Northbridge cooling on MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum

Discussion in 'MSI' started by Petter Hære, Jan 29, 2005.

  1. Petter Hære

    Petter Hære Guest


    I just upgraded my computer, and one of my priorities is a silent machine. I
    don't care so much about overclocking and don't want to spend time and money
    on watercooling.

    The components are as listed:
    Mainboard: MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum
    RAM: TwinMOS 512x2 Paired DDR400
    CPU: AMD 64 3500+ "Winchester"
    Graphics card: (Made by) ATI x800 Pro 256MB
    Harddrive: Seagate Barracuda 200GB IDE

    Cooling solution:
    Case: Arctic Cooling Silentium I
    CPU cooler: Arctic Cooling Silencer 64 Ultra TC
    Graphic cooler: Arctic Cooling ATI Silencer 4 (for x800-series)

    Now...I have not yet put everything together as some of the components still
    are in shipping. Although I have tried to choose silent and cool components,
    the stock northbridge cooler on the MSI card would be the noisiest component
    in my computer. I would really like to change this fan with a low-noise fan
    or even a passive heatsink.

    As I want to have the AC Silencer fitted to my graphics card, I believe that
    a large northbridge cooler will physically interfere with the graphics

    Does anybody have any idea on how to get the best cooling solution to my
    "northbridge" problem? Are there any heatsinks that will fit, or do I need a
    low-profile fan similar to the stock cooler? Any links to products would
    really be helpful, remember, I would like it as silent as possible.

    One more thing as I am on a roll here: I have fitted the DIMMs in slot 3 and
    4 on the mobo just to get them away from the CPU heatsink. In the mobo
    manual it says that this is not always compatible with Cool & Quiet. Has
    anybody really experienced problems with such a setup? How will I know that
    there is a problem, will the computer fail to run?

    I am thankful for any help given, also any feedback on my cooling solution
    and system.

    -Petter Hære
    Petter Hære, Jan 29, 2005
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  2. Having the same mainboard and a Sapphire 9800 Pro with the Arctic VGA
    Silencer Rev. 3, I can tell you that you are right. Anything slightly
    larger than the stock northbridge cooler will not fit. And since there
    is not much airflow around the northbridge (AGP slot on one side, the
    VGA Silencer overhead) I don't think that anything passive will do the

    What you could do is run it on a lower voltage by putting a resistor in
    series with the 12 V wire of the fan. Running it at 7 or 9 V will make
    a difference in noise but hopefully still provides sufficient cooling.

    If you have an air intake fan in the front of your case you could also
    make a small airduct to the northbridge. This could make a small passive
    heatsink a possibility.
    I am running my system with the memory in slots 1 and 2 so I cannot say
    what will happen in you put them slots 3 and 4. But is it necessary to
    do so? If your CPU cooler meets AMD's guidelines then it should fit with
    the memory in slots 1 and 2. It might be close, but so what?
    Cool & Quiet reduces the CPU's power consumption when it is idling. This
    manifests itself by a CPU fan that slows down when the computer is idle
    and speeds up when it has to work. If the fan is always running at max
    speed, Cool & Quiet isn't working.

    Kind regards,
    Danny Sanders www
    (o o)
    | This message is printed on 100% recycled electrons. |
    Danny Sanders, Jan 29, 2005
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  3. Petter Hære

    Mike Guest

    I hate a noisy system and the first thing I did when getting my Neo 2 Platinum
    was to remove that pathetic small very noisy chipset cooler.
    I have not seen a decent commercially available chipset cooler which is suitable
    for this board, or one which would still be effective once you reduced its
    height to clear the pci cards.

    I made my own passive cooler using a heatsink from an old 3DFX 3500 card.
    The old Dremel tool comes in handy with these sort of jobs. :))

    Its very much larger than the original, (about double the size) utilising as
    much of the available space as possible. The main restriction is the height as
    any long pci cards will being lying across it. But the end result looks
    professional and it remains reasonably cool, being barely warm to the touch even
    after a heavy session.. (remaining just tepid)

    I've also dumped the original cooler from my 6800GT card, I've found the new
    VGA Silencers especially for the 6800's dont seem nowhere near as quiet as the
    originals for the 9800 Pro's were. IOW still to noisy for me..

    I made a dummy pci card out of a piece of pcb board, cut a hole and mounted a
    slowed down 80mm fan to it. Mounted it to a backplate from an old Network card
    and it sits in the adjacent slot below the graphics card. I find this works
    very well indeed and is barely audible.

    A couple of slowed down 120mm fans back and front for still reasonable airflow
    completes the job.

    Mike, Jan 29, 2005
  4. Petter Hære

    Petter Hære Guest

    Having the same mainboard and a Sapphire 9800 Pro with the Arctic VGA
    I have heard some success stories about a modded Zalman heatsink link:
    By bending the pins on the heatsink and removing some of them, these people
    where able to make something that worked. Such a solution, is it desirable?
    Is it possible to decrease the rpm/voltage of this fan through BIOS or any
    other software? That would be a solution that does not require too much
    work, and as you say yourself hopefully will provide enough cooling.
    My CPU cooler is temperature controlled by a sensor connected with the
    heatsink. The rpm-controller is integrated into the fan itself. Will this
    interfere with Cool&Quiet , ie. is C&Q merely a CPU-power-decrease-on-idle
    or does C&Q also controll CPU fan speed?

    -Petter Hære
    Petter Hære, Jan 29, 2005
  5. Provided there is a little airflow that might do the trick.
    SpeedFan <> seems to be able to control
    this fan. At least if I set it to a lower speed I can see the RPM reading
    go down as well. But as the noise of this fan is drowned by the noise of
    my CPU cooler (which I still have to replace with an Alpha PAL8150) I can
    not hear any effect.
    Good question. Unfortunately I don't know the answer. The mainboard does
    control the fan speed, but whether that is coupled with C&Q or whether it
    is an entirely separate function I do not know. I know you can switch off
    the fan control in the BIOS, but if that also disables C&Q?

    Until you find out you should be careful with that temperature controlled
    fan. Theoretically what you have is a series connection of two feedback
    loops that are both trying to control the same parameter (CPU temperature).
    Unless those systems have been carefully matched (which isn't the case here)
    the results can be pretty unpredictable.

    Kind regards,
    Danny Sanders www
    (o o)
    | This message is printed on 100% recycled electrons. |
    Danny Sanders, Jan 31, 2005
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