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Replacing the NB chipset fan...


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#1
UV_Power

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Hey everyone,

I have an Abit NF7-S motherboard and the stock Northbridge Chipset fan it came with started making noise and burned out recently. I have pretty good air cooling in my case now and just need to replace this one part. My case is the Antec Nine Hundred with the lower 120mm intake front fan moved to the top. I am writing this to ask your opinion about what to replace it with.

My first thought is to get a passive heatsink and never worry about it again while cutting down on the noise. So, the first one I was considering was the Zalman ZM-NB32K, but I read the dimensions and saw that it was too tall to fit next to my current CPU Cooler (Thermaltake Big Typhoon).

Therefore, I need a short (<10mm in height) passive heatsink, but I haven't been able to find one sold separately. The only thing I have found is the Vantec Iceberq, which is a fan, but it has both NB and SB passive heatsinks included in the box which require thermal tape to apply.

I have heard conflicting opinions about a passive heatsink on a NB chipset (some have said you must have a fan and some have said they don't use anything at all), so here's my questions:

Have you heard any problems with a passive heatsink on a NB chipset?
Do you discourage the use of a passive heatsink on a NB chipset?
Do you think these heatsinks will be adequate or is a fan mandatory?
Can you recommend anything better than the Iceberq which must be less than 10mm in height?

I'd like to hear from everyone. The more opinions I have, the better.

Thanks in advance! :)

Edit: Also, my FSB is o/c to 400MHz and I will be playing a fair amount of 3D games.

Edited by UV_Power, 13 September 2008 - 08:20 PM.

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#2
Neil Jones

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I've seen a lot of these board recently with burnt-out northbridge fans. It eventually turns out the board's developed other issues due to a cooked northbridge. It still works but realistically I replace the board since I don't like sending out machines that I know are going to fail at some point.

If the bridge has gone out with a fan on it then its generally a good idea to replace it with another one.
Socket A boards are still available, cheap enough to consider continuing with.
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#3
UV_Power

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It eventually turns out the board's developed other issues due to a cooked northbridge.

Do you think it's because most people leave the stock fan on the board like I did? Or have you heard reports of the NB cooking no matter what you do?

Judging from your response, i'd say, barring replacement of the whole board, you would go with the HSF over the passive heatsink, am i right?

Edited by UV_Power, 15 September 2008 - 01:40 AM.

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#4
warriorscot

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Akasa make a half decent low profile HSF, It takes a pretty large passive sink to compare with a fan based system you just need to look at the size of some of the passive ones to see it.
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#5
Neil Jones

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It eventually turns out the board's developed other issues due to a cooked northbridge.

Do you think it's because most people leave the stock fan on the board like I did? Or have you heard reports of the NB cooking no matter what you do?

Judging from your response, i'd say, barring replacement of the whole board, you would go with the HSF over the passive heatsink, am i right?


For what I do the customers (members of the public mainly) don't care as long as it doesn't cost an insane amount of money and they can have the computer back tomorrow. Rather than mess around with changing stock fan it's far quicker for where we're concerned to stick a new board in and do a Windows Repair (or wipe it if its too screwed up).

The customers I come into contact with bring the things in either because they don't work, they don't do what they want to do or they're infected to high heaven and back. They don't care about fans or anything, they just want us to turn it from a non-working computer into a working one.

The little 40mm fans tend to wear out after about five years anyway regardless of what it goes on or cools, I mean I've seen FX5200 cards with gummed-up cooling fans so its not a unique problem to the northbridge in any way. I'm a fan of like-for-like, realistically if it needed passive cooling in the first place Abit wouldn't have stuck a fan on it.
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#6
UV_Power

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realistically if it needed passive cooling in the first place Abit wouldn't have stuck a fan on it.

Good point.

The little 40mm fans tend to wear out after about five years anyway regardless of what it goes on or cools

Yeah, this fan lasted three years before kicking the bucket.

Overall, judging by what I have heard here and what I have seen elsewhere, a fan seems like the better way to go. Hopefully it will last me another three years. I don't imagine keeping my computer for much longer than that. We'll see.

Thanks for the input.
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