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Very subtle revving up and down

Discussion in 'Windows 10' started by Vic 2.0, Jul 20, 2021.

  1. Vic 2.0

    Vic 2.0

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    Windows 10
    Here recently, (one of) the fans have been revving up and down every few seconds, even when the computer is idle. I have had all three of my fans replaced! and it still continues. It's a relatively quiet sound but it's constant and nevertheless distracting because:
    a. It wasn't doing this for the first couple of months I've had it
    and b. I'm worried that it's a sign of something going out which might cause further problems later

    Any ideas?
     
  2. Tony D

    Tony D Administrator Administrator

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    Hello and welcome Vic. Fans spin up when the CPU and/or GPU heat up. The fan removes the heat, the chips cool down and the fan slows down.

    Heat will increase when more apps are running or when an individual app is making the system work hard. If your usage habits haven’t changed since the first few months you’ve owned the machine, things wouldn’t have changed. You may be running a program that you weren’t running back then. Maybe an update has changed things. Bring up the Task Manager to see what’s taxing the system.

    If you’ve had the machine for a few years the heat sink compound between the chips and the heat exchanger may have deteriorated making it harder to draw the heat away. Dirty airways also reduce cooling efficiency. If you’re in the northern hemisphere it’s summer. Ambient temperature is higher than other seasons. How’s your air conditioner working?
     
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  3. IJAC

    IJAC Super-Moderator Super Moderators

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    Operating System:
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    Computer Brand or Motherboard:
    I have a Asus prime Z270A MB
    CPU:
    Intel i5 Quad core
    Memory:
    Rip Jaw 32 GB
    Hard Drive:
    Samsung Evo 500 GB SS
    Graphics Card:
    Radeon R7 260X/360
    Power Supply:
    750 Watt Corsair
    You don't state which fan is apparently giving you the problem - the case fan(s) or the CPU fan. I suggest you download Speccy Free from Piriform and monitor the temps, CPU in particular and see if the fan peaks correspond to temperature peaks. Expanding the CPU section in Speccy will show you the CPU fan speed and CPU temp.

    Generally speaking case fans run at a constant speed although there may be exceptions, but the CPU fan speed usually responds to changes in CPU temperature. You may need to go into your motherboards BIOS/UEFI and adjust the settings for the CPU fan curve so that the CPU fan is not revving up as much when the CPU temperature goes into the high 30's Celsius. Also what CPU are you using?
     
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  4. Digerati

    Digerati Registered Members

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    I agree, this is normal behavior. However, since it didn't do this before, it is worth checking into. As Tony points out your ambient (room) temperature can significantly affect your computer's cooling. If your room is not environmentally controlled (air conditioned) and your room temperatures vary significantly throughout the day, this can happen.

    And as noted, a build up of heat-trapping dust can cause this effect to.

    I use and recommend Core Temp to monitor CPU temps in real time. Speccy "was" a good program but I note Piriform stopped development on it, and have not released any updates for it since way back in
    May 2018. :( It is still a good hardware information program, but not so much for hardware health monitoring.

    The point is, you need to determine if your temps are okay.

    It would be good if you could determine which fan (or fans) is revving up. If the CPU fan, that tells us one thing. If a case fan, that tells us another. And if you have a graphics card, it will have a fan (or fans) too. You say all 3 fans were replaced, which fans? Case? CPU? All?

    If your computer is only a couple months or even a couple years old, the TIM (thermal interface material) should be just fine. Actually, TIM can easily last 5 or 10 years or even longer AS LONG AS the cured bond is not broken as that would let air in. And the bond should never break unless the computer roughly mishandled (as might handled during transport), or the user intentionally removed or twisted too hard on the cooler.

    It is absolutely true, TIM loses efficiency over time. But it is only by a few degrees - typically no more than 5 - 6°C at most. A fresh new application of TIM might yield a few degrees of improved cooling, but if the system "needs" those few degrees to keep from crossing over thermal protection thresholds, the temps were too high to begin with and other, more pressing cooling issues need to be addressed first - notably case cooling. If the case is not providing a sufficient supply of cool air flowing through the case, it really does not matter how efficient the CPU cooler is.
     
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  5. Vic 2.0

    Vic 2.0

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    Yes, well I figured that since I just had all three fans replaced we should be able to rule those out as the cause? I do keep it relatively warm in the room (72 degrees), you can let me know if you think that's good or bad. Also, this doesn't seem to get worse when the computer's been on for a while or when I'm doing something really taxing (playing a heavy duty game or something).

    I was really hoping that there could be some sort of setting I could change but I guess that's not realistic.
     
  6. Digerati

    Digerati Registered Members

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    I think it safe to rule those out in terms of them being "faulty". I suspect the fans are good. It is what is controlling their speed (and thus noise) that seems to be at issue. But again, you did not say if we are talking about 3 case fans, or 2 case fans and the CPU fan. It is important to understand which fans are spinning up.

    72°F for your room temperature is plenty cool - not warm at all. With the morning sun beating through the windows in my computer room, I wish my room temp was that cool. Sadly, if I compensate by adjusting the house's thermostat the rest of the freezes. Oh well.
     
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  7. Vic 2.0

    Vic 2.0

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    Sorry about that. I have three fans (dunno if they're technically "case fans" or not). I have one black fan at the back of the tower, one attached to my video card and one in some sort of silver plus-sign shaped construct, lol. Hope that's helpful!

    Also, the noise does seem to be coming more from one of the latter two fans.
     
  8. Tony D

    Tony D Administrator Administrator

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    The one on the back of the tower would be referred to a case fan because it attaches to the case.
    That last fan may be on the CPU. Can you post a photo please?
     
  9. Vic 2.0

    Vic 2.0

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    Sure thing. The first one is where it says GeForce RTX, and the second one (not visible) runs through the middle of the silver construct.
    IMG_0768.JPG IMG_0767.JPG
     
  10. Digerati

    Digerati Registered Members

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    Listening through a paper towel tube (like a stethoscope) can help pinpoint the source. And VERY GENTLY touching the center hub of the fan for just a second will momentarily slow down the fan's rotation. And that, in turn, will alter the sound it makes. This can help pinpoint the source as well.
     
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  11. 8_Ball

    8_Ball Registered Members

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    I see that you have a faily new Dell XPS with the passive HSF and an RTX GPU and yes typically that system will have 3 fans. Case 2x. GPU of course of course looks like you have a Dell supplied reference GPU. How did you have the 3 fans replaced? -- I say that because I have repaired a lot of Dell XPS systems and the fans are all 4 pin PWM on certain models like your XPS, meaning you would have to have known to replace them with 4 pin fans right? -- so your fans are all now replaced with either 3 pin or 4 pin fans and you hear the same thing correct? That leaves a CPU fan or GPU fan as the only source of noise, which you can see in your picture you do not have a fan there on the CPU heat sink so that then leaves the GPU fan. What are your full system specifications if you have a processor with Intel iGPU you could yank your dedicated GPU and test.
     
  12. Digerati

    Digerati Registered Members

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    That's if it really is a fan and not a drive motor.

    I think we are pretty much at a standstill here until (1) we know what some temps are and (2) we know which fan (or drive) is actually making the noise.

    Knowing the specific model Dell would help too.
     
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  13. Vic 2.0

    Vic 2.0

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    Someone from Dell came and replaced all three fans (It's not visible in the picture, but the silver construct does have a fan running down its center).
     
  14. 8_Ball

    8_Ball Registered Members

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    Agree with Digerati what is your Dell model?
     
  15. Vic 2.0

    Vic 2.0

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    Hopefully this will help. My specs are:

    Device name DESKTOP-7P6TBV1
    Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-10700KF CPU @ 3.80GHz 3.79 GHz
    Installed RAM 32.0 GB (31.8 GB usable)
    Device ID 172FE9F7-FB03-47B1-8955-E1B217C3377C
    Product ID 00325-82144-44404-AAOEM
    System type 64-bit operating system, x64-based processor
    Pen and touch No pen or touch input is available for this display
     

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