Can I remove the power supply fan for an Intel Atom 330??

By teocomi ·
Hello everybody! I just bought a micro-itx MB with an Intel Atom 330. The only PSU I have is a new 550W with a big noisy fan...
Since Atom processors use very little wattage, do you think it's safe to remove the fan from the power supply?? It sould not get much warm since the low power consumption...
I will have a maximum of 4 HD connected to the PSU as well, and it will be used as NAS and HTPC.

Please also note that the same board also comes out with a 90W fanless (like laptops) power suplly...

Thanks for any suggestion!!

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by Mehul Bhai In reply to Can I remove the power su ...

Not safe to remove the fan at all. The fan is designed for cooling the PSU.

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Another possibility

by dldorrance In reply to Can I remove the power su ...

There are a number of fanless mini/micro-ITX power supplies which run with 12 volt DC inputs rated at 90 to 120 watt output range for all motherboard voltage levels. I have one such supply in a mini-ITX machine running with the same microprocessor as yours with 2 HDDs, and 2 gb ram, but the HDD's are 2.5 inch, not 3.5 inch, as 3.5 inch HDD's require considerably more power.

Google mini-ITX power supply or look here, as an example http://www.mini-box.com/M2-ATX-160w-Intelligent-Automotive-DC-DC-Power-Supply?sc=8&category=981

I do not know whether a standard size power supply running fanless would overheat at a 90 watt draw. Might give it a try, closely monitoring the heat emitted.

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The M'Board CPU Combination is only part of the thing to look at here

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Can I remove the power su ...

You also need to look at what the Power Draw of the other parts of the unit actually are not to mention the Make & Model of the actual Power Supply.

When it comes to Power Supplies there are 2 distinct types. Those rated to a Peek Wattage and those rated to a Constant Draw Wattage.

Those rated to a Peek Wattage tend to be considerably cheaper than those rated to a Constant Draw Rating and are no where near as well made. The entire idea of a Fan in any Power Supply is to provide cooling for the internal parts of the Power Supply most notably those parts which get hot and need to be attached to Heat Sinks to get rid of the excess heat. Without a Fan those Heat Sinks and the Components attached to them run hotter than they would with a constant stream of air flowing over them so those bits have a shorter life expectancy. Heat and Electronics are not a good combination unless you are setting them up in Extreme Temperature Conditions. Like for Instance a Computer Power Supply located outside in the Attic doesn't need the same level of cooling as one situated in a Air Conditioned Humidity Controlled Building in the Sahara Desert.

When considering things like this you need to look at the Temp that the Heat Sensitive Parts are rated to and then at the Normal Outside High Temptress you experience locally. For example a component rated to 40C will not last as long in a uncooled Power Supply if your Outside Mean Temp is 35C it only has a 5C heat up possibility before the Component is effectively overheated and quite often this will reach that Max temp long before any appreciable cooling starts to take place. A Thermo Siphoning Effect takes time to start happening to get the best results and in that time the individual components can overheat and fail long before the unity reaches a Stable Operating Temperature.

With the commonly available Power Supplies I would advise against removing any Cooling devices unless you are planning on doing something extreme like submerging in a Oil Bath to supply cooling. In a case like that I would advise on the Removal of Fans as they will adversely impact on the Thermo Siphoning Effects produced by parts that generate heat and hence Oil Currents. Also as Fans are not designed to work in such a Vicious Liquid they are not the ideal things to use in an environment like that you are much better relying on Passive Cooling and increasing the sizes of the Fitted Heat Sinks accordingly.

There are Fanless Power Supplies available and I would recommend using one of those long before I would recommend using a unnamed Power Supply without a fan.

However here you could dismantle the Power Supply and replace the Fan with one that moves as much air but doesn't generate as much noise. You could also try fitting a different type of Fan Guard that is made of Wire and isn't a Punched series of Holes in Flat Steal. Round Wires produce far less impedance to Air Flow than Metal Stampings and hence they produce less noise.


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