How to fix EVGA 8800 GT fan annoying noise that comes with age?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Aeroplace, Jul 7, 2009.

  1. Aeroplace macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2009

    I have an early 2008 Mac Pro with an EVGA 8800 GT installed. When I bought the computer the EVGA 8800 GT was almost silent even when under max load. Now 15 months later the EVGA 8800 GT fan is making so much high pitch noise under load that I try not to use it for heavy 3d. The noises started after about 6 months after purchasing. Monitoring the fan speed under Rivatuner shows that it goes to 100% performance under almost any load in order to keep it at a steady 80 degrees celcius. I concluded that the fan was becomming less efficient over time and that it had to spin more and more in order to keep the temperature down.

    Dust Cleaning
    I try to clean the computer for dust every 4 month, blowing air backwards into the components of the computer to remove all the dust. I normally use my mouth (trying not to spit) and a hairdryer. This seem to work okay for the most part, but not much for the EVGA 8800 GT. After cleaning the fan is still quite audible and hovers at 85-90% under loading producing the annoying high pitch noise. After only a few weeks its back at 100% under load. I tryed getting Apple to replace the video card, but they refuse to since it is still working. ( I hate this kind of deffinitions. )

    - Would buying a can of compressed air and blowing it backwards into the EVGA 8800 GT remove more dust than the method I normally use?

    - Would anyone recommend taking of the fan in order to clean it better or should the can clean enough? - trying to compare the risk of not being able to assemble the card again.

    - Has anyone had any luck reducing the high pitch noise of the EVGA 8800 GT fan, and if so how?

    Aftermarket Cooling
    I did buy an aftermarket cooling system called Accelero S2 without the turbo module (fan) which recieves top reviews. Despite having build some computers in the past I am a bit reluctant to install it by removing the fan completely because I am affraid that I will somehow break the video card in the process or accidently install it in a way that fries it when temperature rises under heavy load.

    It sure is tempting to try the Accelero S2, but with the EVGA 8800 GT Mac going out of market I would have to dig deep in my pockets to get a replacement if something happends to the video card. I think I also read somewhere that the instant you take of the EVGA 8800 GT fan you cannot put it back again. Which also makes me a bit nervous if the aftermarket cooler is not able to keep the card cool.

    - Has anyone had luck installing the Accelero S2 without the turbo module (fan) and if so is it easy?

    - Would anyone recommend installing the Accelero S2 without the turbo module? - I am not familiar with the success rate of aftermarket cooling and how skilled you need to be to be successfull.

    - Has anyone had any problems not being able to keep the video card cool with the Accelero S2 and in that case was force to reinstall the default fan again?

    I really wish I could reduce the noise of the fan so I can stand using it for 3d heavy stuff again. Lots of questions, I know. ;) I hope someone is able to help me. :)
  2. zmttoxics macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2008
    Replacing GPU heat sinks is no big deal.

    -Unscrew and dismount the current heat sink
    -Clean gpu with rubbing alcohol and paper towel
    -Apply new thermal paste
    -Mount new heat sink

    Oh, if it has those plastic spikes holding it down, press in the small tips with your fingers while pulling on the heads on the other side. Try to avoid pliers and such here, thats often the biggest mistake people make as they loose grip on the tip and end up gashing the PCB.
  3. Aeroplace thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2009
    Thanks for replying zmttoxics.

    Oh, one other question! :)

    I already bought the Accelero S2 and had it delivered. While checking the package I accidently touched the thermal paste with the back of my finger making a tiny hole in it. It was only for a split second. I did not see it was uncovered. :( I tryed covering the hole by smearing it a bit with a knife.

    - Is the Thermal Paste ruined, should I take it off and get some new paste?

    Stupid mistake, I hope it still works. :confused:
  4. zmttoxics macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2008
    Its not *ruined*, but it will dry out if exposed to air for too long before applying.
  5. Aeroplace thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2009
    If what you are saying is true, then it is strange that the Accelero S2 comes with thermal paste preapplyed without cover - I have seen lots of packag shots that looks like mine - preapplied & uncovered.

    Package Shots:

    NB: I just discovered that my aftermarket cooler is called Accelero S1 rev2 instead, but the backing is exactly the same.
  6. zmttoxics macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2008
    Ah, thats not strange either. Thermal pads are a way of eliminating consumer mistake. CPU heat sinks generally always come like that.
  7. Aeroplace thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2009
    I am not sure it can be characterized as a thermal pad - but I am no expert. It acted like past as it stayed on the back of my finger when I accidently touched it.
  8. Tesselator macrumors 601


    Jan 9, 2008
    Yes, ideally you should clean it off with acetone and reapply a new layer. if you got finger oils in it then it may run a little hotted than normal. Same for particulate matter. You want super clean surfaces on both chip and plate and you want the thermal paste as uncontaminated as possible.

    How much difference will a finger touch make? Probably not much. At first maybe 0C ~ 5C difference. In 6 months to a year later; potentially 1C ~ 10C difference. Or it could be none at all depending. :) But it's better imo to be a little meticulous about these things. SilverFox thermal conductant is pretty cheap I think. $5.00 ? And another $0.50 worth of acetone.

    Also by looking at this shot:

    I think I would use some polishing compound on it too. Mirror surfaces tend to conduct better than something like this.

  9. Aeroplace thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2009

    I just cleaned my computer. This time with a can of compressed air and it worked wonders. Highly recommended for noise reduction. :)
  10. doox00 macrumors regular

    May 10, 2006
    Its really easy to install an aftermarket cooler, just take your time.

    I would remove the factory applied thermal paste anyway they put on the hsf and reapply yourself with some as5 or mx-2 or something similiar. put a dab in the middle of the gpu and spread it out evenly with your finger, make sure its seated well and tightened down evenly on all screws and should be good to go.
  11. Aeroplace thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2009
    Thanks doox00!

    For now the EVGA 8800GT is quiet - the can of compressed air seemed to do the trick!

    I'll deffinitly consider installing the Aftermarket Cooler Accelero S1 Rev 2 if for some reason the can of compressed air method stops having an effect.
  12. IronFixXxeR macrumors member


    Jun 20, 2009
    Austin, Texas
    Your bit about blowing the dust out and using a hair dryer made me laugh.

    Good to hear the canned air worked much better! I always have several cans of air lying around. ;)

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