[SOLVED] New fans! Thermal sensor? Yay, nay and/or which way?

Isaac Zackary

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I'm going to change out the radiator fans on my computer I found in the trash. It has three 120mm NB-Multiframe fans that are making a lot of noise. One even turns at just a couple RPM and that's it.

  1. So I'm thinking of going with some Noctua Redux's.
  2. But while I'm at it, I was thinking of mayby installing a thermal sensor. But is it worth it?
    • The board is a Maximus iv Extreme with one CPU fan port (4pin),
    • three OPT fan ports with three matching thermal sensor ports (4pin),
    • and three case fans ports (4pin, occupied by three case fans),
    • and one Power Fan port (4pin).
  3. Since the CPU port can handle up to 12W, and the fans have a max power rating of 0.9W, would it be best to get a three way 4-pin adapter and hook it to one of the OPT fan ports and put the thermal sensor there?
  4. What kind of elbow or other do I need to addapt a thermal sensor?
  5. Is it best to adapt to the pump/reservoir or to the radiator itself?
I don't have any experience working with computer radiator systems and just want to be sure.



 
I love this case, even if it is ginormous. It has 3 x140mm case fans as well as the three rad fans.
it doesn't matter how many fan mounting points a case has if it has no way for cool air to enter the system.
does it have an open filtered bottom with fan mounting points there?

if not;
if you can remove those front 5.25" plates and the larger one beneath them,
add some dust filters,
and mount 2x 140mm there it would definitely be better.

for fan replacement;
i'd use the 120mm 2000RPM Noctua iPPCs on the radiator & the 140mm Silent Wings 3 for the case intake & exhaust.
tempted to get a couple floppy disk drives and install them
might as well get a nice DVD & Blu-Ray burner in the top slot if you really want to have something there.
if I keep the cooler, what work/maintenance might it need?
you would need to ensure that there is no gunk buildup in the tubing, reservoir, and pump.
also probably change the fluid.
 
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Isaac Zackary

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why do you want a new thermal sensor?
do you think the onboard temperature readings are not working correctly?
I think they work. There is no external thermal sensor right now. The fans seem to run pretty fast even when the system isn't doing much even after trying to tune them slower in the UEFI.

I also have each fan connected to a different header right now and according to Fan Speed they run at different speeds. Or at least the one connected to the CPU fan header runs much faster. I could hook the three fans to all three OPT fan headers.

But the idea was if I hook all three to one OPT fan header and hooked up a thermal sensor to that header that maybe the fans would run slower when the system isn't warm enough to merit fastern fan speeds.
 
any CPU_OPT header is going to follow instructions from the CPU_FAN header so those should be used if there are two extras available.
or just get a 4pin to 2x 4pin splitter.

the radiator fans should be set to follow the onboard CPU temperature sensor.
download the motherboard control software from the manufacturer support page to set a custom curve for the fans.

i've never heard of the brand of fans that you are currently using.
check for their specs online and compare them to something like Noctua iPPC or be quiet! Silent Wings 3 High-Speed PWM and see if they are worth keeping.
if you can't find any definite info about them just change to something known to offer good performance & air pressure like those.
 

Isaac Zackary

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I don't think the fans are worth keeping. The noises they are making seem to be bearing related. They shudder and whine and click. Sometimes the blade wheels just fall out while running, at least from one of them.

The motherboard is older and I can't seem to find a proper motherboard control program or app from the manufacturer support page, at least not one that I can get to run on Windows 10.

I was under the impression that each OPT FAN header was controlled separately from the rest. Each of the three has a thermal sensor header right next to it. But if they're supposed to receive the same instructions I guess there's no need for a three to one splitter.
 

Isaac Zackary

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Here's a pic in the BIOS/UEFI. It shows different fan speed controls for each of the OPT fans.

Anywho, with the limit at 200RPM and set in "silent mode" the fan speed sits around 800RPM or higher for the OPT (Aux) fans and of around 1700RPMs or higher for the CPU fan even with much cooler temps than in the screenshot below. (Except when a fan occasionally binds up and stops spinning.)

Question. Could this be because the fans on here are all 3 wire fans on 4 pin headers?

PS. Before deciding to get new fans I also cleaned out all the dust, removing every fan and carefully cleaning it, even taking apart the graphics cards and PSU to clean them. (I was very careful not to shock myself on any capacitors or anything) The cleaningonly helped the GPU temps come down a little (they were packed with dust). But that was it, it didn't really help with anything else.



 
shows different fan speed controls for each of the OPT fans.
OPTFAN is different than CPU_OPT.
the fans on here are all 3 wire fans on 4 pin headers?
not quite sure how much control and old board like this offers for DC fans.


this thing doesn't sound like it's worth any trouble at all really.
10 year old board,
10 year old CPU,
10 year old GPUs,
case with terrible airflow,
terrible 3 pin fans,
and a 10 year old power supply is going to be risky.
probably why it was in the trash.

i would maybe keep the cooler but if it is also ~10 years old it may need some work/maintenance.
 
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Isaac Zackary

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this thing doesn't sound like it's worth any trouble at all really.
10 year old board,
10 year old CPU,
10 year old GPUs,
case with terrible airflow,
terrible 3 pin fans,
and a 10 year old power supply is going to be risky.
probably why it was in the trash.

i would maybe keep the cooler but if it is also ~10 years old it may need some work/maintenance.
The idea is to make the computer last as long as possible (which it has for the past year) and then use the case and cooling system with another motherboard when the time comes (either dies or can't get Windows 11 when W10 is over or just doesn't do what I need it to do.)

So I guess with that I'll just order the fans for now and then worry about any sort of thermal sensor on the next motherboard, if necessary.

I guess the question now would be, if I keep the cooler, what work/maintenance might it need? Soak it in a mineral solvent (acid) of some sort?

Here's a pick of my case with some other system inside. I love this case, even if it is ginormous. It has 3 x140mm case fans as well as the three rad fans. For some odd reason I'm tempted to get a couple floppy disk drives and install them, but that would mainly be for just-because-I-can reasons.
 
I love this case, even if it is ginormous. It has 3 x140mm case fans as well as the three rad fans.
it doesn't matter how many fan mounting points a case has if it has no way for cool air to enter the system.
does it have an open filtered bottom with fan mounting points there?

if not;
if you can remove those front 5.25" plates and the larger one beneath them,
add some dust filters,
and mount 2x 140mm there it would definitely be better.

for fan replacement;
i'd use the 120mm 2000RPM Noctua iPPCs on the radiator & the 140mm Silent Wings 3 for the case intake & exhaust.
tempted to get a couple floppy disk drives and install them
might as well get a nice DVD & Blu-Ray burner in the top slot if you really want to have something there.
if I keep the cooler, what work/maintenance might it need?
you would need to ensure that there is no gunk buildup in the tubing, reservoir, and pump.
also probably change the fluid.
 
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Isaac Zackary

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Aug 11, 2020
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535
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it doesn't matter how many fan mounting points a case has if it has no way for cool air to enter the system.
does it have an open filtered bottom with fan mounting points there?
Yes. The whole bottom is open with a fine screen to collect lent on. Then there are two fans that draw up from there. One blows up right beneath the motherboard and the other blows over the hard drives. The last case fan blows out the rear.

if not;
if you can remove those front 5.25" plates and the larger one beneath them,
add some dust filters,
and mount 2x 140mm there it would definitely be better.
There are a lot of half sized 5 1/4" drive slots, so I guess I could add more fans if needed. But I don't really have any problems with overheating, with this setup at least. And I probably won't go wild on the next build.

The lower door is access to the hard drives that slide in and out. There are places for SSD's below that.

for fan replacement;
i'd use the 120mm 2000RPM Noctua iPPCs on the radiator & the 140mm Silent Wings 3 for the case intake & exhaust.
Thanks!

might as well get a nice DVD & Blu-Ray burner in the top slot if you really want to have something there.
Good point. Mine has a Blu-ray drive, but I have to force it to open.

you would need to ensure that there is no gunk buildup in the tubing, reservoir, and pump.
also probably change the fluid.
Thanks! I'll do that. This is like working on a car, sort of.
 
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Isaac Zackary

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So I got the Noctuas in and installed and the tower is so much quieter. CPU core temps are still at a low 30° to 45°C with fan speeds of around 400RPMs. I connected all three to the CPU fan header via a three-way splitter.

I just did Microsoft's Health Check and this board is not compatible with W11 in three areas (CPU, TPM and Secureboot). So in the next 4 years I'll be on the lookout for a replacement motherboard and PSU if I can't get W11 working on this computer. The hard part is finding a board with enough SATA ports for all the drives I'm using. Maybe I'll get a PCIe to sata addapter and use a cheaper board with fewer SATA ports. The good news is the Windows installation key should be transferrable.
 

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