When testing in a power supply laboratory it is difficult to take fan noise readings as the noise from the Sunmoon test equipment and air conditioning corrupts everything. The next best thing in our circumstances was reading off the fan speed with a tachometer to get an idea for the noise. The ambient temperature during testing held constant at 22 degrees, with 1 degree of variation. Each power supply had a consistent time period of 5 minutes to stabilise between each load scenario.
In my experience the following general relationships apply between noise levels and fan speeds, though it can vary greatly between the type of fan used.
- Below 800 RPM – Inaudible/Silent
- 800 to 1000 RPM – Barely audible
- 1000 – 1200 RPM – Audible but still quiet
- 1200 – 1400 RPM – Moderately noisy
- 1400 – 1800 RPM – Noisy
- 1800 RPM or higher – Intolerable
OK, things look a little crazy here, so let me do some explaining. The fan seems to tick on and off infrequently between 20% and 50% loads. They said it’s a hybrid fan, but the fan does tend to kick in after just a few minutes of usage. If it’s a cool day and you’re only checking your emails, maybe it won’t spin up, but if you’re gaming, it certainly will spin up the fan; the fan peaked at 1600RPM