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Motherboards with chipset-fans are dumb!

So, as much as I like the fact that AMD is completely stealing the show when it comes to CPUs with Ryzen and their AM4 platform at the moment, there is one thing that I find just unbelievably stupid. And that is these fucking things:

TL;DR: Fans on motherboards are the dumbest shit! Don’t buy X570!

As someone who has seen a bit of hardware come and go over time, I can say from experience: Those fans will be loud, eat all the cat hair even if you don’t have a cat, they will start to rattle, die and take the board with it.

Seriously. These things are small, so they have to ramp up to move any air at all and that makes them whiny and reduces their lifespan. They are also not replaceable. At least not by the user … if at all. Switching a CPU cooler is easy, switching a GPU cooler is doable in most cases. Switching this? Nope, you’re SOL!

We had those in the past and they were terrible! It’s just a pain in the ear as long as it works and when it stops working, your board will literally go into meltdown.


So, back to AMD and X570 and we see pretty much every single board has one of these silly little shits. Which is a problem. Not just because those fans suck but because the most common reason to get X570 is having PCIe4 for later when you want to upgrade stuff. The argument of future proofing is kinda laughably anyway but with those fans it is dead on arrival. A non-user-replaceable mechanical timebomb on THE core component of my system? No, thanks.

Conclusion:
If you don’t know for sure that you absolutely need PCIe4 storage speeds right fucking now…
Do not buy an X570 motherboard!
(Well, don’t buy one with a fan. But that is almost all of them.)

Either go B450/X470 or wait with your upgrade until boards with better efficiency come out.

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Gigabyte actually did something clever here. They added a heatpipe up next to the ram slots to their large and proper VRM heatsinks. Best of all, no fan. I hope this is a trend that catches on.

I hope the price isn’t. :wink:

Is there any data on how slammed the chipset needs to be to generate the heat needed to turn these on?

The chipset is always on, has a power draw of about 5 watts and goes up to 10 when under load. Der Bauer did the tests.

The fan is always on?

I mean, that probably depends on the board and even on the BIOS version. But the fact that almost every board has one suggests to me that it is not just there for show.

I agree, but i think that perhaps they originally didn’t think they’d need a fan, got everything else with x570 working and then found it needed cooling. I do know X570 was apparently delayed, whilst ryzen 3000 was ready some time ago. Maybe this was why.

Placement probably constrained to preclude use of heatsink without big-ass heat pipe.

So whilst i don’t like it - i can understand why.

That said, i’m skipping x570 for this precise reason and hopefully with x670 it will be fixed.

I also suspect the fan will most likely not need to be on the majority of the time - unless you’re pushing PCIe4.0 bandwidth through it. So uh… unless you do the thing you bought X570 for in the first place… :smiley:

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Hmmm… I may be miss remembering but I vaguely remember there being chipset fans back in the day, but they tended to be screwed into the channels of the heatsink. Not all of them were like that mind you but i remember appreciating the ones that were as you could actually replace them when they died.

Hmm… for some reason I was thinking the old Intel 440BX chipsets might have had fans but the screenshots in this article don’t have them. Though that style of heatsink is what I remember screwing a little fan replacement into…

https://www.anandtech.com/show/556/6

Good old slot based CPU’s… how I don’t miss you…

I just checked out his video and the numbers are pretty dramatic. X470 idles at less than 3W while X570 is already pushing almost 7.4W of heat … which is a higher heat output than X470 will have under full load.


Oh yeah, same here.


Yeah, I know what you mean, I did that on GPUs. But just from looking at these X570 boards I would be surprised if that’s an option here.

I have/had an intel Pentium 4 era board (945 chipset) with a chipset fan from back in the day. I still have it stashed spare in case i need a machine with a PCI (not PCIe) slot at work for a legacy system - due to be retired next month (a PSTN multiport fax board).

edit:
it’s the only board i’ve personally owned from memory - going back to 486DX, that has had a chipset fan…

Ah, screw it, just dunk your rig into a tank of your favorite non-conductive coolant and then you don’t have to worry about fans… nothing goes wrong… ever… maybe… not? Kidding.

But anyways, I do agree that staying away from such points of failure is a good idea. It would be another thing if they were user serviceable and I was sure it had some ability to throttle itself if it was overheating for safety. /shrug… maybe it does? Dunno. Doesn’t mean much if you can replace the fan…

I suspect someone may either DIY or release a kit to basically stick a (very small low profile) heat sink/heat pipe on it. I also suspect it wouldn’t need to be big if you have front case fans/airflow.

But they (board vendors) need to cater to idiot builders in budget cases… so here we are.

Hmm… maybe I’m thinking about early GPU coolers or something else then… my memory sucks… Or maybe I added a fan myself due to stability issues? Who knows.

Oh, good old communication equipment. I had to maintain an old PC based PBX system at one point and one of the cards… I think it was for the handsets plugged into an ISA slot of all things so… yeah. Pain in the ass when the Mb died because someone had decided to “clean” out my storage of old machines…

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Haha.

This is an old personal box from 10+ years ago. I just remember when we ordered the fax board the choices were PCI-X or PCI (due to the age of the server it was going into at the time) and i went PCI because wasn’t sure if PCI-X would be laying around the office, and PCI was everywhere (at the time - so if needed i could commandeer some end user desktop to get the box back up).

I kept this one at home in case someone threw out the one spare old dell poweredge 860 machine i had stashed away for exactly this purpose. :smiley:

That works too, but in my case it still would have resulted downtime of most of the workday considering my commute time and the round trip. Lets not speak of their idea of offsite backups… /sigh.

Oh, yeah, PCI-X was a thing. I tried to avoid it as well.

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If they had just put an actual heatsink instead of a ugly looking aesthetic piece you wouldn’t need a fan.

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Yeah, but i suspect the chipset position is limited due to trace length to the PCIe slots for signal purposes. Maybe? And/or proximity to CPU.

So it ends up under a full length PCIe slot (due to limited options for positioning). Where you don’t want a significant height heat-sink. So they stuck a fan to be safe with (as above) idiot builders in cases with no airflow. :-\

Overheated chipset would be potentially all kinds of bad - can you say hello data corruption - if it doesn’t just crash…

There’s one gigabyte board with a heat pipe/decent heat sink for it. But it’s $700…

Amazingly there are still modern motherboards which you can find a PCI slot for legacy cards, I had seen a few boards on both AMD Ryzen & Intel B-series boards. PCI-X mostly flopped as very few non-workstation/server boards had it, it ranks up there with Rambus RAM which was used on some early Pentium 4 desktops/workstations :open_mouth:

If Gigabyte can do a passive heatsink on one of their X570 boards, chances are many opted for the fan as they wanted to cut the engineering/design cost of figuring how to cleanly do a heatpipe or longer heatsink which would lose that “LED/theme” factor of a consumer focused board. I’d agree about idiot builders being a potential reasoning factor, even pre-fab builders have done stupid builds of either not installing a front case fan or blocked the airflow.

Assuming you can guarantee air flow

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