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Windows 7: Help & Advice Sought For Overhauling Noisy Dell Inspiron 580 MT

02 Sep 2014   #1
Agent Orange

MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1
Help & Advice Sought For Overhauling Noisy Dell Inspiron 580 MT

I have a 3 ˝ year old Inspiron 580 MT Tower: Intel Core i5 Processor 760(2.80GHz) which for the past few months has been increasingly noisy. The sound isn’t particularly loud yet is intrusive and to my untrained ear doesn’t sound good. It is a continuous grinding/humming sound as if an internal part is having to over work all the time. The longer the PC is on the more the sound is dominant.

So I did some reading up upon the potential causes – Failing Hard Drive, Heatsink, PSU, etc.

At the same time I started paying attention to the internal temperatures using Speccy. What I found was CPU temps were consistently mid to upper 40s on a low load which I thought a little high, and again on low load the graphics 1 GB ATI Radeon HD 5450 temps low to upper 50s.

I removed the side panel to listen closely to determine where exactly the noise was emanating from yet could not pin point the cause. Performed some standard internal cleaning. Noticed what would seem to be a Fan/Heatsink on the underside of the graphics card although I could not determine any way of cleaning it.

Then I moved on to replacing the stock CPU heatsink with a Freezer Pro. Rev2 and this is where it got tricky. In the process I unfortunately move the Freezer Pro about quite a bit disturbing the pre-applied compound when attempting to fix it in with the supplied screws in the tight area available only to then realise that it would not fit due to the position of the RAM sticks on the Dell stock motherboard. Thereby to install I had to rotate the heatsink unit 180degrees and use alternative screws I had to hand. So the resulting fan configuration air flow is to the front of the Tower rather than towards the rear out fan. The compound, as I said, was pretty significantly disturbed, but I ensured the unit was screwed down nice and snug.

Thereafter CPU temps have been low 30s to low 40s (4 days now) under low load which is not what I had expected, for in the past replacing Dell stock heatsinks in Dell towers I have seen greater reductions in temperature. Graphics temps haven’t changed one jot. And of course the noise still persists.

I know some would suggest to scrap the Dell and build a new rig, yet with my lack of knowhow and funds I am reluctant to take the gamble. I have a foreboding that the noise is a precursor of problems to come.

Should I:

i) Forget about the heatsink for now

ii) Again remove the Freezer Pro and apply a new layer of compound and forget about the 180degree reverse configuration

iii) Replace the Freezer Pro with a heatsink that fits correctly in the limited space upon the Dell stock mobo – could anyone recommend one if that’s the case

iv) Replace and possibly upgrade the graphics card – Could anyone recommend one where it would fit the mobo, has a HDMI socket and one which wouldn’t require replacing the PSU

v) Replace the Hard Drive (977GB Seagate ST31000528AS ATA Device (SATA)) – Again could anyone recommend the right type to fit

If someone could provide me with advice, a plan of action, suggestions to eliminate the probable cause of this noise and avert any further thing from going wrong I’d be most grateful.

Many thanks in advance.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Sep 2014   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

If you've still got the noise, I'd infer that it is not the CPU fan as you just replaced it.

If the noise has a rotational component, you should be able to find it by process of elimination.

You can stop a fan for one second with no harm to see if the noise goes away for that second. Have you tried that with the video card fan? Or remove the video card and see if the noise persists. You're just trying to see if it persists. If so, that would point to the power supply fan or the hard drive.

Or disconnect the hard drive and see if the noise persists. Or apply pressure with your thumb to the hard drive while the PC is running to see if you can detect any change in pitch of the hard drive noise.

Or put a screwdriver handle up tight against your ear, with the tip touching the hard drive. That should amplify the noise like a megaphone and might help you pinpoint it.

I'd get the noise sorted out before I bothered with the CPU fan orientation or thermal paste. Your temps aren't outlandish, so you can wait on that.

But.....even if you locate the noise, that doesn't mean you have defective components. Could just be a slowly deteriorating fan that might run for years.

If it's the PSU fan and the noise becomes intolerable, most would advise you to get a new PSU as replacing PSU fans is not for the uninitiated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Sep 2014   #3

Win7 Enterprise, Win7 x86 (Ult 7600), Win7 x64 Ult 7600, TechNet RTM on AMD x64 (2.8Ghz)

Just a few quick tips as I was about to head to bed.

Artic silver heatsink paste is the best for a new coat on the cpu.

The main computer PSU is usually one of the first to get noisy & eventually fail. Research what is the best new PSU that will fit properly in you case.

Add 1 or 2 silent/quiet extra case fans for air better air flow.

I had a small fan on an older video card that a plastic pin broke that anchored it to the video board. I temp tied it with a twist tie, but that eventually failed, so I replaced the video card with a newer one.

Take a round wooden dowel rod about 18 inches long, hold it against the side of the HD and place your ear on the other end to listen sort of like a stethoscope to see how noisy the HD is.

I am sure some other members will chime in with additional ideas.

Check for loose screws that hold down th MB to the case, that secure DVD drives, & HD's
My System SpecsSystem Spec

02 Sep 2014   #4
Agent Orange

MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1

Ignatzatsonic & DocBrown,

Many thanks for your advice, it's greatly appreciated.

I'll open the case up again and have a good poke around.

All the best,

Agent Orange
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Help & Advice Sought For Overhauling Noisy Dell Inspiron 580 MT

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