PC Fans - advice needed please

  SAH 15:22 28 Feb 2008


I've got a Pentium 4 machine running windows XP which I've had about 5 years and I've noticed recently that my fan has become very noisy, I've been told there can be upto 3 fans installed within a PC too which I didn't realise!

Firstly can anyone recommend a good quality quiet fan to me and secondly how easy they are to install or is it best to get someone to do it for me??


  rossgolf 16:55 28 Feb 2008

they are very easy
just a few nuts and screws and a plug into the mobo
you can get a fan from anywhere
try ebuyer click here

  Bagsey 17:19 28 Feb 2008

Or Maplins click here

  SAH 16:09 29 Feb 2008

Thanks for the advice rossgolf & Bagsey - much appreciated!

  keef66 16:29 29 Feb 2008

You'll definitely have a fan sitting on a heatsink (finned metal block)cooling the processor. These can be changed fairly easily, and you can get near silent ones.

You'll almost certainly have a fan (or two) in the power supply. If this is the culprit, you'll be shopping for a new power supply.

You might have a case fan blowing warm air out of the back of the case, usually powered from the motherboard. These really are a doddle to replace, again some near silent ones available.
Occasionally also intake fans drawing cool air in at the front of the case. Also v. simple.

Most graphics cards have a cooling fan / heatsink; problem is that it faces downwards so it isn't always easy to see. They can also be replaced by cheapish aftermarket graphics card coolers.

Finally, on some motherboards there is a tiny fan cooling a heatsink on the northbridge chip. Some are easy to replace, others are a right bugger to get off and imposible to find replacements for.

Suggest you whip the side panel off the pc, start it up, and using a length of plastic tubing as a stethoscope VERY CAREFULLY determine where the noise is coming from.

I once replaced the processor cooler only to find the noise still there, and on closer inspection it turned out to be the graphics card fan

  SAH 11:00 01 Mar 2008

That's really helpful info keef66, cheers for that!

  bjh 11:22 01 Mar 2008

Can I just add (the obvious???)..

Don't touch ANY of the motherboard with your fingers - especially when the machine is on.

Don't open the power supply unit (bit at the back where the kettle type power lead connects), as this can be very dangerous

You can check if a fan is the noisy culprit by slowing it down with your finger on the centre. I wouldn't stick it in the blades. With CPU and the small fan you may find on the motherboard (I think this one will be absent, as your machine is quite old) you should really only slow them down for a couple of seconds else things might get hot!

As Keef says, most fans are really piss easy to change. While your machine is open, you may wish to identify the size of each fan - diagonal measurement between the fixing holes.

Fans are widely available on-line. For an older machine, I suspect you can buy the cheaper non-branded type. Foe example...
Cooling fans for CPU etc
click here

If it's a big fan on the case itself then
click here

  Pamy 11:37 01 Mar 2008

And a little oil works wonders too

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