[nSLUG] D945GCLF2 (Atom) board fan failure

D G Teed donald.teed at gmail.com
Wed Dec 31 10:02:42 AST 2008

I had mentioned here before about my switching to an Atom
based system for low power file/mail/web server at home.

There is one minor pitfall to report.  The northbridge fan
has a notoriously short life.  Mine started to buzz and show
RPM loss at only 3 months of age.  Canned air did not help.
Reviews show that many others see this failure as well.

Some people are taking a chance and running without a fan,
while others are trying to replace the heatsink.  I read that the
original design is for the sidewash of air coming from
northbridge fan to cool the passive heatsink on the CPU.

I have removed the tiny 40x40x10mm fan and installed
the Antec Spot Cool, which mounts on a motherboard
standoff and bends over any hot zone.  This works well,
and even at the low speed, sensors shows the temperature
on chipsets and CPU is in the low thirties.

I wonder how that British ISP who have offered cheaper
hosting on Atom based systems has dealt with this flaw.
I read one comment on the web that Intel is swamped
with RMAs on this, but I don't know if that is true.
The fan is a small and cheap part, but it might cost half the
CPU + motherboard price ($68) to get a replacement
- with shipping.
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