How to solve the problem of a noisy graphics card, and a PicoPSU is put to the test
Here's some advice for anyone who’s upgraded their power supply (PSU) and processor fans in the hope of a quiet life, but been disappointed to find their PC still whirrs louder than they had hoped.
The culprit is usually the graphics card. Their tiny cooling fans can make a racket that becomes obvious once you’ve quietened other parts of your system.
I was in that position recently when upgrading a friend’s PC, so turned to quiet-cooling leaders Zalman.
Essentially, you have a choice between a larger heatsink and cooling fan, or a pair of fanless heatsinks that sandwich your card.
I went for the former, knowing the fan could run in near silence but still provide some airflow to the chipset and memory.
The VF-700 in copper and aluminium for £21.15, or all copper for £24.67, from Quiet PC will do the trick. I got the cheaper version and it took about half an hour to fit.
Cards and vendors vary, but most hold their heatsinks in place using a pair of pushpins.
Once you’ve removed the existing heatsink, you just screw the supplied studs through the pushpin holes, which provide a mounting for the larger fan.
Tiny heatsinks for the memory chips are also supplied.
Finally, connect the fan to the supplied adapter, which gives you the choice of two running speeds – I opted for the slower and quieter option which was more than sufficient to keep my Radeon 9700 Pro happy.
I’d recommend the VF-700 for anyone who wants to quieten a graphics card.
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