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Cold Weather Hurts CPU Fans?

Last response: in CPUs
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December 19, 2004 4:25:26 PM

Hi all,

Just did some work moving a home office the other day, got a beast of a 450mhz AMD desktop powering the business :-)

Anyway, the new office is a converted garage at a country house and the previous office was a nice and cosy city of london place.

I had the box up and running for a few hours on the Saturday, no hint of any problems. Came back to it on the Sunday morning and it made a noise like a helicopter trying to take off!

Had a look inside the box, ends up being the CPU fan <i>(refreshing to see one that isn't the size of a small brick)</i>. Not the usual cable rubbing against the fan job, but seemed like the actual bearings (or motor) were making the noise.

My question to the knowledgeable locals down here at THG - could cold weather overnight (probably down to -1 celsius) cause such a <b>mechanical</b> fault?

I've seen the stated operating ranges for electronic equipement - usually stuff like -40~+50, but not seen any stated operating ranges for a simple fan!

Any thoughts?
Cheers,
Jack
December 19, 2004 5:14:57 PM

cold weather sometime affect older fans, as in my older system, but nothing critical. I remove them and put some light oil and that cure the problem. If not, then a small fan like that one is cheap...


-Always put the blame on you first, then on the hardware !!!
December 19, 2004 11:55:46 PM

I have a computer in my garage and i live in sweden, sometimes its even -40c and i never experienced any problems!

And just so you dont have to ask, i use the computer as a mp3 player)

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December 20, 2004 12:13:10 AM

Yes, cold weather can do a couple things to older fans, such as making the lubricant set up. Usually when you run the system for a while it quiets down. But the root of the problem is that the sleeve is wearing out and becomming larger, allowing the fan blades to oscillate.

Oiling the bearing can fix this for a long time by cushioning the gap, like a shock absorber.

If you find you need a new fan, you can replace the fan without replacing the heat sink.

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December 20, 2004 3:31:09 AM

The fan would not be my chief concern. Ever heard of dew? It will cause droplets to form on the cold side of a warm object. I would watch out for it if I were you.
December 20, 2004 4:04:59 AM

You mean like a warmer case, as in one that is being heated by an active processor? Yup, scary.
!