I hate fan noise, so why only SLI MB's?

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Still looking at motherboards!

I hate fan noise and I want to minimize it as much as possible, so why are
the only motherboards that offer fanless cooling for the chip-set, SLI
boards?  I don't really need an SLI board, but I would like to take
advantage of the fanless cooling, but I can't find any non-SLI boards that
offers this, anyone know why?  Are they coming?


Re: I hate fan noise, so why only SLI MB's?

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The trick is, to look for a two-chip chipset. The Nvidia Nforce4 is
a single chip. All the circuits are stuffed into one package. That runs
hot enough, that if you remove the fan, the chip ends up at an unhealthy

In the past, chipsets consisted of the Northbridge (video/memory) and
the Southbridge (lower speed I/O, PCI bus master). Intel still splits
their chips this way, since the Intel memory interface is still on
the Northbridge.

On the Athlon64, the memory interface is moved to the processor, and
the Northbridge doesn't have much circuitry on it. There is an opportunity
to squash the Northbridge and Southbridge together, and that is what
Nvidia did.

Fortunately, the trend is not universal. For example, ULI has a
two chip set, which is used in this ASRock motherboard. (ULI was
bought by Nvidia, so I guess you'd call it Nvidia now.)

"ASRock 939Dual-SATA2" AGP and PCI-Express video slots:

A second product to think about, is the Nvidia 6100 or 6150. Those
are chipsets with built-in graphics function. Built-in graphics
adds two or three watts to the Northbridge, so Nvidia was forced
to split them up again. If you look for the 6150 based boards,
you'll see that they are fanless, and in at least one case, the
Southbridge didn't even have a heatsink (and that is a mistake
that must be corrected by the user).

So there are fanless solutions, but you have to use some
common sense. If the temps of the chipset chips are not
monitored, then use a finger to check and see if they are
at a reasonable temperature. Manufacturers make mistakes all
the time, in their selection of whether to use fans or not.
There have been wimpy two watt Northbridges, with unnecessary
fans strapped to them, and there have been ten watt chips
with no fan on them. Ultimately, the user has to clue in to
whether the fan/no_fan solution they got, was done correctly
or not. For example, the Asus A8N-VM CSM doesn't have a heatsink
on the Southbridge, and some users have put a 35mmx35mm Northbridge
cooler on the chip (it happens to have the proper holes for
the push-pins and everything).

If you set the socket to S939 here, you can browse through the
motherboards, and see what kind of cooling solution they use:



Re: I hate fan noise, so why only SLI MB's?

Thanks for taking the time to post this Paul, this is really good

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