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GPU fan making weird noise

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 17, 2012 3:30:05 PM

Hello.

I'm having a problem with my GPU fan, and it's worrying me enough to ask for some advice on it. I have two Radeon HD 6850 cards in Crossfire (both two years old), and one of the fans on them started making a weird noise when I booted up my computer yesterday. It's kind of a buzzing noise, not extremely loud (i have a window AC unit, so it's hard to hear it over that), but it's definitely noticeable. It's only coming from the fan of the bottom of my two GPUs. I've tried making sure the GPU wasn't loose, I've tried making sure the fan wasn't loose (it doesn't feel like it is), so I'm not sure sure what it could be.

The fan still seems to run at full speed, so I'm not sure if i should be worried. The only thing left for me to do is take the GPU completely out, which would be a pain, but I can if the problem is serious enough. For the record, performance-wise, my computer is still running the same. I did notice Metro 2033 ran about five degrees hotter last night, but the outside temperature got up to 92 degrees where i'm at, so that could be the reason why.

Anyways, any suggestions, advice, or ideas would be greatly appreciated.
June 17, 2012 3:46:25 PM

That is a No Brainer. If your fan has started making noise, replace it asap! Don't wait for it to fail. The results of an overheated gpu could be really expensive.......It's well worth the cost of a fan now to prevent that possibility. Also, it may just be dirty. When you have it out of the computer, use a can of compressed air and blow all the dust out of it. While your at it, look at the rest of the computer too. It might be that your cpu is just as dirty. You should blow it out as well. I take my computer out to the garage a couple of times a year and blow out the whole thing. It's amazing just how dirty they can get. You could then try it again and see if the noise went away. best of luck!
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June 17, 2012 3:48:06 PM

the fan is there to cool your GPU, and if it's running ok and your card's staying cool, there isn't a major issue.

however, I think it's definitely worth identifying what is causing the noise. could just be a piece of dust or something go stuck in the fan. if you haven't done so, get a can of compressed air and spray it around inside your PC to get some dust out. and just to be sure, I would go through the trouble of taking your video card out and examining it. make sure that it's clean, nothing's stuck on the fan blades causing it to be imbalanced etc. if none of this fixes the problem, your fan could be just toward the end of its lifespan
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June 17, 2012 3:51:47 PM

thanks for the advice, i'll definitely take the fan out sometime today or tomorrow and try to pinpoint the source of the problem.

if i do end up needing to replace the fan, do either of you suggest a good aftermarket cooling solution for the HD 6850? since i have two of them, space is a concern, i probably have an inch between the two cards, and then an inch or two between the bottom card and my power supply.

thanks again for the help!
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June 17, 2012 3:54:25 PM

Go to your local computer place and bring the old fan with you. You can match up the physical size and "Speed" to one that is on the shelf at the store. There are lots of sizes and shapes, etc. But what is most imprtant it the speed. Don't buy one that is slower. Best of luck.
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June 17, 2012 4:32:23 PM

1st step - Clean it outta the box\

2nd step - Use ya finger on it to rotate it ...if noise occuress you have confirmed the problem .... determine if it's hitting the shroud by seeing it it occurs at same blade passing same spot (easy fix, trim shroud w/ x-axto blade). If bearing noise (discernable by spinning back and forth thru half revolution avoiding and close spots), fan must be replaced
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June 17, 2012 6:03:05 PM

Ok, I have an update:

I just got done taking out the GPU with the troublesome fan. I sprayed the fan with compressed air, and I turned the fan both ways, listening for a grating sound or any sound at all. It seemed perfectly fine, it would spin fine in both directions, and there were no noises and nothing catching on it that I could see/hear. i didn't actually take the fan off the GPU, though. Would that be the next step?

I put the GPU back in, made sure it fit snugly and was in perfectly. Then I booted up my PC and....the sound is still there. At this point, should I just replace the fan? I'm hoping that's what it is and not the GPU itself. I mean, I can (gently) place my finger over the middle of the fan as the PC boots up, and as it stops spinning, the noise ceases completely. So, I'm assuming it's the fan. I just want to be sure I'm solving the problem correctly, since I'm not very experienced with hardware. Also, taking it to a PC store is unfortunately not an option for me where I live, so I'm pretty much limited to ordering off newegg/amazon/etc.

Thanks again for all the advice, and for any future advice you guys can give. :) 
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November 26, 2012 3:33:33 AM

probs best to replace the fans if possible. i have the same issue my gtx 470 suddenly starting making noises when the gpu is on load and at high temps. i have done cleaning but still there is noise. teps get up to 102*c so not using the card till i can get the fans replaced. but not sure if they can even be replaced as it does not appear that palit allows fan changes :( 
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