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HX 1000 - fan clicking because PWM?


tsplano

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First post here. I bought an HX 1000 from an online retailer 1 month ago along with all necessary components for new system build. I have the pc running for about three weeks (1 week was shipping and build time) and just noticed the last two days there is a muffled clicking coming from the PSU. I isolated the noise by stopping each fan until I followed the noise to the PSU, turned off the pc and noticed the clicking quieted down - it was pretty clear that the PSU was the source.

 

So after much searching the last two nights regarding this clicking noise, from review sites (figuring out what kind of fan is in the PSU) and reported issues on retail sites and this support forum of the HX 1000 clicking noise (and other models of Corsair PSU) as well as general PWM information I've come to the conclusion the problem is the fan being of a PWM type that is running on low voltage. This is the best summary from one of the sites that I found to describe the issue -

 

"The PWM output drives power transistor Q2, which modulates the fan's power supply. PWM modulation is simple, inexpensive, and efficient, but it applies a series of pulses to the fan's power supply. Accompanying each PWM pulse is a slight physical perturbation of the fan assembly, which can cause an increase in fan noise, usually in the form of a "clicking" sound at the PWM frequency. Depending on the fan's design, this noise may be nearly inaudible, or may be moderately loud and distracting to users."

 

I do remember looking into the grill of the PSU at one point and noticed the fan was rotating at low RPM. What I think I'm hearing is the pulse cycles and not actually "clicking". I have an Antec 900 case that runs three 120mm Antec tricool fans and one 200mm top fan, all at low setting so the pc is very quiet. Any louder on these fans and the "clicking" from the PSU is not noticeable. Not a solution for me since I really like a quiet rig.

 

I'm going to try and slow the PSU fan down tonight with a Q-tip and see if I hear the sound stop immediately or if it continues. I'm guessing here that if the sound continues then that is likely the pulse still going and not the fan hitting something inside the casing.

 

Two of the review sites pointed out the PSU fan being the Yate Loon D14BH-12 (L-SSS) DC 12V 0.70A model. I haven't checked my PSU to see if it has this fan or another brand (don't want to take off the grill). Is this the only type of fan used for HX1000 units?

 

I really, REALLY don't want to RMA this unit if I don't have to. These PSUs are VERY heavy and I can imagine shipping will be steep. I can't send it back to the retailer because the barcode is gone from the package (rebate was sent).

 

So the question is, how close am I to pinpointing the issue correctly regarding a PWM fan? If it is indeed the fan, is the PSU safe enough to operate regardless of the clicking noise? Is there a way that Corsair can check with the manufacturer of the fan to confirm that PWM is the source of the noise at low RPM?

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I slowed down the fan with a Q-tip and the clicking sound slowed down as well. At first I thought maybe it isn't the PWM cycles. But then today I had the heater turned on higher than normal and the room was pretty warm. I noticed the clicking sound was gone. The fan is running faster than before. I'm guessing again here that it IS a PWM making the sound.

 

Can someone at Corsair confirm those fans are actually PWM fans? I don't see anything on the Yate Loon website.

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I am seriously considering purchasing the HX1000 for my upgrade.

I have narrowed my search to tow PSUs, and the HX1000 sits at the #1 spot so far. However, the reported PWM fan noise problem is a deal breaker. I am essentially bumping this thread because this issue is important to me as well.

 

From what I can see the unit uses a 140mm fan. I cannot recall ever seeing an actual 140mm PWM fan (has 4 wires) but I could be wrong, I have not seen every fan supplier in the world I am sure. Assuming that the fan inside is a 3 or 2 wire fan, this means that the only feasible solution for it is a "low speed" external PWM controller, which classically causes noise in high current fans larger than 120mm. High speed PWM controllers require a 4 wire fan to work properly and require a little more thought to be put into the design process, so Im sure that if one was ever to be included it would be in a revision, or possibly even a different model altogether. The reason for a different model is because if a chip like Analog Devices' ADT4790 was used it would allow the user to also monitor temps and config fan speeds/temps themselves, thus offering a whole new feature set. Anyways, I got a little off track there :laughing: .

 

Seeing that these fans most likely do not use a high frequency PWM then they must be controlled by a regular PWM controller. What I want to know is if this PWM noise issue is a regular occurrence for these units? Are attempts made in the fan speed circuit to cut down on the noise due to stress on the fan's structure with each pulse? Mainly, is there a RC filter at the gate of the fan's controlling FET to slow the PWM's slew rate to reduce noise and also lengthen fan life? If so, are the complaints that I am reading about this PWM noise typical for just this model? Also, if this is so, when does Corasir plan on a revision to correct this potential nuisance.

 

Can anyone other than Corsair support confirm that tightening the screws 1/4 a turn fixes the PWM tick problem? I would hate to have to RMA such a heavy product.

 

Other than this I read that these PSUs are rock solid, and carries exactly the specs I am looking for in my build (which I have not listed on my profile because it is not yet important).

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  • Corsair Employees

Sorry for the delay in our response, we must have missed you on the first go around!

 

I can tell you that the clicking would not indicate any danger of damaging any of your components or shortening the life of your PSU. I think that this may be a better question for PowerGuy to address, so I will pass this along and get you a reply ASAP! If you do not see a reply within 24-48 hours feel free to bump the thread, things have been quite busy around here lately and I do not want to forget about you!

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... I cannot recall ever seeing an actual 140mm PWM fan (has 4 wires) but I could be wrong, I have not seen every fan supplier in the world I am sure. Assuming that the fan inside is a 3 or 2 wire fan, this means that the only feasible solution for it is a "low speed" external PWM controller, which classically causes noise in high current fans larger than 120mm.

 

Come to think of it, I didn't even bother to pay attention to pics from one of the review sites -

 

http://enthusiast.hardocp.com/image.html?image=MTIwODM5MDkwMHJVdkJCT25GalhfM184X2wuanBn

 

It is a 2-wire fan, so likely the controller is external. I do recall an online store posting a side note that stated Yate Loons were not good with external fan controllers. I can't remember the site nor did I bookmarked. I can't remember specifically what kind of controllers it had issue with.

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Sorry for the delay in our response, we must have missed you on the first go around!

 

I can tell you that the clicking would not indicate any danger of damaging any of your components or shortening the life of your PSU. I think that this may be a better question for PowerGuy to address, so I will pass this along and get you a reply ASAP!

 

Thanks! If the operation of the PSU is fine despite the noise then I'm at least feeling more at ease. I am definitely curious what causes the noise and if there is an easy fix that I myself can even perform.

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  • 2 months later...

Well, finally decided enough was enough. I took out the power supply, opened the case, then spun the fan manually. I noticed the clicking right away and observed the fan to wobble as it rotated, thus giving an unbalanced rotation. It looks like the blades were just not placed on the motor correctly.

 

I ended up ordering a replacement fan (Yate Loon D14SM-12) from another vendor and installed it today. So far so good, no clicking noise and my rig is actually quite for once.

 

Corsair should ask Yate Loon why they got a batch of bad D14-BH12 fans.

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Well, finally decided enough was enough. I took out the power supply, opened the case, then spun the fan manually. I noticed the clicking right away and observed the fan to wobble as it rotated, thus giving an unbalanced rotation. It looks like the blades were just not placed on the motor correctly.

 

I ended up ordering a replacement fan (Yate Loon D14SM-12) from another vendor and installed it today. So far so good, no clicking noise and my rig is actually quite for once.

 

Corsair should ask Yate Loon why they got a batch of bad D14-BH12 fans.

I'm in the same boat, returned it to the store twice for a replacement and now I'm just going to replace the fan and be done with it. Thanks for posting what you used as a replacement, I'd already ordered myself one but it's good to hear that it fits/works :).
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I have just ordered a HX 1000. But I can still cancel the order.

I am quite worried about what I have read concerning the fan, from well known reviewers to Newegg customers, who complain not only about noise, but even about the fan actually breaking, in some cases.

I live in Europe, thus I don't know if I'll get exactly the same PSU as American customers.

What does everybody think?

Thanks

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Overall, a very small number of people have issues with the PSUs so your chance of getting a bad one is very small. I think you'll be fine.

 

Thanks for your kind and prompt reply.

It is quite reassuring, not considering the fact that when there is even a tiny chance that something goes wrong, it will certainly happen to me :laughing:

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Here it is May 3rd 2009 and this problem is still here??? My HX1000 purchased on 3/10/2009 and in use since 4/15 has started the clicking noise. I am hearing impaired and still can hear the clicking.

 

I started an RMA but would like to know if Corsair has corrected the issues in the replacements.

 

This build was high end and great pain was taken in running the cables. I sure don't want to keep yanking out my PS every month.

 

Could someone confirm Corsair knows what the problem is and corrected it?

 

Butch

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  • Corsair Employees
The 5 of may and my PS is getting louder. Still haven't heard from Corsair.

 

Let's get the unit replaced, like specmike said before, its rare to get a PSU that is going to be excessively loud and overall there is a very low percentage of PSUs which actually have a problem.

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  • 3 weeks later...
I ended up ordering a replacement fan (Yate Loon D14SM-12) from another vendor and installed it today. So far so good, no clicking noise and my rig is actually quite for once.

 

Can I ask what you did with the 3rd (yellow) wire on the new fan when you replaced the malfunctioning fan?

 

I notice that the stock Yate Loon has only a 2-pin connector and all the replacement fans (that I can find anyway) have 3 pin. Did you just cut off the yellow wire, and then cut and solder the red and black to the stock pin connector?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Yes, I cut the extra wire out and used only the black and red. I only cut it from the plastic connector, then wrapped the excess wire around the red/black wires, then wrapped electrical tape to secure it from unravelling making sure the exposed wires of the yellow were tucked under the tape as well. The yellow is for fan speed control, of which if I'm correct is done by the PSU any way.

 

You have to watch out for the plastic connectors as well since they may be different, as was mine. Write down which wire went to which slot on the old fan connector before doing this. With very tiny flat head screw drivers I had to push down on the metal connector tabs that were scuring the wires into the slots of the connectors. This was done on the new fan connector as well so I could reuse the metal connection on the new wires one the old connector.

 

Once I got the wires out of the old connector, I then insterted the wires from the new fans into it, while referring to notes I wrote down on which color wires went to which slot. Then I pulled on the wires from the plastic connector to makes sure they were secured, then insterted the connector and fan back into the PSU.

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