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Thread: Chipset Fan - How big a pain?

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    LUSE Galant's Avatar
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    Chipset Fan - How big a pain?

    Okay, for the past month I've been having to put up with a bad rattle/grinding noise on start-up. After while it dies down to a hum, but it's still there. I've narrowed it down to the chipset fan since when I apply a little pressure to the chipset fan case the sound dulls. (Hi-tech I know).

    My motherboard is an MSI K7N2 Delta, the chipset therefore being Nvidia NForce2. How big of a risk does this pose, and how difficult is it to fix?

    I'm not going to have to buy a new mobo am I?

    Cheers.
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    Senior Member FatalSaviour's Avatar
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    You can buy a different chipset heatsink/fan.
    It will depend on the airflow in your case, but something like the Zalman ZM-NB47J might do the trick.
    If airflow is an issue (there's a possiblity of it overheating if you don't have air going through to cool it down) then there a whole host of other chipset hsf solutions out there...if you're really stuck...something like http://www.tekheads.co.uk/s/product?product=605042 should do, but have a look around...see if there are some nice ones you like out there first...

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    Senior Member Dark Horse's Avatar
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    I've got that blue akasa one, its not too bad. Copes fine with my nf4 chipset which is much hotter than an nf2 chipset. Also pretty quiet and comes with a stick on pad so easy to put on.

    Taking a chipset fan off is usually easy, just take the motherboard out and flip it over to fine the pins. Press the barbs on the ends of the pins together (they are like an arrowhead so they go in one way but not out) to allow them to pop out. Then clean it all up with tim-clean and you're good to go.

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    LUSE Galant's Avatar
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    Thanks guys.

    But erm - Northbridge? What might that be when it's at home?
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    I vote for a passive zalman northbridge cooler. Spend a bit of time installing it once, and you'll be sorted. I've got them on my nforce2 motherboards that have had their active coolers die.

    In reference to the other question...

    The northbridge is the logic chip, part of the motherboard's chipset which exists toward the upper part of the motherboard. It houses the memory controller, AGP hardware and all the associated interconnections between those two and the processor.

    In modern athlon64 platforms, the memory controller is directly on the processor die, so chipset designs can consist of just a single chip, the other one (which houses PATA, SATA, USB and firewire controllers etc) which is the southbridge

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    Northbridge is general name of the microchip underneath the chipset fan you're referring to.

    You can easily run a nForce2 northbridge without a fan provided you've got reasonably airflow through your case and you're doing stuff like web browsing, wordprocessing etc though it does get very hot. If it overheats, your PC will just crash. No big deal. Just reboot and you're up and away again. Best to get a Zalman northbridge cooler mentioned above - they're only about £4 or £5.

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    LUSE Galant's Avatar
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    Why not a fan?
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    Because why waste time going to the effort of taking out and putting back in the motherboard for another active cooler, when you can do it once and once only?

    Totally up to you...

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    Senior Member FatalSaviour's Avatar
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    It can also be a lot quieter, but if you're put up with the chipset fan noise till now, it's your call

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    LUSE Galant's Avatar
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    Appreciate all your help this far guys.

    Well, the passive does look the way to go, though I'm not sure how much air flow is enough. I have two intake fans on the front and one out on the back. My issue though is that I live in Tucson, Arizona - that's the desert - and it can get mighty warm over here. Fortunately we have A/C but still...

    I was thinking of getting another fan on the side but that would mean I'd have to mod the side panel of my case, which I've not done before. Of course I could just leave the side off.

    Any thoughts?
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    ive just installed that passive zalman on my NF4 chipset. Its not in the most ideal place sitting right over my baking X1800 and in a case with low speed panaflo fans at 7v.

    TBH almost anything can cool a northbridge, i mean my old DFI with an Nforce 3 had the tinyest HS on it and that was stuck in a place with almost zero airflow. Ran for over a year at 280HTT before i ripped it out earlier today.

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    You could get one anyway and see how hot to the touch it gets? The nforce2 chipset only kicks out something like 19-25W if i remember correctly, and so you're talking about something at the level of the original Pentium's

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    LUSE Galant's Avatar
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    Are there any good ways to upgrade intake/outake fans in any significant ways? Or are they all pretty much the same?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Galant
    Are there any good ways to upgrade intake/outake fans in any significant ways? Or are they all pretty much the same?
    I stuck a VF-700 (China counterfeit, but it works) on my DFI board, works like a charm, it goes up to 52'C fully passive, and 41'C with some airflow from a slow 8cm fan.

    Only disadvantage is it eats up 2 SATA ports and 4 USB ports
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    Senior Member FatalSaviour's Avatar
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    Some fans will spin a LOT faster than others, and will therefore push more air, but also be a lot louder. It's very much a mixed bag in that deparment. I would say, buy the passive cooler, install it, monitor the chipset temperature if you can, and see what results you're getting. As long as the temps are fairly respectable, I would say not to worry.
    I've actually just looked at a picture of your board for the first time.
    The chipset is rather close to the CPU. This could work for or against you.
    Do you know what heatsink you are using to cool the CPU? If it's not a monstrosity, and it's not too close to the existing (original - faulty) heatsink/fan you should be fine. In that case, it could also be that you will get enough airflow from the CPU fan to cool the new Zalman cooler passively anyway.

    If you are still a bit worried after that, you can always get some fans afterwards.
    What I used on my NForce 4 SLI when I had an A8N-SLI Deluxe was a Zalman FB123 Fan bracket with a 92mm fan (I actually got a CNPS-6000 very cheap so I just used the bits from that bundle).
    After all, modding your case seems to be a lot of work, for something that should be as simple as replacing a heatsink .

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