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Old 04-23-2006, 01:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default salvaging excessively loud dell 8400

My current system is:
Dell Dimension 8400
--------------
mobo: dell dimension 8400 motherboard (Intel 925 Express Chipset LGA775)
cpu: Intel Pentium 4E, 3.2 GHz (4 x 800) (Prescott) (has HT)
memory: 2 x 256MB DDR2 SDRAM and 1 x 512MB DDR2 SDRAM (both 533 MHz and 240 pin)
storage: Seagate 300GB SATA, WD 80 GB SATA (both 7200 rpm)
psu: 350W
optical: teac dvd+rw and a nec dvd-rw
video: Radeon x800 gto
audio: sound blaster live 24-bit pci
heatsink: dell dimension 8400 heatsink
cpu fan: 1 crappy dell fan
----------------

My computer is soo loud. The cpu fan is on at a high level all the time and is deafening even if i'm not doing anything on it. It's been that way since I got it some twenty months ago. I've had dell replace the fan twice and the heatsink once with no improvement. I've reset the cmos with no improvement. I've upgraded my bios to no avail. I've had it with this machine. The last piece that could be at fault is the motherboard. Supposidely it thinks the fan always needs to run at a high level even though it's blowing cool air all the time. So, the heatsink works fine, the fan works fine, but the motherboard is a pos. Therefore, I'm looking to scrap this machine.

I want to take this machine and replace the motherboard, heatsink, fan system, and case. Therefore, I can retain some of the value rather than buying a whole new machine.

My first question is, is this a good way to go about solving this problem? It's basically one step below replacing almost everything.

Second, what do you all suggest I get? I need a motherboard to support all this stuff. I also need new fans, a heatsink, and a case. I'd prefer to spend around $300 or less. Also, I'd like a motherboard that could support some decent enhancements in the future (like faster memory).

Third, how do I go about doing this? I am okay at replacing simple parts like HDDs, memory, PCI cards, and optical drives, but I know little about setting up a new motherboard. I am not sure how to remove my cpu to place on the new mother board and I'm unsure how to setup a heatsink. I'm pretty sure I need some sorta spray to make better contact with the heatsink or something. Also, will I need any tools for this? Any assistance and references to guides will be much appreciated.
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Old 04-24-2006, 12:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Does the computer run well other than the noisy fan?

If it does then I would suggest replacing the fan with
a good processor fan (one purchase from someone other
than Dell). You would need to buy one for the new
motherboard anyway if you don't like the current
one.

If you replace the motherboard just make sure that
everything will swap over (processor, memory, video).
And that it will fit in the case.

If you don't the windows XP cd then you will have a
hard time when you replace the motherboard. Since
XP will most likely need to reloaded.

The hardest part of replacing the board (other than
getting the right one) will be removing the heatsink/
processor. You shouldn't need much more than a
good screw driver set. If you buy the heatsink/fan
as a unit it will most likely come with a built in
thermal pad or some paste.
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Old 04-24-2006, 07:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The simpliest and easiest fix is to hook the cpu fan to a fan controller, that will quite it down "FOR SURE" You should have got dell to replace the board under warrenty. You could just add a 120mm cpu fan it will run alot slower(quiter) then the original.

Zalman 120mm
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Old 04-24-2006, 12:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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yeah...also i remember reading a few months ago that the Prescott cores run REALLY hot and it needs a crapload of cooling and that's why it's so loud
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Old 04-24-2006, 12:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by jdhore1
yeah...also i remember reading a few months ago that the Prescott cores run REALLY hot and it needs a crapload of cooling and that's why it's so loud
yeah they run hot but the motherboard isn't controlling the fan properly,,hummm make sure the motherboard is marked cpu fan where it is plugged in and not chassis. oh and if you do go to a 120mm fan don't be surprised if it beeps errors because of low fan speed. 120mm fans run at about 1/3 of the speed.
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Old 04-24-2006, 01:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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yeh 120mm fans much better. Dell is terrible, meh
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Old 04-25-2006, 11:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the responses so far.

ramdmg - thanks for the details on the heatsink.

FlashDude - I really wish I'd forced Dell to replace the mobo. Dell always seemed to push for replacing something cheaper though. Plus, by the time I was fairly certain it was the mobo the warranty had expired.

all - Replacing the cpu fan isn't really a choice. The Dell fans use a different plug, so there's a compatability issue with other fans.

This weekend or next weekend I'd like to get the new mobo, heatsink, fan(s), and case. Do any of you have suggestions on what to get given my specs? Do you think I should go to Fry's (brick&mortar) or to Newegg (online)? I'm a bit worried that not everything will fit right or be 100% compatible and I don't enjoy shipping stuff back to newegg. Although, they do have some great prices, so it might be worth it for the mobo and mb the heatsink.

Also, does anyone know how to detatch a cpu from a motherboard? =D All I have to go on atm is my Dell manual =P
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Old 04-29-2006, 12:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Here are the replacements I've chosen:
(LGA 775) Intel 945P ATX Intel Motherboard
ZALMAN CNPS9500 AT
Thermaltake Silver Steel/Plastic ATX Mid Tower

The motherboard supports my cpu (Intel P4 640) and my memory (3 x ddr2 533). It also has enough pci slots and Sata capabilities. The Zalman heatsink supports my cpu as well. Hopefully, the case will work fine. People say it's quiet and cool, which is what I'm looking for. Plus, it comes with two nice fans that should provide good airflow.

These replacements are a bit expensive, but I'd rather pay a bit more to have quality products than be no better off than I am now.

Does anyone see any issues these new pieces might have with my overall system? Are there any compatibilty issues I've overlooked? The only thing I'm worried about is how my operating system will handle this.

I plan on buying this stuff from newegg sometime next week.
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Old 04-29-2006, 12:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Cons: INCAMPATABLE WITH NEWWER VIDEO CARDS (ATI OR NVIDIA) THE ONLY WAY I COULD HAVE ANY VIDEO WAS TO USE AN OUT DATED 6600. WHEN I USED AN X850PRO OR 7900GT MY COMP WOULD REBOOT BEFORE WINDOW'S WOULD EVE... More ¬Ľ
N START.
Try searching for one compatible with newer technology.
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Old 05-01-2006, 09:03 AM   #10 (permalink)
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yeah, I saw that review. I find it hard to believe given the moderness of the motherboard in question. I suspect that came from an anti-intel individual, but even so, I sent intel support an email to hopefully found out its validity.
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