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A8N-SLI Deluxe Chipset Fan: A variety of issues

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January 17, 2006 10:29:09 PM

Hello, this is my first post here on Tom's Hardware. I've heard very good things about the community here and how helpful everyone can be :) 

Anyway, I guess I'll get right to the point.

My motherboard is an A8N-SLI Deluxe.

I have 2 6600GTs connected in SLI. For this reason some cooling methods will not work for lack of space.

The fan assisting the chipset's heatsink was simply out of control. It's WAY too loud. At first it was just noisy, but there were no problems with it's speed. Poking it made it stop the racket if only for a few minutes.

Anyway, I decided to dismantle the fan in order to oil it up and get a closer look at what may be causing this noise. The fan was clearly faulty. Unaware of how it was mounted, I wanted to remove the entire heatsink first. I am a bit inexperienced with hardware at this level, and am now aware that this may have been a stupid, stupid idea. I poked at the little black peg that had a spring coiling around it. It shot up and hit me in the face. I then did the same with the other (but managed not to hit myself in the face). The heatsink then came off.

Which brings me to my scenario and the following questions. You needn't inform me that someone who isn't comfortable with the hardware shouldn't be messing with it. I learnt that the hard way.

1) How do I put the heatsink back on the motherboard. I'll tolerate the volume of the fan and make sure its safe to the rest of my hardware by monitoring it in the bios if I could just put it back in! I have no idea how the black pegs with the spring around it actually held the fixture together. They aren't screws, what are they latching on to? I can't get them to latch on to anything at this point, and with the springs around them they just fall back out if I put them sort of back the way I saw them.

2) If I were to just replace the heatsink and/or fan, with what would I replace them? I have not seen a definitive answer to this in the case of someone who has 2 GPUs connected in SLI, which limits space. Will the Swiftek MCX159-A fit and be appropriate or would I require modification to make it fit? Is there a more affordable solution?

3) Would there be a benefit to applying a pricier cooling solution than a replacement POS fan like the one that came with it? I was hoping to better understand my hardware and perhaps attempt some overclocking, but I really don't know much about it at this point. My main objective is to OC my AMD Venice 3200+ which is currently running at 2.0Ghz to 2.7 or 2.8Ghz. Would better chipset cooling help at all or is that a completely different issue. What about GPU overclocking?

4) Do I need to replace this fan if I don't overclock? Is my computer safe to operate without a replacement?

Thank you very much to anyone who read this and will give it some thought. :wink:

edit: also, I have seen a few threads on related topics, and from them I have yet to see someone note that they have 2 GPUs and made a replacement work. The only thing I've read is that some folks have had ASUS send them replacements. Even if I do go that route, I'm not certain how to reaffix the heatsink. I also am not sure I want a replacement that is liable to fail on me again.
January 24, 2006 9:34:31 AM

I cannot answer you about the replacements yet. I own an A8N-SLI and wanted to change that fan with a copper fanless radiator, but I did not find a proper one yet.

What I can advice you is that you strongly need to use the cooling fan even if you don't overclock. If you use your system without the fan you risk burning your chipset.
The assembling of the fan should be very-very easy. The black plastic things that keep it attached on the motherboard should make a click when pushed towards the chipset. Unless you broke them when you removed the fan, they should click. I also recommand using thermal paste on the chipset before putting back the fan. You should examine the black (I don't know how to call it, I will continue calling it "leg") leg that keeps the fan attached to the mainboard. It must contain 3 pieces. 2 black plastics that come one through another, and a resort that is mounted on the long plastic bar. Maybe you lost the resort, when it jumped in your face?
Good luck in putting it back together. You may also go to a company that sells computers and ask the techicians there to put it back for you.
January 24, 2006 1:17:29 PM

thank you for the advice. i ended up buying a thermalright nb-1 fan-assisted heatsink. someone at a cooling specialty store near toronto recommended it. It should arrive in the next couple of days so I'll let you know how it goes.
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January 24, 2006 1:38:02 PM

Thank god I bought the Premium. The heatpipe really does it's job... and it does it well! :) 

I searched far and wide (well, not really to that extent) for a fanless mobo. Coupled with a nice big Zalman processor fan... the radiator for the heatpipe gets ample cooling.

I'm thinking about adding a second 7800GTX when games are optimized for it... shouldn't be that big of an issue with heat though. My Lian-Li case is awesome with ventilation... and it's nice and quite too. :p 
January 25, 2006 6:25:28 AM

alright my verdict is in, and I give this chipset fana 9/10.

It was cheap. It came with everything I needed to get the job done, and done well (except for paint thinner or whatever you want to use to get the original thermal glue off, it actually does come with thermal glue in a syringe).

At first I opened it and wondered how I managed to spend 20 bucks on a primitive chunk of metal and a rather normal looking fan to assist it. It also seemed small, which it is being that its a nf4 chipset heatsink. When I opened up my case I was pretty close to getting really pissed off that I bought something too big though; the original one is very, very small compared to it. My memory failed me on that point so at first sight it seemed fine.

It barely fits (keep in mind that I have 2x GPUs installed though, meaning there is very little space for a new heatsink as is), but the base of the heatsink is a bit oversized, allowing it to be placed askew and still cover the area that needs to be covered, which I had to do in order to get it to fit between the two GPUs. With that in mind I used pliers to reshape the included mounting components such that I was able to get the holes to match up and use the black pegs that came with this new heatsink to secure it very nicely.

Temperature wise things are looking good, my mobo temp isn't breaking 30 degrees, which is itself a safe temperature.

Noise wise is where it loses a mark. I expected something really quiet by comparison to the original NB fan, when in actuallity its more or less the same volume (that is, before the stock one started acting up, which is when it got unbearably loud). It's not all that loud but its louder than I'd like. It's actually running at 6900RPM when it need only run at 6000... I don't suppose there is a way of getting it to slow down a bit? In any case it's definately tolerable.

Good buy for anyone else thats having trouble with the stock heatsink, which from what I've seen around is a good few people. I'd recommend it over just getting a replacement stock hsf simply for the fact that its built sturdy (that is, with all the components needed to make it rest in there sturdy), the fan would be easier to replace and remount onto the heatsink than the stock one (which can't really be replaced except by manufacturer), and it's far less probable that its going to screw up and drive you up the wall like the original one did and you can rest assured that if you ever want to go SLI this won't stop you from doing it.
August 28, 2007 2:10:12 PM

Duhu said:
I cannot answer you about the replacements yet. I own an A8N-SLI and wanted to change that fan with a copper fanless radiator, but I did not find a proper one yet.

What I can advice you is that you strongly need to use the cooling fan even if you don't overclock. If you use your system without the fan you risk burning your chipset.

i have a assus a8n-sli deluxe and the chipset fan is failing
i'm not overclocking
you talk about a copper fanless radiator -- so does this mean a can get rid of the fan and simply replace it with say
Zalman ZM-NBF47
or am i being idiotic?
if i'm being idiotic can u recommend a fan -- i was looking at the Vantec Iceberq All-In-One Copper VGA and Chipset Cooling Kit but everwhere seems to be out of stock except amazon.com and they won't export it to the uk
August 28, 2007 2:37:17 PM

I have one too and replaced it about 1 1/2 years ago. The oem replacement works fine and is low profile. Just dont remove the rubber insulator on the chipset itself when you remove the old fan. It is there for a reason. I have heard problems with other solutions that have too high dimensions that obstructs other cards.
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