Video Card Fan Starts Buzzing


F

Falcon 1209

Hi,

My video card's (nVidia GeForce4 Ti 4200 by Chaintech) fan started buzzing
and its worrying me because I payed $130 for it 2 years ago. I dont know if
its something to be worried about so im looking to replace the fan with the
Lasagna A type fan from www.tennmax.com. So basically my 2 questions are...
1. Is the buzzing a concern?
2. Is the fan glued to the GPU? (It doesnt seem like it is. Its held in by 2
"Push Pins".) Ive only heard of the heat sinks being glued on but there isnt
a heat sink on this one)
 
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P

PBS

just clean it
be careful how you pull it apart
a clean will usually fix it
else use another fan - depending on the size , you can just walk into a pc
repair shop and
buy a fan over the counter $2 - $5 usually
 
K

kony

Hi,

My video card's (nVidia GeForce4 Ti 4200 by Chaintech) fan started buzzing
and its worrying me because I payed $130 for it 2 years ago. I dont know if
its something to be worried about so im looking to replace the fan with the
Lasagna A type fan from www.tennmax.com. So basically my 2 questions are...
1. Is the buzzing a concern?
2. Is the fan glued to the GPU? (It doesnt seem like it is. Its held in by 2
"Push Pins".) Ive only heard of the heat sinks being glued on but there isnt
a heat sink on this one)
1. Yes, the buzzing is a concern. If you were to lube it with a
drop of heavyweight oil, now, and each time it start buzzing
again (which could be soon or a long, long time depending on the
particular fan and degree of wear) you could most likely get
several more years of use from it. This is assuming it uses only
a sleeve bearing. If it has a ball-bearing (you might not be
able to trust the label, sadly enough) it cannot be lubed, as
none are thick enough to have both the ball bearing and sleeve in
same fan. Even if you choose to replace the fan it would be good
to lube it now, as what may happen is that the fan will seize
after you turn the system off, then you turn it on and it's quiet
because it's not running, so video card overheats.

2. "Usually" those that use push-pins are not glued on. It
might use a thermal interface material that melts after the card
heats up, making it seem stuck on like a glue would, but these
are much easier to get off if you try after running the card for
a while so it's heated up, softened the material. Just as likely
it could just be the typical thermal grease, much easier to
remove. If you grasp the fan frame with two fingers and can
wiggle it back and forth fairly easily, it would almost certainly
be the grease under it.

The Tennmax Lasagna fans are poor at cooling and also use
low-quality junk fans. You'd be better off getting something
else.

What I usually do is take an old Pentium 1 heatsink and put a new
fan on it, something like a a 50-60mm x 15mm thick of the low-RPM
variety. That makes the 'sink too thick to allow use of the PCI
slot below the card but I deliberately leave that slot empty
anyway to improve cooling. A decent name-brand fan as I
described will last multiple times as long as the tiny thin fans,
and be quieter per same cooling provided the replacement heatsink
is at least as big as the old one.
 
N

news.individual.net

I have a MSI Ti4200 and it started doing the same thing after I fiddled
with it. But I turned off the system and the next day it was back to
normal. Had that happen a few times but all is good for many many months
now.
 
F

Falcon1209

kony said:
1. Yes, the buzzing is a concern. If you were to lube it with a
drop of heavyweight oil, now, and each time it start buzzing
again (which could be soon or a long, long time depending on the
particular fan and degree of wear) you could most likely get
several more years of use from it. This is assuming it uses only
a sleeve bearing. If it has a ball-bearing (you might not be
able to trust the label, sadly enough) it cannot be lubed, as
none are thick enough to have both the ball bearing and sleeve in
same fan. Even if you choose to replace the fan it would be good
to lube it now, as what may happen is that the fan will seize
after you turn the system off, then you turn it on and it's quiet
because it's not running, so video card overheats.

2. "Usually" those that use push-pins are not glued on. It
might use a thermal interface material that melts after the card
heats up, making it seem stuck on like a glue would, but these
are much easier to get off if you try after running the card for
a while so it's heated up, softened the material. Just as likely
it could just be the typical thermal grease, much easier to
remove. If you grasp the fan frame with two fingers and can
wiggle it back and forth fairly easily, it would almost certainly
be the grease under it.

The Tennmax Lasagna fans are poor at cooling and also use
low-quality junk fans. You'd be better off getting something
else.

What I usually do is take an old Pentium 1 heatsink and put a new
fan on it, something like a a 50-60mm x 15mm thick of the low-RPM
variety. That makes the 'sink too thick to allow use of the PCI
slot below the card but I deliberately leave that slot empty
anyway to improve cooling. A decent name-brand fan as I
described will last multiple times as long as the tiny thin fans,
and be quieter per same cooling provided the replacement heatsink
is at least as big as the old one.
So what fan/heatsink should I get? And How do i go about installing it?
 
K

kony

So what fan/heatsink should I get? And How do i go about installing it?
As I wrote previously, I usually use old leftover socket 7
heatsinks, then I affix them with either the original clip
(rarely, when the 'sink is compatible and light enough) or
usually attach with Arctic Alumina Epoxy. The most important
part of using an epoxy, is to use a heatsink that accepts a
standard fan, so if you found the fan inadequate or if it failed,
it can easily be swapped with a different fan some day. This way
it is not a problem that the metal portion can never be removed.
Suggested fan sizes it would accept would be 40, 50, or 60 mm
wide (preferribly 50 or 60, 40 is awfully small unless you don't
mind higher RPM, noise) by 10-15mm thick. Of course any such
solution will block the first PCI slot, and if a thick fan and
tall heatsink, even the 2nd PCI slot. Blocking 2nd slot might be
good compromise for a high-end video card in a gaming system, but
for an older card it seems excessive.

If you have a spare, small enough heatsink or are willing to
saw/sand it down to size that might be an option, but if not,
choose aftermarket 'sink/fan with thickest fan possible. Frankly
I don't like any of them because they all use a proprietary fan
mounting, so it's not possible to swap in a different fan for
noise, cooling, or failure reasons. That is, unless you were
lucky enough to have a spare fan.

I "think" (not sure) that a Thermaltake Blue Orb will fit those.
I've never tried it myself but thought I remembers others using
one. There are more expensive, fancier heatsinks, but I find it
hard to swallow paying $20 or more for a video card heatsink,
especially on a video card that's now worth less than $50 (since
it's used, with failed fan). Even so they do sometimes go on
sale, with a Google search for "Geforce 4 TI heatsink" being the
way to find them.

Did you try lubing the current fan?
Can you determine exactly what the fan is like, the dimensions of
the blades and screw-down points on the plastic frame?
I have a few old video card heatsink/fans, well, the cards are
now old but the fans are barely used because first thing I did
was to swap out that heatsink for something quieter and longer
lasting, so they just sat in a drawer. I may have something that
will fit your heatsink (metal portion), if the fan screws out and
the mounting holes match up with the fans I have. I think I
still have an unused Tennmax Lasagna around here too, but it
might be the type that clips to a CPU, not the video card type
(same thing but different clips, so it'd need some alternate
method of mounting). I still don't recommend the Lasagna though,
they were a novelty more than a good solution.
 
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J

John

On 1 Jul 2004 10:48:48 -0700, (e-mail address removed) (Falcon1209)
wrote:


I "think" (not sure) that a Thermaltake Blue Orb will fit those.
I've never tried it myself but thought I remembers others using
one. There are more expensive, fancier heatsinks, but I find it
hard to swallow paying $20 or more for a video card heatsink,
especially on a video card that's now worth less than $50 (since
it's used, with failed fan). Even so they do sometimes go on
sale, with a Google search for "Geforce 4 TI heatsink" being the
way to find them.
Those 486 fans and heatsinks - well any CPU one is way way beefier and
the fan generally is way way more power ful than the dinky fans.

When I had to replace the one on my video card and northbridge chipset
on a motherboard - I looked at various exact replacements and besides
not being able to find the heatsinks that fit - the fans were
incredibly wimpy. The cfms were really low. The wimpiest CPU as most
can probably imagine is way way stronger. I cant remember but the
stock fans were like 5 cfm or something and the wimpiest replacement
video fans like the blue orb was like 15-25 cfm and so was the
wimpiest CPU fan and of course the heatsinks were massively larger.

That blue orb fit on a KT133 northbridge chip and several 400mx level
and Geforce2 cards I tried them on . Dont know about the Geforce 4
cards though.

If the ciurrent heatsink can take a fan replacement easily hes lucky.
All the ones I had , used weird proprietary trays or something in
which the fan sat in, so it was impossible to replace them with
standard fans.

I cracked the old heatsink off using the instructions that many sites
have - use an old credit card underneath to shield the board and
using a screwdriver to leverage the heatsink off. This scared the ka
ka out of me but it worked like many said it would. The thing popped
off. And then Id read a lot of people either mixing epoxy glue
together with thermal grease - weird but they say it works but you
have to pay attention to the viscosity or something of the glue so the
paste doesnt weaken it too much. Something like that. I chickened out
and used a few drops of super glue in the corners and thermal paste in
the middle and that worked great. Of course I can probably never take
the darn thing off now. Others can probably buy thermal epoxy cheap.
Around here they wanted 20 bucks a tube.
 
K

kony

Those 486 fans and heatsinks - well any CPU one is way way beefier and
the fan generally is way way more power ful than the dinky fans.

When I had to replace the one on my video card and northbridge chipset
on a motherboard - I looked at various exact replacements and besides
not being able to find the heatsinks that fit - the fans were
incredibly wimpy. The cfms were really low. The wimpiest CPU as most
can probably imagine is way way stronger. I cant remember but the
stock fans were like 5 cfm or something and the wimpiest replacement
video fans like the blue orb was like 15-25 cfm and so was the
wimpiest CPU fan and of course the heatsinks were massively larger.
Yep, most stock video card fans are pathetc... noisey, low-flow,
high-rpm, and quick to fail. If I put together a system for
someone I'll leave the 'sink on if they're concerned about
warranty but any card I bought for myself within the past few
years had a heastink/fan replacement right after I'd benched it
long enough to be sure there wasn't anything wrong with it.

That blue orb fit on a KT133 northbridge chip and several 400mx level
and Geforce2 cards I tried them on . Dont know about the Geforce 4
cards though.

If the ciurrent heatsink can take a fan replacement easily hes lucky.
All the ones I had , used weird proprietary trays or something in
which the fan sat in, so it was impossible to replace them with
standard fans.
There were some cards with really odd 'sinks too, more of a
decoration than anything, some even had non-standard mounting
holes. Never payed close enough attention to notice of those
cards also had the standard holes too, but if not, either epoxy
or a lot of work fabricating a custom 'sink would be necessary.
I cracked the old heatsink off using the instructions that many sites
have - use an old credit card underneath to shield the board and
using a screwdriver to leverage the heatsink off. This scared the ka
ka out of me but it worked like many said it would. The thing popped
off. And then Id read a lot of people either mixing epoxy glue
together with thermal grease - weird but they say it works but you
have to pay attention to the viscosity or something of the glue so the
paste doesnt weaken it too much. Something like that. I chickened out
and used a few drops of super glue in the corners and thermal paste in
the middle and that worked great. Of course I can probably never take
the darn thing off now. Others can probably buy thermal epoxy cheap.
Around here they wanted 20 bucks a tube.
It's pretty silly how much thermal epoxy costs, one place with
the best price I've seen is http://www.melcor.com/thermepx.html ,
though allelectronics has blister packs for cheaper, at least
till they run out,
http://www.allelectronics.com/cgi-bin/category.cgi?category=search&item=EPOX-4&type=store
 
F

Falcon1209

kony said:
Yep, most stock video card fans are pathetc... noisey, low-flow,
high-rpm, and quick to fail. If I put together a system for
someone I'll leave the 'sink on if they're concerned about
warranty but any card I bought for myself within the past few
years had a heastink/fan replacement right after I'd benched it
long enough to be sure there wasn't anything wrong with it.



There were some cards with really odd 'sinks too, more of a
decoration than anything, some even had non-standard mounting
holes. Never payed close enough attention to notice of those
cards also had the standard holes too, but if not, either epoxy
or a lot of work fabricating a custom 'sink would be necessary.


It's pretty silly how much thermal epoxy costs, one place with
the best price I've seen is http://www.melcor.com/thermepx.html ,
though allelectronics has blister packs for cheaper, at least
till they run out,
http://www.allelectronics.com/cgi-bin/category.cgi?category=search&item=EPOX-4&type=store
Sigh.

I was playin Halo yesterday and the fan was quiet and all, then the
screen scrambles up, kinda like what would happen if you changed to a
cable channel that you didnt get. But im writing this using the same
comp...

I want to get a socket 7 sink and a fan but all this epoxy mumbo jumbo
sounds risky, expensive, and difficult... and i might not even get the
right stuff for the job... Ive got 2 PCI slots below my AGP so thats
not a problem. Cant i just find a good fan and put that on?
 
K

kony

Sigh.

I was playin Halo yesterday and the fan was quiet and all, then the
screen scrambles up, kinda like what would happen if you changed to a
cable channel that you didnt get. But im writing this using the same
comp...

I want to get a socket 7 sink and a fan but all this epoxy mumbo jumbo
sounds risky, expensive, and difficult... and i might not even get the
right stuff for the job... Ive got 2 PCI slots below my AGP so thats
not a problem. Cant i just find a good fan and put that on?
Epoxy isn't difficult to use, just buy some "thermally
conductive" not electrically conductive. Most common type I'd
recommend is Arctic Alumina Epoxy,
http://www.svcompucycle.com/araltherad.html ,
but that's partially because it's the type I usually buy simply
to save on shipping as I'll often need an odd part or two from
same store, which has good prices on adapter cables and misc
sales from time to time. The application of epoxy, after mixing
equal portions of part "A" and "B", is similar to thermal
compound, then part is clamped or at least held firmly together
till it's set up some, typically at least 3 minutes. It needs be
applied and heatsink set in it within about 2 minutes (after
first starting to mix it) for optimal results.

Key to using epoxy is that it is permanent, so the heatsink used
needs be one of the type that accepts a standard or at least very
easy to find fan, so that if someday fan did fail, or you later
wanted to use a more or less powerful fan, you can do so without
need to change the (permanently attached) metal heatsink base.

It might take as much time to find a fan with connector
compatible with the video card's fan socket, else you'd need
splice the old fan's plug to the new fan, or just run the fan
from a motherboard header or power supply plug (two of the
easiest methods but to some it's not as asthetically pleasing).

Of course it is instead possible to buy a replacement fan but you
need be certain that it's compatible with the specific card.
Typically they had clip mounting holes that were very nearly
equidistant from the center of the GPU, which made a
point-to-point line at roughly 45' to the sides of the square
GPU. In other words, note where the clip on your current
heatsink attaches and compare those mounting spots to heatsinks
on "most" other Geforce 4 TI cards... certainly you'd need to
compare more than one other card since it could also be a
proprietary mounted type even if yours isn't.

So, easist replacement could possibly be the most obvious one,
simply do a Google search for Geforce 4 TI replacement fan,
although some companies warranty their cards for long enough
period that it would still be under warranty, you might ask
Chaintech if they'd send you a fan, or sell you one of the
warranty period is over.
 
B

BRanger

Falcon 1209 said:
Hi,

My video card's (nVidia GeForce4 Ti 4200 by Chaintech) fan started buzzing
and its worrying me because I payed $130 for it 2 years ago. I dont know if
its something to be worried about so im looking to replace the fan with the
Lasagna A type fan from www.tennmax.com. So basically my 2 questions are...
1. Is the buzzing a concern?
2. Is the fan glued to the GPU? (It doesnt seem like it is. Its held in by 2
"Push Pins".) Ive only heard of the heat sinks being glued on but there isnt
a heat sink on this one)
Is the card still under warranty? My BFG 4200 card's fan started to fail
and BFG sent me a new card. They sent a new FX5900XT too. I couldn't
believe it.

B
 
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J

J. Clarke

Falcon said:
Hi,

My video card's (nVidia GeForce4 Ti 4200 by Chaintech) fan started buzzing
and its worrying me because I payed $130 for it 2 years ago. I dont know
if its something to be worried about so im looking to replace the fan with
the Lasagna A type fan from www.tennmax.com. So basically my 2 questions
are... 1. Is the buzzing a concern?
2. Is the fan glued to the GPU? (It doesnt seem like it is. Its held in by
2 "Push Pins".) Ive only heard of the heat sinks being glued on but there
isnt a heat sink on this one).
There are numerous third-party heat sinks for the Ti series, just pick one
and put it on and don't worry about it. It's been a very long time since
any nvidia-based board came with a heat sink bonded to the GPU.
 

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