When it comes to power, PC builders usually want to get themselves a reliable and efficient PSU – but modern-day advances mean that you can be faced with a growing number of silent PSU options that weren’t available in the past.
Most power supplies use a fan for heat dissipation and this is where that pesky buzzing sound comes from.
Despite this, manufacturers have ways of tackling the sound output of a PSU by using hybrid models or going fanless. No matter what PSU design you are looking at though, it can be hard to find the best quiet power supply for your build. So, we have decided to sort through the different boxes out there to find you a truly silent PSU option.
Best Quiet Power Supply: First Look
The standout winner is, of course, the Seasonic Prime 600TL. This PSU can offer truly silent operation thanks to the fact it’s fanless.
When it comes to choosing the best quiet power supply, you can’t really go wrong with the Seasonic PSU. The SSR-600TL is the quietest PSU on the market, thanks to its fanless operation. This PSU uses heatsinks alone to dissipate heat, and offers some of the greatest efficiency out there.
In close second is yet another Seasonic Prime PSU. The SSR-650TR, unlike the 600 model, comes with a fan and will passively cool until a certain level of heat is reached.
This PSU is known as a hybrid model and that is because it can passively cool up to a certain point before the fan is activated. This PSU is again of Titanium level efficiency certified and is highly regarded as one of the best PSUs you can buy right now.
Our next recommendation isn’t particularly the quietest PSU on the list, but it is high quality and incredibly efficient.
Don’t let the name ‘Be Quiet!’ fool you – this PSU can be fairly loud when under heavy load. That being said, the silent wings fan is virtually inaudible. Aside from the noise, this PSU offers Gold level 80+power efficiency certification (up to 93%) – unrivaled in its class.
The RMx series is known for its quality and low noise output. This goes for the Corsair HX and AX series too, but, this PSU is poised at a very affordable price.
The Corsair RM650x features a ‘Zero Fan Mode’, which is essentially Corsair’s hybrid PSU technology, making this PSU semi-passive. This PSU won’t make a peep until the PSU hits a load of 40%, giving you silent operation most of the time.
This quiet PSU from EVGA is more than just a solid bit of hardware; it’s an efficient workhorse that won’t let you down, and it comes with a very long warranty.
The EVGA Supernova T2 is a quiet power supply until it’s under heavy load, and even then it’s still considered a top-tier PSU. Like a lot on this list, this is a semi-passive PSU, giving you silent operation for the majority of common tasks you will want to perform on your PC.
Naturally, giving your power supply less to do can decrease the noise output – but not everyone can afford to aim for higher wattage, and thankfully, size generally doesn’t matter as much anymore.
There are a few factors that can impact the noise output of a PSU, and it’s definitely worth taking note of these before you make your next power supply purchase.
Quality is a must, no matter if you want to buy a quiet power supply or not.
This is because the primary purpose of a PSU is supplying your expensive components with precious power. Bad quality power supplies can produce noise due to anything from coils vibrating to a poorly constructed fan. Cheaper power supplies can also be manufactured with thinner metal housing, which allows passing vibrations to be sent to the PC case. Always go for reliable, well-built power supplies, with beefy warranties!
With this in mind, the selections in this article all represent trustworthy manufacturers in the PSU world that offer quality products, power efficiency, and decent warranties.
Power supplies are generally very efficient these days, but they aren’t perfect and can still produce some heat. A passive PSU (also known as a fanless PSU) cools by using massive heatsinks and superb efficiency. With no moving parts, a fanless PSU gives you true silent operation and should be considered for low power builds.
Semi-passive power supplies (or hybrid PSUs as they are commonly known) use fan profiles / zero fan mode to act only when needed. This means that the PSU fan will run at idle until a certain percentage of the load has been hit, at which point the fan begins to spin. The percentage varies across different models but in many cases, the PSU will remain silent until it gets to around 40% load.
The Best Quiet Power Supply
Seasonic is widely known for its power supplies and its safe to say they are one of the most reliable manufacturers on the market. The SSR-600TL is one of the best quiet power supplies money can buy. This efficient PSU outdoes many of the competition, and can easily support a high-end gaming system.
It is only the Prime series that features a fanless model from Seasonic, and this model is one of the highest-capacity fanless PSUs you can buy.
This 600W model passively cools, but, due to a severe lack of energy loss, it doesn’t have much to do! Aside from being extremely efficient (certifications from Cybenetics and 80 PLUS), it is also completely modular which is always handy for cable management. This model comes with four PCIe connectors and two EPS connectors, with decent cable lengths too.
Despite being a fanless PSU, the plethora of connector options and the unit’s high-capacity allow for the Seasonic Prime to be used in a high-end gaming system. What this PSU lacks in active cooling, it makes up for in its 80+ Titanium level of efficiency. This is easily one of the best passive PSUs out there, certainly at this capacity anyway. If you can get over the SSR-600TL’s price tag and you want true silent operation in your PC then look no further!
It’s not surprising to see another entry from Seasonic here because (as we previously mentioned), they are a highly regarded PSU manufacturer. The Prime series is great, with high efficiency and unrivaled performance.
This 650W model is semi-passive and operates slightly differently from the fanless model. The PSU will remain silent due to its fan staying idle until it hits a certain load and even under heavy load it keeps quiet thanks to its fluid dynamic bearing fan. Seasonic calls this a hybrid, and it is one of the quietest 650W PSUs on the market while operating over its range (averaging around 18 dBa). The SSR-650TR PSU also comes fully modular and has a whopping 12-year warranty.
The Prime series was Seasonic’s major comeback into the PSU sphere, with them now filling out the range to include gold and platinum models too. This model is an excellent choice for anyone looking for the best semi-passive PSU. The SSR-650TR offers more than just a Titanium level of efficiency and stellar build quality, it’s quiet, bordering on silent too.
Great voltage regulation
High build quality
Cables are on the bulky side
The guys over at be quiet! are no strangers to making high-quality power supplies and as the name suggests, quiet ones too. This 550W model comes from the be quiet! Straight Power 11 range, which each feature a balance between low-noise and high performance.
This PSU isn’t the quietest by a long stretch, especially under heavy load due to a lack of fan control. That being said, it was virtually silent under a low load and will remain that way when using up to around 300 watts. For enhanced cooling and longevity, we see a wire-free inside on the DC side. This 550W PSU is fully modular and offers an 80+ Gold efficiency rating of up to 93%. While the efficiency may not be as good as the higher-tier Dark Power Pro series, the performance and quality is still top-notch with this model.
Despite not having the best acoustic performance on the list (average 13.5 dBa), the quality of be quiet’s PSUs still get this on to the list. This is a great overall PSU from be quiet and will do well as part of any build, but, if you are looking for something that never makes a peep, you may be better going for recommendations one and two.
Good Load Regulation
Only one EPS connector
The Corsair RMx series is one of the most popular in the market – and for good reason. Like the HX and AX models, these PSUs offer full modularity and excellent efficiency.
The RM650x features Corsair’s “Zero Fan Mode”, which is essentially a smart fan controller that only fires up the fan when the system reaches a certain load (much like the SSR-650TR). When using the Zero Fan Mode, the fan won’t start spinning until the PSU hits a load of 40%, which is the same for the HX series too. This PSU will deliver full power continuously at temperatures of up to 50°C, so it clearly has components capable of handling the heat. Aside from the thermal performance, the RM650x also sports full modularity, making upgrades much easier to install at a later date. This model comes with an 80+ efficiency rating of Gold and a handy 10-year warranty.
This PSU from Corsair is an excellent choice, with superb performance and quiet operation. Aside from having a high build quality, top-tier performance, and being from a very reputable company, this PSU benefits from its 10-year warranty – which goes a long way.
Short distance between molex connectors
EVGA is one of the most popular PSU manufacturers on the market today, known for its quality and efficiency. With an ever-growing range of PSUs, it’s pretty simple to slot an EVGA PSU into this lineup, and the Supernova 850W T2 is worthy of its place.
The Supernova T2 is a semi-passive PSU, so naturally is very quiet, but, if under full load there would be some audible noise. The fan will not be spinning most of the time, but if you are dealing with higher temps you can disable this mode to let the fan spin continuously. To assist with the noise output we see the use of double ball bearing fans instead of fluid dynamic bear fans, which will also improve longevity.
This PSU is certified 80+ Titanium for efficiency (which is one of the best out there), and that yields 94% (115VAC) / 96% (220VAC~240VAC) under typical loads. Furthermore, this PSU also features full modularity, giving you a bit more flexibility and room for cable management.
The EVGA Supernova T2 range is superb and an excellent choice for quality, reliability, and efficiency. This is a top-tier PSU from a highly regarded manufacturer and as long as you keep your power usage low, this will operate silently.
Selecting the best quiet power supply can be tricky, with there being a limited amount of options to choose from. Be sure to use our Power Supply calculator to help you choose the best PSU if you are not quite sure.
That being said, with the introduction of hybrid models that sport semi-passive cooling this is no longer the case. The clear winner is the fanless Seasonic SSR-600TL, which would make a great addition to your audio rig or a silent enthusiast PC build.
For those that are keen on cutting noise but absolute silence isn’t crucial, then the Seasonic Prime series is the best place to start. Whichever you go for, aim to get slightly more wattage than you need and keep that fan off!
Have you recently bought a silent PSU? Which model did you go for? Let us know in the comments below!