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Any experience with attaching fans to radiators using tape, glue, velcro etc.? (just not screws)

I just got my new PC up and running. It has a Ryzen 3950X with a CoolerMaster ML360R, as I found it was often the best rated cooler in reviews.

The problem is, IT’S SO DAMN LOUD!

I have adjusted my fan curves so the CPU fans spin as slowly as possible, but there is a constant low-frequency humming of the fans vibrating against the radiator. When the fans spin up even just a little, the noise drives me insane.

If I detach the fans and hold them in my hand while they spin, they make almost no noise even running at maximum, so the noise has to be vibration related. I have fastened both my radiator and the fans securely, there are no loose screws or anything like that to blame for the noise.

There isn’t just 1 fan to blame either, I have unplugged all the fans and plugged them in one at a time, and they all make a very loud humm when attached to the radiator.

Since all the fans make the same level of noise, I’m assuming this isn’t a production error, and is in fact just the intended noise level of these fans, even though I find it absolutely maddening.

I have several ideas for alternative ways to attach the fans, to remove the vibration noise:

  • Simple velcro. Glue a strip of velcro on each side of the radiator, then glue 4 pads of velcro on each fan. Have anybody tried this before? Do you think it would eliminate the vibration noise, or will the vibration against the velcro just introduce a different noise?
  • Sticky pads. A local store has these soft pads with an adhesive on each side. Directly translated they are called “sticky pillows”. Sounds promising.
  • Packing foam with double sided tape. Cut out 4 corners of thin packing foam and add double sided tape to each side, then press the fan against the radiator with the foam in between. I would have tried this already of my packing foam wasn’t white, so it would be extremely visible in my case :confused:

Do anybody have experience with mounting fans without using screws? My main concern is that the vibration might weaken the adhesive over time.

Any personal experience and anecdotes are appreciated.

Visit a hardware store, in the plumbing section. Get a bunch of neoprene gaskets, whatever the smallest size they have is. Put between your fans and radiator before tightening the screws.

Alternatively you could cut up an old foam rubber mouse pad and do something similar.

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Wouldn’t the fan still be touching the screws though? It would be hard to avoid, since the screws go through the fans :confused:

Most of the noise is from the frame of the fan vibrating the rad, and the radiator also resonating and amplifying that noise. The screws only contact a little bit of the fan, and even less of the radiator.

Both my Cooler Master rads have fans cushioned by rubber pads that are on the face of the fan. No vibrating.

You’ll also get noise from the blades themselves vibrating as they work to force air through the restrictions of the radiator fins. That noise will be amplified by the rad.

I used crazy glue to put a fan where I wanted it to go.

Have you looked into perhaps a rubber grommet or rubber spacer between the fan and radiator or even a rubber spacer?
I would check out auto parts store also
Screenshot%20(985)
^^^Is this your model?

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Here’s a quick vid on my ML360 running. The noise of a piece of plastic crackling in the trash can under my desk, and me shifting in my chair are far louder than the noise the fans make. There’s also a total of five fans in this box, three on the rad and two more along the top.

Granted, I’m only cooling a 2700, not a 3950x

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ive used rubber cement i made into long posts kinda like the rubber ones oems use

I see. I’ve already ordered a bunch through eBay (specifically these), but it’ll be weeks before they get here. I didn’t really have any faith they would make a difference, since the fans already have rubber corners and it doesn’t seem to help much. We’ll see though, thanks for your input.

That looks just like my model, yes.

Glue sounds quite… permanent :stuck_out_tongue:

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I’ve ordered a bunch of those, but they won’t help with attaching radiator fans, just case fans.

Try rubber cement diy ones

Sink here on fiancés phone

Depending on the threads in the radiator, you could just get vibration isolators like these:
image

Then you just screw the fans to those.

Also check tapes heat limit I used flex tape and found out it melts the adhesive with long term heat

Tape might be a bad idea cause this

What RPM are your fans running at there? Here are a couple of audio recordings of my fans at various speeds and at various distances from my case:

Note: These recordings were taken after I significantly improved the noise level by putting several layers of foam tape between the fans and the radiator. (The foam tape looked like this:)

image

After this improvement, these are still by far the most obnoxiously noisy case fans I have ever heard (if you don’t include server fans.)

Pegged at 40% PWM, I can easily hear the fans through my headset when I’m listening to music or playing games.

I have tried enabling the fans one at a time too, and they are all equally noisy, so either I’ve somehow gotten 3 bad fans in 1 box, or these fans are absolutely garbage.

At this point I just want to know if I should try to RMA them or if I should just buy some better fans.

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the fans are set to very slow. I think I have one step in their curve where they jump to 50% if the cpu temp goes over 60c. This is a huge rad on a tiny tdp cpu, doesn’t have to work hard to do the cooling.

What is the tdp of the 3950x, can’t imagine it’s that much higher than the 2700?

CPU2 is the water pump, which is set to 100% all the time.

get some noctuas man. also use the same rubber tape to make rubber washers for tv mounts before and make it need a bit more force to adjust the angle (wind problems =/ )

To summarize this topic, I sent some recordings to CoolerMaster and they confirmed they thought the fans were defective, so they are sending some new ones in a few weeks.

However I can’t live with this noise for several more weeks so I just bought 3 noctua fans. They are now installed and blissfully quiet.

Could you elaborate on this answer? What are “tv mounts”? What do you mean by “make it need a bit more force to adjust the angle”? I’m not following.

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and the wind was blowing on the tvs(outdoors =/) and caused them to get unaligned with the bolts tightened as much as possible. adding rubber “washers” solved the problem increasing the force required to adjust them. i was tired and poorly worded it the first time. that rubber tape is a miracle worker.

also noctua master race man o/ glad they solved your problem.

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the problem with most glues is that they cannot tolerate heat or vibration too long without failure neoprene bushings like these. https://www.vibrationmounts.com/elastomeric-mounts/bushings-grommets.html
are a good way to dampen vibration noise. and you can get them in many sizes