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Fan Noise on Dell Dimension 8100

I have a Dell Dimension 8100, was new in 2002. I bought it used. It's in good shape, but the fan is making a lot of noise, so I probably need to replace it.  Question: It has only ONE fan doesn't it?  And it is variously referred to as "Cooling Fan" and "Processor Fan"?  What are the specs for replacing the processor fan in my computer?

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  • fixya1992yaf Apr 07, 2009

    The Dell Dimension 8100 has a shared 92mm case fan with a plastic shroud to the processor heat sink, so there is no separate processor fan. It uses a non-standard flat 3-pin plug with a clip. An off-the-shelf fan with standard connectors will not work without modification. I am guessing this is yet another attempt by Dell to make you buy everything for your computer from them. From what I have read, if you try to power the fan from the power supply, the BIOS will give you an error at post. It should allow you to continue, but A. if the new fan stops turning or slows, you will have no way of knowing without turning the case around to look so if you did have a problem, you may as well kiss your processor goodbye and B. this is just annoying to have to tell your machine to continue booting every time you turn it on.

    Also, if you have to replace the power supply for this machine (as this is another source of fan noise), DO NOT attempt to use a standard, off-the-shelf power supply. The main connector for the motherboard does match up perfectly to a standard 24 or 20+4 pin ATX connector, but the wiring is different and the board has a separate non-standard plug that a typical supply will not have. I would not even suggest plugging a power supply tester into your power supply unless you want to buy a replacement. Again, not a nice move on Dell's part.

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All computer fans have a general design.  The name in front of "fan" really refers to the designation.  You'll see case fan, processor fan, CPU fan, cooling fan, etc.  In the case of CPU/Processor fan, some are sold with heatsinks (the metal block sitting on top of your CPU).

The first thing you want to do is make sure the fan is clean.  Chances are dust buildup is causing the excess noise.

If that's not the case and you're looking to replace the fan, then you first need to find out the size of the fan. General sizes(diameter X width in mm) are listed on this page:

http://www.svc.com/case-fans.html

Generally, you're looking for something that will match the size of what you're replacing & push enough air at a reasonable noise level to cool the heatsink/CPU.  You want to stay in the area of 30dBA max for noise.  You also want to see if it has a 3-pin or 4-pin connection.

For example, if you have an 80mm fan, I would suggest something like this:

http://www.svc.com/saf-b82-19.html

It's pretty quiet with good airflow.  Also, it has a 3-pin connection, but includes an adapter for a 4-pin connection.

Z

Posted on Oct 27, 2007

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