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Old 02-06-2011, 01:33 AM   #1
MrCode
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GPU fan crapped out, card is AGP, and I got (almost) no money; suggestions?


Holy smoke! Another thread I've started in /General!

Title pretty much sums it up. Recently my desktop GPU card's fan has stopped working (well, stopped moving anyway; there's probably so much dust and crap in it that it just physically can't turn anymore ). It'll kind of run if I give it a little manual spin-up, but even then it rattles somewhat and will still stop on occasion, and of course it's not fast enough to keep the GPU cool (nvidia-settings reports usually between 65-70C at idle, normal is around 60 or the upper 50s). I've tried clearing the dust out to no avail. It's an NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT (a little on the old side), and uses an AGP 8x slot, which is all my desktop machine has other than a few standard PCI slots.

The dilemma is twofold: a) I don't really have that much dough to be spending on computer hardware (not exactly employed yet ), and b) somehow I doubt any GPU manufacturers make AGP cards anymore (everything's PCIe).

I currently have the machine running with the onboard GPU, which is usable, but a) of course it's not nearly as performance-worthy as the discrete card, and b) the xf86-video-intel driver seems to have some severe issues with Compiz and other 3D stuff (Compiz in particular seems to cause this really annoying flickering/tearing when initiating window/desktop switch animations). I haven't even tried booting into Windows on it with just the integrated GPU; dunno how it'll react to the hardware change. One plus of using the onboard graphics is that I get a nice, pretty pixel-perfect 1440x900 framebuffer terminal, a little privilege I couldn't have with the NVIDIA GPU.

In all seriousness though, I'm wondering if there might be some way of salvaging this card so I can get a little more usage out of it, or if I'm gonna have to go looking on eBay or something for a new-old AGP card. If it comes down to that, I'd prefer an NVIDIA card, so that way I don't have to fiddle around with drivers and whatnot (and I really don't care if the official NVIDIA *nix driver isn't FOSS; for me it works and works damn well).

Last edited by MrCode; 02-06-2011 at 01:35 AM.
 
Old 02-06-2011, 03:13 AM   #2
H_TeXMeX_H
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Why not get a new GPU fan ?
 
Old 02-06-2011, 08:15 AM   #3
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Replace the fan. Just find one that has the mounting holes in the same places.

I once did it before, but the holes on the mounting bar were in the wrong place, so I had to cut a strip out of some scrap aluminum and drill two holes in it at the correct spacing, but it worked nicely.
 
Old 02-06-2011, 09:25 AM   #4
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Remove the old fan, attach a new one over the hole with screws (screw them into the heatsink fins) or zipties (around the card, but be careful to not lift the heatsink from the chip in the process)
 
Old 02-06-2011, 09:32 AM   #5
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You do realize that there are fans you can buy that you can place in the PCI slot next to the video card, right? That probably will keep the slot cool.

I usually use money I get as a gift, such as birthday, graduation, or holiday money to fix my computer, as I have a huge family (My mother has 6 sisters, plus each sister of hers has on average about 3 kids, most of them already grown up).
 
Old 02-06-2011, 10:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrCode View Post
Recently my desktop GPU card's fan has stopped working (well, stopped moving anyway; there's probably so much dust and crap in it that it just physically can't turn anymore ).
Apply grease to the fan's axis/spindle - machine oil, special oil for computer fans, even vaseline oil (not vaseline, but oil). Do not use vegetable oil. You'll have to remove fan from GPU, detach fan from radiator, disassemble (in some fan models there is a hole for machine oil, so you don't need to take it apart) it to the point where you can put few drops of oil onto fan's motor axis, put it back together and reattach to GPU - this will keep it spining for a few months, after that you'll need to repeat the procedure.
You'll also need (non-conductive) thermal paste if you'll be removing radiator from GPU (you'll need to put it onto the chip when you reattch radiator). And try not to get oil onto fan's circuitry - just onto the motor's axis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrCode View Post
(nvidia-settings reports usually between 65-70C at idle, normal is around 60 or the upper 50s).
AFAIK on many nvidia GPUs 65-70 C is not enough to start worrying. To my experience, certain nvidia GPUs survive temperatures up to 100 C, but right after 100 C you'll get graphic corruptions and system hangs (which doesn't seem to permanently damage the GPU, though).
 
Old 02-06-2011, 10:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny_Strawn View Post
You do realize that there are fans you can buy that you can place in the PCI slot next to the video card, right? That probably will keep the slot cool.
That is an option, but I'm sure a GPU fan will be more efficient.
 
Old 02-06-2011, 10:24 AM   #8
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It happened to me once with a NVIDIA card too (a 7300 GS one). I installed a new fan and the card is still alive. All you must make sure is that the distance between the screws of the new fan is the same as the distance between the holes in the card. Also, check the fan connector, if I'm not wrong, there are ones with two pins that go connected to the card itself, and there are other ones with 3 pins that go plugged to the motherboard.

Last edited by odiseo77; 02-06-2011 at 10:27 AM.
 
Old 02-06-2011, 10:50 AM   #9
Latios
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Slot fans are not effective enough to cool the card on their own. I see them as a bling, not a real needed hardware

Fixing the existing fan is an option, and i strongly recommend to open it. The old motor oil and the dust are still there. New oil just dissolves that a bit, and after a while it will harden again. Completely clean all the old oil away from the inside before applying new
 
Old 02-06-2011, 11:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SigTerm View Post
To my experience, certain nvidia GPUs survive temperatures up to 100 C, but right after 100 C you'll get graphic corruptions and system hangs (which doesn't seem to permanently damage the GPU, though).
Most modern nVidia cards reduce clockspeed when the temperature hits 105C. Of course this is a temperature that is not suitable for long runs.

Quote:
Also, check the fan connector, if I'm not wrong, there are ones with two pins that go connected to the card itself, and there are other ones with 3 pins that go plugged to the motherboard.
Most modern cards have either 3- or 4-pin connectors. I never have seen a card where you have to connect the fan to the motherboard.

Quote:
All you must make sure is that the distance between the screws of the new fan is the same as the distance between the holes in the card.
I think you are confusing fan and heatsink here.
 
Old 02-06-2011, 11:33 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TobiSGD View Post
I think you are confusing fan and heatsink here.
Yes, I meant the heatsink (the one I bought was a fan with its own heatsink, so I said "fan" referring to the whole thing ).
 
Old 02-06-2011, 11:42 AM   #12
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The heatsink does not fail, why replace it ?
 
Old 02-06-2011, 01:44 PM   #13
MrCode
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Sorry for the late reply, I posted this at like 3 AM (my time) and went to bed shortly after, so...

Quote:
Originally Posted by H_TeXMeX_H
Why not get a new GPU fan ?
I feel stupid. I totally didn't know you could get an aftermarket fan for a GPU...shows how much I know about hardware.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SigTerm
Apply grease to the fan's axis/spindle - machine oil, special oil for computer fans, even vaseline oil (not vaseline, but oil). Do not use vegetable oil. You'll have to remove fan from GPU, detach fan from radiator, disassemble (in some fan models there is a hole for machine oil, so you don't need to take it apart) it to the point where you can put few drops of oil onto fan's motor axis, put it back together and reattach to GPU - this will keep it spining for a few months, after that you'll need to repeat the procedure.
You'll also need (non-conductive) thermal paste if you'll be removing radiator from GPU (you'll need to put it onto the chip when you reattch radiator). And try not to get oil onto fan's circuitry - just onto the motor's axis.
Err...I dunno. a) I'm not sure that I have any machine oil/vaseline oil/etc. or thermal paste, and b) I'm rather timid when it comes to handling computer hardware (i.e. I'm always afraid of breaking something).

A few images, to maybe get an idea of what I'm dealing with here: the card; a close-up of the fan (yeah I know, probably doesn't mean much...my phone camera is the only one I have though); a shot showing where one of the screws is on the inside (these are really stubborn BTW...I take it these aren't the ones I should be trying to unscrew if I want to remove the fan?).

Quote:
AFAIK on many nvidia GPUs 65-70 C is not enough to start worrying. To my experience, certain nvidia GPUs survive temperatures up to 100 C, but right after 100 C you'll get graphic corruptions and system hangs (which doesn't seem to permanently damage the GPU, though).
Well, I'm more worried when the fan stops and I don't realize it for a while, because then it shoots up to almost 90C.

Quote:
Originally Posted by odiseo77
It happened to me once with a NVIDIA card too (a 7300 GS one). I installed a new fan and the card is still alive. All you must make sure is that the distance between the screws of the new fan is the same as the distance between the holes in the card. Also, check the fan connector, if I'm not wrong, there are ones with two pins that go connected to the card itself, and there are other ones with 3 pins that go plugged to the motherboard.
I know this is gonna seem stupid, but which screws are we talking about? The first linked image is just an overview of the whole card; are you talking about the little white peg things on the very outside of the heatsink portion? As for the fan connector, it's just like you said: a small two-pin connector that goes to the card itself.
 
Old 02-06-2011, 01:57 PM   #14
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I can't tell from the poor quality pictures, but are there any screws behind the fan blades that go into the heatsink?
 
Old 02-06-2011, 02:11 PM   #15
MrCode
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Quote:
are there any screws behind the fan blades that go into the heatsink?
That's exactly what I was trying to show with the third shot. There are three screws underneath the fan blades. I take it these actually are the ones I need to unscrew, then? It's kind of a shame, because the only way I can get at them is with one of those little "jewler's" screwdrivers, and they're screwed in so tightly that I can't seem to unscrew them.

Last edited by MrCode; 02-06-2011 at 02:13 PM.
 
  


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