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Problems with fan noise

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May 26, 2011 5:04:10 PM

I'm going to preface this by saying that I'm not overclocking, but this seemed to be the most appropriate place to post this thread.

I recently removed an old HDD from my system and reconfigured the RAM to take advantage of dual channel (which it wasn't doing earlier). On both occasions, the fan was much louder than it used to be once I'd booted up the PC again. It died down after a while however and so I thought it was no longer a problem. I made sure to clean the case out and paid particular notice to the case fan, cpu heatsink, GPU cooler and PSU fan. The problem however, reappeared some time later and since then I haven't been able to solve it.

I have cleaned the blades many, many times now but the problem persists and furthermore; I haven't been able to diagnose where the problem originates from. I checked temps and they seemed to be fine. These are recent screens taken using HWmonitor:

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/88/tempsg.jpg/

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/192/temps2d.jpg/

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/860/temps3.jpg/

Changing the case fan setting to low removes the noise but medium doesn't. In order to keep the temps down I need to run it on high however.

The first screenshot was taken before the problems occurred

The second screenshot shows the temps after reducing the setting to low.

The third screenshot shows the temps after reverting back to a high setting.

It would appear that the problem resides with the case fan but despite making sure it was dust free, the problem persists. They fan mount doesn't appear to be loose so I don't think the issue is occurring because of vibration transmitting through a lose fan mount. I haven't noticed the noise increasing proportionate to temps. Running a game actually reduced the noise in some instances. I checked for loose wires but couldn't find anything in the way of the blades. One more thing; I did have a related problem for a while leading up to this, can't remember for how long though. Essentially the fan was slightly louder upon booting up the PC then it would be after the windows had loaded up. I initially thought this current problem and the previous one were related, and to some degree they might be; but this time the fan remains noisy well after the desktop loads.

My case if you are wondering is the Antec Sonata 3. I haven't replaced the PSU or fan that came with it.

More about : problems fan noise

a b K Overclocking
May 27, 2011 5:09:54 AM

My Dell had a similar issue. The noise was like an aircraft engine revving up. When I placed my hand on the metallic side of the computer, the additional noise died down completely.

This additional noise in my computer was the result of resonance. My solution was to use some self-stick automotive wheel balancing lead weights and stick them on the inside of the metal sides.

Hope something like this works for you. Go up to 8 ozs. weight per side if necessary. First one, then the other.
May 27, 2011 12:26:15 PM


Quote:
When I placed my hand on the metallic side of the computer, the additional noise died down completely.


Doing the same on mine yields no results.

One thing I forgot to mention: immediately after shutting down the computer, the fan starts spinning up one last time before finally dying down.

EDIT: I just tried putting a disk in the drive. The noise was incredible, and furthermore I could feel pretty strong vibrations from the case itself. Can't be unrelated.
Related resources
a b K Overclocking
May 27, 2011 2:13:10 PM

saka-rauka1 said:
Quote:
When I placed my hand on the metallic side of the computer, the additional noise died down completely.


Doing the same on mine yields no results.

One thing I forgot to mention: immediately after shutting down the computer, the fan starts spinning up one last time before finally dying down.

EDIT: I just tried putting a disk in the drive. The noise was incredible, and furthermore I could feel pretty strong vibrations from the case itself. Can't be unrelated.

Definitely excessive heating of the CPU. Try re-seating the heatsink using Arctic Silver 5 thermal compound. From what I am seeing, this will help.
May 27, 2011 3:46:51 PM

Quote:
Definitely excessive heating of the CPU


Really? The temps look fine to me. I thought the problem was contained to the case fan.

I should also state that I had a problem with CPU cooling a year or so earlier. My PC kept shutting itself down when playing games; a quick check of the BIOS showed the CPU was running at >100 degrees. I bought the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 pro and it reduced temps to ~30. As a precaution I enabled a setting in the BIOS that sounds an alarm when the CPU temps exceed 60.

I haven't heard that recently, neither has the computer powered down. Using HWMonitor I can see that temps haven't ever exceeded 50 even after reducing case fan speed. The CPU fan speed is higher I'll grant you, but I've seen it go as high as 2000RPM before (when I received the heatsink I improperly seated it on the CPU, fixed that though) without noise problems like what I'm having now.

What really confuses me is how the problem disappears with the case fan set to low. Surely if it were a heating problem the results would be the opposite.

You know, I'm tempted to think this is a power supply issue, but I can't really support that theory with anything.
a b K Overclocking
May 27, 2011 4:40:20 PM

The CPU fan speed will increase with higher CPU temps. If the higher fan speed creates noise issues, then the speed can be reduced by lower CPU temps. Hence, re-seating the heatsink will help.
May 27, 2011 4:55:52 PM

Yes but you see it isn't the CPU fan that's creating the noise, it's the case fan. Reducing the case fan speed reduces the noise, but increases the CPU fan speed and temps.
a b K Overclocking
May 27, 2011 5:00:55 PM

saka-rauka1 said:
Yes but you see it isn't the CPU fan that's creating the noise, it's the case fan. Reducing the case fan speed reduces the noise, but increases the CPU fan speed and temps.

Replace this case fan with a quieter one with better air flow.
a b K Overclocking
May 27, 2011 5:14:39 PM

A bad bearing (usually ball bearing type fans) will cause abnormal noises at higher RPMs.
a b K Overclocking
May 27, 2011 7:06:49 PM

The more I think about this noisy fan at higher RPMs the more I am convinced that this particular fan is of the ball bearing type, and has a bad bearing. These are also the typical symptoms when an automotive wheel bearing goes bad.
May 27, 2011 11:57:38 PM

Page Thirteen

Is this a ball-bearing type fan?

Do you have any particular recommendations for a replacement?
a b K Overclocking
May 28, 2011 12:11:28 AM

saka-rauka1 said:
Page Thirteen

Is this a ball-bearing type fan?

Do you have any particular recommendations for a replacement?

Page 13 of your manual does not say what type of fan it is. Regardless, if it has failed, that's where the noise is coming from.

For 120 mm fan: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For 200mm fan: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Check the specs and dimensions before you buy.
May 29, 2011 1:34:37 PM

In the meantime I can still use my computer right? I keep thinking something's gonna go wrong if I continue to use it with the problem unsolved, though it seems a foolish notion given that the problem is contained to the fan. It's made me hold off on a gfx + ram upgrade for a week so far.

I forgot to ask earlier, but what's a safe temperature for the motherboard. Mine seems rather high. I'd put that down to the fact that the Freezer 7 pro blows air from the CPU down rather than out of the case.
a b K Overclocking
May 29, 2011 2:21:41 PM

saka-rauka1 said:
In the meantime I can still use my computer right? I keep thinking something's gonna go wrong if I continue to use it with the problem unsolved, though it seems a foolish notion given that the problem is contained to the fan. It's made me hold off on a gfx + ram upgrade for a week so far.

I forgot to ask earlier, but what's a safe temperature for the motherboard. Mine seems rather high. I'd put that down to the fact that the Freezer 7 pro blows air from the CPU down rather than out of the case.

Yes, you can continue to use the computer even though the fan is noisy. The fan will still bow air just as before.

Safe temp for a motherboard? There are no standards, but my guess based on reading other posts would be 45 to 50 degs. C. This is not to say that 52 and above is dangerous. Please read the links below:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/243851-30-typical-mot...
http://www.overclock.net/amd-motherboards/99130-safe-mo...
http://forums.extremeoverclocking.com/t259171.html
http://discuss.extremetech.com/forums/thread/1004385564...
May 31, 2011 9:36:24 AM

After reading those threads, my motherboard temp looks a bit high; I'll have to see what a new fan does for the temps. I intend to reinstall the old fan as a front mounted intake fan. It should be fine so long as I use it on the low setting, as the noise problem is non-existent at that setting. There's also the dust-filter, which I have neglected for some time. The pinch tabs are defective and the filter is stuck, it has been for quite some time, and therefore I'm unable to clean the thing. I'll try to remove the bezel and then get to the filter that way. I could also sort out the cable management (what management :)  ) as I've heard that can give a slight boost as well.

As for the fans you listed earlier: I can only use 120mm fans so the CoolerMaster is out. The 120mm delta seems a tad excessive from my point of view. I really don't need 150CFM for what I'm using my PC for, and the 56db noise wouldn't really improve on my current situation. I thought this might be a good idea: 120mm Coolermaster SickleFLow Blue LED Quiet Case Fan

I don't believe the 19db claim but even if it's twice that, it would be around the same as the current fan (when it wasn't faulty) and that's perfectly fine for me. The airflow seems to be a nice 70CFM which is about the same as the rated CFM on my current TriCool 120mm. I'm led to believe that the actual CFM of the TriCool is lower. I ought to check the CoolerMasters specs more thoroughly but once again I'm posting this just before I go to bed.
a b K Overclocking
May 31, 2011 2:59:28 PM

saka-rauka1 said:
..... I'll try to remove the bezel and then get to the filter that way. I could also sort out the cable management (what management :)  ) as I've heard that can give a slight boost as well.

As for the fans you listed earlier: I can only use 120mm fans so the CoolerMaster is out. The 120mm delta seems a tad excessive from my point of view. I really don't need 150CFM for what I'm using my PC for, and the 56db noise wouldn't really improve on my current situation. I thought this might be a good idea: 120mm Coolermaster SickleFLow Blue LED Quiet Case Fan

I don't believe the 19db claim but even if it's twice that, it would be around the same as the current fan (when it wasn't faulty) and that's perfectly fine for me. The airflow seems to be a nice 70CFM which is about the same as the rated CFM on my current TriCool 120mm. I'm led to believe that the actual CFM of the TriCool is lower. I ought to check the CoolerMasters specs more thoroughly but once again I'm posting this just before I go to bed.

Yes, please clean the filters. Everything will run cooler after you do this.

The fan you listed is a good one. Delta fans are high quality fans.

And yes, it pays to read and understand specs before one makes a decision.
June 1, 2011 1:16:09 AM

I couldn't find a full review of the 120mm CM sickleflow. What little I did find indicated that airflow measurements were accurate but that the noise was much louder. Not sure how much louder though. Perhaps I should ask around elsewhere.

I also asked Antec for a replacement dust filter. I've read another topic where someone did this and they sent it to him no problems. I'm half a year out of warranty but they might still send me one given that its a fairly insignificant (cost-wise) part.
a b K Overclocking
June 1, 2011 11:22:48 PM

Worth a try!
June 2, 2011 7:27:16 PM

I was wondering, could I use WD-40 on the bearing to make it quieter?
a b K Overclocking
June 2, 2011 8:30:17 PM

saka-rauka1 said:
I was wondering, could I use WD-40 on the bearing to make it quieter?

NO! WD-40 is a penetrating product (see, I didn't call it oil) and is used to loosen rusted parts. The 'WD' stands for 'Water Dispersant' and in their lab, it was the 40th. formula that they decided to market. Hence the name WD-40.

If you do decide to oil the bearings, use a sparing amount of light lubricating oil; like the oil used to lubricate firearm trigger and slide mechanisms. Try Hoppe's oil. Every small town in North America has this. Ask one of your hunting buddies to give you a drop of this oil; 1 drop is all you need. :) 

Apply the oil with a piece of 14 Ga (thin) wire.
June 4, 2011 7:25:42 PM

Alright so I installed the new fan and tucked away loose cables in a compartment of the case. However, there seems to be a burning smell emanating from my PC. I couldn't see anything immediately wrong when I opened the case again t check what was causing it. From searching the internet it seems the most common cause of this is the power supply.

Any ideas?

EDIT: Oh yeah, got a reply from Antec. I need to be under warranty or it will cost 13 Euros for a new filter. That sucks.

In any case, I have yet to remove the thing. The manual says it's not removable and warns me against trying.
June 6, 2011 4:44:50 PM

I tried laying the case on its side and opening the side panel. That seemed to fix things. It reappeared once the case was back in its usual position. I couldn't see anything visibly wrong with it so I'm just going to let it lie for now.

Let me know what you think.
a b K Overclocking
June 6, 2011 5:02:38 PM

Old Chinese proverb "Confucius say let sleeping dogs lie".
!