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I use a Acer AX3400 which is a small multimedia computer equipped with a ATI Readon HD 5570. This graphic card is small in size (7x17 cm). The card can be used to play recent computer games. Nevertheless the pay-off is that is very noisy. There are other parts in the computer which are also noisy but by stopping each fan at once I could figure out the the cooler of the HD 5570 is the most noisy. I use the computer both for working and gaming. For gaming the noise is fine because of headphones but for working it is really annoying.

Is it possible to change the cooler for such a small graphic card? Or is it a better idea to replace the graphic card with a less power full passive cooled one. I would have to switch cards for gaming but that is okay.

How effective can damping be in such a case?

Any other suggestions?

To replace the cheap CPU-Cooler should not be a problem but to silence the power supply is more difficult. The power supply's size is 10x6x14cm which is an very unusal size? Any ideas on that?

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3 Answers 3

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You should be able to control the graphics card fan speed using the ATI driver. In Catalyst Control Center, go to the Performance section, and check "Enable manual fan control." Move the slider down until the fan goes quiet. If you don't have Catalyst Control Center, it comes with the driver package you download from AMD when updating to the latest driver.

If that doesn't solve the problem, unplug the fan on the graphics card when you aren't gaming. It won't be generating much heat for 2D operation. I've permanently removed fans for cards when the fan got really noisy and continued using them for years afterward with no ill effects.

If that makes you nervous, you can probably find a replacement cooler, or at least a quieter fan.

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The options you listed are all valid: there are quiet alternatives for most types of fans, so that will be your cheapest alternative.

You could go for a lower power card, but you will not be able to get the same graphics performance.

Damping can have a reasonable effect, but you need to make sure you don't impact airflow.

A better option is to look at additional airflow. If you can add larger slower fans to the case you may be able to reduce the speed of the noisy fans.

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Well, its possible to add foam padding in some cases to reduce noise. - Jeff Atwood did it with a much larger case , but your AX3400 seems rather small for that - and thats part of the issue here - there's not enough room to swing a cat in there.

Replacing the cooler seems possible, but of course, you need to worry about space constraints - the same thing i'd worry about with the passive version of your card.

I'd also consider replacing the case with a DIY one where you can use proper parts!

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