graphics card fan noise solutions

Graphics Card Fan Noise Culprits and Solutions

There are numerous variables or qualities computer owners are looking for in their machines, and noise reduction is a good example for many people. Many are looking for a computer that’s very quiet or even completely silent, but one potential issue that might get in your way here with some machines is a graphics card fan that’s far too loud – not only is this annoying and frustrating, it may also signal an issue somewhere within the card.

At Xidax, we’re here to help. Not only do we offer a wide range of custom gaming computers, laptop setups, workstations and more, but we also work with clients on building and tweaking their machines in any method necessary. Are you dealing with a graphics card fan that’s making too much noise, and looking for solutions? Luckily, this is a pretty simple area to attend to for those who often work on their computers. Here’s a primer on why graphics card fan noise sometimes happens, plus how to remedy it.

Culprits and Costs in Graphics Card Fan Noise

There are several potential reasons why your graphics card fan could be making noise, but as we noted above, the solutions here aren’t usually complex. There are a few that may cost a small amount, but in reality, most of the fixes for noisy graphics cards involve no additional costs – you just have to take a few very basic steps on your own.

Our next several sections will go over these different areas you should consider, which basically double as explanations for why your card is making noise in the first place.

Fan Curve

The first fix you should be considering here, and one that’s generally considered the most effective for a loud graphics card fan, is to change what’s known as the “curve” within one of several fan control software applications you might be using.

This curve isn’t an actual directional element, to be clear. Rather, when your GPU reaches a certain temperature, it requires the fan to turn on and begin cooling it – the curve refers to the thresholds at which fans will be told to turn on. Within various fan control apps, such as MSI Afterburner and others, the fan control feature will include a curve with set points, adjusting the fan speed depending on GPU temperature. You can make tweaks to this curve as-needed, eventually locating the ideal balance between temperature and noise reduction.

Cleaning Themes

Another possible culprit in your fan making too much noise: Dirt and dust buildup taking pace within the component, which generally happens over a period of months or years if the area is not cleaned properly. When fans do turn on, they’ll have a tougher time getting going, and this often leads to the increased noise.

This is one of the simplest fan fixes out there, luckily. Using compressed air, where possible, simply spray off any area of the fan that has dust or dirt building up. If you are not able to use compressed air, a cloth that wipes up dirt directly is a decent alternative.

This should be done often, especially if your PC goes periods of time where it sits in one place without significant usage. If the fan goes weeks or months without turning on, for instance, it’s highly likely some dust will have built up, and you should clean it out before running it.

Oiling Bearings

Yet another component of a graphics card fan to consider is the bearings, which allow the blades to operate ideally. Just like other components in this area, bearings can lose their lubrication over time, which leads to them making much more noise when friction takes place.

Again, this is a simple and easy fix. There are several reputable vendors you can purchase oil from, and you simply need to oil up the bearings so they are not creating noise. It’s important to do this without getting oil in the PCB, however, so if you’re unsure about your ability to do this, contact our team.

Underclocking GPU

Underclocking refers to a format where you limit the amount of work your GPU is doing, and while it may seem like a strange response to fan noise issues, it’s often effective. Underclocking will cause the GPU to generate less heat, meaning fans won’t have to run as high and won’t generate as much noise. Especially in situations where your GPU is operating at a higher capacity than you require for your common uses of the machine, going this route is often a very simple way to limit fan noise concerns without impacting any of your day-to-day operations.

And while it may sound complex, underclocking a GPU is actually pretty easy for those who work on computers regularly. Our team will be happy to offer basic recommendations or assistance if you haven’t performed this task in the past.

GPU Heatsink Replacement

While this is not our first suggestion for a fan noise issue, and it should be considered more of a last resort, replacing the heatsink in your GPU is also an option. This method may also require at least one of the other concepts we’ve gone over in this blog, and part of the reason it’s not advised initially is how complex it is – even those with significant experience working on computers might find the process a bit tough. However, if nothing else is working, it will generally get the job done.

For more on how to deal with a noisy graphics card fan in your computer, or to learn about any of our gaming computers, workstations or other services, speak to the staff at Xidax today.