Silencing coil whine (?) by blocking fan vent

My PC is making an annoying whine which I have self-diagnosed as coil whine because it seems to be coming from the power supply. This picture shows the rear of my PC, with some annotations.


I have found that if I hold a pack of post-it notes (or something of equivalent thickness) over the top vent marked with red, the noise cannot be heard. I am concerned though that doing so will possibly cause overheating; at least from what I've read elsewhere it could do.

My question is, given the presence of the "secondary" vent marked in blue, would this supply adequate air flow that the PSU fan could use to keep the PSU cool?

(I don't know enough about modern hardware components and - specifically - air flows, so am hoping that someone here does and can provide a reasoned answer)

Follow up question after answer accepted here: Safe method of blocking whining noise from PSU exhaust?

Answers 2

  • No. Do not do this.

    Power supplies typically push their exhaust out the back of the PC from that particular vent.

    The other vent is, depending on the case fan setup, either an air input for the CPU fan or an exhaust for the CPU fan.

    The vent you are proposing blocking is the PSU exhaust. Air is drawn into the case by the other fans, and a fan in the PSU itself pushes all that out the back of the PC there. By blocking it you will be preventing the PSU components from shedding heat. This may cause your PSU to overheat and/or die a lot sooner than it otherwise would.

  • No this is a bad idea. If the electronics are making a bad noise,
    the safe answer is to replace the PSU before it fails outright.

    Otherwise this might be better on as a question about board-level repair and component replacement. Depending on your location, such a repair might require a qualified electrician. It all comes down to cost.

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