Need help finding ultra-slim HSF or just fan for heat sink

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Need help finding ultra-slim HSF or just fan for heat sink

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:13 am

Background: I recently built two HTPC's using AMD A6-3500 CPU's. I built them in Mini-ITX cases. The form factor of the case prohibited the use of the stock HSF (too tall). So I did some researching and found this to suit my needs http://www.akasa.biz/update.php?tpl=product/cpu.product.tpl&no=181&type=CPU%20coolers&type_sub=Low%20Profile&model=AK-CC1101EP01. It worked well at first - my CPU's idle around 20C and at load are around 40C.

Problem: Both of the fans on my Akasa heat sinks are beginning to fail. Upon start up the fans try to spin up, then groan and grumble awfully. They usually spin up after awhile, but are obviously failing.

Help: I need either a low profile AMD compatible HSF (80mm x 80mm x 30mm tall max dimensions) OR I need an 80mm x 80mm x 10mm tall max dimensions fan only (3 or 4 pin) to replace the ones that are failing.

I have already contacted Akasa regarding warranty, but even if they replace it, I don't have confidence it will last (having seen two fail so quickly). I have also searched without a whole lot of luck for either a HSF or single fan to solve my problem. If it is a single fan, it will need to be the standard type with the screw holes in the four corners (in order to fit my heat sink).

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help me.
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Re: Need help finding ultra-slim HSF or just fan for heat si

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:55 am

I couldn't find a 10mm thick fan, but I did find a 15mm one http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/de80ef2.html
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Re: Need help finding ultra-slim HSF or just fan for heat si

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:17 am

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Re: Need help finding ultra-slim HSF or just fan for heat si

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:18 am

I found a couple at FrozenCPU:
Evercool 80x10mm 5V
Evercool 80x10mm 12V

edit: JBI beat me to it

double edit:
the same fans slightly cheaper at Directron:
5V
12V
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Re: Need help finding ultra-slim HSF or just fan for heat si

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:34 am

Thanks for the replies. The Evercool one you guys linked to is my best lead so far. The only drawback I'm seeing on that one is it doesn't seem to have PWM control. For my HTPC - which doesn't really need the fan on full load, it'd be a shame not to have PWM. I'll probably still end up getting one to see what the noise levels are like, but I'm going to keep my eyes open for an 80x80x10 with PWM. Thanks for the help
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Re: Need help finding ultra-slim HSF or just fan for heat si

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:50 am

Evercool are fine, but cheap - so you'll likely run into the same problem eventually. All small high-rpm fans will have much shorter lifespans that what you're used to with bigger, slower fans.

See if you can source a fan from:
  • Pabst
  • Sunon
  • Sanyo-Denki
  • Panasonic (Panaflo)
  • Delta

They may be harder to find, and slightly more expensive, but if you want something relaible these are the big names in long-life fans.
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Re: Need help finding ultra-slim HSF or just fan for heat si

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:39 am

Chrispy_ wrote:Evercool are fine, but cheap - so you'll likely run into the same problem eventually. All small high-rpm fans will have much shorter lifespans that what you're used to with bigger, slower fans.

See if you can source a fan from:
  • Pabst
  • Sunon
  • Sanyo-Denki
  • Panasonic (Panaflo)
  • Delta

They may be harder to find, and slightly more expensive, but if you want something relaible these are the big names in long-life fans.

The problem is the requirement for 10mm thickness; most 80mm fans are much thicker than that.

In my experience Sunon and Delta are very reliable, but rather loud.

And Pabst makes beer; Papst makes fans. :wink:
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Re: Need help finding ultra-slim HSF or just fan for heat si

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:40 am

I'm going to try suggestions for a new HSF assembly (you have a 30mm tall heatsink and a 10mm fan = 40mm total)

Here's a Scythe at 40mm http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835185167&Tpk=Scythe%20SCKZT

Xigmatek has a 45mm tall one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233103

Thermaltake at 47mm http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/Product.aspx?C=1151&ID=1862

Searching those heatsinks makes me wonder what the heck case you're using that you only have 40mm clearance. That's almost so short that you would need low-profile ram and wouldn't be wide enough for even an 80mm case fan. Please inform.
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Re: Need help finding ultra-slim HSF or just fan for heat si

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:16 am

DPete27 wrote:I'm going to try suggestions for a new HSF assembly (you have a 30mm tall heatsink and a 10mm fan = 40mm total)


Sorry if I wasn't clear, but the total height of a HSF unit would have to be a maximum of 30mm total (combined heat sink and fan). My current Akasa unit is 29mm total height (heat stink itself [19mm] + fan [10mm] = 29mm). I would be totally open to purchasing an entirely new HSF unit. I just don't want to deal with this inconvenience again anytime soon. I would rather get something that will last at least as long as its rating (typically between 20,000 - 40,000 hours - so that's a minimum of 2 years non-stop; and I could live with it failing after that). These current fans have probably only lasted <2,000 hours.

I am searching manufacturer pages that Chrispy_ suggested to see if any of those quality brands make a 80*80*10mm fan (ideally with similar CFM, dB, and with PWM). I have ruled out Papst (they don't seem to make one). I am trying the rest now. I will post back if I find one.
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Re: Need help finding ultra-slim HSF or just fan for heat si

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:22 am

DPete27 wrote:Searching those heatsinks makes me wonder what the heck case you're using that you only have 40mm clearance. That's almost so short that you would need low-profile ram and wouldn't be wide enough for even an 80mm case fan. Please inform.


I'm using this case: http://tinyurl.com/75g6r9s (link to: Amazon). I am using standard Corsair XMS3 RAM, and it fits fine. There's no way I would ever get a discrete card into there, though (that's why having the A6-3500 is nice).

*Edit, and you're right, there's definitely no room an 80mm case fan. There's barely room for a single 40mm case fan in the front.
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Re: Need help finding ultra-slim HSF or just fan for heat si

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:39 am

You might have better luck installing the largest heatsink that will fit without a fan, and then adding some ducting so that the case ventilation fans pull air continuously through the sink assembly. OEM systems of this size will often have one fan only, or two at most, and use custom fabrication so that all or most of the case airflow gets pulled across the CPU heatsink at some point.
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Re: Need help finding ultra-slim HSF or just fan for heat si

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:53 am

This one might do the trick. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6835220030

Has PWM too. AMDs mounting holes haven't changed much so i bet it will work on the A6 but just double check.

*edit* bah nvm, its 37mm tall.
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Re: Need help finding ultra-slim HSF or just fan for heat si

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:27 pm

ludi wrote:You might have better luck installing the largest heatsink that will fit without a fan, and then adding some ducting so that the case ventilation fans pull air continuously through the sink assembly. OEM systems of this size will often have one fan only, or two at most, and use custom fabrication so that all or most of the case airflow gets pulled across the CPU heatsink at some point.


Along this same line, you might be able to attach a blower fan to the top of the case, offset from the cpu heatsink (or to the side of the heatsink directly... somehow). Newegg has a decent selection of blower fans: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductLi ... tegory=573
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Re: Need help finding ultra-slim HSF or just fan for heat si

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:12 pm

I checked with all of the manufacturer sites that Chrispy_ linked to. None of them make an 80*80*10mm fan (at least not in their current product catalogs). The closest ones are 80*80*15 (which wouldn't work) or 60*60*10 (which I'd have to modify to mount, and wouldn't be optimal). I found that Cooler Master makes an 80x80x10 fan (it's in their 17" laptop cooler) - but I can't find anywhere to buy an internal version of one.

So it looks like I'm going to be going with the Evercool (for now) - I guess I'll see how long it lasts & how loud it is.

@madlemming, that's not a bad suggestion. Depending on the noise level (and quality/longevity) of the Evercool fans I may take ludi's suggestion and go with a big heatsink in the future. If I did that then I could also add a 120mm or 140mm blower fan right on top of the case to keep it cool. But that's just a lot more work than I want to do at present. right now I am hoping for something more plug&play (so hopefully these Evercool fans last awhile).

The other thing I was considering was mounting the HDD outside of the case. This would give me ~10mm headroom (40mm total), and then I could use some of the common/quality HSF's like DPete27 linked to. Again, though, that would involve a fair bit of drilling and modification to mount and run the power/data lines for the HDD to the outside of the case. We'll see how it goes.

Thanks for everyone's help
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Re: Need help finding ultra-slim HSF or just fan for heat si

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:33 pm

HorseIicious wrote:Sorry if I wasn't clear, but the total height of a HSF unit would have to be a maximum of 30mm total (combined heat sink and fan). My current Akasa unit is 29mm total height (heat stink itself [19mm] + fan [10mm] = 29mm).


Sorry, I was looking at the Akasa site link that you provided in your OP and that says the heatsink is 29mm and the fan is 10mm (29+10 = 40mm...at least that was my interpretation)

That xigmatek heatsink I linked is 30mm without the fan. Perhaps you could do a passive solution with that, it's got heatpipes so it should cool much better than the heatsink you have now.
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Re: Need help finding ultra-slim HSF or just fan for heat si

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 3:02 pm

DPete27 wrote:Sorry, I was looking at the Akasa site link that you provided in your OP and that says the heatsink is 29mm and the fan is 10mm (29+10 = 40mm...at least that was my interpretation)

That xigmatek heatsink I linked is 30mm without the fan. Perhaps you could do a passive solution with that, it's got heatpipes so it should cool much better than the heatsink you have now.


Yeah, I see that now, on their (Akasa) spec's page, they definitely make it sound as though the heat sink itself is 29mm. And if these Evercool fans fail as quickly as the Akasa ones did, I think I may have to try that xigmateck with a blower on top of the case. Hopefully that will be a ways off though.
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Re: Need help finding ultra-slim HSF or just fan for heat si

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 5:31 pm

I would personally take this opportunity for a case mod. Cut a nice hole in the side of the case just big enough for the CPU fan (and large enough to get the side panel on and off)

Adding the "window" (hole) will help in two ways:
1) It will leave you unrestricted for fan height
2) It will most likely lower noise levels. Depending on how "ventillated" the current side panel is directly above the CPU fan and given that it seems as though you have less than 5mm of clearance between the fan and the side panel currently, providing an open hole will probably provide better (less restricted) airflow to the fan than its currently getting. This may be the reason why your first fan/s died: the motor is having to work overtime to get air through blades. Those 10mm thick fans have less depth for bearing/motor stability so they're likely to have shorter lifespan as a result.

I recently did a cut out on a Cooler Master Centurion 5 case that previously had an 80mm fan mounted in the lower side panel "vent." Removing the ventillation holes and placing a standard metal fan guard over the fan reduced the fan noise considerably.
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Re: Need help finding ultra-slim HSF or just fan for heat si

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:39 pm

Are the two original fans just plain sleeve bearing types? You might be able to resurrect them by lubricating them with a light oil like 3-in-1. More info on this practice: http://www.dansdata.com/fanmaint.htm I have successfully employed this "technique" for many hard-to-replace DC fans.
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Re: Need help finding ultra-slim HSF or just fan for heat si

Postposted on Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:37 am

TwistedKestrel wrote:Are the two original fans just plain sleeve bearing types? You might be able to resurrect them by lubricating them with a light oil like 3-in-1. More info on this practice: http://www.dansdata.com/fanmaint.htm I have successfully employed this "technique" for many hard-to-replace DC fans.


Wow, thanks, that's some very good info. Definitely gonna bookmark that for the future.

Interestingly, I took one of the fans off the heat sink, and started up the PC to see what kind of sound it made - and it wasn't perfect (a bit choppy sounding) - but it spun evenly, without inexplicably groaning and slowing down to a stop like it had been doing before. Then I rested the fan on the heat sink, and pressed down on the corners (where the screws were holding it), and it began to make the awful groaning sound, and slowing down. So I think the original problem came from the factory overtightening the screws that attached the fan onto the heat sink. Based on the choppiness I can still hear, I think these fans are probably both beyond complete repair (I'll save them as backups though). When I receive the Evercool's on Thursday I'm not going to tighten them so much, and hopefully they'll last a lot longer.

Also, in case anyone was wondering. I heard back from Akasa regarding warranty on these things. They told me to contact my retailer (which I did). And the retailer said they have a 12 month warranty, but that I'd have to ship the whole unit back to them at my expense for replacement (at a shipping cost that I'm sure would be near the cost I paid for two new fans by themselves). Not to mention my HTPC's would be down for a couple weeks while that was being processed. So basically, buying new fans was the best cost-effective way for me to solve this problem.

Thanks again for everyone's input.
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