Replace CPU fan for quiter pc (keep existing heat sink!) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 01-20-2012, 07:32 AM - Thread Starter
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I have an athlon freezer pro 7 fan on my htpc but since the fans are fixed speed i find there a bit loud for my htpc.

has anyone ever just replaced the fans only on there cpu cooler? I figure i can get a 120mm variable fan that outputs the same cfm.

anyone do this?
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post #2 of 21 Old 01-20-2012, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redzone View Post

I have an athlon freezer pro 7 fan on my htpc but since the fans are fixed speed i find there a bit loud for my htpc.

has anyone ever just replaced the fans only on there cpu cooler? I figure i can get a 120mm variable fan that outputs the same cfm.

anyone do this?

Sure. I have done all kinds of experiments with CPU fans. I have even used low speed "case fans" on the CPU heatsink.

Don't know how hot your athlon runs though so just keep a close eye on the temps.
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post #3 of 21 Old 01-20-2012, 10:00 AM
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Why can't you vary the speed of the existing fan? The motherboard CPU fan header should do this.

It's not very clear but it appears by the pics that the fan is held on by a clip built-into the fan on each side of the heatsink. At the very least, it's not held by mounting screw holes like a standard fan. You'd likely have to find a way to hold a different fan to the heatsink.
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post #4 of 21 Old 01-20-2012, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshDorhyke View Post

Why can't you vary the speed of the existing fan? The motherboard CPU fan header should do this.

It's not very clear but it appears by the pics that the fan is held on by a clip built-into the fan on each side of the heatsink. At the very least, it's not held by mounting screw holes like a standard fan. You'd likely have to find a way to hold a different fan to the heatsink.

I assume he's talking about the Arctic Cooling Freezer Pro 7 (not "athlon" freezer pro 7). I use one of those in a recent desktop build with an i5-2500k.

I don't think there is any way to mount a different fan. The fan is in a flexible rubber-like housing that fits all the way around the grill and clips on the sides. It's really a custom mount.

More importantly, that's a 92mm a PWM fan. If it's hooked up properly to the motherboard, and assuming the motherboard is PWM capable (which is what it's designed for) it is NOT fixed speed but variable from 900-2200 controlled by the motherboard. And that fan is REALLY quiet.

It's very nice cooler overall.
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post #5 of 21 Old 01-20-2012, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
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I actualy have a Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 LP not the freezer pro .

the 64 LP uses dual 60mm fans that are not PWM conroled and run at 3k rpm (noisy!).

I plan to mount a single 120 mm ish fan on the top and ethier blow straight down or blow up the air instead of the 2 side mounted fans.

im guessing it should work just wondered if anyone else had tried it first lol
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post #6 of 21 Old 01-20-2012, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redzone View Post

I actualy have a Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 LP not the freezer pro .

the 64 LP uses dual 60mm fans that are not PWM conroled and run at 3k rpm (noisy!).

I plan to mount a single 120 mm ish fan on the top and ethier blow straight down or blow up the air instead of the 2 side mounted fans.

im guessing it should work just wondered if anyone else had tried it first lol

Mounting on top won't blow air through the vanes. I don't see how that will work. And I doubt there is any way to mount new fans on the ends, because again it uses a proprietary molded fan housing, even if you could find 56mm fans to use.

But I don't think a top mounted fan will cool that very well. It will be blowing against the solid side of the heatsink rather than against the open vanes.
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post #7 of 21 Old 01-20-2012, 02:05 PM
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a 4 pin fan plugged into the CPU plug on the MB will provide you with controllable speeds. People replace their heatsink fans with other fans all the time, a rubber band should work well for holding the new fan to the heatsink (if it makes a buzzing noise you may need to add padding between the fan and heatsink). Many case fans only have one speed, make sure the connector is a 4 pin version.
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post #8 of 21 Old 01-20-2012, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idividebyzero View Post

People replace their heatsink fans with other fans all the time.

Don't know if you ever use Arctic Cooling coolers, but it's one of the downsides that fan replacement is not easy.

If you're using a Hyper 212 or something it's easy. But the Arctics have no mounting mechanism for normal case fans.
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post #9 of 21 Old 01-20-2012, 02:31 PM
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I would just take it off and attach it via rubberband, if it cant come off then break it off (probably wont come to that, no one would use glue). I unscrewed the fan to an old stock AMD Athlon heatsink and screwed via one screw a 60mm case fan since it was so much bigger than the original, it looked ghetto as hell but it worked well and was much quieter. Just do whatever it takes, it doesnt have to be pretty or even be close to the same size to work well.
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post #10 of 21 Old 01-20-2012, 02:45 PM - Thread Starter
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your right about the top side would definily need to mount it on the side. i figure a 120mm fan should be big enough to blow air across both sides of the heat sink.

i wish i would of read more about the heatsync when i bought it . all well. that was 5 years ago and now its serving my htpc lol
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post #11 of 21 Old 01-20-2012, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idividebyzero View Post

I would just take it off and attach it via rubberband, if it cant come off then break it off (probably wont come to that, no one would use glue). I unscrewed the fan to an old stock AMD Athlon heatsink and screwed via one screw a 60mm case fan since it was so much bigger than the original, it looked ghetto as hell but it worked well and was much quieter. Just do whatever it takes, it doesnt have to be pretty or even be close to the same size to work well.

The original will pop right off easily. That isn't the problem. But there are no screws and no screw holes; the fan has a soft rubber housing that is shaped to fit around the heatsink.

Personally I wouldn't be using any glue or rubberbands on a heatsink. It gets hot intentionally. A new heatsink costs $20-30 at most. E.g, you can get a Gelid Slim Silence for Socket AM2 for $22. Heck, a decent new 120mm fan alone will cost $15. Just buy a new cooler you like and spend a half hour to install it.

The problem with that Freezer 64 LP cooler design isn't a bad fan. Arctic Cooling fans are very quiet. The problem is it's a "low profile" design with only 56mm fans, so, in order to move any air they have to spin rapidly and thus they make noise. Maybe that's why it's a discontinued model.
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post #12 of 21 Old 01-20-2012, 02:57 PM
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You might can find a happy medium between sound and heat levels with something like this :http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...Ltd-_-35118217

Just a few hundred RPM can make a large difference in sound often with little rise in temp. You'd need a splitter too for both fans, but I'd try this first since it's cheap and easy and might just cool better than larger fans since the airflow is directed properly. But, judging from a pic I'm looking at, a larger fan mounted perpendicular so it blows up through both sets of fins might work OK too.

Also, I really would use safety wire over a rubber band since they can degrade over time and eventually snap given the heat.
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post #13 of 21 Old 01-20-2012, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redzone View Post

your right about the top side would definily need to mount it on the side. i figure a 120mm fan should be big enough to blow air across both sides of the heat sink.

i wish i would of read more about the heatsync when i bought it . all well. that was 5 years ago and now its serving my htpc lol

If you can fit a 120 mm fan vertically on the side, then why are you struggling to jury rig a low profile cooler? Sounds like you have room for your choice of coolers. Why not just buy a decent new cooler and replace the one you don't like? With the cost of a quiet pwm fan alone, you're over halfway to the cost of a cooler with a fan.

It's served you for 5 years. Time to retire it.
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post #14 of 21 Old 01-20-2012, 03:03 PM
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I agree that getting a new cooler is the best idea since Hyper 212's are only $30 and extremely good but a rubber band is 100% safe on a heatsink. The hottest a poorly cooled CPU will get is around 150f, and thats at the core, the heatsink will be much cooler, it needs to be a hell of a lot hotter to melt rubber than 150 degrees (probably around 275, the CPU would blow up way before then). A lot of heatsinks use rubber or foam as a vibration dampener.
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post #15 of 21 Old 01-20-2012, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idividebyzero View Post

I agree that getting a new cooler is the best idea but a rubber band is 100% safe on a heatsink. The hottest a poorly cooled CPU will get is around 150f, and thats at the core, the heatsink will be much cooler, it needs to be a hell of a lot hotter to melt rubber than 150 degrees (probably around 275, the CPU would blow up way before then). A lot of heatsinks use rubber or foam as a vibration dampener.

It's not a question of melting (although that or a fire is certainly not beyond the realm of possiblity) but it will degrade, lose its elasticity, and fall apart.

A lot of heatsinks use rubber or foam that's been selected to maintain its shape under the conditions, not a rubber band intended for holding paper together temporarily at room temperature.
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post #16 of 21 Old 01-20-2012, 03:31 PM
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Yeah, I've seen rubber bands degrade to the point of falling apart just sitting in a drawer. Now add sharp metal corners, moderate heat, fan vibration, and subtle expansions and contractions to the equation. I wouldn't really trust zip ties either.

And there is something to be said for avoiding the hassle some of these heatsinks can be to remove and install.
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post #17 of 21 Old 01-20-2012, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
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the hyper 212 mentioned costs 40 here in canada.

i can get a low noise pwm 120mm fan for probably 15 bucks.

i figure a single screw screwed into the heatsink between fins would hold the fan in place.

Like i said before the fan is prob 5 years old as this is a piecemeal htpc using spare parts.(and a few new pieces so i can bitstream hd audio / play hd video)

cheaper is better!
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post #18 of 21 Old 02-03-2012, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
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so i managed to find a stock intel cooler in my box o random parts and jimmy rigged the fan to the exsisting heat sink. so far temps seem to be under control and its a million times quieter!

i basicly put the fan facing one of the sides and screwed it into the heat sink so it wont more
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post #19 of 21 Old 02-03-2012, 01:50 PM
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if you dont mind destroying your cpu performance, perhaps consider underclocking and undervolting your cpu till it can run well without the fan plugged in.

Basically everything video related is going to be done by your gpu anyway.
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post #20 of 21 Old 02-03-2012, 02:11 PM
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Fasten it with a zip tie. I did.
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post #21 of 21 Old 02-03-2012, 02:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MlNDBOMB View Post

if you dont mind destroying your cpu performance, perhaps consider underclocking and undervolting your cpu till it can run well without the fan plugged in.

Basically everything video related is going to be done by your gpu anyway.

id love to do taht but its a lowly athlon x2 1.9 brisbane. any less preformance and media portal wont play nice.
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