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Jae Onasi 12-28-2010 02:59 PM

CPU fan noise
When I turn my computer on, one of my fans has become incredibly noisy, and then it settles down after the computer has finished booting up. At first I thought it might be my case fan, but after opening up the case and blowing all the dust and cat hair out, we're pretty sure it's the CPU fan. Of course this happens right as our 1 year warranty expires....

We have an AMD Athlon II X4 620. It's not top of the line, but it works for what I want it to do.

This is what we have:

Chipset : nVidia nForce 720a
Processor : AMD Athlon II X4 620 @ 2600 MHz
Physical Memory : 6144 MB (3 x 2048 DDR2-SDRAM )
Video Card : ATI Radeon HD 5500 Series
Hard Disk : WDC (640 GB)
DVD-Rom Drive : hp CDDVDW TS-H653R SCSI CdRom Device
DVD-Rom Drive : MagicISO Virtual DVD-ROM0000
Monitor Type : Hewlett Packard HP w2338h - 23 inches
Network Card : MCP77 Ethernet
Operating System : Windows 7 Home Premium Home Edition 6.01.7600 (x64)
DirectX : Version 11.00
Windows Performance Index : 3.9

So, we're currently exploring options
1. buy another 1 year warranty from HP at $109 and let them fix it
2. buy a new processor fan (and a case fan while we're at it to have a quieter one
3. replace the processor/motherboard and fan entirely and upgrade to something a bit better.

We're trying to keep costs down if we can since being off work on unpaid medical leave has wiped out our savings.

Thank you in advance for the info and help!

urluckyday 12-28-2010 03:05 PM

Just as a general question...any possibility that it's the power supply making the noise? It sounds awfully familiar to the issue that I had.

stingerhs 12-29-2010 12:52 AM

assuming that it is indeed the CPU fan and not the PSU fan, then i'm very aware of this problem. alas, even my system does this, but only once in a while. the problem is usually caused by the system having a CPU fan speed controller built into the board. most major PC venders have this as a feature, but they often times have it controlled in multiple ways.

in your case, its probably a feature built into the mobo drivers in addition to the BIOS having its own built in setting. if you've updated your mainboard drivers (yours would be the nForce drivers from Nvidia), then that is likely the problem. what is happening is that when the computer boots, the BIOS is running the fan at full speed as its default. when the OS boots, and consequentially the mobo drivers, the fan speed then reduces to whatever the driver has them set for as the BIOS will automatically give up control to the OS.

you'll need to check in the BIOS for any kind of setting relating to temperature control or noise control or something similar. just change that setting, and you should be good to go.

just keep two things in mind: you have an AMD board, so you probably have a setting called "Cool N Quiet". directly, this has very little to do with the CPU fan since it controls the CPU speed and not the fan itself. the other thing to bear in mind is that the BIOS could easily NOT have a setting to control the fan speed. a lot of vendors remove BIOS options to "dumb down" the BIOS so that somebody doesn't accidentally do something stupid and destroy the computer.

in that case, you might need to re-flash the default BIOS to get it working right again. i would, however, do my best to avoid that route if at all possible since you could seriously damage the mobo if something goes wrong.

anyways, hope that helps. :D

Jae Onasi 12-29-2010 01:35 AM

It's possible that it's the PSU, but we put a new PSU in when we upgraded the video card. That doesn't mean it's not being sassy with me, however.

I don't mind the noise, as long as there's nothing wrong. I just noticed that it had gotten quite a bit noisier in the last few weeks than it used to be, and it seemed a bit better when we blew out all the dust/cat/dog fur, so I made an assumption that there was a problem when there might not be.

Sabretooth 12-29-2010 01:35 AM

So glad to hear that it's not just me >_>

I've a Phenom X4 myself, so yes, more or less the same boat.

Lynk Former 12-29-2010 10:23 AM

Actually, my PC does the same thing... you know, that custom build one XD and when I was doing research a month or so ago, I read that all AlienWare PC's do the same thing as well. The same thing happens with a PC a friend of mine has as well which is also pretty high end.

I don't mind it so much since it's only at startup and the fan noise quietens back down to a whisper in normal usage... what can ya do *shrugs*

stingerhs 12-29-2010 11:27 AM

yeah, its a common complaint from some of the higher end builds. like i stated earlier, it can be fixed, but since its not really doing anything harmful (aside from slightly decreasing the lifespan of the fan), i wouldn't worry about it too much. ;)

Q 12-30-2010 04:36 AM

If it's getting louder the bearing may very well be going out on your CPU fan. If you can find a new fan that fits the heatsink, great. If not, you should be able to find a new socket AM3 heatsink and fan that will fit in your case at Newegg or someplace similar (along with a new case fan) for not a whole lot of money (< $50 for both).

Qui-Gon Glenn 01-03-2011 06:16 PM

^^^ Yep! I was thinking bearing wear as well, and fans and CPU fan solutions are not too expensive. Neither are they difficult to install; if you can install a PSU, you can install fans and apply thermal paste :)

As for this being a common complaint... I had a noisy fan issue with my HTPC build, but that was because I didn't tape a wire out of the way, so the fan was hacking it! Since that fix, silence is the rule... I would suggest that a noisy high-end PC may be the result of a little sloppy building or parts that need to be returned. I am not trying to suggest anyone is incompetent, just that new parts should work "newly". If they are not, I think you should get troubleshooting - could be vibration from a loose MB screw, or you might need some rubber bumpers here or there, or this wire over here might need a little guidance.... it is better to not assume that that is simply the way things are and instead look for solutions.

In my opinion.

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