I have an old PC Desktop running Linux lubuntu 17.10.

It works well, but the noise of the CPU FAN is too high, and I would like to reduce that to almost nothing if possible!

The hardware is :

  • CPU: AMD ATHLON XP 1900+
  • CPU Fan Cooler: Cooler Master (Model:BS601512H) CM12V
  • MotherBoard: ASRock K7S41GX
  • GPU: MSI Nvidia GeForce4 Ti 4200
  • PSU: Power Supply ATX12V Pentium IV & PFC LC6550
  • HDD: Disco SEAGATE Barracuda ATA IV
  • RAM: 1,5Gb of RAM DDR333 (1024MB/166MHz & 512MB/166MHz)
  • DVD

Additional info:

  • The CPU Fan spins at ±4500 RPM.
  • The CPU temperature is around ±30°.
  • I can't (or don't know how to) change the CPU Fan RPM in the Bios Setup.

Considering this,

  1. What do I need to change to reduce the noise?
  2. What is the minimum RPM for this CPU without causing any damage?
  3. Can I Put a 120mm Fan, where before was a 60mm Fan, with a little DIY conversion?
  4. Does a 120mm Noctua NF-S12B Redux 1200 could be used?

Or, any other advice to reduce the noise without damaging the system?

Thanks for the help!

  • 1
    What cooler is currently on the CPU? The stock one? I'm big with Noctua products for my air cooling and that fan may help, but a different cooler altogether may be a better solution. Also, are we sure it's the CPU fan making the noise?
    – CDove
    Apr 10 '18 at 12:06
  • I think is the stock one, no visible information anywhere, but If find more information I will post it here. The noise is from the cooler, because I stop completely it with my hand, and the noise reduce to almost nothing. Also, I have blocked just to let spin a little, the noise was more similar to the others coolers.
    – user38561
    Apr 10 '18 at 17:35
  • @CDove the cooler is a Cooler Master, I have updated the question with this new info. Thanks!
    – user38561
    Apr 10 '18 at 22:29

We'd need more specific information about your rig for more precise advice, particularly given the age.

Options (in order of estimated cost):

1) Investigate if your current motherboard supports any fan control capability (eg. PWM) - you'll need to get into your BIOS, but it sounds like you have already tried this and found nothing that looks like this.

2) Try a software solution like Speedfan. If the hardware supports it, you can manually control the speed of your fans.

3) Buy a resistor ; you can get a short wire that you plug your existing fan into, and then the other end into your motherboard. A reduction in voltage means a reduction in fan speed and thus a reduction in noise. It will also mean a rise in temperature but 30C is very low for a CPU so you have plenty of headroom. Fan resistor calculator.

4) Buy a new CPU heat-sink & fan (HSF) that is quieter and/or can be manually controlled. Getting one to fit Socket A/462 might be the challenge, and this will be proportionally very expensive. Decent modern HSFs would cost as little as £20/$20/20€.... but can you find one to fit.

5) Soundproof your case. Expensive, and why would you go to all the trouble/expense for such an old rig.

Could you use your Noctua fan? Yes of course, but you could. The difficulty would be getting it mounted securely in a position to maximise the airflow. If your 60mm fan is directly over the middle of the heat-sink, you'll probably find your 120mm fan would be offset to the side so the larger hub does not block airflow. You could combine this with #3 to reduce the speed/noise further.

Caveat: you would need to monitor temps to confirm that your final configuration is cooling the CPU sufficiently.

As a general rule, the warmer the temp, the shorter the CPU lifespan. So your noise reduction might accelerate this CPU's demise! On the other hand, it's lasted this long, and who's to say that you haven't got lucky with a very good chip. The cut out temp for that chip is likely to be in the 90C area, so Id suggest you don't let it get above 60-70C for too long.

Hope this helps.

  • This is helping a lot! There are good directions, information and solutions in your reply, I will investigate starting again from the 1) searching for PWM somewhere in the BIOS. I will say something soon. I also post more information about my rig in the question.
    – user38561
    Apr 10 '18 at 17:48
  • Also, the system is lasting, but not without some repairs over the years, like MotherBoard (changed 1 time), PSU (1 time), CPU (1 time from a 2100+ to this 1900+). Also now is just works like 48 hours continuously in a week.
    – user38561
    Apr 10 '18 at 17:59
  • 1) This BIOS has no PWM or way to control the fan. 2) I have tried software like Speedfan for linux but some did detect nothing, and none gave information about the fan speed or way to control it.
    – user38561
    Apr 10 '18 at 22:30
  • Now I will try the options 3), 4) and then 5) to see. Also I have notice that if I drop, by manual control, the RPM to ±3000RPM the noise drops a lot without raising to much the temperate 35°. Thanks!
    – user38561
    Apr 10 '18 at 22:36
  • OK, so the resistor is next in line. Note also that if you can improve general airflow through the case, you will in turn improve the function of the CPU HSF. So make sure you have a decent, quiet intake fan at the front and a decent, quite exhaust fan at the back.
    – CJM
    Apr 11 '18 at 12:34

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