PSU Making Ticking/Clicking Noise

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July 1, 2014 at 19:01:03
Specs: Windows 8.1 64 Bit, AMD FX-8350 8 Core @ 4.0 GHz - 2x4 DDR3-1600
Hey Everyone,

Recently, I've been hearing some strange Ticking/Clicking noises coming from my computer. I had just installed a new system fan (intake, 2000 RPM), so naturally I assumed it was this. I unplugged it and ran it for a few hours, but I was still hearing it. So I took off the side panels and had a buddy run some programs and such while I stuck my head inside the machine. As it turns out, it was the PSU making the sound.

So far, all I've done is checking to make sure there was nothing physically in the way of the fan. As far as I can tell there isn't. I also tried running it on it's side, still made the noise.

It is worth noting that I run a bottom mount PSU, but the case came with a cover/filter for it, and I have a board underneath it (no carpet) so I kind of doubt anything got sucked into it.

I also tried running it without the cover/filter in case it was just rattling, but this wasn't it.

I saw in a forum somewhere that it might be making the clicking noise because of the load on it (not this model specifically, just in general). So, I used a free wattage calculator to find out what would be the most my system could handle. The website told me minimum is 337 Watts, and suggested 377 Watts.

I currently use the Thermaltake TR2 600W PSU. To sum the manufacturer's site:

600 Watts under 20-100% load, 720 Watts peak

80+ Bronze Efficiency (82-88%)

Lifetime > 100,000 Hours

I've had it for about 6 months now, meaning that at most I've used it 4200 hours (that's running it 24/7).

Another things that makes me think it isn't strain on it is that it doesn't do this any more than normal when I'm gaming, presumably when I'm drawing the most power.

It does it most during startup, just after Windows loads.

Looked around in BIOS, didn't see any settings relating to Power Supply.

Oh, and as far as I can tell, the PSU fan doesn't have any nicks in it or anything.

It also has a five year warranty. I'd rather not have to send it in, as I use it a lot (that's why I'm posting here) but I'd much rather do that than risk damage to my system.

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#1
July 1, 2014 at 19:10:54
I suggest you bite the bullet and take it in under warranty. I have paid lots and paid little for PSU,s and even good ones can wear the bearings in the fan quicker than we'd like and the problem while it can be intermittent, tends to deteriorate and get louder despite the tap on the head. Are you sure this is not the hard drive at work clicking away? Either to me sounds like a hardware problem, and if its under warranty and it is the PSU, it will be a quick easy fix under warranty.

To err is human but to really screw things up, you need a computer!


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#2
July 1, 2014 at 19:13:00
Nah, definitely not a hard drive, they're on the other side of the case, it really sounds like it's coming from the power supply. Thanks for the advice.

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#3
July 1, 2014 at 22:34:54
Yeah, well if you're certain it's the power supply let them replace it and you'll sleep better with a new one....hopefully, cheers!

To err is human but to really screw things up, you need a computer!


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Related Solutions

#4
July 2, 2014 at 00:36:57
Have you opened it up and taken a look inside the PSU? (Of course that would void the warranty, if that's a concern.)

Clicking could be coming from a relay but I wouldn't think there'd be one of those in the PSU. Also arcing could make a noise that could be described as 'clicking'.


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#5
July 2, 2014 at 05:58:51
Wattage calculators are very limited in their usefulness because they don't address amperage needs. That being said, a 600W PSU should be more than sufficient if it's spec'd out correctly. If you do a google search, you'll find numerous reports of Thermaltake PSUs making a clicking sound. I didn't read enough to see if there's a known cause of the noise. If you're certain the clicking sound is coming from the PSU, I suggest you have it replaced or at least contact Thermaltake support.

Unfortunately, cases with bottom mounted PSUs have become the norm. By placing the PSU on the bottom, its large exhaust fan is taken out of the case cooling mix. That means more exhaust fans are needed to cool the case. Why did you feel you needed an intake fan? Having adequate exhaust is what's important, intakes generally aren't necessary.

The following article is a bit old but it still applies:

http://icrontic.com/article/pc_airf...


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#6
July 2, 2014 at 08:41:04
Use a length of hose to hear where the sound is coming from. Or use a mechanics stethoscope CAREFULLY.

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#7
July 2, 2014 at 09:28:54
Alright guys, I think I will just send it in under warranty. So no, I haven't opened it up becuase it would void that, and I have more faith in the people at Thermaltake to repair it than in myself.

As for what Riider was saying, I'm not sure exactly what you mean. I didn't personally choose to have the PSU fan be an intake, I just purchased it and that was the way it was.

But yes, I'm 100% sure the noise is coming from the PSU, I did what OtheHill suggested, and it only reaffirmed my suspicions.

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#8
July 2, 2014 at 12:05:02
Could be the PSU fan blades touching something.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#9
July 2, 2014 at 12:31:43
"I'm not sure exactly what you mean. I didn't personally choose to have the PSU fan be an intake, I just purchased it and that was the way it was"

In the OP you said you just installed a 2000RPM intake fan. My question is - why do you feel you needed it? Exhaust fans create negative pressure inside the case, then fresh air rushes into the case to balance the pressure so intake fans generally aren't necessary. In the conclusion of the link I provided in my other response, it states "A single rear exhaust fan produces the best results overall".

Before some "genius" came up with the bottom mounted PSU case design, the PSU was mounted at the top & the PSU cooling fan doubled as a case exhaust fan. Not only that, but it was "protected" from sucking in any debris (dirt, dust, crumbs, etc). By moving it to the bottom, it puts the PSU at risk of sucking in debris plus forces the need for additional case cooling fans. It was simply a bad idea that for some reason people bought into.

See the following: The Problem of Bottom-Mounted Power


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#10
July 2, 2014 at 13:32:38
Well, the reason why I added the bottom fan was that I had just installed a new hard drive, and my other fan is on the other side of the case, so I figured my system would benefit best if I put the fan on the bottom, right next to the drives. But if you think I would benefit most if it was exhaust (I also have an exhaust port on the top of the case) then I guess I could move it.

As for something coming in contact with something, I don't think so, as I inspected it pretty thoroughly, and I it still did it when I ran it on it's side. But it is still a possibility, do you think blowing compressed air into the vent would hurt the PSU? I could always try that to see if it frees any debris.

EDIT: Okay, so I just finished reading that article Riider linked to me, and I have a comment. First off, my case actually came with a 120 mm fan to make up for bottom-mount PSU design. I mounted it on the back of the case, right near the top. It runs at about 2400 RPM (Max), so I think it gets the job done pretty well. Secondly, I have a small wooden board underneath my computer, I put it under there for the exact purpose of preventing carpet fibers from getting sucked into the PSU. The case also has ~1" legs on the bottom, so I don't think the airflow is at all restricted by the board.

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message edited by NT56erbx


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#11
July 2, 2014 at 13:50:51
NT56

So where is the intake fan? In the side? Describe the configuration of all your fans.

I agree with riider about bottom mounted power supplies.

Also, I am guessing that your 120MM running at 2400 RPM is noisy.

I use compressed air to blow out the entire inside of my cases when I feel they need it. I blow the PSU out at that time from BOTH ends.


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#12
July 2, 2014 at 14:34:46
Okay, I have 1 Exhaust fan on the back of my computer near the top, and I have 1 intake fan on the bottom near the middle.

Actually, it really makes almost no noise. Considering it came with the case, it's actually really nice.

My CPU fan (4000 RPM) is what makes 99% of the noise of the system, and even then isn't too bad...

But I'll definitely try cleaning it out w/ compressed air and see if that helps.

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#13
July 2, 2014 at 20:43:23
If you use an intake fan, it is best low in the front, side mounted fans disrupt air flow.
Use a top mounted exhaust fan IF you have any temperature problems. Use a program HWMonitor or similar to read the temps from within Windows while using the machine to find out if more cooling is needed.
I once read an article with advice on bottom mounted power supplies when I first accidentally purchased a case that used one ( a number of years ago) and aside from the above fan recommendations that I have been using, it said to flip the power supply over so that it draws its air from inside of the case. Some would say that the external air would be cooler for the power supply, but it is also true that the supplied filters will in time clog up faster being on the bottom and the power supply would fail from heat die to the lack of air circulation through it. It is much easier to notice a build up of dust on a front vent or filter, it is rare that we will think of checking the bottom mounted filter often enough (out of sight, out of mind).

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#14
July 2, 2014 at 22:52:09
Sadly, I don't have the option to put an intake in the front of my case, but thanks for the suggestion.

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#15
July 3, 2014 at 04:01:56
Then I suggest you remove the side fan and cover the hole. As stated above, side fans disrupt air flow.

Use HWMonitor both before and after changing any fan configuration. Get it from the link below.

http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/hwmo...


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#16
July 3, 2014 at 10:38:48
What side fan are you talking about? The slot for the intake fan is on the bottom of the case, directly in between the PSU and the hard drive bays.

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#17
July 3, 2014 at 13:05:55
OK then, I assumed it was in the side.

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