Blerg, arg, and damnations... (Video card help needed)

Blerg, arg, and damnations... (Video card help needed)

Salda007
Salda007

December 6th, 2011, 7:12 am #1

(Why does it seem like half of my posts lately are "Ack! Something broke! Help me fix it!"?? *sigh*)

The fan on my video card just died. It's an ATI Radeon HD 5850, reference design made by HIS bought when they first came out just over two years ago. It's been making a rattling sound like it's been hitting something for a couple days (maybe since Friday night), but it seemed okay when I inspected it on Saturday. When I checked again about half an hour ago, the fan wasn't spinning at all and the rattling was caused by it trying (and failing) to spin. Not surprisingly, the computer shut down due to the card overheating a few minutes later (I was already in the process of saving things and closing down when it beat me to the punch. On my laptop now).

And now, of course, I'm finding that the card is effectively discontinued as-is, and the only 5850's I can find are revamped designs selling for $50-$100 more than what I paid for it two years ago when it was a brand-spanking new design. There doesn't seem to be replacement fans available as well, unless I want to buy a third-party cooler and deal with rigging that up.

grumble

Any suggestions, folks? I'm forgetting what card we put in my wife's machine when I built it this past summer; it might have been an HD 6850. I'd like to stick with Radeon just so I don't have to muck about with swapping drivers to NVidia's, and I'd like comparable-or-better performance in the end (since it's my primary gaming rig), but, yeah, fishing for suggestions here...
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Stumpy
Stumpy

December 6th, 2011, 9:56 am #2

You can either throw on an aftermarket video cooler, as long as you have the room in the case, for around $30. http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory ... er=REVIEWS

You could also replace it with a 6 series card, about $150 for a 6850 or $180 for a 6870. A 6870 is probably the best bang for the buck in the market right now.
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MarkT
MarkT

December 6th, 2011, 5:31 pm #3

(Why does it seem like half of my posts lately are "Ack! Something broke! Help me fix it!"?? *sigh*)

The fan on my video card just died. It's an ATI Radeon HD 5850, reference design made by HIS bought when they first came out just over two years ago. It's been making a rattling sound like it's been hitting something for a couple days (maybe since Friday night), but it seemed okay when I inspected it on Saturday. When I checked again about half an hour ago, the fan wasn't spinning at all and the rattling was caused by it trying (and failing) to spin. Not surprisingly, the computer shut down due to the card overheating a few minutes later (I was already in the process of saving things and closing down when it beat me to the punch. On my laptop now).

And now, of course, I'm finding that the card is effectively discontinued as-is, and the only 5850's I can find are revamped designs selling for $50-$100 more than what I paid for it two years ago when it was a brand-spanking new design. There doesn't seem to be replacement fans available as well, unless I want to buy a third-party cooler and deal with rigging that up.

grumble

Any suggestions, folks? I'm forgetting what card we put in my wife's machine when I built it this past summer; it might have been an HD 6850. I'd like to stick with Radeon just so I don't have to muck about with swapping drivers to NVidia's, and I'd like comparable-or-better performance in the end (since it's my primary gaming rig), but, yeah, fishing for suggestions here...
Can you just replace the fan? Fans aren't that expensive and you should be able to snip the wires even if you can't just unplug and plug in a new one.
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MildBill
MildBill

December 6th, 2011, 8:12 pm #4

(Why does it seem like half of my posts lately are "Ack! Something broke! Help me fix it!"?? *sigh*)

The fan on my video card just died. It's an ATI Radeon HD 5850, reference design made by HIS bought when they first came out just over two years ago. It's been making a rattling sound like it's been hitting something for a couple days (maybe since Friday night), but it seemed okay when I inspected it on Saturday. When I checked again about half an hour ago, the fan wasn't spinning at all and the rattling was caused by it trying (and failing) to spin. Not surprisingly, the computer shut down due to the card overheating a few minutes later (I was already in the process of saving things and closing down when it beat me to the punch. On my laptop now).

And now, of course, I'm finding that the card is effectively discontinued as-is, and the only 5850's I can find are revamped designs selling for $50-$100 more than what I paid for it two years ago when it was a brand-spanking new design. There doesn't seem to be replacement fans available as well, unless I want to buy a third-party cooler and deal with rigging that up.

grumble

Any suggestions, folks? I'm forgetting what card we put in my wife's machine when I built it this past summer; it might have been an HD 6850. I'd like to stick with Radeon just so I don't have to muck about with swapping drivers to NVidia's, and I'd like comparable-or-better performance in the end (since it's my primary gaming rig), but, yeah, fishing for suggestions here...
Don't go looking in computer shops/catalogs for one, though...
Try electronics supply houses, my favorite being http://www.mouser.com
If you can't find a fan there that pretty well matches what you've got, you haven't looked carefully enough.

MildBill
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Maker of Toys
Maker of Toys

December 6th, 2011, 9:11 pm #5

(Why does it seem like half of my posts lately are "Ack! Something broke! Help me fix it!"?? *sigh*)

The fan on my video card just died. It's an ATI Radeon HD 5850, reference design made by HIS bought when they first came out just over two years ago. It's been making a rattling sound like it's been hitting something for a couple days (maybe since Friday night), but it seemed okay when I inspected it on Saturday. When I checked again about half an hour ago, the fan wasn't spinning at all and the rattling was caused by it trying (and failing) to spin. Not surprisingly, the computer shut down due to the card overheating a few minutes later (I was already in the process of saving things and closing down when it beat me to the punch. On my laptop now).

And now, of course, I'm finding that the card is effectively discontinued as-is, and the only 5850's I can find are revamped designs selling for $50-$100 more than what I paid for it two years ago when it was a brand-spanking new design. There doesn't seem to be replacement fans available as well, unless I want to buy a third-party cooler and deal with rigging that up.

grumble

Any suggestions, folks? I'm forgetting what card we put in my wife's machine when I built it this past summer; it might have been an HD 6850. I'd like to stick with Radeon just so I don't have to muck about with swapping drivers to NVidia's, and I'd like comparable-or-better performance in the end (since it's my primary gaming rig), but, yeah, fishing for suggestions here...
. . . If I can still find the oddball, twin rotor, low-profile cooling fan for the heat pipe on a 12 year old laptop, your (much younger!) video card fan is out there, too.



As above, Mouser has a good selection; Newark Electronics has quite a good search engine, and a decent selection. (their prices are a little high, though). Other places are Digikey and Allied. (though the Allied search engine SUCKS!)
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Ed Z.
Ed Z.

December 7th, 2011, 12:58 pm #6

(Why does it seem like half of my posts lately are "Ack! Something broke! Help me fix it!"?? *sigh*)

The fan on my video card just died. It's an ATI Radeon HD 5850, reference design made by HIS bought when they first came out just over two years ago. It's been making a rattling sound like it's been hitting something for a couple days (maybe since Friday night), but it seemed okay when I inspected it on Saturday. When I checked again about half an hour ago, the fan wasn't spinning at all and the rattling was caused by it trying (and failing) to spin. Not surprisingly, the computer shut down due to the card overheating a few minutes later (I was already in the process of saving things and closing down when it beat me to the punch. On my laptop now).

And now, of course, I'm finding that the card is effectively discontinued as-is, and the only 5850's I can find are revamped designs selling for $50-$100 more than what I paid for it two years ago when it was a brand-spanking new design. There doesn't seem to be replacement fans available as well, unless I want to buy a third-party cooler and deal with rigging that up.

grumble

Any suggestions, folks? I'm forgetting what card we put in my wife's machine when I built it this past summer; it might have been an HD 6850. I'd like to stick with Radeon just so I don't have to muck about with swapping drivers to NVidia's, and I'd like comparable-or-better performance in the end (since it's my primary gaming rig), but, yeah, fishing for suggestions here...
Maybe it won't help in your case but I have managed to save two failing computer fans this way already: There is a chance that the bearing is not damaged and the fan refuses to work because of the accumulated dirt. If so, just grab a hoover and move the pipe close to the fan, aligning it as parallel to the fan as possible, to make it spin wildly for a few seconds (watch out for getting it too close, otherwise you could damage the fan, though). You have a small chance of success but hey, it costs nothing save for a few minutes of your time
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Salda007
Salda007

December 7th, 2011, 5:05 pm #7

I don't have any thermal goo handy (I know, I know, sacrilege and all that. Burn me later.), and the stock design requires that you take the heat sink off if you take off the outer shell. As a result, I haven't "cracked the case" yet, just given it a liberal dose of air duster through every available vent. I'm going to bounce over to Best Buy/Radio Shack after work to grab some thermal paste and scope out replacement fans (sadly, the closest Micro Center is an hour away), and then I'll pull it apart and see if I can troubleshoot directly. shrug The thing's out of warranty anyway...
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attic rat
attic rat

December 7th, 2011, 7:24 pm #8

Maybe it won't help in your case but I have managed to save two failing computer fans this way already: There is a chance that the bearing is not damaged and the fan refuses to work because of the accumulated dirt. If so, just grab a hoover and move the pipe close to the fan, aligning it as parallel to the fan as possible, to make it spin wildly for a few seconds (watch out for getting it too close, otherwise you could damage the fan, though). You have a small chance of success but hey, it costs nothing save for a few minutes of your time
I have, once or twice, taken a computer cooling fan apart and relubed the bearings. Sometimes just working a drop of WD-40 into the bearings will loosen it up for a while, to keep it going while you look for replacement parts.
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Brandon_ha
Brandon_ha

December 7th, 2011, 7:43 pm #9

News / To-me
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Salda007
Salda007

December 8th, 2011, 7:39 am #10

I don't have any thermal goo handy (I know, I know, sacrilege and all that. Burn me later.), and the stock design requires that you take the heat sink off if you take off the outer shell. As a result, I haven't "cracked the case" yet, just given it a liberal dose of air duster through every available vent. I'm going to bounce over to Best Buy/Radio Shack after work to grab some thermal paste and scope out replacement fans (sadly, the closest Micro Center is an hour away), and then I'll pull it apart and see if I can troubleshoot directly. shrug The thing's out of warranty anyway...
So there are three(*) little (Phillips #0) screws that are attaching the metal backing plate to the plastic housing that covers the fan & heat sink. Best I can tell, the hole in the plastic was drilled small, and they used self-tapping screws to make sure they were in as frakkin' tight as they possibly could. And my fingers are about to rebel from trying to wrench the damn things loose with a crappy mini-screwdriver; it's a wonder I haven't stripped any of them (or the screwdriver itself).

Does any suggestions on how to loosen them?

Someone else posted a photo of what I'm trying to loosen at (). The three screws are roughly around the fan: the one at the very apex of the curve of the plastic around the fan (rightmost screw), the one at the top half-hidden by the pink thermal pad, and then the one straight down from it at the bottom of the card. The other two on the left eventually came free with much snarling and gnashing of teeth.

In other news, it looks like replacement fans can be found on eBay for ~$15-$18, so I'll probably just go that route...
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