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GPU fan too loud, can I replace with case fan?

TJones2

Senior member
Oct 27, 2004
278
0
76
The fan on my fXf 4870 video card is driving me nuts. I contacted FXF about it ages ago and they can't replace the fan but wanted the entire card. Would cost me more than its worth to ship so I've tried doing what I can to fix it which isn't much (there's no opening to apply oil, etc). Will never buy another fxf card.

So can I just remove the fan and rig a case fan on top of the heat sink?
 

LoveMachine

Senior member
May 8, 2012
491
3
81
It's not too difficult of an experiment, but you will need to hack off the fan connectors and swap them since it's a different size. I tried something similar on an old noisy card and it didn't work well. The included heatsink is designed with a certain fan in mind, and if the airflow patterns don't match up, the heat dissipation does happen as efficiently. Aside from some cable splicing, it isn't too complex, so as long as you are comfortable re-soldering connects back together if it fails, it's an easy experiment. Just be careful to not break any plastic shroud bits when trying to remove the fan itself.
 

LoveMachine

Senior member
May 8, 2012
491
3
81
Oh, if/when you do get it rigged up, just make sure you keep a temp monitoring program up and watch temps carefully. They can climb quickly when a game fires up and the airflow isn't appropriate.
 

KingFatty

Diamond Member
Dec 29, 2010
3,034
1
81
I've done this, and it got me lower temps to boot.

Also, does your card have the 4-pin fan connector? Then you can get a 4-pin fan, like a PWM fan, and the video card will still be able to control it.

In my situation, I did several tests to check temperatures. You should do the same, warm up the card and turn on the fan and see what temp you achieve when it stabilizes. Then move the fan.

I'm using zip-ties to secure the fan to the heatsink. It's a 120mm PWM 4-pin fan. I spliced my own adapter, which has the tiny video card 4-pin connector on one side, and the larger 4-pin case fan PWM connector on the other. So, it's a nice setup in my mind, where I can easily unplug it from the video card and revert back to stock or some other cooler.

I've heard of other people bending the pins on their video card. You can remove the plastic sleeve that holds the pins and expose the pins, then spread them apart and force them into the bigger connector that you see on the case fans. But I prefer to make my own connector. Note: I can provide pics/details if you want to splice up a connector, or you can search for them. In my case, I had to connect different color wires together because the video card wires used a different color scheme than the case fan wires.

Edit: Also, have you considered just ordering a replacement fan from ebay to toss in your current setup? That's probably the cheapest/easiest solution that maintains "stock" setup.
 

TJones2

Senior member
Oct 27, 2004
278
0
76
Its a two pin connector. Couldn't find any replacement on eBay but I do have an older fan from another video card but the cable is too short (slightly different amp rating too). Was going to connect the case fan to a regular Molex connector and run at full speed.
 
Last edited:

Elixer

Lifer
May 7, 2002
10,376
762
126
Be aware that if you use a bigger fan, they usually require more power than what was on the gfx card. It might also not fit correctly, or not have the correct airflow to the card itself.
Would it make a difference ? It is possible.
Also, in rare cases, some fans have electrical noise issues, that can also cause issues.
In short, it is better to find a complete replacement cooler (or fan), but since this is a very old card, you might want to give yourself a late xmas gift ;)


fxf = xfx ?
 

SPBHM

Diamond Member
Sep 12, 2012
4,998
356
126
you can buy on ebay for $15,

but about using a case fan, I think it really depends on the heatsink design,

if it's this model:


at least half of it it's closed on the top,

I'm not sure a case fan is going to work well
 

TJones2

Senior member
Oct 27, 2004
278
0
76
Just discovered if I kick my case, the noise goes away...for a while anyway. Then I have to give it another kick.
 

nathan88

Junior Member
Jan 6, 2013
4
0
0
Be careful when kicking your case, you could end up breaking something lol. Does the card have contact with your side panel?
 

KingFatty

Diamond Member
Dec 29, 2010
3,034
1
81
If the fan is the blower type, you could try overhauling it.

See the pic in my sig? That's a disassembled blower fan. You just have to pull it apart, and it clicks back together. Mine had brass bushings, not bearings, so the brass wore a bit loose and resulted in wobble/noise (sort of a grumbling sound). You can add bearing grease between the axle and the bushings to take up the slack, and should run quietly. Just click apart, add grease, and click back together.
 

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