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Question CPU COOLER Fan?

blueicetwice

Member
Jul 6, 2017
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Should a CPU cooler fan run continuously? A friend of mine and his ten year old rig has a NB fan which is not on. I am thinking this fan has gone bad.

I would appreciate the advice of any pros on this website. Frank you kindly.
=============================================================================

The title and this first post have been changed. The writer meant cooler fan
and not heat sink fan.
 
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VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
52,284
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Huh. It's been quite a while (aside from the recently-released X570 AM4 chipset boards), since motherboards had northbridge heatsinks with fans on them.

The last one, which was fairly popular, was the NVidia AM2 (AM2+ too?) NV430 + 6150 or something like that.

Yes, that fan should be spinning. It's probably dead, or is caked with dust (probably in the bearings too), or possibly could be saved with lubrication.

I would just replace it, though. Look up "Evercool Copper chipset heatsink fan". You should get some hits, if nothing else, look at the image links to see what you're looking for. Keep in mind that not all motherboards used the same chipset heatsink push-pin spacing, so you might have to jimmy whatever solution that you find, in order to get it to fit.

Something such as this:

THIS IS JUST AN EXAMPLE I FOUND, I'M NOT SAYING BUY THIS PARTICULAR ONE.


Sometimes, those copper chipset heatsinks, were also sold as "VGA coolers" (for those ancient VGA cards that didn't need a whole additional slot for a big heatpipe heatsink.

That said, maybe you could buy a dead really-old VGA card, and transplant the fan heatsink onto the chipset that you need.

Or just get a larger finned heatsink, like a RAM heatsink, and make sure that there is some airflow over it, somehow, and cool it semi-passively.
 
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IntelUser2000

Elite Member
Oct 14, 2003
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Should a heat sink fan run continuously? A friend of mine and his ten year old rig has a NB fan
which is not on. I am thinking this fan has gone bad.
It could be fine without it. Just run games or something and watch the temperature. If it stays under 70C, its fine. If not then it needs a fan.
 
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damian101

Senior member
Aug 11, 2020
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Northbridge fan or Noiseblocker (the brand) fan?
I know that NB eLoop fans have an RPM range down to 0, if fan and motherboard support 0 RPM there might not be any problem.
 
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blueicetwice

Member
Jul 6, 2017
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Thank you for all of your replies. I should have said the fan on
the CPU cooler than a "heat sink." Two big difference. Yes, Damian,
it is a Noiseblocker Fan, which he said ran all the time. In fact, on my
last built, I also used a Nosieblocker Fan, which later too stop working.

This CPU cooler fan gets it power directly from the Mamaboard, through
a three pin header. I believe that unless it is controlled by the M/B it is
always running.
 
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blueicetwice

Member
Jul 6, 2017
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It could be fine without it. Just run games or something and watch the temperature. If it stays under 70C, its fine. If not then it needs a fan.
IntelUser, this is a good idea. How about running a stress test as well? He could also
go into his BIOS and set the CPU temperature warning alarm. There is certainly no
advantage to the CPU cooler fan not running.
 

blueicetwice

Member
Jul 6, 2017
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Larry, thank you for the extended post. It was an interesting read, until
I realized that I mislabeled the title of this thread. A CPU cooler is not a
heat sink.

Sorry about the confused I created.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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I'm sorry too. I hadn't heard of NoiseBlocker CPU fans, so I thought that you were referring to a NB (NorthBridge, aka chipset) fan.
 

IntelUser2000

Elite Member
Oct 14, 2003
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How about running a stress test as well?
I suggested games because its a more realistic representation of a heavy workload with I/O being used a fair bit too. What if for example you were running a CPU intensive test that fit in caches? Then it won't use the Northbridge much.
 

blueicetwice

Member
Jul 6, 2017
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I suggested games because its a more realistic representation of a heavy workload with I/O being used a fair bit too. What if for example you were running a CPU intensive test that fit in caches? Then it won't use the Northbridge much.
My bad, Inteluser. I was referring to a Noiseblocker fan and not the Northbridge.

The fan which is not working, is a three pin fan mount to the mamaboard. It is
cooling the CPU cooler. I am a mistake by calling it a heat sink. :<((

Should it be running at all times?? It is in my rig but not in my friend's PC.
 

IntelUser2000

Elite Member
Oct 14, 2003
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@blueicetwice Cool, I must have missed the part in your post. Yes some CPU fans run continuously. Like my Intel HSF on the Core i3 7100. It just runs at lower RPM.

Also, since you said 3-pin, it doesn't have PWM control so it should run continuously without changing speeds. You need a 4-pin fan for that.

to the mamaboard.
Hehe.
 
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WilliamM2

Golden Member
Jun 14, 2012
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@blueicetwice Cool, I must have missed the part in your post. Yes some CPU fans run continuously. Like my Intel HSF on the Core i3 7100. It just runs at lower RPM.

Also, since you said 3-pin, it doesn't have PWM control so it should run continuously without changing speeds. You need a 4-pin fan for that.



Hehe.
Actually, many boards will use voltage control to vary speeds on 3 pin fans. Mine does.

And if it's set too low in the bios, the fan may fail to start.
 

blueicetwice

Member
Jul 6, 2017
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Inteluser, I was thinking along the same lines. I quite sure his setting in the
BIOS are set to default, as he is just a normal PC user.
 

blueicetwice

Member
Jul 6, 2017
36
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Actually, many boards will use voltage control to vary speeds on 3 pin fans. Mine does.

And if it's set too low in the bios, the fan may fail to start.

Sir William, I check my BIOS and yes indeed you are correctoe. Still, however, it requires a four pin header, since all PMW fans are four pin and will work only statically when plug into a three pin header.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
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if the fan is 10 yrs old i would think its dead if its not spinning, unless it happens to be a sanyo denki sanace or a nidac.
 

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