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Power supply?

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Not exactly about DAC's but the only place I could think to post this question.


For my desktop audio I am using a DAC that requires 5v and two amplifiers at 12v (each). Considering that 5v and 12v are the voltages supplied by a Molex on my PC’s PSU what do you think to running the DAC and amps from the PC. I could install 3 connectors on the rear of the PC case and greatly reduce the mess of wiring around my PC. My PC power supply is a good one with three independent 12V rails and plenty of spare wattage, the question is which is better three independent wall wart power supplies or the PC power supply. I am guessing that the PC power supply is more robust but will it be noisier than the individual PSU’s.


I am aware that some very knowledgeable individuals frequent these forums, if you feel so inclined your comments would be greatly appreciated.





Are all audiophiles obsessive compulsives or is this just a Stereo Type? Yorkshire UK

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If the capacity of your PC power supply is sufficient, this will work, however the results will probably not be good. The PC power supplies are electrically noisy switching supplies, and this noise will end-up in the audio output.


A better solution would be 3 separate linear power supplies.


Steve N.

Empirical Audio


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I did suspect that the PC's PSU would introduce noise, nice to have it confirmed, thanks Steve. I need to do some reading, I keep hearing the term switching power supply but do not know what it means. My knowledge of electronics is limited something I am working on as time allows. Thanks again




Are all audiophiles obsessive compulsives or is this just a Stereo Type? Yorkshire UK

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I think modern high efficiency PC PSU's are getting a bad rap these days. The components and designs inside a good quality PSU would shame a lot of high end hifi gear in terms of filtering, regulation and component quality. The standards have raised considerably and if you spend a bit more then you should be fine. Enermax are one of the firms I'd recommend a look at.






Plenty of other good ones out their too!


Also the power regulation on a lot of high end motherboards is getting way more sophisticated than what I've seen in most of the audio gear I've taken apart.




I cant detect any noise on my PC audio (Corsair PSU) and thats with a internal card.


If you dont try you wont know.


Meridian 551 amp / Meridian 507 CD / Zune Mk1

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MY PSU is a Corsair 520w I have calculated I am using only 200w max so I should have plenty to spare to run the two amps.

"If you dont try you wont know" I could just make up a temporary connector without the effort of modding the case. If I have a spare hour and feel so inclined I may perform a small test, I will have to rely on my ears as I have no test gear other tan a basic multimeter.


Thanks for taking the time to include the links, they made for interesting reading.




Are all audiophiles obsessive compulsives or is this just a Stereo Type? Yorkshire UK

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