CPU fan speed

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CPU fan speed

Postposted on Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:17 am

Hello, I have a 4 year old AMD Athlon I7 processor which happens to sound like a jet engine taking off every time anything moderately intensive, which includes HD youtube videos, is processed on my PC; When the fans kick in, they dont want to slow down, and checking the BIOS after rebooting my PC I have 5000RPM fan speeds, this is about 15 minutes after playing ARMA 3 on relatively low settings, is there a solution for this, or should I invest in a new heatsink/fan for the CPU? Thanks
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Re: CPU fan speed

Postposted on Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:21 am

I'm not familiar with the Athlon i7, but I can offer some general advice:

In the case of a previously-working system that has developed this behavior over time, you need to look for what has changed.

Check that every one of the fans in your case is spinning.

Clean out all of the dust bunnies from every fan and every grill.

Check the temperature monitors on your processor, socket and motherboard, either in the BIOS or using whatever monitoring software your motherboard manufacturer provides.

You may need to re-apply fresh thermal paste between your processor and your existing CPU cooler.
Last edited by JustAnEngineer on Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: CPU fan speed

Postposted on Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:22 am

Only way to make the fan slow down is to ditch the stock HSU for a much larger one. Cooler Master Hyper 212s seem to be the hot ticket at the moment, even though they look exactly like my old Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme.
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Re: CPU fan speed

Postposted on Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:26 am

So if i were to replace the stock cooler with a better quality one like the one you mentioned, the fans would actually slow down when they weren't needed? I think that all the fans are working fine however this one seems to not want to stop when it begins to rev up
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Re: CPU fan speed

Postposted on Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:00 am

Fan speed control generally depends on the motherboard. The motherboard reads the CPU temperature, and the BIOS adjusts the fan speeds accordingly. There may be settings in the BIOS to allow you to tweak the temperatures where the fans ramp up, to trade off heat for noise. You don't mention what your CPU temperatures are like; if they are not getting too high, you may be able to change the settings so that the existing fan spins slower, or at least waits until the CPU gets hotter to go to full RPM.

That said, stock HSFs (especially AMD's) aren't exactly known for being quiet. Larger "tower style" coolers with 92mm or larger fans on them can run the fans at much lower RPM to get the same (or better!) cooling, resulting in significant noise reduction. Cooler Master makes some affordable and effective ones. The larger (120mm) ones work better, but require the motherboard to be removed from the case to replace the rear HSF retention plate. Provided your CPU has 125W TDP or less and you don't overclock, the smaller Hyper TX3 can be a good compromise as a retrofit since it is compatible with the existing AM2/AM3 retention brackets (no need to pull the motherboard to install the new HSF).

It would be helpful if we knew the exact model of CPU and motherboard you actually have; i7 is an Intel designation, not an AMD Athlon one.
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Re: CPU fan speed

Postposted on Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:49 am

I've never heard of an Athlon i7. Is this a desktop PC? (sounds like it since you're considering a new HSF)

Follow these steps in order: If the heatsink fan recently started spinning so fast, it's likely NOT the heatsink/fan going bad.
1) Get a can of air and clean out the dust. Heatsink/ Fan/ Everything else.
2) Monitor temps. I use HW Monitor. If your temps go down to "normal" but the fan rpms don't, the problem isn't the fan, it's the controller. If this is the case, you could try a program called Speed Fan. Gives you access to temp sensors and fan controls. Think of it as a mobo fan control override.
3) If the temps don't go down at idle with the fan spinning at 5000rpm and the heatsink fins are clean of dust; Re-seat the heatsink. Maybe the TIM dried up.
4) If all else fails, get a new heatsink.
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Re: CPU fan speed

Postposted on Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:34 am

Highly recommend following the suggestions above, you probably don't need to spend a cent to fix this. Servicing one such computer that exhibited this behavior, the heatsink was so densely packed with dust I had to chip it out with a screwdriver. Worked fine again afterwards :).
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Re: CPU fan speed

Postposted on Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:28 am

Thanks for all the suggestions, I will try to clean the fan/heatsink, any suggestions as to the best method of doing this?
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Re: CPU fan speed

Postposted on Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:39 am

I use one of those aerosol duster cans. Either take the system outside, or have a vacuum cleaner with the nozzle a few inches from the part you are dusting to suck up most of the mess knocked loose by the duster. Don't get the vacuum closer than a couple of inches from any components, you can cause damage (both mechanical and ESD) if you touch internal components with the vacuum.
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