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Old 06-01-2021, 10:18 AM   #1
shovenose
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Default Why does my Seasonic SSR-500GB3 whine??

It's whined for two years, since day one, in two different homes, in ten different systems, so I know it's the power supply, not something else causing it.

I'm angry at Seasonic because they refused to warranty it. Apparently because I've tolerated the coil whine for two years I can tolerate it forever? Nah, screw that, I took it apart.

Despite Teapo caps which I don't have a problem with, it seems really great build quality, like I'd expect. But, any idea what's coil whining and if I can fix it? To me it sounds like it's coming from the center of the PSU, maybe the little transformer under where the blue and brown wire are in the pictures. Hard to tell though even with the top off.



Thanks all.
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Old 06-02-2021, 11:11 AM   #2
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Default Re: Why does my Seasonic SSR-500GB3 whine??

Try using a straw for pinpointing where the noise is coming from.
Also be careful: primary side heatsinks are often live!
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Old 06-02-2021, 11:16 AM   #3
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Default Re: Why does my Seasonic SSR-500GB3 whine??

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Originally Posted by Per Hansson View Post
Try using a straw for pinpointing where the noise is coming from.
Also be careful: primary side heatsinks are often live!
Primary heat sinks are always live very few supples I’ve seen where they are not, don’t go anyway near them when it’s on The cause is probably the main transformer, I fixed my pioneer when it was whining loud. Simply by dumping loads of epoxy on it after pulling a real tight cable tie around the outside ‘frame’ of the transformer. It’s hit or miss I’ve tried it on a few transformers that have a bad whining noise to them mainly Vestel supplies
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Old 06-02-2021, 11:18 AM   #4
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Default Re: Why does my Seasonic SSR-500GB3 whine??

Seasonic SSR->banned!

On my ban list for being shit!
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Old 06-02-2021, 11:24 AM   #5
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Default Re: Why does my Seasonic SSR-500GB3 whine??

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Seasonic SSR->banned!

On my ban list for being shit!
Yeah not looking too beefy to be honest
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Old 06-02-2021, 04:11 PM   #6
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Default Re: Why does my Seasonic SSR-500GB3 whine??

Yeah, I got booped by an antec I was messing with 10 years ago and learned that way not to touch heatsinks with PSUs plugged in ��

I will try the straw thing tonight.

And yes I mean it's not bad build quality, just not what I expected from Seasonic.
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Old 06-02-2021, 08:51 PM   #7
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Default Re: Why does my Seasonic SSR-500GB3 whine??

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Yeah, I got booped by an antec I was messing with 10 years ago and learned that way not to touch heatsinks with PSUs plugged in ��

I will try the straw thing tonight.

And yes I mean it's not bad build quality, just not what I expected from Seasonic.
I'm wondering if it's not even made by Seasonic. Looks like it could be L&C.
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Old 06-02-2021, 09:57 PM   #8
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Default Re: Why does my Seasonic SSR-500GB3 whine??

Does the whine noise change under different loads? (Try something like AIDA-64 or OCCT to load the CPU only, GPU only, and then CPU + GPU to get maximum load.)
If noise changes with load, it's either the main transformer or the APFC inductor.
If the noise is constant and always there even when the PSU is in sleep / soft off mode, then it's probably the 5VSB transformer.

Applying some varnish to the insides of these parts may be able to make them more quiet... but it may not either. (And also, that APFC inductor doesn't really look exposed and easy enough to open to apply varnish.)

I dislike whining PSUs too... though I can tolerate then once I get used to them. But it depends. I did fix/recap one Westinghouse LCD monitor that whined so badly that I had to switch it out or disconnect it from power after using it every time.
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Old 06-04-2021, 05:38 AM   #9
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Default Re: Why does my Seasonic SSR-500GB3 whine??

Haven't had a chance to investigate more yet but yes the noise changes. It's always there even with the PC off but it's pretty subtle. With it on it is varying in noise depending on load and other things. So weird even scrolling with the mouse can change the noise.
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Old 06-04-2021, 06:35 AM   #10
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Default Re: Why does my Seasonic SSR-500GB3 whine??

if it is the transformer soak it in varnish or epoxy. that should get rid of the transformer whine.
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Old 06-06-2021, 12:50 AM   #11
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Default Re: Why does my Seasonic SSR-500GB3 whine??

I just got a 550GB3 and haven't heard any whine so far. It's pretty heavy. I think as heavy as my focus 750
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Old 06-06-2021, 12:35 PM   #12
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Default Re: Why does my Seasonic SSR-500GB3 whine??

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I just got a 550GB3 and haven't heard any whine so far. It's pretty heavy. I think as heavy as my focus 750

pretty sure thats a different version though
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Old 06-06-2021, 01:59 PM   #13
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Default Re: Why does my Seasonic SSR-500GB3 whine??

To get rid of coil whine (on a Corsair PSU) I added 3x6,800uF 25V caps on the 12V rail. I took an old Molex connector, soldered the cap array there.
So almost 21,000uF of extra filtering and all whining disappeared. I think the whine can be the PSU's regulation loop going a bit unstable, so extra capacitance helps with that. You can try it, even 6,800uF made it much quieter.

I kept the caps in the PC with my new Seasonic SSR-550PX I got cheap as a replacement. Other SS have in-cable capacitors.
The extra cap array doesn't cause a problem.
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Old 06-06-2021, 07:13 PM   #14
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Default Re: Why does my Seasonic SSR-500GB3 whine??

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To get rid of coil whine (on a Corsair PSU) I added 3x6,800uF 25V caps on the 12V rail. I took an old Molex connector, soldered the cap array there.
So almost 21,000uF of extra filtering and all whining disappeared. I think the whine can be the PSU's regulation loop going a bit unstable, so extra capacitance helps with that. You can try it, even 6,800uF made it much quieter.

I kept the caps in the PC with my new Seasonic SSR-550PX I got cheap as a replacement. Other SS have in-cable capacitors.
The extra cap array doesn't cause a problem.

Interesting.


But how will this help when the whine is present, albeit different pitch, even when off, the 12V rail isn't even doing anything?
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Old 06-16-2021, 10:55 PM   #15
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Default Re: Why does my Seasonic SSR-500GB3 whine??

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But how will this help when the whine is present, albeit different pitch, even when off, the 12V rail isn't even doing anything?
Good call!

So, if the PSU is making whining noise both in standby/soft-off mode and aksi when turned On, then that means the whining noise is likely coming from the 5VSB circuit (probably the 5VSB transformer.)

I read in another thread that you've had this issue since day one when the PSU was new. In that case, at least we know the issue probably isn't related to bad caps. Otherwise, I would have suggested for you to check the primary cap (especially since it's only a 400V Teapo, and APFC circuits love to munch on non-Japanese cap brands, especially ones rated for 400V only.) But I think that out of the equation for now.

The only two things I can think of to be causing that noise: either the 5VSB circuit (could be the transformer, or it could be from "sensitive" feedback loop on the 5VSB - though I suspect the latter does not apply, as that usually only happens when very low ESR caps are used on the 5VSB output filter)... or perhaps something external to the PSU is making the PSU/5VSB circuit while. On that note, do you have the PSU connected to a UPS? If yes, have you tried unplugging it from the UPS and plugging it directly in the wall?

Last but not least, give the solder side a good inspection. Perhaps there was a component that got loose / bad solder joint during transportation... and perhaps it's not something that is super-critical, but enough to cause the whining noise you have. If you get a chance, maybe snap a picture or two of the solder side and post it here.

But really, I'm just suspecting the 5VSB circuit for now. You might be able to get that more quiet with a few extra / bigger caps... or not, depending on how the circuit was designed.
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Old 06-19-2021, 09:03 AM   #16
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Default Re: Why does my Seasonic SSR-500GB3 whine??

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Good call!

So, if the PSU is making whining noise both in standby/soft-off mode and aksi when turned On, then that means the whining noise is likely coming from the 5VSB circuit (probably the 5VSB transformer.)

I read in another thread that you've had this issue since day one when the PSU was new. In that case, at least we know the issue probably isn't related to bad caps. Otherwise, I would have suggested for you to check the primary cap (especially since it's only a 400V Teapo, and APFC circuits love to munch on non-Japanese cap brands, especially ones rated for 400V only.) But I think that out of the equation for now.

The only two things I can think of to be causing that noise: either the 5VSB circuit (could be the transformer, or it could be from "sensitive" feedback loop on the 5VSB - though I suspect the latter does not apply, as that usually only happens when very low ESR caps are used on the 5VSB output filter)... or perhaps something external to the PSU is making the PSU/5VSB circuit while. On that note, do you have the PSU connected to a UPS? If yes, have you tried unplugging it from the UPS and plugging it directly in the wall?

Last but not least, give the solder side a good inspection. Perhaps there was a component that got loose / bad solder joint during transportation... and perhaps it's not something that is super-critical, but enough to cause the whining noise you have. If you get a chance, maybe snap a picture or two of the solder side and post it here.

But really, I'm just suspecting the 5VSB circuit for now. You might be able to get that more quiet with a few extra / bigger caps... or not, depending on how the circuit was designed.

So, I've used this PSU directly plugged in, on UPS, off UPS, I moved so two different homes. Used it in a PC lent to a friend for a while. Had it in a ton of different builds with NO common factors. It's always whined.


Honestly I've pretty much given up making it quiet. Just gonna keep it as my spare PSU for temporary use or end up using it in the living room or garage. Although if I can simply add a cap to the 5VSB circuit to shut up the squeal I would totally be willing to do that. If I simply look up the pinout for the 24 pin connector and add a cap between 5VSB and ground it might work? Any capacitor or I need low ESR? Thnx.

Last edited by shovenose; 06-19-2021 at 09:08 AM..
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Old 06-19-2021, 04:58 PM   #17
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Default Re: Why does my Seasonic SSR-500GB3 whine??

I didn't know it's the +5VSB that is whining.
The SMPS switching frequency is above what you can hear, but the regulation loop might be sonic.

I would try add a cap a few 1,000uF to the rail and see if it quietens it up, up to 3,300uF.
Note if the original 5VSB cap is bad, this just covers for it.
It might have a stability problem regulating the rail, so adding a small load might help. You would know if it goes quiet say when charging a cellphone on USB and the PC is off.

ESR is not that important with an extra cap and you not likely taking 2-3A off the rail.
edit: it's the cap next to the little 5VSB transformer.

Last edited by redwire; 06-19-2021 at 05:02 PM..
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Old 06-19-2021, 05:57 PM   #18
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Default Re: Why does my Seasonic SSR-500GB3 whine??

I’d agree with red wire, but since the psu is doing this day one, it would be stupid from Seasonic to sell something like that doesn’t have enough capacity on a certain rail.
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Old 06-19-2021, 06:18 PM   #19
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Default Re: Why does my Seasonic SSR-500GB3 whine??

You'd have to look at the VSB circuit around IC2 and the opto-coupler, usually the feedback to TL431 if done wrong makes whistles too.

PC PSU manufacturers take the design through a "cost improvement project" where some capacitors get smaller, or taken out and the brand name gets changed. Other times manufacturing uses a substitute part. If it works under full load, it passes but whistling under light load might get ignored.
It's got a 5 yr warranty?
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Old 06-20-2021, 09:36 AM   #20
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Default Re: Why does my Seasonic SSR-500GB3 whine??

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You'd have to look at the VSB circuit around IC2 and the opto-coupler, usually the feedback to TL431 if done wrong makes whistles too.

PC PSU manufacturers take the design through a "cost improvement project" where some capacitors get smaller, or taken out and the brand name gets changed. Other times manufacturing uses a substitute part. If it works under full load, it passes but whistling under light load might get ignored.
It's got a 5 yr warranty?
Yes but I already attempted to warranty it and they said no. In the mean time I've voided the warranty by removing the cover and I've also swapped the fan with a different one because I wanted something with more airflow for a project.
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