PC Fan Noise...can I leave case open?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by VinnyB, May 22, 2010.

  1. VinnyB


    Got an older Dell Dimension 8200 [please see pic: front, back, inside].

    Fan noise is inherent in all these Dell systems and it's mainly because it's a temp controlled fan [through a fan sensor not the BIOS] and it increases and decreases with the temp and the noise is simply the fan speeding up and vibrating the case. It's not as bad as some of the youtube vids where some sound like vacuum cleaners but it's bad enough that I want to fix it.

    The case fan is part of a plastic shroud that simply clips onto the metal casing and that's the problem...no way to add a rubber gasket like I did with the power supply. I've also done everything else I could to quiet the vibration...rubber feet, different fans, acoustic insulation.

    There's also two video cards in there, one with a heat sink and one with its own fan. I've narrowed the noise down to just the case fan and the vibration carried through the case when the fan speed increases after running all day.

    Okay that's the background. I love this PC...super fast and got too much $$$ into it to just dump it. One solution is to get a slower constant RPM fan, but my concern is heat buildup so now I'm wondering what could happen if I just leave the case cracked open...just about an inch?

    This case does not allow for completely removing an entire side...it simply hinges open. I've been running it all day at the bottom of my desk on it's shelf with the case cracked open and I can barely hear the fan.

    I've read pros and cons, from dust collection and just being unsafe to a more important concern which is that pc cases are designed with airflow in mind and hence...the case should be closed.

    The last con doesn't make sense to me though because this pc is really warm inside when I completely open it and, after about a minute of being open, it cools down and the fan slows down.

    Seems to me the case SHOULD be open.

    Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to explain everything in detail.

    Thanks all in advance for your input.
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  2. bespoke


    It's fine open. If you're worried about dust then I would just use compressed air every once in a while to remove it.

    You could also get a better fan.
  3. pspr


    If the open case seems to make the computer run cooler, not hotter, then there shouldn't be a problem leaving it cracked open a bit. Unless you have a family gerbel running around that might crawl into the open case. Although, be sure it is the CPU staying cool and not just the location of the fan sensor. In nearly all desktop cases the term "designed for airflow" really should read "eyeballed for airflow".
  4. When I buy a PC (e.g. HP/Compaq), I like to take off the side panel and keep it that way. For one thing, I like to tinker with plugging in/out different cards. Opened chassis should make it cooler. Of course this doesn't pass the "neat" factor for most people. But my desktops are under the desk and I don't care. Dust build-up would definitely gets faster though. I tend to think leaving your box crack-open shouldn't be a problem except the dust build up. But I couldn't imagine how they would reduce the fan noise though.
  5. oraclewizard77

    oraclewizard77 Moderator

    Or just buy a quiet fan for this problem, they are pretty cheap.
  6. Computer casing is just cosmetic. My computer is without one side-cover and I never have over-heat problem for the last 4 years since I changed the motherboard damaged by the heat ( mainly capacitor damaged ). My daytime is 33 degree C year-round.
    If nobody will temper with your CPU, it is good to leave the CPU casing open. Believe me, your motherboard and hard-disk will not be damaged by over-heat problem.

    Change to a quite pc fan, regularly cleanup the dust, and you will be very happy with this.
  7. I haven't had the sides on any computer case for years. This was after noticing that a couple of my serious geek friends ran their rigs with the covers off almost all the time. I asked one guy and he said there's no real reason to have the sides on unless it's positioned in such a way that your three year old can wing a steelie at it.

    A can of compressed air will solve any dust issues you have.
  8. just21


  9. VinnyB


    Excellent!!! Thank you ALL for your input.

    I think, because it's an older, a lower end case, it is definitely generating more heat than it should...not like some of the newer models that probably take this into consideration. Most of the "real" heat is coming off the Nvidia GeForce Ti4200 video card even though it has its own fan. The case only needs to be 'cracked' open [not a huge space] and it makes such a difference in the cpu fan speed.

    BOLIMOMO: you asked about how it would change the speed - it's because the DELLs offer 3 different model fans but they all have temperature probes right on the fan. When the internal temp gets too high, they spin up to over 3800 RPM >>> loud.

    I already bought and tried a quieter fan, a Silenx, and it IS quieter but it's only because it spins much slower. Like the tech told me, there's a reason the DELLs come with the temp sensor and he couldn't guarantee that it would keep the internals cool - he mentioned getting a temp probe to check it. That's why I posted here. I'm not using a probe ['that's what she said'].

    I think the answer is to keep the correct fan in there and let it do its thing if it gets too hot; but, with the case cracked open, it's a world of difference - I can feel the heat escaping when I open it up.

    JUST21: Thanks for the link to silentpcreview.com. Will check it out.

    I really appreciate the input.

    Thanks again all,

  10. In my trading rig, I leave the side cover off all of the time. Runs cooler than when closed. It doesn't gather any more dust than the ones running with cases closed. You probably need to blow the dust out only every 6-months or so.

    Perhaps get rid of your video cards and get a couple of NVS 280s without fans.
    #10     May 23, 2010