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Before I go ahead and try to build my very own case to do this... has someone bought a mini-ITX board like the Atom-based Gigabyte GA-GC230D, and removed the small CPU fan that comes with it to replace it with a slower, quieter 12cm fan mounted on the case, right in front of the CPU heatsink?

Here's the plan:

enter image description here

That way, the PC will be quieter, and thinner since I'll save room between the heatsink and the case.

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migrated from serverfault.com Aug 4 '09 at 19:19

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Almost voted to put on superuser, but I am going to assume that you are doing this to cluster 90,000 of these to compete against Google;-) –  Kyle Brandt Aug 4 '09 at 10:43
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2 Answers

I'd be more inclined to beef up the heat sink and go fanless. Better yet, build the heat sink into the case.

To be honest, if you focus on ventilation and airflow for the case, going fanless probably wouldn't require much more than removing the fan.

Something along these lines http://news.thomasnet.com/fullstory/562984

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+1. I have built a fanless system using a very similar board, it works perfectly. –  tomfanning Aug 4 '09 at 10:10
    
+1. Many people report running Atom boards fine fanless. –  sybreon Aug 4 '09 at 11:56
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I have an Intel Atom based motherboard and the fan is actually on the chipset not the Atom itself. The Atom does not produce much heat at all. So the CPU can be without a fan for sure, but the chipset will need some more cooling. A smaller fan and or larger heat sink with some airflow will work well.

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