Question Help requested to understand and cool my system

Jan 20, 2021
I have a PC which has the following configuration:
  1. Coolermaster N400 Case with default Xtraflo 120 fans. It has space for fans at the top and sides (On one side for the Liquid cooler radiator fans, other side for a 120/140 mm Cooling fan for GPU)
  2. Processor: AMD FX-6300
  3. Motherboard MSI 990FXA-GD65 V2
  4. GPU: Nvidia 3060Ti founders edition.
  5. SSD - 120 GB - located in its separate holder at the place where the AIO radiator would be mounted.
  6. HDD - 640 GB located at the lowest level in the HDD drive bay.
  7. LG DVD RW drive
I have Windows 7 installed on the SSD, which has following utilities amongst other software
Openhardware monitor, Speedfan, CPU-Z, GPU-Z.

Issues & Questions:
1. My case makes noise - lot of noise. - Funnily enough one of the fans according to Openhardware monitor runs at 5-6 times the other Right now, 1 is at 5900-6000 RPM, and the other is at 960 -1000 RPM
Perhaps I can open up the front side to see if it is that one or the rear one - but I suspect it is the front side one. How can I abate this noise? Also how do I figure out in openhardware monitor which fan it is that is running faster?

2. My motherboard has only got 3 pin headers - At the moment how do I control these fans in this case from spinning like there is no tomorrow? More importantly I was thinking of Putting in some Arctic fans of type P12 PWM PST
But the trouble is how do I control them ? Also - are these fans suitable for this case and my cooling need?

Other notes:
1. I just realized that my case is getting hot where I think the VRM heat sink touches it - this case leaves very little if any gap between the sinks and itself, due to the mounting location of the motherboard. the case does not get very hot, but it gets hot enough to be noted on the touch.

2. In the future, I am thinking of upgrading to a Ryzen AM4 CPU of same or slightly higher TDP, (which are more energy efficient I believe), will work with this till it croaks I wish to add a couple of Disks (1 HDD and /or 1 SSD to this system), - please advice based on these two future upgrades.

Thank you, Tom's Hardware and you guys too.


2. In the future, I am thinking of upgrading to a Ryzen AM4 CPU of same or slightly higher TDP, (which are more energy efficient I believe), will work with this till it croaks I wish to add a couple of Disks (1 HDD and /or 1 SSD to this system), - please advice based on these two future upgrades.
To be perfectly honest, in terms of performance, it's already croaked. If you're considering an upgrade, it's a very good idea. You shelled out the money for a 3060 Ti and you're using an old CPU that has strongly diminishing returns for anything stronger than a 1050 Ti or so, a much weaker GPU.
Jan 20, 2021
Thanks @USAFRet
Here it is: View:

Thanks for your comment... @DSzymborski
Well to be honest,
  1. it works as of now and I'm unemployed so cant upgrade right now
  2. my older GPU was busted - so got this one, didn't want to be bothered by trying to sell off the older (1050Ti or whatever) when this proccy/mobo croaked. The original build had 2*8 GB or RAM sticks, one of which croaked. Tell you what, the original GPU croaked too.. The older R5670 from previous build that I added as a filler croaked too:ROFLMAO:
  3. I don't play games. At least not yet - But have seen soooo many benchmark videos highlighting games performance (while researching before buying this 3060Ti ) - I would not mind trying Battlefield or Forza Horizon some day!
Likely, it is your cpu cooler fan that is spinning up trying to cool your processor.
120mm fans do not run at 5000 rpm.
likely, you have a small 92mm fan on the cooler.
Not much you can do about that.
Open up the case and put a paper tube to your ear.
Listen closely to each fan.

To help cool things, run with the case sides off.
I might relocate the rear 120mm fan to the front.
The objective is to get more air into the case for cooling.
Two 120 front intakes and one 120 exhaust should do the job.

3 pin fans a re controlled by voltage.
When plugged into the motherboard, the motherboard can control the speeds.
That will be an option in the motherboard bios.
You can also try an app called "speedfan"

As an alternative, you can control fan speeds with a rheostat controller like a zalman fanmate:

As to future upgrades, you are looking at not only a cpu change, but a motherboard and ddr4 ram change also.
Modern processors are only supported by windows 10.
You should do the free upgrade to 10 before rebuilding to preserve your license.

Something as simple as a i3-10100,which is 2x as strong as your 6300, a lga1200 motherboard and 16gb of ddr4 ram will be <$250.

On the drive side, plan on a ssd only for your relatively modest needs.

A good intel or samsung 1tb ssd will be about $100.
Reactions: Lamba Chandi
Jan 20, 2021
Thanks a lot man.. you were very right... It was indeed the CPU fan..
Thanks for your advice on the SSD, i3 and LGA1200 + 16GB DDR4 too. I will keep it in mind. I am not in US, so I need to factor the inevitable price increase due to customs too..

What is happening is that the Speedfan results as well as openhardware monitor results treat CPU fan as Fan1 and the other two fans (default from the case manufacturer) are treated as Fan2. I can verify this through the MSI bios where it clearly states that CPU fan speed is ~ 3600 RPM..

I opened the PC, disassembled the CPU-Fan off its heatsink and just cleaned up the heatsink and fan.. Cleaned it up of dust and other unseemly things that get attracted and make their way into the PC from the front and other air gaps.

Now my temperatures are a good 8-10 deg C cooler than previous, and I am now seeing the fans spinning as I mentioned at 3600 RPM on idle..
Yes, the Bios also said that the fans are auto controlled ..

Continuing this discussion further.. My case has an outlet at the top which can accommodate 2 120 mm fans too..
I thought to add 2 fans at the top and one at the front to keep an overall positive pressure inside the case? Yes that way there is only one outlet fan, but my case also has two more places for the air to go from the - side vents on each side.

Turns out I spoke too soon.. My CPU fan is now running at ~5000 RPM (after I started typing this in a single Vivaldi Window with multiple tabs in it).
Would adding more fans to this case be beneficial or should I just add an aftermarket CPU cooler?
Last edited:
What is the make/model of your cpu cooler?
Perhaps a photo would do.

Yes, an aftermarket cooler will definitely help with cpu cooling.
A simple cm hyper212 is not expensive.
It has a 120mm fan and will run in the 1200 rpm range which is relatively quiet.

FX motherboards are notorious for poor vrm cooling.
If you can manage two front 120mm intake fans and one 120mm rear exhaust fan, that is about as good as you will be able to do.
Jan 20, 2021
hey @geofelt
Thanks again.. i do have the stock cooler
Before i spring for the new cooler, do you think thermal paste could be the culprit?
pc was assembled in May 2015
Wouldn't it lose efficacy over 5 years?
Paste itself is not likely to be the problem.
But, if your cooler is no longer seated snugly, it needs to be remounted.
With power off, nudge the cooler a bit; it should not wiggle.
Does your case have adequate front intake airflow to let any cooler do it's job?
two 120/140mm front intakes should be enough.

Here is my canned text on how to mount the intel stock cooler.
----------------how to mount the stock Intel cooler--------------

The stock Intel cooler can be tricky to install.
A poor installation will result in higher cpu temperatures.
If properly mounted, you should expect temperatures at idle to be 10-15c. over ambient.

To mount the Intel stock cooler properly, place the motherboard on top of the foam or cardboard backing that was packed with the motherboard.
The stock cooler will come with paste pre applied, it looks like three grey strips.
The 4 push pins should come in the proper position for installation, that is with the pins rotated in the opposite direction of the arrow,(clockwise)
and pulled up as far as they can go.
Take the time to play with the pushpin mechanism until you know how they work.

Orient the 4 pins so that they are exactly over the motherboard holes.
If one is out of place, you will damage the pins which are delicate.
Push down on a DIAGONAL pair of pins at the same time. Then the other pair.

When you push down on the top black pins, it expands the white plastic pins to fix the cooler in place.

If you do them one at a time, you will not get the cooler on straight.
Lastly, look at the back of the motherboard to verify that all 4 pins are equally through the motherboard, and that the cooler is on firmly.
This last step must be done, which is why the motherboard should be out of the case to do the job. Or you need a case with a opening that lets you see the pins.
It is possible to mount the cooler with the motherboard mounted in the case, but you can then never be certain that the push pins are inserted properly
unless you can verify that the pins are through the motherboard and locked.

If you should need to remove the cooler, turn the pins counter clockwise to unlock them.
You will need to clean off the old paste and reapply new if you ever take the cooler off.
Clean off old paste with alcohol and a lint free paper like a coffee filter.
Apply new paste sparingly. A small rice sized drop in the center will spread our under heat and pressure.
Too much paste is bad, it will act as an insulator.
It is hard to use too little.

Reactions: Lamba Chandi
Jan 20, 2021
Thanks man.. I have decided to change the cooler..
I am going to go with Noctua NH-U12S or BeQuiet Dark Rock Slim, so that they can be compatible with AM3+ today and AM4 socket which I would need to upgrade to in the future. I will go with whichever of them is available and cheaper.

I am also going to put up at least one fan - eitehr Arctic P12 PWM or Noctua NF-P12-1700 redux as I find either of these to be good value. Unfortunately, Noctuas are not available where I am so I will have to order via Newegg from the official store from Taiwan.

Thanks also for your tip filled intel cooler installation guide. At the moment I am heavily leaning tothe AMD for a future upgrade, because I see that my 3060Ti and AM4 x570 motherboards are capable of PCIe 4.0, and I would like to match them all.

I wish I could thank you in person.
Geofelt, and others, be on your guard and stay safe from Covid
I would not base my decision on the pcie 4.0 spec.

Today, pcie 4.0 is mostly marketing.
It first applies to graphics cards.
In the past, the difference in gaming performance between pcie 2 and 3 was in the low single digits.
And, that was only for the most expensive of cards.
I would imagine that the situation would be similar comparing pcie 3 vs4.
Here is a test I found:

On the ssd side you will find that all ssd devices perform remarkably similar when doing small random I/O. That is what windows does some 90% of the time.
It is sequential performance that differs and that applies to pcie 3 vs 4.
Problem is, that synthetic benchmarks do not tell the whole story.
Here is a series of tests of game loading times for several types of devices.
It might make a difference of a second or two.

I am not saying pcie 4 is bad, quite the contrary.
But, be realistic on what to expect in actual usage.
Reactions: Lamba Chandi
Jan 20, 2021
@geofelt and others,
I do not have the noctua or bequiet available (been waiting for it for the past week but still on back order. For the time being I will just change the thermal paste and check if there is any benefit. I guess Noctua NT H1 should do. I do not have it right now, so ordering it.

best wishes..