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thephantom

join:2001-04-24
Alamo, CA

[motherboard] help installing a fan

I have a ASUS Sabertooth X58 motherboard with an Intel i7 3.07G processor. I mentioned in a previous thread how my PC started cycling ON/OFF/ON/OFF etc. Everything had been working fine from when I built it about 2 years ago until now. It undid my RAID configuration (which will be another story later). I put a little desk fan next to the box (a HAF Cooler Master) and blowing in the extra air seems to have helped. At least it hasn't shut itself down for a couple of days.

So I decided to buy an additional fan to mount on the inside of the case, in the side position. There is already a fan on the front of the box, one on the back, and the usual fan for the processor and power supply (a Cooler Master GX 750w).

My question may be a bit simple minded, but which way should I have the fan blowing? The front fan blows in, back fan blows out. What about the side fan? My desk fan blows in of course, so I was thinking I should replicate that. On the other hand, I thought maybe the fan should blow out like the back of the box. It seems like it should be obvious, and it may be to you, but I am dumb when it comes to this.

I also figured I would put some thermal paste on the processor while I was doing this. Does that seem like a good idea?

Ultimately, I will need to rebuild my RAID structure as well, but want to do this one step at a time.

TIA,


Dogg
Premium
join:2003-06-11
Belleville, IL
Reviews:
·Charter
Trial and error to see what works best.

With that said, I'd start with it blowing inward.

Also, if you are having a cooling issue, you may want to remove the cpu heatsink/fan, clean the old thermal paste, and reinstall with new thermal paste.

Unless the ambient room temp is really warm or the inside of the PC is really dirty, the normal operation shouldn't change. Meaning if your usage hasn't changed, and the PC just started behaving differently, then there is likely a problem that needs to be correct. Adding more cooling is just a bandaid.
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jaa
Premium
join:2000-06-13
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Vonage
·Optimum Online
reply to thephantom
I like the idea of cleaning the PC, and new thermal paste - you've gotta be cranking the CPU and have it air circulation issues to get overheating like that.

The side case fan is usually in close proximity to the CPU fan, depending on the case and motherboard. I suggest having it blow in the same direction as the CPU fan.

I would not work on the RAID until the computer works reliably - and I also recommend you have it on a UPS...
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NOTHING justifies terrorism. We don't negotiate with terrorists. Those that support terrorists are terrorists.

Gem
Premium
join:2005-09-10
kudos:4
Reviews:
·CableOne
reply to thephantom
Are you using the stock intel heatsink and fan? If so, replace it with a high end bolt-on heatsink with cooling pipes. Newegg has many of those on sale every month. Go with the ones with the highest user ratings even if they cost a bit more. Also search for professional reviews on-line to see which brands and models cool the best.

Definitely use a small amount of thermal paste (AS-5, MX2 or MX3 or such) when you replace the heatsink/fan.

Check your power supply. A failing power supply can cause the symptoms you describe.

Check your ram. That is also a possibility.

There are other possible sources of your problems. The suggestions above are the first three that come immediately to mind.


Cheese
Premium
join:2003-10-26
Naples, FL
kudos:1
reply to thephantom
You are trying to put a band aid on something that's broke, fix the actual issue.

bbear2
Premium
join:2003-10-06
94045
kudos:5

1 recommendation

reply to thephantom
I do concur with others that it's a good idea to clean up and re-thermal paste the cooler to your CPU. That stuff can dry out over time and sooner depending on your environment (heat, dust, etc).

Back to your original question. I think in general, side fans should bring air into the case. However, you need to be careful about creating positive pressure inside where by you then won't get enough of the hot air out. You also don't want to create a great deal of turbulence (interfering fans) as that too will decrease your cooling effectiveness.

If your suspicion about it being a heat problem is correct and if that desk fan really did make a difference, then something else is not cooling properly and needs to be addressed first. Nothing should be that close to the thermal margin that it shuts down (off/on like your other post describes).

Have you used a temperature monitoring application to see what your MB and components are reporting?

Gem
Premium
join:2005-09-10
kudos:4
Reviews:
·CableOne
The OP could also buy a battery powered digital thermal thermometer from Newegg to see which components on his motherboard are generating excessive heat. About $15 shipped on sale back when I purchased mine.

The big problem is: What is causing the excessive temps? The OP needs to determine that first and address the cause of the problem in addition to improving his overall cooling.

Beezel

join:2008-12-15
Las Vegas, NV
reply to thephantom
I always used the theory that, you need to remove the same amount you blow in. If not the heat doesn't get out fast enough and causes more heat issues. If you can't get enough fans to remove air your other fans put in, then make sure there are enough vents so it can pressurize and let the heated air out the vents. If your vents aren't big enough to help with the removal, then that is a good excuse to break out a Dremel and get creative cutting holes in the case and mod it.


Dissembled

join:2008-01-23
Indianapolis, IN

1 recommendation

reply to Gem
said by Gem:

Are you using the stock intel heatsink and fan? If so, replace it with a high end bolt-on heatsink with cooling pipes.

+1

Taking the side off your case and hitting it with a box fan is a whole lot different than buying some little crappy 120mm case fan. So, are you using the stock HSF or an aftermarket? Do yourself a favor and get a decent new one if you're using the stock one. They are not that expensive and they make a huge difference. Hell of a lot more difference than one more case fan.


thephantom

join:2001-04-24
Alamo, CA
said by Cheese:

You are trying to put a band aid on something that's broke, fix the actual issue.

If I knew what the original issue was, I'd do that!

Update:
I put a new fan on the side, blowing into the box. I also removed the old thermal paste and put on a new layer. I do have the original heat sink fan and have not replaced that. So far today, it has stayed on with no cycling. I'll see if it holds up over the next couple of days.

the next step will be to rebuild my RAID set up. I am not looking forward to that. I'll do a system back up and see how it goes.

thanks to all for the advice.

Gem
Premium
join:2005-09-10
kudos:4
Reviews:
·CableOne
What flavor of raid are you running? Is it raid-0? Several imaging programs can image raid arrays and make restoring them as easy as restoring a single drive even if you need to recreate the raid array in your bios setup first. Maybe a thought for next time.


thephantom

join:2001-04-24
Alamo, CA
I have set it up as RAID1.

Unfortunately I am now rebuilding all my software. Before I did the RAID re-set up within the BIOS, I made an image backup. that seemed to be successful. I could not for the life of me get it to actually restore the image. Windows kept insisting I make a disk repair disk and then refused to use it. I have a collection of about 6 disk repair cd's now and I was not able to use any of them. It came close, but when I finally got it to point to the backup (which it was able to find), it would then stop before doing anything and fail. I tried for about 3-4 hours last night, and another 4+ hours this morning. Nothing worked.

So now I am trying to rebuild everything so it looks the way I want it to. Of course, things have changed over the last 2 years and some of the changes are annoying (to say the least). I have found some older versions and am slowly going through them. A very tedious process.

bbear2
Premium
join:2003-10-06
94045
kudos:5
reply to thephantom
said by thephantom:

...

Update:
I put a new fan on the side, blowing into the box. I also removed the old thermal paste and put on a new layer. I do have the original heat sink fan and have not replaced that. So far today, it has stayed on with no cycling. I'll see if it holds up over the next couple of days.

the next step will be to rebuild my RAID set up. I am not looking forward to that. I'll do a system back up and see how it goes.

thanks to all for the advice.

If this works, you can then try to remove the side fan and see if it still runs okay. If so, then you will know for certain it was the thermal paste and re-seating of the heat-sink.

Gem
Premium
join:2005-09-10
kudos:4
Reviews:
·CableOne
reply to thephantom
Wow, sounds like a nightmare.

From your description of the failed Raid1 approach, I'd suggest forgetting the raid and installing fresh on just one hard drive and then image that hard drive to a backup second drive. Then if the first drive is corrupted or fails you'd have a working image that more easily restores.