I recently find that my CPU fan is getting louder and louder. It is now so loud that I bother to type up a question on it.

The first thing I check is the temperature using Core Temp, it seems that the temperature is OK for Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 ( I think):

alt text

But still, besides being annoying, I am not sure whether there is any other side effect of a loud fan, such as causing damages to my hardware. So my question is, is there anyway I can verify the correctness of the reading above, or is there any other thing I can do to reduce the noise level of the fan?

Edit: I have clean the dust on the fan ( there isn't a lot), and log into the BIOS. The BOIS stats are:

  1. System temperature: 37
  2. CPU temperature: 47
  3. CPU fan speed: 1044 rpm
  4. System fan 2 speed: 0 rpm
  5. Power fan speed: 0 rpm
  6. System fan 1 speed: 0 rpm.

Now, I wonder is it that my fan is failing? Because it seems that system fan and power fan are all 0 rpm.

  • Are those idle temps or was it recently under load (doesn't appear to be now)? At idle my E8400 never jumps over 26C or so. Yours is running MUCH hotter than mine (but still nowhere near the danger zone or anything). – phoebus Dec 19 '09 at 16:15
  • I ask because a hot idle could indicate that the noise means your CPU fan or other fan is failing. – phoebus Dec 19 '09 at 16:28
  • Those are not idle temps... the temp will raise if the CPU is under load – Graviton Dec 20 '09 at 8:05

Your temps are not 'high' vis-a-vis how high those chips can stand, but they are extremely high compared to 'normal' operation.

If your CPU is that hot, you really should remove the heatsink fan, re-apply some good thermal paste, and re-apply the heatsink and fan. There are even videos that can show you what to do.


  1. Buy thermal paste (it shouldn't run more than $20 or so).
  2. Remove Heatsink and fan.
  3. Use a non-static cloth and alcohol (Q-tips work as well) to remove existing thermal paste from CPU die.
  4. Let CPU dry.
  5. Apply a grain of rice sized amount to CPU center
  6. Spread with credit card (or some other card that can get it really thin.
  7. Once it's on and really thin (less is more), re-install heatsink and fan.

If that's still giving you problems then you ought to improve airflow in your case:

  1. Bundle wires and route them away from hanging on top of your CPU.
  2. Add Case Fans.
  3. Put Harddrives as far away from the CPU as possible.
  4. Put Tower in a well ventilated area.
  • 1
    Um, that's crazy talk. If you CPU's are rated at 100C and they have been running under 60C, then you are fine. Even heatsink-guide.com says "However, this doesn't mean that you should start to panic when your Athlon XP CPU reaches 60 degrees celsius, for example." – Jonathan Allen Dec 20 '09 at 2:20
  • 1
    Yes, he's fine as in he's in no danger of burning them out at that temp, but an E8400 idling at 50-60C is very high, and could indicate a problem that may get worse (and quite suddenly) in the future. – phoebus Dec 20 '09 at 4:31
  • 1
    CPUs may be 'rated' at 100C, but that doesn't mean it's a good idea for them to run at that temperature; and being an avid PC gamer, I've run into issues where the system locks up @ 60C. It's not pretty. – George Stocker Dec 20 '09 at 5:54

If you've cleaned everything of dust, chances are the fan has a bearing or bushing that is wearing out. Just get a new one, since it's cheap insurance. Make sure you apply fresh thermal grease if you do replace it.

  • 1
    This is the right answer... if a fan is getting louder than it was before, it's starting to fail. They all fail eventually. Buy a new one. Depending on your heatsink you may be able to replace the fan without removing the heatsink. – stone Dec 20 '09 at 6:26
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    To be clear, it might continue to work for a year or two, or it might die tomorrow, but it is not likely to get any quieter. :-) – stone Dec 20 '09 at 6:29

The problem might be as banal as the air-evacuation ducts being clogged.

Opening up the computer case and vacuuming it out, and especially all openings, may in that case solve the problem.

  • 5
    Please don't use a vacuum cleaner, they're static electricity generators. Compressed air (e.g., the cans they sell in office stores) is your friend here. – Bob Cross Dec 20 '09 at 2:18
  • Good catch Bob, that could have been a real disaster. – Jonathan Allen Dec 20 '09 at 2:37
  • Or, just blow on it and use your hands. – bobobobo Dec 20 '09 at 2:44
  • Yeah, just use those air cans outside, and close your mouth & hold your breath while spraying so you aren't inhaling a dust bunny... – Joe Internet Dec 20 '09 at 3:06
  • It all depends on the vacuuming tool and how it's used. I've been using such tools for years without any bad effects. Even air-blowers might cause damage if applied too strongly. – harrymc Dec 20 '09 at 8:51

A zero for fans could simply mean your system doesn't actually detect fan speed. Or the fans could shut themselves down when they aren't needed. Or they have already failed.


Just clean the fan to make it a dust free.


Try SpeedFan it can take control of your fan and lower the speed... if you see that the temps are too high, raise it. but for normal operation no gaming or high cpu usage, lowering the speed of the fan will not hinder operation. just remember to test how high the levels become when you change the speed so not to overheat. as those temps are at full blast you can see a 15 degree increase at lower speeds. give or take Good Luck!!

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