Video card fan making a lot of noise

By drew081886 ยท 8 replies
Jul 2, 2010
  1. I'm running a PNY Nvidia GeForce 210 graphics card. A few days ago a very loud airplane engine-like noise started coming from the inside of my computer case. After googling, I found that this is a pretty commonly reported issue with this particular card. On a hunch, I unplugged the card's fan, rebooted, and the noise stopped, so I'm sure the card's cooling fan was the culprit. There doesn't seem to be any one proven solution for this problem. I've read everything from replacing the fan, to oiling the bearings in the existing fan, to just unplugging the fan and running the card without it.

    My question may be a stupid one but I was wondering if it would be safe to run this card without the fan? I've got two vacant PCI slots and the tabs on the case are taken off, so I think there is sufficient ventilation inside the case. I use the card for video editing and light gaming (I've been playing Batman: Arkham Asylum lately, just as an example). So is this safe? Or should I replace the fan?
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Risky. Sometimes it is impossible to watch over the temperatures fast enough to prevent damage... If the fan was not needed, they wouldn't use it.
    You can replace the fan... Finding a quality replacement is difficult, but the cost if very low... Somewhere between $3.99 and $9.99 depending on where you shop.
    Try Directron, TigerDirect, Frys, TechDepot, CDW, PCMall, Newegg, ZipZoomFly, Cyberguys, OutletPC, dcparts, mwave, sourcepartsonline, hddoctor, cdw...
    Of course there would be the time delay of a week...
  3. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,189   +471

    I wouldn't run it without the fan. You're asking for trouble. If the card is still under warranty, get an RMA from PNY for repair or replacement. If it is no longer under warranty, then I would consider replacing the fan or fan/heatsink assembly.

    I can't speak for anyone else but I had to RMA a PNY 8800 Ultra a few months ago and they were very good about it. As the 8800 Ultra was out of production by then, they sent me a GTX 260.
  4. drew081886

    drew081886 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    I downloaded GPU-Z and the current temp my GPU is reading (with the fan unplugged) is between 72C-73C. I'm sure that will go up when running a game. Is that too high? What's the norm?
  5. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Yep, that is too high, in my humble opinion.
    You want that temperature to hover around 62 C as a norm... running on up to 59 or 70... Some folks on this list believe 75C is ok, but I am not one of those, as I have repaired way too many computers.
    Get a variety of opinions on this one... as I am not a gamer, so only see high temps on photoshop and design.
  6. drew081886

    drew081886 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    I plugged the fan back in and now the GPU is running at 49C. It shoots up to around 62C when I'm running a graphically intense game. So apparently, despite the noise, the fan seems to be working.

    So now my question is this: can that noise be causing damage? If not, then I'm willing to cope with it (by putting the computer in sleep at night) rather than go through the hassle of returning it to PNY. Thoughts?
  7. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    We have seen noisy fans last for years, while the video graphics card, CPU, and power supplies refuse to fail...
    But mostly,
    when a fan suddenly becomes noisy, you have a failing fan, or a lot of crud on the fan blades, or a bearing going bad that will only go worse...
    What is more, they seem to know how to plan, so that they can fail totally at the worst possible moment.

    It would be good if you could verify for sure that it is the CPU fan, or the Graphics card fan... But neither of them can tolerate much heat or bearing damage.

    First thing we do, we clean all the fan blades..
    If it is a CPU fan, you just replace the CPU cooler, and that can be done as cheaply as $15 to $25. Order a new one and keep it on hand to make a replacement when the Cooler Gods decide it is time.
    If it is a Graphics Card, you might want to order a new one if that one is more than a year old... then just keep the new one near by for when the old one fails.
  8. drew081886

    drew081886 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    When I went in and plugged the fan back in I gave everything a good cleaning with some canned air and now it's completely silent. I can't imagine how it could have accumulated enough dust to make that kind of noise since I've only had the card for about a week and a half. But that seemed to do the trick, at least for now.
  9. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Good news. Thank you for the update... It doesn't take much to throw a fan out of balance.
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