The Fan, oh the Fan

Gary was the first to get this board and he called me one night around 12:30AM and said “can you hear it?”. I, of course, could not hear “it” but he shipped me the motherboard and I heard what he was talking about.


ASUS uses a smaller heatsink and much smaller fan than Zotac:

The fan spins at nearly 6000RPM and is annoyingly loud. The first fan we had on the board would make an annoying high pitched sound at times, enough to drive Gary’s dogs crazy. I duplicated his results in my lab. NVIDIA sent us a replacement fan that didn’t exhibit the same behavior. While the new fan didn’t whine/moan/groan, it still spun very fast and it was still quite loud.


The ASUS fan (left) vs. the Zotac fan (right)

We went to ASUS with our complaints and got the following response:

“We currently have implemented a running change of the fan, the fan will be replaced with another fan that is a quieter. I am currently attempting to get part information for your reference. Although I do agree with Gary's statement that in many cases 40mm fans tend to have a shorter life I have asked HQ to please ensure we try and place a fan that has been validated to not only operate quietly but ensure the best lifespan ( hopefully by ensuring a high quality bearing is present )”

Don’t ever say we’re not looking out for you :)

At 3AM this morning, just 6 hours before this article was due to be published, ASUS sent us the specs of the new fan that they will be installing on all AT3N7A-I motherboards. The new fan is still a 40mm unit but it should run at 3500RPM instead of 6000. Cooling efficiency will go down, but so should noise.


Doesn't it just look loud?

ASUS insists that the fan we tested won’t make it onto production boards. We’ll have to wait and see what the new fan sounds like, because what we tested was unacceptable for an HTPC.

Index Sidebar: ASRock Ion 330
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  • rudy - Friday, August 28, 2009 - link

    ASUS is messed up in this respect the last a8n-e board I used had the same stupid issue a small fan that was loud and broke down easily on the south bridge. It must be a cost issue but it causes more problems then its worth. I replaced it with a passive heatsink rather then getting a free one from asus cause I knew the free replacement would not be much better. Reply
  • bh192012 - Friday, August 28, 2009 - link

    Put the bluray drive all the way at the top, make the case 1 to 2 cm deeper and or higher and put a row of low rpm 60mm fans in the front. You could get two to three times the airflow and it would be quieter. Also, why have the restrictive punchouts in the back for the rear fan, seems you could open that up much more. Punch more holes all along the sides or in the blank area in the back. Reply
  • yuchai - Friday, August 28, 2009 - link

    I agree with this. These smaller devices are meant to be placed on the desk and are pretty close for the user. I wouldn't mind having them at a bigger size if that's what it takes to bring the noise level down. Reply
  • Das Capitolin - Friday, August 28, 2009 - link

    The hard drive beside the ASRock ION 330 is not what comes with the unit. It ships with a 320GB notebook drive, and not a 3.5" desktop drive. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Friday, August 28, 2009 - link

    The hard drive was just included to show the small size of the machine, I'll clarify in a caption :)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • yehuda - Friday, August 28, 2009 - link

    I don't think this was mentioned, but Asus has also introduced an Ion-based EeeBox, which is a complete system.

    http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=wH1q2VTqyLXa...">http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=wH1q2VTqyLXa...

    Anand, you think you could request a sample?
    Reply
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  • millerduck - Friday, August 28, 2009 - link

    That unit looks sweet. I stumbled on it over the last two days and am planning a Windows Home Server based on it.

    Looks to be fanless, 330 w/ION, eSATA for additional storage, gigabit Ethernet. A perfect WHS "appliance" for my house.

    MD
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Friday, August 28, 2009 - link

    Just requested it :) Waiting to hear back from ASUS on their plans for this thing in North America.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply

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