Heatsinks for NB and graphics

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Hi all,

I have an MSI K9N7 SLI-F mainboard with one of those tiny clear northbridge
fans. It looks to be about 50mm in size. For a number of months it's been
making this awful noise, especially from a cold start, so I pulled it and
lubed with white grease. It's quiet for the moment now, but obviouslly
re-lubing will only buy me a few weeks to a few months tops, so I'd like to
replace it with a real heatsink.

The problem is that the hsf is only about 20mm high and I can't replace it
with anything much larger (might squeeze in 25mm max) because otherwise it
would block the pci-e slot and my video card wouldn't sit properly. Can
someone suggest a low profile heatsink that would fit this ?  I think a real
copper heatsink of any size would work - the one that's on there is nothing
more than a cheap metal bracket to hold the fan in place (it's probably 3mm
thick at the base and probably aluminium)

This brings me to my second fan issue, the graphics card. I have a Radeon
X1600 card with the large wind tunnel style hsf (almost shaped like a leaf
blower) and the fan on it too was very noisy. I pulled this and re-lubed
also, but again I'm wondering if there is a better option - either a new fan
or whole different cooler.

On a side note, the white grease may be a temporary fix (and yes it probably
attracts more dust in the long run), but it sure shut the fans up quickly.
My PC went from sounding like a jet engine to barely audible (the two
smallest fans in the PC making more noise than anything else).


Re: Heatsinks for NB and graphics

On Tue, 22 Apr 2008 17:03:49 -0400, "Skeleton Man"

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The first moment it made noise, the best solution is putting
very heavyweight oil in it.  That can result in it running
longer than the period from new until lubed, and longer
interval until relube is needed.  Regardless, I too hate
fans that have to be relubed periodically, it shouldn't have
to be babysat to run for many years.

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It would be easier to visualize if we  had  a link to a
picture of this.  Offhand, for the time being I advise
putting a drop of 30-80wt oil in the fan bearing to prolong
it's life.

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Yes, those coolers are quite loud, enough to bother many
people.  I usually reuse an old heatsink from a past era,
some old CPU socket like 7 or 370, A, etc, cutting it to
size and after laying it on the PCB, marking the holes to
drill for the new screw mountings.  I am utterly
disappointed with the vast majority of video card heastinks,
even those touted as quiet are not optimized for long life,
so basically I say that if you want to do it *right* you
have to do it yourself.  In other words, I can't hear any of
the fans on any heatsinks for video cards here, and have no
fan failures on any fan I have ever replaced from stock to

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White grease where?  Fan lube has to circulate in the
bearing.  The ideal lube is barely an oil, almost a grease,
but nevertheless still has a drop point around room temp as
it needs to be liquid to circulate in the fan bearing.

I'm starting to suspect that all you need is the proper
viscosity lube. Take a very small container like a pill
bottle, put a blob of grease in it, lithium or synthetic,
etc, and add a bit of oil at a time, stirring as you go.
When the viscosity lowers enough that it drops off the
stirring instrument in drops slowly, it is ready, put a
couple drops in the fan bearing.

Once you get a good idea of proper viscosity, make a batch
of it to fill a 2-4 oz. pill bottle and it will last a
lifetime.  Video card fans should never fail if properly
lubed, only being a little louder than we'd like because
they're so small.  I am ignoring random defects of course,
nothing can cure a defective part except replacement of the
defective portion.

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