Noisy Fan...can I leave case open?

Hi All,

Posted before about this but now I'm back with a possible solution and would like some input. Got an older Dell Dimension 8200 .

Fan noise is inherent in all these Dell systems and it's mainly because it's a temp controlled fan [through a fan sensor not the BIOS] and it increases and decreases with the temp and the noise is simply the fan speeding up and vibrating the case. It's not as bad as some of the youtube vids where some sound like vacuum cleaners but it's bad enough that I want to fix it.

The case fan is part of a plastic shroud that simply clips onto the metal casing and that's the way to add a rubber gasket like I did with the power supply. I've also done everything else I could to quiet the vibration...rubber feet, different fans, acoustic insulation.

There's also two video cards in there, one with a heat sink and one with its own fan. I've narrowed the noise down to just the case fan and the vibration carried through the case when the fan speed increases after running all day.

Okay that's the background. I love this PC...super fast and got too much $$$ into it to just dump it. One solution is to get a slower constant RPM fan, but my concern is heat buildup so now I'm wondering what could happen if I just leave the case cracked open...just about an inch?

This case does not allow for completely removing an entire simply hinges open. I've been running it all day at the bottom of my desk on it's shelf with the case cracked open and I can barely hear the fan.

I've read pros and cons, from dust collection and just being unsafe to a more important concern which is that pc cases are designed with airflow in mind and hence...the case should be closed.

The last con doesn't make sense to me though because this pc is really warm inside when I completely open it and, after about a minute of being open, it cools down and the fan slows down.

Seems to me the case SHOULD be open.

I can upload pics of the system and case but can't figure out how to insert it.

Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to explain everything in detail.

Thanks all in advance for your input.
4 answers Last reply
More about noisy leave case open
  1. You could leave the case open if you wanted to, I don't see any harm or negative effects from leaving the side panel open, apart from the fact that more dust might accumulate.
  2. That's true that good cases are designed with airflow in mind, but i've seen alot of PCs that work with case open yet have no problems with overheating. I've even seen one that overheats with case closed (Chieftec, don't remember model) yet works just fine with side panel removed
  3. In most of the higher end performance cases around today the airflow is so good through the case that opening the side panel will usually only serve to interrupt this front to back airflow. However, other lower end cases which may not have a the airflow and ventilation capacity may benefit from having the side panel removed due to more cool air being able to enter around the components. If it works for you then by all means go for it however you'll have to watch out for objects finding their way inside the case and causing damage - not just dust but things falling inside etc. You'll probably have your hands full if you have pets or kids!
  4. Excellent!!! Thank you all for your input. No kids but cats and that's why I'm air dusting in there periodically. Not so much from the cats but just dust in general. It is, because it's older, a lower end case and it is definitely generating more heat than I think it should. Most of the "real" heat is coming off the Nvidia GeForce Ti4200 video card even though it has its own fan. The case only needs to be 'cracked' open [not a huge space] and it makes such a difference in the cpu fan speed.

    Thanks again all,

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