, I wonder why did it take three days for it to start doing this? Also, every 10 seconds seems a bit too frequent to me, plus I did look for some motion of the fan, but it doesn't move at all, so it must be a very light push.

 

I'll be happy to give you the lot code for it and will wait for your reply before RMAing it.

 

Thanks for flogging me old stock, Ebuyer. :roll:

Edited by GPU
Clarified wording
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It's a VERY light push. The audible click is from the fan motors lamination (the surface they put on the motor's coils). When the PSU was brand new, the lamination had pretty good seal, but after a few days of use, high temperatures and constantly being nudged every 10 seconds, the lamination degraded enough to start making the clicking noise.

 

Yeah... if you have a lot number, that'll be great.

Edited by jonnyguru
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Well... I wouldn't call it damage. It's a laquer laminate coating that all magnetics get. It's not a poor design choice as much as it's a poor choice for this design. The fan is an off the shelf model and this behavior, as opposed to having a Zero RPM mode, is normal for it. In other words: the fan was never designed to have a Zero RPM mode and still receive power so its logic still functions.
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OK, so it looks like I should do one of two things:

 

1 RMA it with Corsair and ask for a brand new PSU ie sealed box of the latest revision which doesn't have this problem.

 

2 RMA it with Ebuyer and ask for a refund under the Sale of Goods Act as unfit for purpose due to a severe annoyance issue that wasn't disclosed at the time of sale. I bet they fight this, though. I will then buy another one from another seller, likely Amazon who were long term out of stock at the time and I thought they wouldn't be getting any more of them. Heck, I may just get the new AX1500i which I can't see as having this problem.

 

Just a thought: is this something which could be fixed with updated firmware from Corsair to not send the power pulse and programmed through its Link interface? I'd be perfectly happy with that and much less hassle than getting it swapped out.

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Yeah.. they'll fight #2.

 

And this is something that "should" be fixed with firmware, but they didn't allow for any way for users to flash firmware via I2C or USB. :(:

 

I'd stick with #1, but wait for me to get lot codes first. :D:

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That's a silly restriction with the firmware flashing when you think about it, because the only user that's going to spend so much money on a PSU like this is an enthusiast who knows what he's doing. There are also ways of guarding against a bad flash, too.

 

Thanks again for your help Jonny, I'll wait for you to get back to me first as advised.

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Yeah.... not really a restriction. More like an oversight. The PM at the time didn't think to add it as a feature and adding it would have added to the cost, soooo..... I hear the next digital solutions may allow it, but that who knows when that's coming along and it doesn't help you now.
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jonnyguru

 

I'm in the carousel of doing a third rma on the ax1200i because of the fan clicking noise.

Have had 2 now that had the same awful clicking noise.

I'm about to try a third rma.

 

What lot nr should i ask for that this problem is fixed?

or is it revision?

Can i could ask them to send any of the new ones that doesn't have this problem.

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Hi Jonny, did Corsair get back to you with those lot codes?

 

I looked into it and it turns out that I can indeed use the Sale of Goods Act to force Ebuyer into a refund. This is because within 6 months if the item doesn't meet it's description, it's up to the retailer to prove that it wasn't faulty when I bought it. After 6 months the burden of proof reverses so I need to act quickly. The Ebuyer web page clearly promotes the silent mode as a selling feature, so my clicking unit certainly doesn't meet that description.

 

It's less than 6 months old, so I can use this to my advantage by asking for a PSU with a lot code greater than the minimum one for the fixed versions or a refund if they can't supply it, hence I need those lot codes.

 

If I get a refund, I'll just get an AX1500i which I very much doubt will have this problem. Oh and I'll check it out straight away. ;):

 

Looking at this forum, I'm seeing a lot of complaints for the AX1200i many of which have been posted recently, which makes me wonder if there have been production problems with them?

Edited by GPU
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Jonny, it looks like those engineers never got back to you then?

 

I'm going to have log that RMA with Ebuyer in a couple of days then without any help from Corsair.

 

It would have really helped their customers if Corsair would have officially acknowledged this problem and issued a recall or firmware update. I see that instead they've not even documented the problem from the lack of a PCN or got back to you. This is really crap customer service from them frankly and I'm not impressed. It's made significantly worse by the fact that this is a top of the range product from them.

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