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Ah, the wonderful sound of silence

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  • Ah, the wonderful sound of silence

    The past....oh....several months, my GPU card (Radeon x800XL) has had a fan whose bearings/motor has slowly gone bad. This was evidenced by a horrible "brnnnnnn" sound when the fans were spinning. Added to this was the sound of DIRTY DIRTY fans elsewhere in the system (my CPU heatsink/fan was coated THICK dust that can-o-air would totally expend itself on and not dislodge).

    Well, I'd had it with this problem of noise, but it was when the fan started to regularly fail that I'd had enough.

    So, I went to Fry's Electronics which is one E-W street north of me (I live off of Cactus and N. 28th Dr.) today and got a Zalman CU heatsink/fan for my GPU.

    Well, I also saw this as an ideal time to clean out my case as best I could.

    So, I took out my Eureka Optima vacuum cleaner, turned off my PSU (system was already shut down). I took out my video card, and removed the old default heatsink (yeah right)/fan assy. I then took the bare end of the hose (no attachments) of the vacuum cleaner and started her up. Well, all the nasty chunks and strips of dust I'd seen in the vents and fan of my old gpu heatsink/fan assy got swiftly RIPPED away from the metal and I could see LOTS of dust collecting in the bagless collection bin in my vacuum cleaner.

    I then went to work on my case. Now, this vacuum cleaner is tiny, but MAN is she powerful. 12 amp motor, man. This thing can CLEAN. And clean it did. The most amazing work was when I applied the bare hose to the cpu heatsink/fan. The fan started to spin up as the suctioning air caused the blades to spin. The NASTY THICK dust coated on the blades and on the heatsink fins was PULLED UP and into the vacuum cleaner. I then took the long, thin edge attachment and cleaned in between the blades of the cpu heatsink/fan assy. Then took the brush attachment and cleaned off the ends of the heatsink fins. This is all the while it is attached to my cpu and motherboard which was still mounted into my case with all cables attached and all cards inserted except my video card.

    Well, I cleaned off the faces of my case fans and also to my 5.25" bay fan using the brush attachment. And cleaned off some of the bare surfaces in the case itself.

    I then did the work of installing my new all copper heatsink/fan assy onto my video card. The work was easy, though I had no acetone or rubbing alcohol to clean off the surfaces of the RAM chips, so I wiped them off as best I could before attaching the ram heatsinks. I'm hoping that even if there was residue, that the curing process will make that irrelevant and the heatsinks will stick and hold.

    Well, I plugged in the GPU heatsink/fan assy into a fan port on my mobo (it wasn't the correct connector for plugging into my video card's fan port like my old default fan did), did some re-wiring (as my northbridge fan went bust over a year ago, and since this didn't matter since the northbridge got PLENTY of airflow over its heatsink by my massive 120 mm cpu heatsink/fan) by hooking up my rear case fan to the northbridge fan port (essentially, these fans were on all the time anyway, so big deal...all are getting enough power to run well I'm finding), and hooking my new fan directly into a 12v rail through an adapter.

    And, I turned on the computer. I heard the case fans whirr up like they do (but they're not that noisy), and saw my cpu and gpu fans spin up (both are all copper zalman heatsink/fan assy's...one's just 80mm, the other is 120mm) silently but at full speed.

    Airflow is excellent, and now with the new fan, my video card isn't getting airflow VENTING (as in, air is drawn across it instead of blown down on it) but rather air is being forced DOWN on it, and the heatsink has a good heatpipe running around its edge and to the core, along with heatsink fins.

    And, as is shown with my computer working normally and fine, nothing was harmed by me unashamedly using my vacuum cleaner instead of a whole case of canned air.

    This is partly to brag on my tiny little (and inexpensive....bought at walmart for around $60) Eureka Optima. That little sucker has some powerful suction power. I have a small apartment so it's ideal for it, and it's not weak either. AND, it just STRIPPED AWAY all the coated, clogged packets of dust in my heatsinks. I wish I'd taken before/after pictures. It was a major turn around.

    Now, I still could use a case of canned air and a big vent hood over the open side of my case to totally get rid of all the dust (blow into the case hard, and you'll be coughing a half second later as your recovery breath sucks in all the dust kicked up). But, all the major heat-transfer-blocking strips of insulating dust have been removed. And my little vacuum did that job.

    The fans that were making more noise than usual have stopped doing so, and now I just hear the normal, low volume whrrr of case fans operating as they ought.

    What I don't hear is the laboring, brnnnnning, and general wracket my old vid card fan was making, along with the rest of the fans that were getting clogged and making loud noises b/c of it.

    I'm a very happy person right now.

    I'm looking forward to seeing how my framerates in 2142, as well as its video performance at current settings improve with just better chip cooling on my gpu :icon_bigg.

    Games: GRAW, BF2142, Oblivion, FarCry, Empire At War, R6:RVS, KotOR, KotOR2, MW4: Mercs, FEAR (XP)




    *Hiss* "Oh...crap!" *BLAM* "I'm down....MEDIC!!"

    DirtyLude: "If we kill him and eat his heart, his magic will be ours."

  • #2
    Re: Ah, the wonderful sound of silence

    Originally posted by Sir_Brass View Post
    Well, I also saw this as an ideal time to clean out my case as best I could.

    So, I took out my Eureka Optima vacuum cleaner, turned off my PSU (system was already shut down). I took out my video card, and removed the old default heatsink (yeah right)/fan assy. I then took the bare end of the hose (no attachments) of the vacuum cleaner and started her up. Well, all the nasty chunks and strips of dust I'd seen in the vents and fan of my old gpu heatsink/fan assy got swiftly RIPPED away from the metal and I could see LOTS of dust collecting in the bagless collection bin in my vacuum cleaner.....

    I then did the work of installing my new all copper heatsink/fan assy onto my video card. The work was easy, though I had no acetone or rubbing alcohol to clean off the surfaces of the RAM chips, so I wiped them off as best I could before attaching the ram heatsinks. I'm hoping that even if there was residue, that the curing process will make that irrelevant and the heatsinks will stick and hold............

    And, as is shown with my computer working normally and fine, nothing was harmed by me unashamedly using my vacuum cleaner instead of a whole case of canned air......
    The zalmans are amazing for the gpu heatsink.. I replaced the stock HS on my 7600 GT with the Zalman VF900-CU and the difference was night and day noise wise.

    I've always been hesitant to use a vacumn cleaner on my comp, as I don't want to fry anything with static...but maybe I'm just being paranoid :) ............am I?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Ah, the wonderful sound of silence

      Just be careful. I was leery about using it to clean the CCA's and such. But, I used it liberally around my fans and such.

      I also have a nice vacuum cleaner that doesn't have metal attachments on the hoses.

      Games: GRAW, BF2142, Oblivion, FarCry, Empire At War, R6:RVS, KotOR, KotOR2, MW4: Mercs, FEAR (XP)




      *Hiss* "Oh...crap!" *BLAM* "I'm down....MEDIC!!"

      DirtyLude: "If we kill him and eat his heart, his magic will be ours."

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Ah, the wonderful sound of silence

        I was also going to add that it's a good idea not to let your fans spin when your sucking/blowing air through them. AFIK they produce a current and that may build up a charge in your system.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Ah, the wonderful sound of silence

          Originally posted by JAMerica View Post
          T...

          I've always been hesitant to use a vacumn cleaner on my comp, as I don't want to fry anything with static...but maybe I'm just being paranoid :) ............am I?
          Yes and no. You may find this amusing :D


          DB

          «That looks like a really nice house except for that horrible bathroom.» Donrhos

          | |





          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Ah, the wonderful sound of silence

            LOL, thanks Dick....priceless.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Ah, the wonderful sound of silence

              Yeah, static can be a bitch. Just be careful around fans, they are rated only to spin so fast and may get damaged if you make 'em spin to fast/build up a current on LED fans.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Ah, the wonderful sound of silence

                I have destroyed a comp getting lazy using a vaccum to clean it out. static I assume. this was probably 6 years ago.

                “Up, sluggard, and waste not life; in the grave will be sleeping enough!” Benjamin Franklin

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Ah, the wonderful sound of silence

                  hmm....I was leery of using a vacuum due to ESD issues. However, I didn't have an air compressor, and I was careful inside the computer to NOT use the vacuum for an extended period of time or to dust off the cards directly with the vacuum cleaner.

                  Games: GRAW, BF2142, Oblivion, FarCry, Empire At War, R6:RVS, KotOR, KotOR2, MW4: Mercs, FEAR (XP)




                  *Hiss* "Oh...crap!" *BLAM* "I'm down....MEDIC!!"

                  DirtyLude: "If we kill him and eat his heart, his magic will be ours."

                  Comment

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