OK. This is my first post and from reading here I feel slightly educated but have some questions.
Current System: 2 years old purchased from Alienware Aurora 7500.
Key components only
ASUS A8N-SLI N-FORCE 4 SLI
AMD ATHLON 64 FX-55 1MB CACHE 939-PIN
Phoenix 512MB DDR PC3200LL (4 sticks)
SEAGATE BARRICUDA 160GB 8MB CACHE SERIAL ATA WITH NCQ HD
NEC ND-3540 16X DUAL LAYER DVD±R/W RECORDER
LITE-ON 52/32/52 CD-RW/DVD 16XDVD COMBO
CREATIVE SOUND BLASTER AUDIGY 2 ZS 7.1
PSU - Thermaltake Toughpower 750
GRAPHICS CARD - XFX 8800GTX
Here are the issues and questions. I recently upgraded the PSU and Graphics card to what you see above. A couple of days later my chip fan on the Mboard started to fail and make all kinds of noise. I do not think it had anything to do with my upgrades; the board is 2 years old and from what I have read, it was time for it to die anyway.
The noise is making me crazy and replacing the fan is turning into a bit of a drama. I speak English and live in Switzerland, so trying to explain that I need a replacement fan in broken French or German is just not working out.
So I figure I can do a couple of things and am looking for some collective advice....budget is not a major concern. I am also looking for a two year solution as I will upgrade or buy a whole new system in two years.
1. Upgrade my current motherboard to a new/better 939 Mobo
What are my options on motherboards? I was looking at the newer Asus A8N Deluxe which uses a heatsink instead of a fan or the Asus A8N Premium. Are there other better boards out there?
2. Upgrade both the Mobo and the CPU
If I go this route, I would like to go to a 775 board and the E6600 Conroe. What would you all recommend for a board and chipmaker on this option? This would also include swapping out the RAM and suggestions on that woudl be appreciated as well.
Also, is there a step by step guide to converting from an AMD based system to an Intel one? Are there key issues I need to worry about when changing over?
I'm happy to post more info if needed and appreciate any help in advance.
That's tough to upgrade because it's still a pretty strong system and it'd be a shame to throw away 2 gigs of DDR.
So what's really up with this fan? Making loud noises is a peculiar way for a fan to malfunction. Are you sure there's not just something stuck in the path of the blades? A wire, or a piece of wire, tape, who knows.
If it is the fan on its way out, if it were me in this position I'd try to just replace the fan. Pull it off the board and glue a spare fan in its place. A 80mm out of an old case or power supply, or a smaller one off an old CPU heatsink. If you don't have any of those, and you think you'd be able to swap it in, just buy a fan. A $5 fan is a lot more bargain than a $150 board.
But if you want to upgrade anyway, go for a e6600 and a good 775 board like the GA 965P DS3, or Asus P5-E SLi, or even EVGA 680i.
You could also contact Asus.com, go to their support/contact site and see if they would send you a replacement fan. They have had numerous problems with the fans on their nForce4 chip motherboards. They might just be receptive to solving your problem quickly and cheaply...
Yeah I would hold off on upgrading unless there is something your doing that your computer cant keep up with. I have a very similar system, exact same motherboard and cpu. I replaced my northbridge fan/hs the day I got the mb with a small alpha heatsink and fan. I'm sure if you look around you can find a solution. I may even still have the stock hs/fan in a drawer somewhere if your interested in it let me know I could send it too you. I know I will never need it I epoxied the new one on.
2 Zalman northbridge coolers (fanless) come to mind.
Both are available in the UK through ebuyer.com
I DO NOT KNOW if they will fit your motherboard.
If either will, you are home free for very little money.
Maybe someone else here at Tom's knows if one of them will fit.
Check your motherboard for the very common mounting holes near the northbridge chip. If you have them either of these will likely work.
I would recommend emailing Asus support. For me, they replaced the fan for free (I have a A8N-SLI Deluxe too, the fans are defective, you are lucky yours lasted as long as it did). Another choice is to find a small copper fan. They are less than $5 most places and usually fit (40mm fits, I think). I had to modify mine a little to get it to fit, but now it works beautifully. I would not recommend a passive cooler because the NB chip is directly below a PCI-E slot, so the cooler must be very short to avoid conflicts. Finlander's idea sounds cool too (I didn't know you could do that).