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Old 01-25-2009, 04:41 AM   #1
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Default GPU Fan Ticking...Intermittent

Well my problem just started a few days ago. A mysterious ticking noise started from my case and I had no idea what it was...I finally tracked it down to the GPU fan. Here's the gfx card I've got. It's an ATI 3870 and it's been perfect for me. I don't game too often (a few times a week for a few hours), so performance is fine.

When I say intermittent, I think I mean to say that I only hear ticking at high RPM (under load). And it's definitely not cooling as well as it should. I used to get temps under load at around 50-55*C, and now they are shooting up to 60*C...and even idle it's running hotter than it did.

So my question is, should I talk to Sapphire and get a replacement? Or should I buy an aftermarket VGA cooler like this or this (will these even work/fix my problem? I'm not familiar with using VGA coolers...). Keep in mind that I'm all for better performance. I don't mind shelling out 40 bucks or so. If anyone else has a solution, let me know. Also, I know I can't RMA with newegg, even though it's not a year old yet, because I've cut the UPC for Sappire's rebate...

Or maybe there's an even cheaper solution I don't know about. Maybe I could open up my the casing and see if the fan is catching on something....hmm...but it may void warranty with Sappire...

Let me know your thoughts.
Thanks everyone!
Zac
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Old 01-25-2009, 05:15 AM   #2
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Default Re: GPU Fan Ticking...Intermittent

I would first check out your current fan to make sure it's not rubbing against a loose wire and to make sure it's clean from dust.

If it ends up being a dying fan, I would recommend the Zalman VF1000. I have a similar cooler on my MSI 8800GT and the thing runs extremely cool.
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Old 01-25-2009, 07:06 AM   #3
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Default Re: GPU Fan Ticking...Intermittent

If it's at high speed (high temp run up) then most likely it's a bearing going out. If it's stuck it has worn a groove in the shaft allowing it to wobble and must be replaced and real soon.
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Old 01-25-2009, 03:30 PM   #4
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Default Re: GPU Fan Ticking...Intermittent

Yup. I took it apart and I'm pretty sure the fan is going out. I took the plastic casing off (actually, I think it serves as aa air channel for the fan) and I noticed theres a slight rub (very slight) in the plastic...so I'm assuming the fan is going out...it seems like it dropped on the shaft if that makes any sense? ...like the fan blade actually descended on the shaft causing it to rub on the casing. Anyways, I put everything back together with out the casing on and my temps dropped back down where they were supposed to be (in fact, maybe a little cooler) but the fan still has a slight whine to it--I'm assuming that rubbing on the plastic for the past few days has taxed it enough to where it's pretty worn...you can tell it's an el-cheapo fan anyways.

I'll probably go ahead and pick up the Zalman VF1000, but I'll wait till I place my order for the CPU heatsink and TIM that I'm waiting for. What TIM should I use with the GPU? Should I use whatever comes with the Zalman or should I use the MX-2 I'm getting for my CPU?

Thanks for the help everyone.
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