Corsair SF 80+ Platinum Fan Mod/Swap

Sazexa

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Jan 22, 2020
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Just wanted to throw this out there;

There is currently a recall on some Corsair SF-line power supplies. It's mostly in markets outside of North America it seems, and you may want to check if your unit is one affected for simplicity of recalling, before attempting to make a mod.

Fortunately for I, my unit is outside of the recalled batch. I'll add this to the OP as well, so new comers see it first. You can learn more about it here: https://www.anandtech.com/show/15829/corsair-sf-series-psu-recall

The recall is for power supplies which serial number is after 194448xx, and up to 201148xx. My specific unit is a 1943xxxx, mine should be good. It's also production dates 10/2019 to 3/2020.
 
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IIF

Cable Smoosher
Jul 2, 2020
12
1
It'll probably save the price difference and more several times over in those seven years on efficiency in the long run, as well. My town has relatively cheap electrical with their own power company, about 30% cheaper than national average. Even at that rate, with my typical useage of the computer, it would save me I believe in the neighborhood of $30-$40 a year on running costs, maybe a small bit more if I recall.

It would be pretty hard to save that much by going from gold to platinum. It's only 3% more efficient. You're probably saving around $5 tops a year, but at least you get a better warranty, and cables.
 

Sazexa

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Jan 22, 2020
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129
It would be pretty hard to save that much by going from gold to platinum. It's only 3% more efficient. You're probably saving around $5 tops a year, but at least you get a better warranty, and cables.
That was a loose estimate according to an online calculator
 

IIF

Cable Smoosher
Jul 2, 2020
12
1
That was a loose estimate according to an online calculator

Those calculators have done more for PSU sales... Here's my math. Feel free to lmk if I'm missing something...

Here in CA, electricity is around 15 cents a kilowatt hour (1000 watts an hour). Each watt is .015 cents. Averaging out usage, most gamers are probably pulling 150ish watts from the wall, but lets double it. 300 watts comes out to under 4.5 cents an hour. Say the Platinum is on average 3% more efficient than the gold, and it's pulling 290 watts from the wall instead of 300 watts for a gold unit. At .15 cents an hour for 12 hours a day it's 1.8 cent a day. 365 days a year = $6.57 a year, and that number is generous. Doing things like posting here, I'd be surprised if I were pulling 60 watts from the wall as it's all CPU, and one or 2 cores at most with zero GPU usage. Gotta get my KillAWatt back to see the wall draw, but it's not much. Definitely not efficient usage of my gigantic 500 ps lol.

No worries though. Jon G (JohnnyGuru) says no one needs anything higher than gold, but Corsair gives a longer warranty, better cables, and it's probably quieter.
 

IIF

Cable Smoosher
Jul 2, 2020
12
1
That was a loose estimate according to an online calculator

Those calculators have done more for PSU sales... Here's my math. Feel free to lmk if I'm missing something...

Here in CA, electricity is around 15 cents a kilowatt hour (1000 watts an hour). Each watt is .015 cents. Averaging out usage, most gamers are probably pulling 150ish watts from the wall, but lets double it. 300 watts comes out to under 4.5 cents an hour. Say the Platinum is on average 3% more efficient than the gold, and it's pulling 290 watts from the wall instead of 300 watts for a gold unit. At .15 cents an hour for 12 hours a day it's 1.8 cent a day. 365 days a year = $6.57 a year, and that number is generous. Doing things like posting here, I'd be surprised if I were pulling 60 watts from the wall as it's all CPU, and one or 2 cores at most with zero GPU usage. Gotta get my KillAWatt back to see the wall draw, but it's not much. Definitely not efficient usage of my gigantic 500 watt ps lol.

Jon G (JohnnyGuru) says no one needs anything higher than gold, but Corsair gives a longer warranty, better cables, and it's probably quieter. Titanium units are more efficient at sub 20% loads, but I can't justify the price tag especially nowadays.
 

thelaughingman

SFF Guru
Jul 14, 2018
1,011
1,092
@Sazexa how's your experience using PSU thus far? I'm considering doing a same mod for the SF750 since I have a spare A9x14 Chromax and a spare fan adapter (bought 2 for my GPU de-shroud mod). Would love to hear your experience.
 

Sazexa

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Jan 22, 2020
117
129
@Sazexa how's your experience using PSU thus far? I'm considering doing a same mod for the SF750 since I have a spare A9x14 Chromax and a spare fan adapter (bought 2 for my GPU de-shroud mod). Would love to hear your experience.
I haven't used it extensively, but I did test it for about 6 hours or so. Seemed fine. Quiet, no issues. Once my case I've been waiting for comes in I'll be using it daily.
 

NRG

Cable-Tie Ninja
Oct 30, 2015
213
245
So, I've done this mod with the linked fan adapter. Have you seen visual confirmation that the fan works? I've been drawing well over 300w and am yet to see the fan spin up?
 

Sazexa

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Jan 22, 2020
117
129
So, I've done this mod with the linked fan adapter. Have you seen visual confirmation that the fan works? I've been drawing well over 300w and am yet to see the fan spin up?
According to Corsair's manual, the fan won't come on until ~240W of continuous power are being used, but that might be more of a general chart and not exact. Specifically if the sensor is actually temperature based, instead of draw/load based.

The Noctua fan actually pulls a maximum of 0.11 amps, while the stock Corsair fan uses exactly double the amperage/wattage, at 0.22 amps. I don't see why it wouldn't work, electrically. If anything, the Noctua fan would be more sensitive, so to say. The fan likely may not kick on until loads exceed 450W or so.

How have you verified you are drawing over 300W?

EDIT: Yes, I was correct, the fan speed controller is based off of temperature sensors in the unit.
 
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NRG

Cable-Tie Ninja
Oct 30, 2015
213
245
According to Corsair's manual, the fan won't come on until ~240W of continuous power are being used, but that might be more of a general chart and not exact. Specifically if the sensor is actually temperature based, instead of draw/load based.

The Noctua fan actually pulls a maximum of 0.11 amps, while the stock Corsair fan uses exactly double the amperage/wattage, at 0.22 amps. I don't see why it wouldn't work, electrically. If anything, the Noctua fan would be more sensitive, so to say. The fan likely may not kick on until loads exceed 450W or so.

How have you verified you are drawing over 300W?

EDIT: Yes, I was correct, the fan speed controller is based off of temperature sensors in the unit.

So I changed the pinout of the adapter, and now it works. It was configured incorrectly to work with a Noctua Fan. I tried 2 Noctua fans.

I did verify the power draw as being well over the 300W the spec sheet of the SF750 states.

I would advise everyone who does this mod to ensure it is actually working. As I’ve had mine running for well over 8 months running at 300W+ with no cooling. The fan should spin up at boot and then when pulling over 300W.
 

Sazexa

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Jan 22, 2020
117
129
So I changed the pinout of the adapter, and now it works. It was configured incorrectly to work with a Noctua Fan. I tried 2 Noctua fans.

I did verify the power draw as being well over the 300W the spec sheet of the SF750 states.

I would advise everyone who does this mod to ensure it is actually working. As I’ve had mine running for well over 8 months running at 300W+ with no cooling. The fan should spin up at boot and then when pulling over 300W.
How was it wired? Even looking at the header of my NF-A9X14 compared to the NR092L, they're wired color for color the same way
 

Sazexa

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Jan 22, 2020
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129
If you cold boot and the fan doesn't spin up initially then I would say its not configured correctly.
I believe you were correct. I've discovered my fan lay-out was initially incorrect. I haven't yet had a system draw enough power (or at least I believe so) to start the fan. The most powerful system I've tested with was an i5-9600K at stock or a very small OC on a GTX 970 (something like 100-110W power draw on the GPU at most is all I saw.) I still haven't fully verified my particular fan works, as maybe there's a chance it's dead now, but we'll see in a little while once I finish getting parts in for my Mjolnir build. Worst case scenario, I probably have to buy a new fan and mod it. Thank you very much for bringing it to my attention. I'll add to the OP on how to change the fan lay-out to be proper, which ads maybe another 20-30 minutes to the process. Again, I can't fully verify mine yet but I've traced the wires and it should definitely be wired correctly now.
 
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NRG

Cable-Tie Ninja
Oct 30, 2015
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I believe you were correct. I've discovered my fan lay-out was initially incorrect. I haven't yes had a system draw enough power (or at least I believe so) to start the fan. The most powerful system I've tested with was an i5-9600K at stock or a very small OC on a GTX 970 (something like 100-110W power draw on the GPU at most is all I saw.) I still haven't fully verified my particular fan works, as maybe there's a chance it's dead now, but we'll see in a little while once I finish getting parts in for my Mjolnir build. Worst case scenario, I probably have to buy a new fan and mod it. Thank you very much for bringing it to my attention. I'll add to the OP on how to change the fan lay-out to be proper, which ads maybe another 20-30 minutes to the process. Again, I can't fully verify mine yet but I've traced the wires and it should definitely be wired correctly now.

I'm glad you were able to reach the same conclusion. Did you see the spin up upon cold boot?

Very annoying that the adapter isn't configured correctly.

Edit: Bro, That's a write up...Credit to your willingness to get the message out!
 
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Sazexa

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Jan 22, 2020
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129
I'm glad you were able to reach the same conclusion. Did you see the spin up upon cold boot?

Very annoying that the adapter isn't configured correctly.

Edit: Bro, That's a write up...Credit to your willingness to get the message out!
To the adapter's credit, it's wired 1 for 1, and basically just acts as a sleeve/extension. I think it's actually either Corsair using a non-standard fan layout for whatever reason, or whoever the OEM of the PSU is (likely either Great Wall or Seasonic) for making a non-standard header layout. Either way, I'm just glad you brought it to my attention. Truth be told, it would have been a while before I noticed.

Mine does not spin on a boot, but it's also not pulling power from a motherboard and operating a post. So, we'll see likely in a few months if mine actually works or not. A new fan is only $20 or so with shipping, so I won't be very upset if it's dead.
 
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torexko

Minimal Tinkerer
New User
Apr 8, 2020
4
1
So how exactly does it work?
The original Corsair NR092L fan is rated at 3950 RPM and spins from 1400 RPM (at 300W) up to 3000 RPM (at 600W).
On the other hand the Noctua NF-A9x14 is rated at just 2500 RPM.
That would mean at 300W both fans would spin at approximately 35% which is 1400 RPM for Corsair fan but only 900 RPM for Noctua.
I'm not sure how that would affect the thermals and lifetime of the PSU.

Also 1 more question... Wouldn't it be possible to just swap the wires from the regular Noctua connector to the original mini-GPU Corsair connector? Therefore eliminating the need to buy an adapter.
 

Sazexa

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Jan 22, 2020
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129
So how exactly does it work?
The original Corsair NR092L fan is rated at 3950 RPM and spins from 1400 RPM (at 300W) up to 3000 RPM (at 600W).
On the other hand the Noctua NF-A9x14 is rated at just 2500 RPM.
That would mean at 300W both fans would spin at approximately 35% which is 1400 RPM for Corsair fan but only 900 RPM for Noctua.
I'm not sure how that would affect the thermals and lifetime of the PSU.

Also 1 more question... Wouldn't it be possible to just swap the wires from the regular Noctua connector to the original mini-GPU Corsair connector? Therefore eliminating the need to buy an adapter.
It's based off PWM, so there is some inboard logic to control the fan based of RPM. The fan controller will loosely base it off load, but primarily bases fan speed off of heat output. The Noctua fan though it spins less than the Corsair, I'm sure moves more air and has more static pressure. That being said, the Noctua fan will likely come on around the same time, but with a lower RPM (and thus lower sound output) as well as cool it more efficient. That's the whole reasoning.

You can perhaps de-pin the NR092L, but you'd need new crimps for new connections into the mini-header, and the tool to do it. So you're better off doing the regular depinning method and making sure it works that way.
 

NRG

Cable-Tie Ninja
Oct 30, 2015
213
245
It's based off PWM, so there is some inboard logic to control the fan based of RPM. The fan controller will loosely base it off load, but primarily bases fan speed off of heat output. The Noctua fan though it spins less than the Corsair, I'm sure moves more air and has more static pressure. That being said, the Noctua fan will likely come on around the same time, but with a lower RPM (and thus lower sound output) as well as cool it more efficient. That's the whole reasoning.


You can perhaps de-pin the NR092L, but you'd need new crimps for new connections into the mini-header, and the tool to do it. So you're better off doing the regular depinning method and making sure it works that way.

PWM just varies the voltage doesn’t it? So 100% will be the 12v, which will max the fan at its respective RPM.

As for repinning, the cable length on the noctua fan is all of 1cm long from the body isn’t it? So an extension of some sort is necessary. UNLESS I’m just thinking of my recently acquired A12 x 15 Chromax...

Edit: Yeah nah, it has a decent length, ignore me.