Voltage for ATI video card fan?


V

Vanguard

When I last had my case opened a few days ago, I forgot to measure the
voltage to the GPU fan that is on my ATI Radeon 64MB DDR VIVO AGP video
card (I think it is equated to their 7200 model). I suppose I could
yank the cover off again but maybe someone already knows what voltage
this fan uses. If the plug on the video card only provides 5V and I
stick on a 12V fan, it could spin too slowly or maybe not at all.

It's a 40mm square fan atop the heatsink on the GPU. I'm still waiting
for a reply from ATI on an RMA request to get them to mail me a
replacement fan since the original one has gotten noisy (and oiling it
and wiping the blades of dust only helped a little bit to reduce noise).
If I don't get a response from them soon, I figure that I would simply
get a 40mm fan and put it on the heatsink. But damn if I didn't forget
to measure the voltage. I have just assumed that it would be a 12V fan,
but I'm not sure after looking around and seeing 40mm fans that run on
5V.
 
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P

Phrederik

It's a 40mm square fan atop the heatsink on the GPU. I'm still waiting
for a reply from ATI on an RMA request to get them to mail me a
replacement fan since the original one has gotten noisy (and oiling it
and wiping the blades of dust only helped a little bit to reduce noise).
BTW, if you popped off the label and oiled it, it's not covered by warranty
any longer.
If I don't get a response from them soon, I figure that I would simply
get a 40mm fan and put it on the heatsink. But damn if I didn't forget
to measure the voltage. I have just assumed that it would be a 12V fan,
but I'm not sure after looking around and seeing 40mm fans that run on
5V.
Safest best is to pull the cover and look a the label. Easiest solution is
to get a fan that will fit a drive power connector. Finding fans that fit
the video card power connector isn't easy - at least around here.
 
M

Mitchua

You can probably run without the fan altogether if you have adequate
ventilation in your case. Just unscrew the fan and leave the heatsink.

--Mitchua
 
V

Vanguard

BTW, if you popped off the label and oiled it, it's not covered by
warranty
any longer.
ATI finally replied and wants me to send back the entire video card just
to replace the noisy fan. Yeah, duh, like it's rocket science to remove
4 screws and unplug a fan. I'll hunt around for a quiet 40mm fan to
slap onto their heatsink. It that ends up making noise, I'll have to
see if the Zalman bracket to let me use larger 80mm to 120mm stealth
fans will work.
Safest best is to pull the cover and look a the label.
I recorded the printing on the label. It just had ATI and what might've
been a part number. No specs. So I'll have to measure the voltage with
a multimeter.
Finding fans that fit
the video card power connector isn't easy - at least around here.
I'm pretty good at soldering (unlike a lot of "techs" that think they
solder okay), so I can splice in the power plug from the old fan and use
heat shrink to cover the splices. I'd rather do that than stick in
another Y-adaptor for power which never seem to be very good quality
(they don't solder the wires to the pins and the metal is usually of
poor quality.
 
V

Vanguard

The GPU heatsink on the ATI video card is very piss poor quality. It
has fins only around the edge because their fan's hub sat down in a well
in the center of the heatsink. I've read articles where other users
have tried the Zalman heatsinks (no fan) but found they run about 5
degrees Celsius hotter than before (and those were for video cards in
the old performance range as mine). They are cooler if you use a fan
than the stock heatsink and fan but then you're adding back the fan to
get the better cooling. So I'm contemplating 2 options:

- Get a quiet 40mm fan to replace the noisy one on the video card. ATI
wants me to send back the entire video card rather than send me the fan.
No thanks. I don't want my system down that long.

- Or, get a Zalman FB123 bracket to suspend a much larger fan above both
the video card's GPU heatsink and the CPU heatsink to cool them both.
That'll probably mean using a 120mm fan. Then I could get rid of the
noisy CPU fan, too. I'll need to do a Google search to see who sells
the Zalman bracket.
 
V

Vanguard

Well, as a heads up, I quit trying to find a 5-volt (yup, 5V instead of
12V) 40mm fan for the ATI video card. Finding a fan that was guaranteed
to rotate reliably at 5 volts (rather than try to use a 12V unit that
would run at a slower speed, if it rotated reliably) was tough. I could
find manufacturer web sites for them but nowhere to buy them. I
definitely couldn't find a fan that would fit inside the heatsink well
and I sure didn't want to waste the downtime returning the card to ATI
for warranty repairs and someday get it back. Even a 10mm thick fan
(the thinnest that I found) sitting atop the GPU heatsink would obstruct
the adjacent PCI slot. Since I was going to lose the adjacent PCI slot,
I decided to use a slot cooler.

My choices were a constant-speed slot cooler or a thermally-controlled
one; BuyExtras.com had them cheap for $4.95 and $9.94 and shipping was
cheap, too. I knew the thermally-controlled unit had ball bearings so I
got that one; the other didn't say if it had a sleeve or ball bearings
(and no mfr. part number to check the specs). Its intake is on the side
with the video card and is rated for 42 CFM (probably at highest RPM,
and highest noise). Even at half the CFM, it should draw more than
enough air across the GPU heatsink to keep the video card cool. Time
will tell. It sure is a hell of a lot quieter than the stock ATI fan on
the GPU heatsink.
 
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Joined
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Vanguard, you cannot try to plug in a fan that has been designed for some other voltage level. For example if you use a 12V fan instead of a 5V fan, it’ll not only run slowly but will also consume more current and therefore it won’t last very long. It is therefore always suggested to use the components with correct voltage ratings in order to avoid blowing them up and in some cases, the whole system blowing up.
 

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