cpu fan question

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I went to buy a silent or at least much quieter fan for my amd 3 ghz
socket am3 the other day and, my own naivety I expect, was told that
I'd needed to have brought the heatsink too for them to know what to
offer me.

As I type the noise isn't that bad, although if I wanted to record my
acoustic guitar it wouldn't be great.  Do the quiet fans offer laptop-
style silence or will a desktop pc always be louder?  Last night I let
a drop of 3-in-1 run into the metal centre pin thingy of the fan
overnight before putting it back in this afternoon and it has been
quieter than for a while but with a horrible bit of worrying noise
lasting twenty seconds earlier.

Is the noise from just the fan or the heatsink too?  Do I have to
replace the heatsink to get noise-free operation?  I'm a bit anxious
about dealing with the paste and all that in that case, although I
will have to in a few months when I build a pc for a friend rather
than add to a partly built bundle as I did for my own pc.

I saw there were loads of fans in the shop I enquired in but which
were intended for hard drives and cases etc.  I take it that means
they aren't powerful enough ot cool a cpu or something?  My cpu's fan
is a FoxComm, and I'm a bit peeved that AMD would put a fan that would
annoy with this otherwise very pleasing and, compared to what I'm used
to, powerful product.

All advice appreciated.  Thanks.

Re: cpu fan question

On 7/24/2010 3:32 PM, Lee W wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

The fan and heatsink work together and simply changing the fan to something
quieter will leave you with more heat than you'd want because quiet fans
move less air than noisy fans. To get away with quiet fans the heatsink
needs to be more efficient and/or have more surface area. Typically large
heatsinks allow one to get away with 12cm fans which turn more slowly while
putting out more air than a small one.

I am not that familiar with heatsinks for AMD CPUs but heat is heat and the
designs can't be that much different than for Intel CPUs. The key is many
fins, a copper core and/or heatpipes and a big fan. If you Google for
"quiet am3 fan" you will see many types and reviews. Pick one that gets the
best reviews and which will fit into your case -- some of these things are
seriosly huge and won't fit some cases. Oh, and don't forget that the CPU
fan won't be the only one around -- there will be power supply fan(s) and
case fan(s) to deal with too and every one of them contributes to the
overall noise. As with the CPU fans, though, big and slow is better than
small and fast. And if you do manage to get all of the fans quieter down
you will find that your hard drive makes noises too, at least while seeking
between cylinders.

As for recording and acoustic guitar next to your computer, I wouldn't hold
out much hope of that, at least if you care about results. Even notebooks
that I've had have cooling fans which kick in just when you want them least.

Re: cpu fan question

Lee W wrote:

Quoted text here. Click to load it

You might try to research the thermal design specs of the AMD CPUs to
see what their reference heat sink fan air flow is, if that is not
noted somewhere on the current fan.  Then simply replace the current
fan with a quiet (ball bearing) one of the same or better air flow.

Another option is a complete heat sink and fan assembly.  You can
research via google, newegg, amazon, etc for the best regarded coolers
in your price range.  I like the Noctuas...

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