Cooling solution needed v. Dell side panel

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by sj23, Aug 2, 2006.

  1. sj23

    sj23 Active Member

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    I'm planning on putting a side panel w/ fan on my Dell to get better cooling, but don't know where to start. The Dell side panel is made out of aluminum so I don't want to bother cutting a hole out of that. What do most people use? Just thin plexiglass held up somehow? Do they sell panels with holes already cut out? As far as fans I've read that the 80mm does the trick, is that right? Any ideas, advice, or EDU links (OT & non-OT) would be appreciated. :wavey:
     
  2. DAN513

    DAN513 OT Supporter

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    get a 3 inch hole saw and a drill. Way easier than making your computer look ghetto with a chunk of plexi and some duct tape. 3 inch is the perfect size for an 80mm fan. Then get a fan grill and mark the 4 fan screw holes and screw it in. I say 3 inch hole saw and 80mm fan because the 4.5 inch hole saws are a lot more expensive.
    That being said, do you have a fan in the front yet? Have you cleaned them recently? Adding a fan in the side doesn't always work out well, and expecially with a dell because they have a shroud over the heatsink on the cpu that already blows hot air out the back. Are you still using the OEM heatsink?
     
  3. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    That's a good point. If the computer is more than, oh, five minutes old, there's going to be a nice coating of dust on the CPU heatsinks. Carefully pop off the green CPU cooling duct on the inside and vacuum off the heatsinks with a brush. DO NOT VACUUM ANY EXPOSED ELECTRONICS. You should also pop off any plastic bits on the outside and vacuum the dust out from them, too. If you want to go the extra mile, you can take the heatsinks off your CPUs (I dunno why I'm assuming you have more than one, but whatever) and replace the cheap white/orange heat goop with good silver heat goop, and cover the intake vents on the case with cheap black A/C filter foam (preferably on the inside of the case, so it's not visible).

    It will help a lot to keep the heatsinks clean and properly-gooped.
     
  4. sj23

    sj23 Active Member

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    No fan in the front. Don't think it would help circulate air though since the HDD is mounted vertically near the front. I recently "upgraded" my OEM copper heatsink to this Dell part:
    [​IMG]

    I don't bother with any aftermarket CPU heatsinks since stupid Dell mobo's don't tell you the CPU temp. :o

    I gas dust my CPU and GPU almost bi-weekly since dust and cat hair pile up. I have AS5 on both my CPU and GPU. What I don't understand on my GPU, 6800GT with a Zalman unit, is that when I apply a fresh coat of AS5 the temps are great! Then as a few weeks go by the temp seems to climb up slowly to what I had with OEM thermal grease and heatsink. I've put a little AS5 like suggested on their site, and then when the temps climb I clean and re-apply with a little more and same results. :wtc: Another sucky thing is that right below my GPU is my sound card and below that my TV tuner which is basically all my slots.

    Edit: The way I can tell my CPU is running hot is back when everything was OEM and it was running at ~60% load during gaming the cooling fan would never get loud. Then I changed it to AS5, and at around the same load the CPU fan would get really loud.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2006
  5. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Responding to your last point first: If your "stupid Dell motherboard" doesn't report the CPU temp, then if your CPU fan changes speed at all it must have a separate heat sensor on the fan. If this is the case, then using AS5 on the heatsink would help it conduct more heat out to where the fan's heat sensor is, and the fan would notice the extra heat and speed up.

    That said, I'd be willing to bet that the Dell motherboard does actually measure the CPU temperature and control the fan accordingly, but it just doesn't show you the temperature. I'd go buy a SilenX fan and wire it straight into the power supply, so it will run (quietly) at full speed all the time.

    As for the creeping temperature rise using AS5, I've noticed it too and I don't know why it happens, except that it's the opposite of what they say should happen. It's probably got something to do with the curing process of the oil that AS5 uses to hold the silver particles, though it could be galvanic corrosion between the silver paste and the copper heatsink, I dunno. Either way, it's damn good stuff and even if it runs hot, the idle temperature is pretty close to the full-load temperature.
     
  6. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Anyway, I have a more important question: is your computer actually having any heat-related problems, or does the heat just bother you? It's important to remember that if the computer works fine, it doesn't matter what the conditions are inside the case; computers don't tolerate poor conditions, they just crash. If it's not crashing, I'd leave it alone.
     
  7. sj23

    sj23 Active Member

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    There is a temperature sensor on the fan itself. When I blow it directly with cold air from the gas duster the fan slows down immediately. I've thought about adding an aftermarket CPU fan but I've read on the Dell forums that if it's not a Dell fan the BIOS will give you a fan error on startup (Just another reason why I'm building my next PC).

    I'm not experiencing any heat-related problems, I just figured a side panel fan would help in exhausting extra heat during gaming from my GPU since the only space the GPU has to exhaust air is a removed PCI slot cover. There are times when I OC my GPU that it crashes and then on reboot the CPU fan runs super fast for about 30 seconds. That's the only problem I've noticed once in a while.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2006
  8. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    The heat sensor on the fan is what's called a "thermistor", or a thermally-sensitive resistor. Go to Radio Shack, buy a simple volume control from the parts drawers, cut off the thermistor, solder the volume control onto the wire stumps left over, and glue the volume control onto the side of the fan. Voila -- you have a manually-adjustable fan.

    A side vent isn't going to help dissipate heat unless there's a fan attached to it, because heat rises -- it doesn't move sideways unless the air is getting circulated by a fan. If you really want to improve cooling, cut a hole in the top of your case and attach one of those round chrome grills to it. Even better would be to attach a fan to the hole as well.
     
  9. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    for the most part, side-fan cooling hurts overall cooling performance. Create a proper positive-pressure system and be done with it.
     
  10. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Creating a proper system of any sort would require ditching the Dell case, I suspect.
     
  11. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    well, moving away from anything "dell" can be nothing but good, so I approve.
     

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