Video / graphics card cooling fan


C

CurranShelter

I have a Hercules Prophet 4500 64MB TV-Out (AGP) card which came with
a heatsink containing a ~40mm fan, powered straight from the card
itself.

The card is fine but the fan has stopped working (I suppose it must
have clogged up, but in any case I broke it when trying to clean it.
Oops).

My first question was:

i) are VGA cooling fans absolutely necessary?

.... but from what I've read on groups etc, the answer is yes (I read
one opinion that said they're just cosmetic, but it was a lonely
opinion).

So my next question is:

ii) does anyone know where I can get a replacement VGA/chipset cooler
with a plug for a TWO pin connector?? All the ones I can find on
coolingshop.com, overclockers etc are for the 3-4 pin auxiliary
connector on the motherboard (which I'm already using for a case fan).

The whole unit including aluminium heatsink is 48mm diameter, by about
12mm deep.

I have e-mailed Hercules who seemed to suggest that they could only
help if it was under warranty.

So any help would be appreciated! Thanks.
 
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S

Sleepy

CurranShelter said:
I have a Hercules Prophet 4500 64MB TV-Out (AGP) card which came with
a heatsink containing a ~40mm fan, powered straight from the card
itself.

The card is fine but the fan has stopped working (I suppose it must
have clogged up, but in any case I broke it when trying to clean it.
Oops).

My first question was:

i) are VGA cooling fans absolutely necessary?

... but from what I've read on groups etc, the answer is yes (I read
one opinion that said they're just cosmetic, but it was a lonely
opinion).

So my next question is:

ii) does anyone know where I can get a replacement VGA/chipset cooler
with a plug for a TWO pin connector?? All the ones I can find on
coolingshop.com, overclockers etc are for the 3-4 pin auxiliary
connector on the motherboard (which I'm already using for a case fan).

The whole unit including aluminium heatsink is 48mm diameter, by about
12mm deep.

I have e-mailed Hercules who seemed to suggest that they could only
help if it was under warranty.

So any help would be appreciated! Thanks.
You could get a 40mm fan easily enough and screw it into the heatsink fins
then chop and splice the wires into the wires from the existing connector.
You wont find a 40mm fan with the small connector in a retailer.
 
K

kony

I have a Hercules Prophet 4500 64MB TV-Out (AGP) card which came with
a heatsink containing a ~40mm fan, powered straight from the card
itself.

The card is fine but the fan has stopped working (I suppose it must
have clogged up, but in any case I broke it when trying to clean it.
Oops).
Don't break things.
I keep learning that the hard way so just take my advice.

If this is a real problem, like, you're using the system
right now without the fan running, try an emergency repair
of it- Super-glue the part that broke, and lube the
bearing. If it turns at all it's much better than no fan.

There are also ways to get another fan, for example, if you
can link a picture of the fan, including how it attaches at
the bottom, we might know where to get one, and i might even
have a drawer full of workable spares... depending on what
it is, sending a postage-paid SASE plus the old fan (for
measurement purposes) might result in a free fan.

Or, you could email the card manufacturer and see if they'll
send a fan.

Or, you could buy a whole heatsink with fan included, but be
carefull if the original heatsink is epoxied on, it may be
very hard to remove. It would be easier to remove if the
card is allowed to heat up in the system then immediately
powered off, so the glue or other thermal material is
softened by the heat.

My first question was:

i) are VGA cooling fans absolutely necessary?
Depnds on the heat output of the device (GPU in this case)
and the chassis airflow and temp. Generally, if a card's
'sink has a fan, it needs it, OR a different 'sink that's
much, much larger and setup to be a passive (fanless) cooler
instead.

... but from what I've read on groups etc, the answer is yes (I read
one opinion that said they're just cosmetic, but it was a lonely
opinion).
It is rare for them to be cosmetic. Sometimes this is the
case with motherboard northbridge heatsinks in the past, but
for the most part it's true that a card with a fan,
shouldn't be ran without the fan working.
So my next question is:

ii) does anyone know where I can get a replacement VGA/chipset cooler
with a plug for a TWO pin connector?? All the ones I can find on
coolingshop.com, overclockers etc are for the 3-4 pin auxiliary
connector on the motherboard (which I'm already using for a case fan).
It'd be specifically for a video card, such fans generally
aren't sold separately that I'm aware of, you have to buy
the whole video card heatisnk with the fan already on it.

If all else fails, buy the fan you want and splice the old
fan's connector on it. Preferribly using solder and
heatshrink tubing.
The whole unit including aluminium heatsink is 48mm diameter, by about
12mm deep.

I have e-mailed Hercules who seemed to suggest that they could only
help if it was under warranty.
Reword your email so it reads:
"Please send me a replacement fan under warranty
replacement, thank you. " ?

Something like this "might" work:
http://www.svcompucycle.com/vanvgaandchi.html
 
B

Bronney Hui

Thanks Kony for great posts :)

I have a Hercules Ti200 and had been worrying about that for some time.
Though it hasn't break yet. I believe it's the same deal with OP. The fan
looks like this:

http://www.hexus.co.uk/content/reviews/review.php?dXJsX3Jldmlld19JRD0yNTE=

It'd be quite hard to screw the regular 40mm fan to the fins. And I am
guessing the fan blade part is prolly snapped into the mid axle in retail.

You have experience removing Hercules Fan + HS? I got a swiss army knife
handy.
 
C

CBFalconer

Bronney said:
Thanks Kony for great posts :)

I have a Hercules Ti200 and had been worrying about that for some
time. Though it hasn't break yet. I believe it's the same deal
with OP. The fan looks like this:
.... about 100 useless quoted lines snipped ...

Please don't top-post. Do snip.
 
K

kony

Thanks Kony for great posts :)

I have a Hercules Ti200 and had been worrying about that for some time.
Though it hasn't break yet. I believe it's the same deal with OP. The fan
looks like this:

http://www.hexus.co.uk/content/reviews/review.php?dXJsX3Jldmlld19JRD0yNTE=
If it is a sleeve bearing fan, go ahead and lube it now.
The typical video card fan failure is due to running out of
lubricant, due to short bearing, heat, poor balance, and
that sleeve bearing fans aren't really supposed to be
mounted in a non-vertical orientation. It's amazing to me
that so many video card manufacturers either don't know
this, or don't care. Even funnier is that they use thin oil
that is incompatible with many adhesives used on the labels,
fouling the lubricant since these types of fans almost never
have a rubber plug sealing them.

Lubing it BEFORE it shows any signs of a problem, reduces
play in the bearing and eliminates the MUCH more rapid wear
that happens once it's bad enough to make noise. Even so, a
half-dead fan with appropriate lube may work fine again, but
may also need lubed more often.

Due to horizontal orientation, thin bearing, etc (all the
factors making them fail in the first place) the ideal lube
is not a thin oil but thick enough to almost be grease,
especially on an older, worn fan. If you don't have very
thick oil, at least gear (80) weight, regular motor oil
could be mixed with heavy grease to get proper consistency,
thick enough that it barely drips off of the mixing tool.
This seems like a lot of attention to detail for a single
video card fan but invariably over the years I've come
across many fans that were irreplaceable and needed an
optimal solution, in addtion to being able to get things
working immediately in the field. The right lube may make a
fan last at least as long, perhaps even several times as
long as the first 'round of service.

It'd be quite hard to screw the regular 40mm fan to the fins. And I am
guessing the fan blade part is prolly snapped into the mid axle in retail.
The whole fan is probably assembled in the tradition way of
*all* fans, that the blade assembly just slides into the
frame, with a clip on the shaft, then the sticker put on.
This is done before it's ever placed into the metal base,
the entire black plastic part(s) comes out as a single unit.

A bit of ingenuity could produce all sorts of fixes.
For example, a couple (construction, drywall type) plastic
screw anchors cut to length then epoxied in place would
work, provide screw-down points for a different, standard
fan.

Then there's the entirely-wrong-heatsink option, since most
cards now have holes about the GPU, many different 'sinks
can be strapped on there with plastic wire-ties, heavy
string, electrical wire (carefully shielded), or even
epoxied directly to the GPU providing the 'sink takes a
standard fan so if/when the time comes to replace the fan,
an alternate fan is easily found. Early socket 7 'sinks
that take 50mm fans are ideal for this, but perhaps with a
new fan swapped onto it, rather than one that old... or at
least lubed if it's an entirely-sleeve-bearing fan instead
of one ball and one sleeve.

Most video cards with the two-pin header for a fan, have a
small plastic socket that can be carefully pulled off,
leaving the pins still intact connected to the PCB. Once
that plastic socket is gone, quite a few seeminly
incompatible fan plugs will work with a little coaxing.
Along the same line of thinking, if you have a
spare/old/dead motherboard, the plastic fan header body can
be pulled off of the pins and slid onto the pins on many
(but not all) video cards' pins, but care is needed to push
it onto the pins by pushing the back of the card at the rear
of the pins, holding the plastic stationary instead of
pushing down on the plastic, so there isn't such a strain on
the pins which could rip the solder and traces off of the
card.

You have experience removing Hercules Fan + HS? I got a swiss army knife
handy.
It shouldn't be too hard. Since it has the push pins it
probably doesn't use epoxy, maybe just a thermal pad which
may not even make contact in the middle due to the GPU being
somewhat concave. Just pop the pins out from the back and
if it doesn't then come off easily, run the card for a few
minutes with the fan unplugged, then when it feels hot,
power off system right away and try again to remove it.

However, the fan comes off without the metal portion needing
to be removed. At least in the picture it sure looks like
it uses the typical 3-point screw down design, so a thin
(like jeweler's) screwdriver should allow removing the fan
assembly alone.
 
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C

CurranShelter

kony said:
On 5 Oct 2004 13:43:00 -0700, (e-mail address removed) (CurranShelter)
wrote: ....
Don't break things.
~= Don't make mistakes.

Er, I'll try not to!

Some useful advice there Sleepy and Kony - when I get a moment I'll
read it all through and work out what to do! Thanks both.
 
B

Bronney Hui

I used to do snipping until I noticed that sometimes after a reformat, the
news client doesn't get the OP back and puke me posts with no threads. A
search on google groups, or google, also does the same sometimes and I lose
critical info. Sorry if I bothers you.
 
B

Bronney Hui

Kony,
Lubing it BEFORE it shows any signs of a problem, reduces
play in the bearing and eliminates the MUCH more rapid wear
that happens once it's bad enough to make noise. Even so, a
half-dead fan with appropriate lube may work fine again, but
may also need lubed more often.
I am a noob regarding lubing things ;).. I am wondering, can I goto home
depot and ask for a lube that do plastic fans?
However, the fan comes off without the metal portion needing
to be removed. At least in the picture it sure looks like
it uses the typical 3-point screw down design, so a thin
(like jeweler's) screwdriver should allow removing the fan
assembly alone.
Yeah that's what I thought, but the problem is whether I can find just the
fan part in the stores, or at least find a fan that I can disassemble and
put into use.
 
K

kony

Kony,


I am a noob regarding lubing things ;).. I am wondering, can I goto home
depot and ask for a lube that do plastic fans?
Never looked for lube at home depot, don't know. The
"plastic" part is irrelevant though, most fans are steel or
alloy shaft and bronze bearing, rarely ceramic, but will use
any typical automotive grade lube... thus the best place to
look is an auto parts store. I kinda doubt they sell 3
drops worth though, but you can get a tube of synthetic
grease like Mobile 1 for about $5 around here, about $1-2
for the generic Moly Grease, and mix it thoroughly with
lighter oil to get desired viscosity. Or you could get a
huge jug of 80 wt gear oil, but it seems less useful if you
don't need gear oil for anything else and 80 wt is slightly
lower (thinner) than the ideal.

you might just ask an auto parts store employee what they
have that's slightly thicker than gear oil, explaining that
you only need a tiny amount... no need to mention fans as
that'll just be a distraction from the task.
Yeah that's what I thought, but the problem is whether I can find just the
fan part in the stores, or at least find a fan that I can disassemble and
put into use.
Assuming yours uses a 3-point screwdown (it looked like it
from the pic you linked), that's the most common attachment
method, but whether they all have same spacing for the
holes, i know not. It'd easier to just lube the fan, if
worst comes to worst a drop of motor oil off a car's
dipstick is a lot better than nothing, but since it's thin,
fan may need relubed more often. You might just look
around and see what seems easiest, if nothing else you could
just take a normal full-framed 40-50mm fan and strap it onto
the 'sink where the tabs stick out, with nylon wire-ties or
well-insulated high-gauge (thin) solid wire.
 
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G

Gareth Tuckwell

CurranShelter said:
ii) does anyone know where I can get a replacement VGA/chipset cooler
with a plug for a TWO pin connector?? All the ones I can find on
coolingshop.com, overclockers etc are for the 3-4 pin auxiliary
connector on the motherboard (which I'm already using for a case fan).
I have recently finished an excercise in quietening my PC. The graphics card
fan was one of the noise components, which I have replaced. If you go to
QuietPC.com and select QuickShop from the menu at the top. (bit page - wait
a moment). Scroll to the bottom and in the B-Grade section, they have
replacement heatsinks for graphics cards (item 155 - look for part ZM17-CU).
I bought one of these and replaced the heatsink and fan on my Radeon 8500
(sounds the same cooling as yours) and the graphics card now runs silently.
It comes with 2 glues, that you mix together and just leave it to set for a
while.

You do have to remove the existing heatsink, but that is not too difficult -
just warm it up in the PC, then give a twist + a pull (don't try to pull it
straight off - you might pull the chip off!).
 
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