Life in Digi-Life towers has become considerably more stressful recently after our Mesh PC started to give out an annoying high pitched whine from one of the PC’s fans.
At first, it was just an occasional background noise that would start just as quickly as it would stop. Then it started to become more regular. And louder. And more irritating.
Put the boot in
We noticed that a highly unscientific boot to the PC’s case (carry out at your own risk) often stopped the noise, but in the past few weeks the fan has become so noisy that we feared we may end up committing GBH on the machine.
With a level of grumbling that would make Mr Grumpy on Tax Return Day seem like a happy chap, we reluctantly pulled open the PC to look for the culprit.
Naturally, the machine decided to switch to ‘absolutely silent’ mode for the first ten minutes, but eventually we tracked down the culprit: the chipset fan on our ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe motherboard.
‘No problem,’ we thought, we’ll just pop along to the nearest PC fair and grab a £2 replacement fan and silence will be, once again, truly golden.
Before shelling out for the fan, we thought we’d take a quick look on the Web to see if there were any issues about fitting replacement fans and that’s when the expletive count started to hit Gordon Ramsey levels.
It’s the chipset, Jim
It turns out that our motherboard is not only near legendary for its incessantly whining fan, but worst of all, Asus fitted the mobo (Motherboard) with a stupid, steeenkin’ non-standard fan. Aaargh!
Although we can only admire the near-Klingon-esque sci-fi looks of the Asus fan in question, its proprietary fitting means that you can’t simply slap in an off-the-shelf replacement.
According to some online forums, Asus will apparently send you a free replacement fan once you’ve filled in several forms in triplicate, but we haven’t heard back from them yet (the mobo comes with a three year warranty).
A request for help on the urban75 forums brought forth disturbing tales of folks fitting their own replacement fans, a process which involves the enormous hassle of removing the entire motherboard – not a job for an impatient journo with pressing pub deadlines.
Some had simply botched up a solution, with one user wedging in a standard chipset fan with a zip-tie, while another had manoeuvred a case fan to blow over the chipset at low revs.
Others suggested plumping for a passive cooling solution, employing a Zalman Silent Motherboard Heatsink – a bargain at under £3, but once again requiring the entire PC be taken apart.
We’ll be keeping you informed if Asus honour their free replacement fan offer (we’ve also written to Mesh, the PC makers), but for now you’ll have to excuse us if a few of our posts get a little tetchy as the ruddy thing has started making a whining noise all over again.
In the meantime, may we recommend that users looking to upgrade or build a new PC invest in a motherboard with passive chipset cooling rather than risk suffering the slings and arrows of an outrageous PC racket.