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I have an old GeForce 6600 card in my computer, circa 2004. Recently the fan has started playing up and making loud irritating noises. I've tried oiling it with no luck. This is the second fan I've put on the card, the stock one broke ages ago.

Is a card this old really likely to need a cooling fan or can I remove it altogether? It has a decent heatsink on the chip but there's not a lot of airflow in that part of the box.

Edit: I should add that I seem to remember most mid range graphics cards at the time I bought that didn't have fans (pretty sure they had heatsinks only), which is why I'm wondering.

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

it came with one for a reason. Removing the fan may probably be a bad idea, since the heatsink only dissipates heat by radiation, which sucks, Airflow will help remove it by conduction and forced convection.

Generally, computer fans are self lubricated and oiling them will likely be of little use

If you're willing to take the risk of damaging a piece of 4 year old hardware, go ahead. It sounds like a bad idea.

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Correction, 7 year old hardware :) do you think it's worth installing a new fan or should I buy a new card? – Andrew Jun 12 '11 at 14:42
depends on the interface. the fan is prolly cheaper, but a new card would likely be more powerful - assuming the old card wasn't AGP. – Journeyman Geek Jun 12 '11 at 14:46
Good luck finding a fan though. I have tried that in the past, and it can be very difficult depending on the card. – KCotreau Jun 12 '11 at 15:36

I just went to NVidia and look ed at the FAQs and Knowledgebase section NVidia forum responce as per the link the max temp 105C and normal temp is in the 90C range per this post Normal temperature range. depending on the GPU so I would say you need to cool them. I hope this helps.

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Buy a new card. It came with a fan for a reason, and you are likely to do heat damage to other parts if you run it without a fan.

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If the loud noise is an irritating rattling, then you may only need to bend the fan-proper back to being level with the fan-housing. (the rattling means the blades are hitting the up- and/or downsides of the fan-housing)

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