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Owners of Seasonic Focus Gold PSU's... coil whine?

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#1
Today I tested out my new Seasonic Focus Gold 550w only to find that it whines... ...like really bad. High-pitched and constant. I'm curious if any Seasonic owners can chime in and tell me if they've experienced this before I go through the trouble of exchanging it for a new one. I would think it's just a bad unit, but I want to be sure.

On a side note, are there ANY PSU's that are particularly less likely to whine? It is sort of mission critical. I'm trying to record with a USB interface. I just spent two months troubleshooting a bad board AND outlet to get a different noise dealt with. Now my new, reputable PSU whines worse than the whiney one I just replaced (separate machine) and the interference is back in my speakers. Sick and tired of messing with all of these noises! I just want a PSU that I can drop in and know (reasonably) that it's not gonna whine.

Should I even bother jumping around more with PSU's? Or is there a fairly surefire way to isolate the coil? I'd really rather not delve into that stuff, but it'd be nice to know. If I get another PSU and it whines, it's probably going to come to that. I don't want to spend weeks bouncing stuff around the country if there's a good chance I can just fix it. I've already been playing that game basically all summer with other components and other problems.
 
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#2
Seasonic p660 in my PC has an annoying but faint coil whine.
Thankfully with the side panel on the noise is muffled to the point where I can't hear it at all.
I lined my case with sound deadening foam lining stuff.
NB my high frequency hearing may not be the best ;).
Other than that it is an awesome PSU- would buy again.

So you could try to improve the sound deadening properties of your case.

Or you could try adding some hot glue or something to deaden the offending components. Obviously this might invalidate the guarantee.

Or try RMA. If they send another it might not be any better though :/

Did you get the dodgy outlet sorted? Any deficiency in the quality of the mains could aggravate coil whine.

I think Seasonic's strategy is to make PSUs of generally decent quality.

BeQuiet are a brand of PSU more focused on silence.
 
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#3
If I understand your plan here it is to void the warranty cracking it open to perform surgery. Probably not worth it. Take a deep breath and make a polite but firm call/chat session/email to the retailer.

Placebo, I recently bought a completely silent Seasonic S12II 520w. This was my expectation of how it should remain working for a number of years.
 
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#4
Seasonic p660 in my PC has an annoying but faint coil whine.
Thankfully with the side panel on the noise is muffled to the point where I can't hear it at all.
I lined my case with sound deadening foam lining stuff.
NB my high frequency hearing may not be the best ;).
Other than that it is an awesome PSU- would buy again.

So you could try to improve the sound deadening properties of your case.
I wish it was a simple as just keeping the noise from coming out of the case. The problem is, like with my problem before, it carried up into the interface and gets broadcasted through the speakers. I wouldn't mind so much if it was just faint background noise in the room. But through my speakers, even a faint whine would be quite loud. I don't have them turned up, but I jumped when I plugged my interface in and heard that screeching interference coming through! Hah

Or you could try adding some hot glue or something to deaden the offending components. Obviously this might invalidate the guarantee.
If I get reallly desperate I'll consider it, but I'd rather not, hah.

Or try RMA. If they send another it might not be any better though :/
That's why I thought I'd ask other owners, before I waste my time. I really want to like Seasonic, just looking at their track record and the stuff under the hood. I can also say this thing is solid as a brick. I think they do in fact make good PSU's, just worried that maybe they're not gonna be quiet enough for my needs.

Did you get the dodgy outlet sorted? Any deficiency in the quality of the mains could aggravate coil whine.
Yep, I did. I'm reasonably sure my mains are good at this point, at least to the point that I can reasonably fix right now. Changing the outlet solved the problem. I have one PSU that doesn't whine on this outlet or any other. I changed it into my other machine to replace ANOTHER whiny PSU, though to be fair that was a $20-$30 PSU. Changing the PSU from my quiet EVGA Supernova G3 to the Seasonic brought this whine into the equation. I guess I can always switch back, but then the other one whines so no good. I don't want either of them to whine lol.

I think Seasonic's strategy is to make PSUs of generally decent quality.

BeQuiet are a brand of PSU more focused on silence.
Makes sense, but I wonder if bequiet is actually considering coil whine all that much, or if they're simply focusing on quiet fans and high efficiency. Maybe I'm being paranoid.

If I understand your plan here it is to void the warranty cracking it open to perform surgery. Probably not worth it. Take a deep breath and make a polite but firm call/chat session/email to the retailer.
Not exactly. It's a thought in my head for if this starts turning into another journey, but really I would only consider it if success is reasonably guaranteed and I have exhausted all options. I'd much rather take the reasonable route, here.

Fortunately I went Amazon on this one, so I can easily RMA it no fuss. I was wary... tomorrow I'm gonna get going on sending it back. Just not sure where I wanna go from there.

Placebo, I recently bought a completely silent Seasonic S12II 520w. This was my expectation of how it should remain working for a number of years.
See, that was my thinking here. Good quality PSU's should generally be quiet. To me this whine is not normal, even if it was a cheap PSU. The whine is so loud I can hear it through the wall from the room on the other side. I think if more people were hearing what I heard, there would be some serious criticism on the quality of these guys.


Okay... ...as I write this, the fan on the PSU started going a little crazy... ...kicking up and down in 10 second cycles for about a minute. And when it ran, it ran LOUD. Starting to think something is just wrong with this one. Can't say I've ever heard a PSU do that... ...or whine like this, really. No real load at the time. Case/CPU fans stayed low. Weird. And now I don't think the fan's running at all. Time to rip it out I think.
 
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#5
About 4 or 5 years ago, Corsair came out with the RM series, and a big marketing point was the alleged absence of coil whine, due to transformer coils being wound tighter or something. I don't know how that played out, but the RM units are considered by many to be too expensive for the quality of components inside, a middle tier PSU trying to cash in on Corsair's excellent reputation. Maybe ask Corsair George (on this forum) which units are optimized to avoid coil noise these days. Here's their blog from 2013 - https://www.corsair.com/us/en/blog/coil-whine
 

eidairaman1

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#6
Today I tested out my new Seasonic Focus Gold 550w only to find that it whines... ...like really bad. High-pitched and constant. I'm curious if any Seasonic owners can chime in and tell me if they've experienced this before I go through the trouble of exchanging it for a new one. I would think it's just a bad unit, but I want to be sure.

On a side note, are there ANY PSU's that are particularly less likely to whine? It is sort of mission critical. I'm trying to record with a USB interface. I just spent two months troubleshooting a bad board AND outlet to get a different noise dealt with. Now my new, reputable PSU whines worse than the whiney one I just replaced (separate machine) and the interference is back in my speakers. Sick and tired of messing with all of these noises! I just want a PSU that I can drop in and know (reasonably) that it's not gonna whine.

Should I even bother jumping around more with PSU's? Or is there a fairly surefire way to isolate the coil? I'd really rather not delve into that stuff, but it'd be nice to know. If I get another PSU and it whines, it's probably going to come to that. I don't want to spend weeks bouncing stuff around the country if there's a good chance I can just fix it. I've already been playing that game basically all summer with other components and other problems.
Make sure it ain't a GPU or mobo or fan.. Take PSU to another rig on another power source say at a friend's house.
 
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#7
Make sure it ain't a GPU or mobo or fan.. Take PSU to another rig on another power source say at a friend's house.
I've considered that, but I'm reasonably certain it's not. First thing I did was yank the GPU. Doubt its fans, either... with the previous PSU, this rig ran dead quiet. Can't even hear the fans until close to max load. Not to mention the real issue is that the whine is being amplified through my speakers when fed over the USB recording interface. Don't see how a fan could generate that level of interference. It's gotta be right on the power rails and going up through the USB bus. That tells me it's at least being carried through the 5v rail. So seemingly unrelated to the fans, which I don't think are on that rail at all. Can't remember.

Also not detecting whine from the GPU, which gets power through pcie, so it seems the 12v rails are good.

Mobo is just... ...god I hope not because I just changed it. That one was verified noisey, too. I know that for certain. :/ I don't think this one is, though... ...or at least it wasn't until today.

It was like, swap the PSU and suddenly I hear that hallmark high-pitched whine. Immediately upon powering on. Just a stable, constant ringing. Putting my ear up, it's louder the closer I get to the PSU. In fact, it is loudest when I put my ear up against the coil, which I can see just inside the enclosure. Gotta think it's the PSU. But since I'm removing it anyway, I'll be testing it on my secondary rig, too.
 
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eidairaman1

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#8
I've considered that, but I'm reasonably certain it's not. First thing I did was yank the GPU. Doubt its fans, either... with the previous PSU, this rig ran dead quiet. Can't even hear the fans until close to max load. Not to mention the real issue is that the whine is being amplified through my speakers when fed over the USB recording interface. Don't see how a fan could generate that level of interference.

Mobo is just... ...god I hope not because I just changed it. That one was verified noisey, too. I know that for certain. :/ I don't think this one is, though... ...or at least it wasn't until today.

It was like, swap the PSU and suddenly I hear that hallmark high-pitched whine. Immediately upon powering on. Just a stable, constant ringing. Putting my ear up, it's louder the closer I get to the PSU. In fact, it is loudest when I put my ear up against the coil, which I can see just inside the enclosure. Gotta think it's the PSU. But since I'm removing it anyway, I'll be testing it on my secondary rig, too.
I would isolate it out of your home.

But the fan reving up and down is kind of odd.

Seasonic makes great psus but if it is faulty im sure they wont give you flack replacing it.

I'm using a X1250 XM2 series. From 2014, no problems. I go with them because of consistency, doesn't mean they don't have duds at times.
 
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#9
I would isolate it out of your home.

But the fan reving up and down is kind of odd.

Seasonic makes great psus but if it is faulty im sure they wont give you flack replacing it.

I'm using a X1250 XM2 series. From 2014, no problems. I go with them because of consistency, doesn't mean they don't have duds at times.
Haha, I believe they are! I want this PSU. It's right in my budget/performance sweet spot. From what I can tell it houses a solid design, quality components, and a great build. I expected it to power my modest Ryzen 3 build very well. And I bet it does, even if it is noisy, assuming it isn't defective. But because of this whine I gotta wonder if its just a thing - part of the compromise, yanno? Honestly I'm leaning towards it just being faulty, but I really don't wanna go through the trouble of swapping it and finding out for myself that this model/series is known for whine by other users when I could've taken better odds with a completely different model.

But yeah, the fan thing weirded me out. Could easily be a controller issue but I do wonder what tripped it. That's why I elected to remove it and switch over to my noisy EVGA instead lol

I'm gonna take my rig to work tomorrow, just quickly reconnect the Seasonic, and see what happens. My last noise problem was a faulty outlet after all. That might've just been a symptom. And looking just at the wiring layout in this house doesn't inspire confidence, heh. Hoping its not my mains, but I can't say I'd be surprised. I'm concerned, as I have another PSU with bad whine. It's an EVGA 450BT, though. Which for those that know anything about that PSU, yeah... ...it's dodgy. So it could really go either way.
 
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#10
About 4 or 5 years ago, Corsair came out with the RM series, and a big marketing point was the alleged absence of coil whine, due to transformer coils being wound tighter or something. I don't know how that played out, but the RM units are considered by many to be too expensive for the quality of components inside, a middle tier PSU trying to cash in on Corsair's excellent reputation. Maybe ask Corsair George (on this forum) which units are optimized to avoid coil noise these days. Here's their blog from 2013 - https://www.corsair.com/us/en/blog/coil-whine
Cool article. I was not aware of that aspect of Corsair's RM units. I do know one thing for sure though. My RM1000i is DEAD SILENT. I don't believe I've even ran it hard enough for the fan to kick on yet. Or, if I have, I never heard it. Definitely the quietest PSU I've ever owned(most expensive too).

For the record though, I've never owned a PSU that had any kind of coil whine either. So I wouldn't be the guy to ask for a recommendation. I've had everything from the bottom of the line to the top. In wattages from 350 to 1000. Never heard a coil whine out of any of them. Heard a loud ass fan or 2 though. Actually only 1 than I can remember the fan being annoyingly loud. Cheap ass no-name China special "650W"(that I ended up regretting purchasing for more than that reason too, IIRC it lasted less than 2 months :ohwell:, only $35 though :laugh:).

PS, I don't know(or care) about the rest of them. But the RM1000i is as good as it gets for a 1000W PSU. "Middle tier" my eye. I do not think so. Check the reviews for it. Then show me one that says it isn't top notch inside and out. Like they're gonna slap a 10 year warranty on their "middle tier" products? AS IF!
 
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#11
Cool article. I was not aware of that aspect of Corsair's RM units. I do know one thing for sure though. My RM1000i is DEAD SILENT. I don't believe I've even ran it hard enough for the fan to kick on yet. Or, if I have, I never heard it. Definitely the quietest PSU I've ever owned(most expensive too).

For the record though, I've never owned a PSU that had any kind of coil whine either. So I wouldn't be the guy to ask for a recommendation. I've had everything from the bottom of the line to the top. In wattages from 350 to 1000. Never heard a coil whine out of any of them. Heard a loud ass fan or 2 though. Actually only 1 than I can remember the fan being annoyingly loud. Cheap ass no-name China special "650W"(that I ended up regretting purchasing for more than that reason too, IIRC it lasted less than 2 months :ohwell:, only $35 though :laugh:).
I've never heard it either, even on the cheaper ones. Did you notice that the Corsair blog was written by Jonny Gerow, AKA JonnyGuru, the power supply reviewer. I like reading his PSU reviews, and how those guys go in deep and figure out all the components and who actually makes each PSU. His site convinced me to buy my Cooler Master V1000, after finding out it's built by Seasonic, on their excellent KM3 platform, rated gold but just misses platinum, and costs 10% less than the same unit with Seasonic branding.
 
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#12
He was talking about the previous generation RM series. Your RMi is currently gen and has complete different components inside.
 
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#13
For the record though, I've never owned a PSU that had any kind of coil whine either. So I wouldn't be the guy to ask for a recommendation. I've had everything from the bottom of the line to the top. In wattages from 350 to 1000. Never heard a coil whine out of any of them. Heard a loud ass fan or 2 though. Actually only 1 than I can remember the fan being annoyingly loud. Cheap ass no-name China special "650W"(that I ended up regretting purchasing for more than that reason too, IIRC it lasted less than 2 months :ohwell:, only $35 though :laugh:).
Me neither, heh. I've cheaped out on PSU's many times. 10 years ago I pulled an OEM PSU out of what was probably a $200ish no-name PC I found in the trash and ran it for 2 years. I think it might've been less than 300W. Even that thing didn't whine. It DID ultimately go up actual smoke, though...

I've always gotten lucky with budget PSUs. Never had one kill anything, never had one make any noise. That's generally been my luck. Always cutting corners knowing I'm on the precipice of disaster, and yet everything is always fine. Some people do builds. I did rigs :p Up until this year I'd only somewhat heard of of GPU whine. I had never actually even heard coil whine before. As far as I knew it wasn't a thing. It's like suddenly, now that I want to start building machines again and I'm actually putting up the time/money to do things right with quality stuff, I just have no luck. Bad motherboards (one bad USB and one completely DOA,) ram damaged by inexplicable dust, broken system backup when attempting to recover from system damage caused by said ram malfunctioning, the outlet I plug my computer into is bad and throws me through a loop trying to isolate the noise for over a month... ...it goes on and on.

Maybe my luck is just catching up with me, man. Sometimes I just don't know. I used to get away with everything and never worried. Now, suddenly I care and I catch on every silly little thing you can't account for. It's like, does your machine work for you, or do you work for it?

I was looking at the new 550w Corsair RMx. $90 is probably a bit much for what it is, but from what I can tell quality does go into it. At a glance it looks promising. I'll have to do some reading up on it. But if it really is dead quiet, I might just say it's worth the extra cost for me. That article was definitely interesting. I can understand how the measures described there might really make a difference. Assuming they're still featuring stuff like that now.

I'm also tempted to try a different Seasonic model. Maybe go up a rung or two. Take a chance on a different design with different components.
 
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#14
I've considered that, but I'm reasonably certain it's not. First thing I did was yank the GPU. Doubt its fans, either... with the previous PSU, this rig ran dead quiet. Can't even hear the fans until close to max load. Not to mention the real issue is that the whine is being amplified through my speakers when fed over the USB recording interface. Don't see how a fan could generate that level of interference. It's gotta be right on the power rails and going up through the USB bus. That tells me it's at least being carried through the 5v rail. So seemingly unrelated to the fans, which I don't think are on that rail at all. Can't remember.

Also not detecting whine from the GPU, which gets power through pcie, so it seems the 12v rails are good.

Mobo is just... ...god I hope not because I just changed it. That one was verified noisey, too. I know that for certain. :/ I don't think this one is, though... ...or at least it wasn't until today.

It was like, swap the PSU and suddenly I hear that hallmark high-pitched whine. Immediately upon powering on. Just a stable, constant ringing. Putting my ear up, it's louder the closer I get to the PSU. In fact, it is loudest when I put my ear up against the coil, which I can see just inside the enclosure. Gotta think it's the PSU. But since I'm removing it anyway, I'll be testing it on my secondary rig, too.
Seasonic's warranty tends to be pretty good and I have had one instance where they replaced the PSU due to really constant and noticeable coil whine.

If the whine is amplified through the speakers, it should not be the coil whine. Or at least not just the coil whine.
 
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#15
About 4 or 5 years ago, Corsair came out with the RM series, and a big marketing point was the alleged absence of coil whine
I have one of those - RM750x, that is first PSU i ever met having coil whine, and that is not something "little annoying", it's terribly LOUD, and i can live with loud equipment, beleive 5000VA UPS can't be silent, but those RM PSUs is something... Previous generatios TX (bronze) and HX (silver) models quiet even under full utilization. All those Corsairs are Seasonic OEM. I also have some Chieftec and Thermaltake PSUs made by CWT and couple of CoolerMaster, ranging from 620 to 1500 W, the only sound they make - fan noise.
 
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#16
I have one of those - RM750x, that is first PSU i ever met having coil whine, and that is not something "little annoying", it's terribly LOUD, and i can live with loud equipment, beleive 5000VA UPS can't be silent, but those RM PSUs is something... Previous generatios TX (bronze) and HX (silver) models quiet even under full utilization. All those Corsairs are Seasonic OEM.
RM750x is CWT.
Corsair uses a mix of OEMs, sometimes even in the same product line as is case with RM.
 
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#17
My relative had some Corsair unit, forgot which one, since it was a few years ago. It also produced quite noticeable coil whine. Nevertheless, it didn't damage any of his components, but was quite unpleasant to hear.

I also had barely audible coil whine on my previous Lepa MaxBron B700M from the day one, but its amplitude increased from just barely audible at some 10-20 cm from the case to audible at 50 cm from the case. There were no popped/leaking capacitors.
My new PSU FSP Hydro G 650W does not have such issues and so far as I heard, no FSP Hydro G unit has coil whine. It's also price friendly. The only "issue" is that under minimum load (less than 30W) its +3,3V regulation is at 3,42V, but that's within the specs and expected behavior - I contacted FSP and received detailed info about this series of PSU. So if you are looking for a good PSU, look no further from FSP Hydro G.

Some people apparently decreased coil whine by covering certain parts (ceramic rings with copper wires?) with hot glue. However, I have never done it and am not quite sure what effect it would have on the power delivery and more importantly cooling. If this PSU is new, try to RMA it.
 
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#18
RM750x is CWT.
Corsair uses a mix of OEMs, sometimes even in the same product line as is case with RM.
Bad times for Corsair, quality after reviews drops significantly , i even seen some tear downs of AX line with "noname" caps... Previous 750 TX and 850 HX made better, no coil whine at all.
 
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#19
I would isolate it out of your home.

But the fan reving up and down is kind of odd.

Seasonic makes great psus but if it is faulty im sure they wont give you flack replacing it.

I'm using a X1250 XM2 series. From 2014, no problems. I go with them because of consistency, doesn't mean they don't have duds at times.
And on top of that he should get in touch with them about it, i have found their help very helpful and pretty much trouble free in the past.
 
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#20
Today I tested out my new Seasonic Focus Gold 550w only to find that it whines... ...like really bad. High-pitched and constant. I'm curious if any Seasonic owners can chime in and tell me if they've experienced this before I go through the trouble of exchanging it for a new one. I would think it's just a bad unit, but I want to be sure.
+1... or actually +5.
I have a 450W 80+ GOLD unit in my PC and it has a nasty coil whine during any I/O-heavy activity (copying files from USB, actively using WiFi or transferring photos over BT).
Also have a 500W unit in my cousin's PC and it's mostly silent during any type of usage, but has a faint whine on standby.
3 more SSR-360GP units were purchased for one of my customers and all three have a more noticeable standby coil whine, even though all 3 PCs are connected to a decent UPS with mains noise suppression and built-in voltage stabilization.

I haven't exchanged any of those units, cause mine is not covered by warranty, cousin's PSU is at acceptable noise level, and the remaining ones are used in the environment where it's pretty much inaudible on the level of background noise. I contacted Seasonic reps, though, and the guy at least attempted to get to the core of the issue and mitigate some of the noise problems.... Which is really cool, cause in Ukraine an official support rep is usually some douchebag who will constantly claim that their product is superior and you are a dumb fuck with no knowledge about hardware internals(Kingston is probably the worst).
 
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#21
I have a 450W 80+ GOLD unit in my PC and it has a nasty coil whine during any I/O-heavy activity (copying files from USB, actively using WiFi or transferring photos over BT).
I would think that this is due to having too low a wattage PSU.

Today I tested out my new Seasonic Focus Gold 550w only to find that it whines...
That tells me it's at least being carried through the 5v rail.
Is this 550w PSU borderline in terms of power? Would a 750w stop the whine? (Larger 5v rail)
 
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#22
I would think that this is due to having too low a wattage PSU.
By which standards? It's not 90's anymore.
My PC tops out at only 150W at the wall during gaming (slight GPU tweaking helped a bit). The ones at the office don't even have a discrete GPU, so it's more like 70-80W worst case scenario for something like an updated "typical" rig w/ i5-8400 onboard(actually less, since the only time it's fully loaded is when it's compiling stuff).
Nowadays a decent 500W PSU can easily handle an i7 paired w/ GTX1080 without breaking a sweat.

Coil whine(especially in standby) is not related to PSU wattage or relative load (in SB there is almost no load).
 
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#23
By which standards? It's not 90's anymore.
My PC tops out at only 150W at the wall during gaming (slight GPU tweaking helped a bit). The ones at the office don't even have a discrete GPU, so it's more like 70-80W worst case scenario for something like an updated "typical" rig w/ i5-8400 onboard(actually less, since the only time it's fully loaded is when it's compiling stuff).
Nowadays a decent 500W PSU can easily handle an i7 paired w/ GTX1080 without breaking a sweat.

Coil whine(especially in standby) is not related to PSU wattage or relative load (in SB there is almost no load).
My thought is that the 5v rail is being more heavily taxed. The only way to get more headroom (a larger 5v rail) is to get a larger 750w PSU because that's the only way it's done. Edit: Even if he only pulls 200w from the wall.

***Edit: Special use case by a musician having sound issues.***
 
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#24
My thought is that the 5v rail is being more heavily taxed. The only way to get more headroom (a larger 5v rail) is to get a larger 750w PSU because that's the only way it's done.
There's almost nothing taxing on a 5V rail, and there is nothing taxing on a 5VSB rail either (I'm talking "in general"). The only components powered by that rail are: PCH(partially), USB ports, LAN, Audio codec, HDDs/SSDs. In this list the HDD is probably the most power-hungry due to motors, though a 3.5" HDD still powers it from 12V rail, while the old laptop HDD only takes a maximum of 1A of current (500-700mA max for modern laptop drives).
So, unless we are talking about exceeding a 80W rated limit(SSR-360GP) on a 5V rail with a RAID array of a dozen laptop drives on an x58 motherboard with another dozen smartphones hanging on USB ports, it's definitely not the case here.

For the OP it's even less likely, since his PSU can handle up to 100W on 5V rail.
 
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#25
There's almost nothing taxing on a 5V rail, and there is nothing taxing on a 5VSB rail either (I'm talking "in general"). The only components powered by that rail are: PCH(partially), USB ports, LAN, Audio codec, HDDs/SSDs. In this list the HDD is probably the most power-hungry due to motors, though a 3.5" HDD still powers it from 12V rail, while the old laptop HDD only takes a maximum of 1A of current (500-700mA max for modern laptop drives).
So, unless we are talking about exceeding a 80W rated limit(SSR-360GP) on a 5V rail with a RAID array of a dozen laptop drives on an x58 motherboard with another dozen smartphones hanging on USB ports, it's definitely not the case here.

For the OP it's even less likely, since his PSU can handle up to 100W on 5V rail.
So the coil whine (harmonics) would not change due to size of PSU? A smaller unit working harder VS a larger unit that"s not taxed as hard and has more reserve?

Edit: I'm asking, taking the "he got a defective unit" out of the equation.
 
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