Dell Optiplex GX270 replacement heat sink suggestions...

Discussion in 'Dell' started by BelPowerslave, May 2, 2006.

  1. 'ello all,

    I'm looking to replace the heat sink I currently have(I guess it's the
    default Dell-installed model) with something around the same size, but
    way, way better(in terms of cooling the CPU). I don't really know a lot
    about this, as I'm sure you can tell, so I don't know what heat sinks
    would be too big for the system or, just what's a decent heat sink in
    general. It doesn't have to be anything super fancy, like water cooled
    or some other sort of craziness, just something that will work in the
    system without any further modification and something that does a much
    better job of cooling the CPU. I've got the Desktop Tower version of
    the Optiplex GX270(not the slim one).

    Any and all suggestions would be much appreciated. :)

    Thanks in advance,

    BelPowerslave, May 2, 2006
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  2. BelPowerslave

    S.Lewis Guest

    Forgive me for asking, but is the machine malfunctioning? If so, in what

    Unless the machine is located in the lobby of hell itself, the standard
    heatsink (and chassis fan) should be fine.


    S.Lewis, May 2, 2006
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  3. If the macine is crashing with messages about heat problems, the issue
    is almost certainly bad capacitors. There's actually a recall on this
    model (my department had to have four replaced literally last month).
    The capacitors near the CPU were either bloated or leaking on alll four
    machines, and two of the machines were compaining about heat issues.
    Even if you're not an electrical engineer, you can tell a bad cap from a
    good one just by looking at it. Pop open the case and look for small
    cerami capacitors (little cylinders about a cm in height next to the
    CPU). If any are leaking or puffy at the top, then that's your problem.
    A call to Dell should have it resolved quickly.
    Nicholas Andrade, May 2, 2006
  4. BelPowerslave

    S.Lewis Guest



    I was getting there........... (g)

    S.Lewis, May 2, 2006
  5. BelPowerslave

    journey Guest

    Yah right
    journey, May 2, 2006
  6. Forgive me for asking, but is the machine malfunctioning? If so, in what
    Well, it's kind of a long story...and before I begin, let me apologize
    about the late response. :)

    Ok, here's the thing: I bought this PC a long while back, put in around
    1.25 gigs of ram, two HDs, an ATI AiW Radeon 9800 Pro, a Firewire card
    and just all sorts of other stuff. I really love the PC, and have put a
    lot of work and money into it. Unfortunately, the one thing I hate
    about it happens to be the one thing I just can't put up with anymore:
    The Shroud's Fan noise(over the CPU heatsink).

    Anytime the processor gets over 50% loaded this thing turns into a jet
    turbine. It's unbelievable how freaking loud it is(the GX280 also has
    this issue). I just can't put up with this anymore...and through some
    experimentation I think I may have found a solution. This solution
    would require a new, better heatsink, I believe. Here's the deal:

    Using a fan shroud from a lower model(like the GX260) I never get the
    jet turbine thing. The fan simply doesn't support variable
    speeds(apparently) as it always turns at the same rate. Well, that's
    good and all...but I don't think it's turning fast enough to adequately
    take enough heat off the heatsink/CPU. I base this off the temperature
    readings I've taken using the original GX270's shroud and the GX260's.

    So, what I'm thinking is: If I get a new heatsink, maybe one with a
    fan(the one I have right now has no fan), that's relatively the same
    size as the heatsink I've got now, then replace my original, loud-ass
    shroud/fan with the shroud/fan of another model(that only spins at one
    speed) I can kill the unbeliable noise and keep the CPU cooler than

    What I'm running into now is just trying to figure out what heatsink to
    buy. I saw this one over at Silent PC and it seems alright:

    Looks like it'd fit under the shround too, which is great. My only
    issue is, doesn't its fan take power from the little connecter that you
    put on the motherboard(the same one the shroud's fan is using now)? If
    so, I don't know how I'd go about plugging them both in as the
    motherboard only seems to have one of those connections on it. :(

    Again, I appreciate any and all suggestions. :)

    BelPowerslave, May 2, 2006
  7. If the macine is crashing with messages about heat problems, the issue
    Yeah, I've heard about that...unfortunately, I heard about it *after* I
    had bought the machine(used). ;) I haven't had any issues though, I've
    looked at the board many times and haven't seen any capacitor that
    looks like that it may even be beginning to buldge. Reading up on it a
    long while back, I thought I read that only some of the motherboards
    had this issue, and that if you hadn't run into it within a year you
    were pretty much safe.

    I wonder though, as I bought this PC used, if the problem ever
    occurred, what Dell would do about it...


    BTW, I don't suppose you're the same Nicholas Andrade from RGVS/ASG are
    you? :)
    BelPowerslave, May 2, 2006
  8. BelPowerslave

    Tom Scales Guest

    Have you considered replacing the fan? Mine went bad on my 4550 and
    replacing solved the problem.
    Tom Scales, May 2, 2006
  9. Forgive me for asking, but is the machine malfunctioning? If so, in what
    Well, it's not really the fan's's the design of the machine
    in that it makes the fan spin at an incredibly high rate once the CPU
    load hits 50% of I don't think replacing the fan will do
    it(unless, of course, you replace it with one from a lower model
    Optiplex that doesn't allow for variable speeds).

    BelPowerslave, May 3, 2006
  10. BelPowerslave

    S.Lewis Guest

    Cost you less than, what?, $15 bucks to find out. Fan could be tripping
    (thermally) early or in error.


    S.Lewis, May 3, 2006
  11. From what I understand they issued a recall; the computers my group uses
    were purchased by the department of engineering's support staff so I
    never dealt with Dell directly. I presume that Dell would fix the
    machine regardless of whether it was bought first or second hand (and
    regardless of warranty status).
    Ha, I wasn't paying attention to your handel in my original post or I
    would have said something earlier; yep same person. This is a good
    newsgroup; I've only been posting here for about a year (my previous
    laptop was a Thinkpad, and I use to -- and occasionally still --
    frequent ibm.ibmpc.thinkpad)
    but there's a lot of good helpful regulars. I thought you were a Mac
    Nicholas Andrade, May 3, 2006
  12. Well, it's not really the fan's's the design of the machine
    You could be right...and I've definitely thought about it...but if you
    look on Google, on either the GX270 or GX280's fan noise, you'll hear a
    lot of stories of the Dell technicians replacing the fan as the first
    thing they do, and it doesn't make any difference. I really do wish it
    was that easy though. :) The one thing that seems to fix it is
    replacing the motherboard, but I'm pretty sure I'd be out of luck on
    that as none of my capacitor's are buldging. ;)

    This is a real good thread that talks about it(I'm assuming the GX270
    and GX280 use the same fan in the CPU shroud):

    BelPowerslave, May 3, 2006
  13. I wonder though, as I bought this PC used, if the problem ever
    Wow, well, that's good to know. I don't know that I'll ever be running
    into the issue as it hasn't happened to me by now(and I'm pretty sure
    it's been over a year since I got this machine)...but if I do, I'll
    definitely attempt to see if they'll replace the motherboard. Thanks
    for the info! :)
    I knew it! ;)

    This is a good
    Yeah, it seems like a really good group, much better than the official
    Dell support forums.

    I thought you were a Mac
    I used to be...and I still do own a Mac, but I'm primarily a PC guy
    now. After, however many years with the Mac I just started finding more
    and more stuff I just couldn't do on it, that I could on the PC. I
    looked around for an Optiplex machine for a while, found a really great
    deal on this one and decided to just go for it.

    BelPowerslave, May 3, 2006
  14. I understand where you're coming from; Macs are good for certain types
    of people & work but personally I could never use one as my primary
    machine. The Optiplex model you choose is a good one; it's my primary
    development box that I use at work and I'm happy with it. I have never
    noticed any significant noise issues (it's quieter than the machine I
    built at home with similar specs) so maybe you do have a bum fan.
    Nicholas Andrade, May 3, 2006
  15. I used to be...and I still do own a Mac, but I'm primarily a PC guy
    Well, I've got a shroud/fan out of a GX260 up here at work, so I'm
    going to take it home and see how that does(previously I had tried this
    with another GX260's shroud/fan and it only really spun at that one
    constant rate, which wasn't taking enough heat out of the system). If
    this works, I'll see about ordering one from Dell or trying for one on
    ebay. :)

    BelPowerslave, May 3, 2006
  16. BelPowerslave

    S.Lewis Guest


    They don't use the same fan, and they can't. The pinouts are different.

    The GX280 fan (not unlike it's Dimension 8400 counterpart) had odd issues
    with "roaring" fans that would rev completely out of control. Judging by
    posts here and the systems I'd seen, it seemed to be early after the
    machines were first introduced. (These are both Socket T/DDR 2/PCIexpress
    systems.) These fans were the most extreme of any Dells I'd ever seen.

    The GX270 uses essentially the same (older) fan as the Dimension
    8300/45XX/4400/4300 series.

    The exception seemed to be that any systems over 3.0GHz in the 8300's got a
    newer copper-cored heatsink and a different fan and shroud to alleviate
    increased heat. I'm not sure if that's the case with the GX270, but it may

    I can reproduce a runaway fan (but only briefly) on my 8300 by pounding it
    for a bit gaming, then quickly shutting it down and immediately powering it
    back up. As it is powered up, the fan revs super high to exhaust the heat
    but then within seconds slows, even before the Windows splash.

    You could have a bad fan. You could also have a bad motherboard fan header.

    I'd go with the fan first.

    S.Lewis, May 3, 2006
  17. BelPowerslave

    S.Lewis Guest

    S.Lewis, May 3, 2006
  18. From what I understand they issued a recall; the computers my group uses
    Ah, yeah, there they are. I've not even seen a pic of one buldging,
    just on that had popped. I don't see any on my motherboard that look
    this, um, I should be alright. :)

    Well, tried another fan(from a GX260) last night...this is the second
    fan/shroud from a GX260 I've tried, and it was pretty much the same
    thing. Spins at the constant rate, and doesn't adequately cool the
    system. It's weird, the fan in my GX270 actually states "DC 12V, 2.0A"
    where as the fan from the GX260 "DC 12V, 0.85A". There's also
    completely different model and part numbers.

    My problem with trying to get a genuine GX270 fan/shroud is that when
    you look at ebay, almost every fan states that it can be used on the
    various Dimension models, another Dell model and then the GX260 and
    GX270. I fear that if I buy one, it'll be the same thing as what I've
    been doing here at work(just trying fan/shrouds from GX260 models).

    I guess I could attempt to find one that has my exact model no, and see
    how that goes. If not, I think I may just go with the heatsink that I
    mentioned, swap out my loud-ass GX270 fan(that turns into a jet turbine
    everytime you get the CPU load over 50%) with one from a GX260(spins at
    constant rate, no variable, and no jet turbine mode), see if the shroud
    fits over the new heatsink...if not, just ditch the shroud and keep the
    GX260(quiet) fan on the inside of the machine. That *ought* to keep
    this mother ventilated for those late night gaming sessions. :)

    Man, a lotta work just to quite this thing down...;)

    BelPowerslave, May 3, 2006
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