Swapping a cooler fan

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Hi all - I recently upgraded my asus m2n68 motherboard with a Phenom 2 x4 955
cpu - a decent step up from the original Athlon 64x2 2.7Ghz.

Everything runs great - but the supplied cooler for the Phenom has a really
noisy fan.

Any reason I can't swap just the fan, leaving the heatsink in place? They look
about the same size...?

Re: Swapping a cooler fan

Seasidepeter wrote:
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That depends on the CFM rating of each fan.

In general terms, if you look at catalog listings for computer fans,
they come in "low", "medium", "high", and "ultra". "Low" and "medium"
are the ones you can live with. The noise from an "ultra", will send
you into the next room. If you had a "high" or "ultra", you'd use a
voltage reducer with them (like a Zalman Fanmate), to crank down
the speed, and the noise. On my other computer, I have a 110CFM
fan, which I run at 7V, so the noise isn't quite as bad. That's
the rear exhaust fan.

If you drop the fan by one "size", then the CPU temp is going to
increase by a bit, say 10C. You have to use a tool like Speedfan,
see what the current temp is. Then, read up on what other AMD
processor users consider a stable operating temperature to be.

For example, my CPU runs at 43C, when room temp is quite cool. Maybe
my processor can run up to 65C socket temp, without a problem. I have
22C of headroom to work with. In my computer room, a hot summer day
(i.e. yesterday!), the temp shoots up by an additional 12C.
So my estimate for how hot the computer gets (before I shut down
and exit the room), would be 43C+12C = 55C at the CPU. I have
about 10C left of headroom, which might be just enough to downsize
one fan grade.

The above fan grades, are for the same size fan. In the catalog,
I might see four 120mm fans, with those four designations. If my
CPU was cooled by a "high", then I might be able to move down to
a "medium" and stay within my desired 65C limit.

When you do that kind of testing (CPU max temp), you need to run
a CPU loading program. That would simulate a real usage scenario.
For example, if I do a two hour video render, with all four cores,
then walk out of the room, I want to be sure if I come back in
two hours, the CPU stays under 65C. To simulate that, I can run
Prime95 torture test, wait ten minutes, and that test case will
give me an estimate of how hot the CPU would get. (The ten minutes,
is to give the computer case internal air temperature time to settle
down. It takes a while, and even ten minutes might not be enough.)
You want to work with "worst case" conditions, so you don't underestimate
your headroom remaining. If you're doing the experiment on a
winter day, you need to know the summer to winter room temp
differential, and add that in to the experimental results. If
you're doing the experiment on the hottest day in the summer,
then no further correction is needed.

Speedfan from almico.com, can be used to read out your
temperature sensors. Other available tools would be
Asus Probe, one of the MSI or Gigabyte utilities, CoreTemp,
MBM5 or the like. Whatever utility that knows the hardware
monitor best.

I have no idea what a Phenom II x4 can take in terms of temperatures,
but they do use a few watts, and need a decent cooling solution.
My processor is only a dual core, and flat out, uses about 36 watts of
electricity (as measured). So I don't need that much of a fan. I
actually replaced the fan on my cooler, but it was because I
broke the original one (doh!). You can't be too rough with them,
when cleaning the dust off. Some spring inside mine, slipped out
of place, and it was ruined. Mine was a Coolermaster brand.
Replaced it with a Vantec Stealth.

I don't clean the computer that often, but was thinking about
it just now, because yesterday was so hot. And today is
going to be another stinker.

So your first step, is researching the "max stable temp" for
a Phenom II x4.


Re: Swapping a cooler fan

On 21/06/2012 15:20, Paul wrote:
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Thank you Paul - a really helpful response. I've downloaded the programs you
suggested, and gone ahead and swapped the two fans. The old one is exactly the
same size, but the blades are thinner, which probably limits to amount of air it
can pull.

With no overclocking, the cpu seems to idle at around 42/43C. Under the torture
test it rises to 62, at which point I stopped the test. Call me a chicken, but I
don't want to blow it up just yet!

Under ordinary conditions - word processing, web browsing, emailing, running
Black Ops in a window (purely for research, you understand!), it seems to run at
a steady-ish 55C.

The plus side is the wonderful silence; the negative side is that I suspect it
needs a bigger fan...time to check those catalogues I guess.

Re: Swapping a cooler fan

On Thu, 21 Jun 2012 17:37:10 +0100, Seasidepeter wrote:

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Using the TR2-R1 my X4 idles at <1C above room temp, and has never went
over 40C. I also have a 120mm fan in the side cover, which helps
tremendously feeding room air direct to cpu and case. The largest cpu fan
in the world won't help if it's sucking 40C case air.

Re: Swapping a cooler fan

Seasidepeter wrote:

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The processor has automated protection features. The
absolute cutoff is provided by THERMTRIP, which will turn
off the power to the PC instantly. (That will cause
a dirty shutdown on your file system, and then CHKDSK
could start running on the next startup.)

So the processor should be protected against any
short term problems. I don't know what AMD uses for
throttling, and whether they change multipliers
if the processor gets too hot. But I believe both
AMD and Intel have THERMTRIP. And the trip point is
established purely in hardware, so a software crash
won't prevent the protection feature from working.


You have to go out and do some data mining, to get a
reasonable safe value. Remembering that some laptops,
their hardware runs at close to 100C... :-) That would be
the silicon die temperature. The silicon itself, can
withstand 135C or so without parameter drift, and lower
temperature limits are caused by damage to the package
that holds the silicon die. If the processor came in
multi-layer ceramic (MLC), it might have been good up to the
135C number. The logic simulation of the CPU (i.e. proof
the design works), stops at around 105C or 110C.
Nobody does design verification at 135C or anything.
It would be too hard to close timing that high up.
The logic is proved to work at around 105-110C. And the
organic packaging used on chips now, probably can't take
that temperature, and a little less than that is safe
for the chip.



There is a difference between silicon die temperature, and
socket temperature. On older hardware setups, the temperature
being monitored, was measured underneath the socket of the CPU.
Let's pretend that was 65C, just to make a numeric example.

The silicon die has a temperature differential to the outside
world. It could be around 25-35C higher than the socket
temperature. So if you were using a silicon die based measurement,
it would be 90-100C die temp.

So when you're looking for the "stable max", keep in mind
that the guys could be talking about socket or die temps
and could be implying different things. Socket temperature
may also be referred to in the documentation as Tcase_max.

I'm not going to do the data mining for you... because I'm
"lazy" :-) And it's getting hot here again.


Re: Swapping a cooler fan

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    Most bioses have a thermal shutdown option under PC Health.  I set my X4
and X6 to 60C for a beep alarm, and 65C for shutdown.  Also most
motherboards have a auto-fanspeed utility of some sort, that even works with
3pin fan headers, I'd set that to go to 100% fanspeed around 55C.


Re: Swapping a cooler fan

On Thu, 21 Jun 2012 14:21:14 +0100, Seasidepeter wrote:

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http://www.officedepot.com/a/products/336525/Thermaltake-A4022-TR2-R1-Ultra-Silence /

Re: Swapping a cooler fan

On 21/06/2012 17:54, Wes Newell wrote:
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http://www.officedepot.com/a/products/336525/Thermaltake-A4022-TR2-R1-Ultra-Silence /
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Thanks...will check in out in UK.

Re: Swapping a cooler fan

On 21/06/2012 7:21 PM, Seasidepeter wrote:
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You'll have to remove the heatsink to remove its fan anyways. Why not
just get a full heatsink/fan combo?

    Yousuf Khan

Re: Swapping a cooler fan

On 23/06/2012 07:55, Yousuf Khan wrote:
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Actually, the fan on the AMD supplied unit simply clicks into place behind four
small tabs on the heatsink.

And I'm ashamed to say I don't want to replace the whole thing because I'm lazy
and don't want all that mucking about with thermal paste again.

As a ps: I swapped the fan for my quieter one, and it put ten degrees on the cpu
temperature. So I turned up one of the case fans - and all is well again with
minimal noise. Hooray...

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