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 Post subject: Epia-M9000 HS/Fan replacement
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2003 2:05 pm 
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I don't actually have one of the new VIA M9000 boards, but I've been thinking about what I'll do when I get one. One thing I noticed from the review is that the fan is a bit noisy. And it seems like they put a pretty small HS on it as well. I suppose to keep it from being too tall.

So I was thinking about replacing the HS/Fan. Does anyone have any suggestions? Or is there even any HS that would fit on the board? It looks like you could probably fit a NorthBridge HS on it as it has the push-pins.

I was thinking about putting a bigger HS on it and then placing a panaflo or something so that it's over both the CPU and the Northbridge. It'll be a while before I even have a chance to try any of this. So I was just seeing what others thought of my ideas. Thanks!


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2003 12:04 am 
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Location: Stockholm
Hi Billy,

You could probably use any northbridge HS out there, as it has (as you observed) the push-pins to fit them. Another alternative is to take a 'regular' HS and thermal epoxy it on, using arctic silver epoxy, or by using some other method VIA probably would not want you be doing. ;)
It looks as though a 50x50 heatsink may fit, you'll have to eye it when you get it and take some measurements. Thisis one example of an ok heatsink you could use if you find it has enough space around the socket. Capacitors are close to the CPU, which is not such a big surprise, after all, the board is just 17x17 centimeters!

Experiment a bit, you might get away running it without a fan hovering above it if you have enough case airflow, and big enough heatsinks to handle the minescule heat the board (CPU and NorthBridge) puts out. Good luck!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2003 2:48 am 
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Location: Belgium
The EPIA cpu's produce around 9watts of thermal energy, whereas most fanless northbridge heatsinks can only dissapate around 5watts ..
Then again, a zalman nbridge heatshink (4watts) with a small silent fan on it would probably do the trick ;).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2003 11:26 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2003 11:17 am
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Location: Denver, CO
Hi, this is my first time posting on this message board. :)

This information is a little dated, as it relates to the epia 800, but it might be helpful. It's a thread about heat sink removal from sudhian.com It looks like it's a gamble on removing the heat sink, since you run the risk of damaging the processor.

http://forums.sudhian.com/messageview.c ... word1=epia

Zach


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 Post subject: Cut down big cooler for C3?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2003 10:47 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2002 2:40 pm
Posts: 37
Northbridge coolers seem a bit primitive and the higher-end GPU coolers (e.g. for GeForce 4) seem to assume a lot of area around the chip so they can be oversized.

I used Photoshop to size VIA's "high resolution" picture of the EPIA M9000 to 170x170mm & measured the CPU (which is really an 800MHz, not 933MHz part in the picture). The CPU is about 35mm square & the area around it before you run into capacitors is about 50x53mm. There's some distortion as the picture is not orthogonal- you'd need a scanner instead of a camera for that.

I gather that Socket 370 (and 462? what about 478) coolers are 60mm square on the bottom and Northbridge coolers are 40mm square.

What about trimming down a high-performance cooler that has a uniform profile-- a SwiftTech MCX370 or MCX462 or an Alpha PAL6035 or Vantec Copper CCK 6035D or Coolermaster HSC-V62? The Thermalright SLK-800 is a nice sink, but looks tricky to cut down.

The Vantec mentioned above is intended for CPUs up to 70 watts and it has a base that's 65x64mm. If heat dissapation efficiency scales linearly (Watts per square mm is constant), it should handle 21 watts. That 70 watt rating is with a screaming Delta fan, so dunno how it'll do with 9 watts and airflow only from a powersupply fan.

Any more data on removing VIA's stock heatsink? Some some have destroyed CPUs, some have done it but don't say much about how.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2003 12:26 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
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Having reviewed the EPIA M9000 board which has the same little HS & noisy little fan as the EPIA 800, I can understand why people want to quiet it down. But I don't know that it is necessary to pull the entire HS off to accomplish this.

In that review, I described how dropping the fan voltage to something like 6-7V (about half the 12V rpm) dropped the noise down to around 20 dBA/1m. That's ALL airborne noise, and as soon as it goes into a case, it is not audible. Well hardly, especially if you have any kind of HDD in there. Even if you suspended a single-platter Barracuda, I doubt the reduced fan noise would be a factor. It's easy enough to dop the voltage to the fan... a myriad of ways.

Another thing is that all my readings about the CPU used in the EPIA tell me it is basically a C3. The C3 happens to be one of the most heat-resistant CPUs made -- you have seen VIA's C3 video where a game is played for 24 hrs w/o crash -- and that C3 does not even have a HS on it!! So why this concern about the temp of the EPIA CPU?

For those still obsess, I asked VIA details of how that HS is attached. Knowing that may help you figure out how to remove it more effectively --although I think you won't get much better advice than just pry it off carefully starting with one corner, and don't cry if you break it.

I have a strong hunch that the fan will be replaced soon, btw, on all fanned models of VIA mini-ITX line. I and many others have complained about that fan, especially considering VIA's position on noise with its C3 and mini-ITX products. They're making noises about a quieter fan. If this happens, perhaps they will make the quieter fan available as a retrofit.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2003 12:39 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2002 9:04 am
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Location: Belgium
My concern is that silicium's electrical properties tend to change once it reaches 60-70°c ..


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2003 12:51 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
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silicium? do you mean silicon? have you read of this 'change" being bad and happening within a reaonable length of time -- like 5-10 years?

I've read about electromigration and the only real effect that I experienced of that is silghtly increased operational tolerancess in P3s and Celerons after running them close to their limits (oc & overvolt) for more than ~6 months. That is, they became easier to oc as well as undervolt.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2003 1:01 pm 
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Location: Belgium
I refuse to call it silicon because silicon is the stuff they put in boobs :P.

But yes, it does happen over time, but I like my pc's to last you know.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2003 5:50 am 
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Location: Kent, UK
Hi everyone, first post here. Have been lurking for a while and getting some great info.

I have had an EPIA-M9000 for a couple of weeks and have been wondering about getting rid of the fan on the HS. I have put the M9000 in a GA-610i case which is fully loaded (full size DVD-ROM and PCTV capture card). This leaves the airflow fairly restricted inside the case and of course the other components are also adding extra heat.

My first course of action was to put a Zalman fanmate on the CPU fan. This helped matters but unfortunately the PSU fan in this case is a screamer, 40x40x15 @ 7200rpm sitting about 1mm away from the nearest components. I removed this fan, rewired it onto a molex for 7V operation and put it back in the PSU. Again this helped but now my temps are pushing 65-70C on the CPU albeit with windows rock solid at these temps.

I have been looking at posts on various boards and web-sites and have seen mention of the Zalman NB heatsink (ZM-NB32J). Has anyone actually tried replacing the stock HSF with this? Given that the Zalman and the stock AVC heatsink are made of the same material (AVC specs here - http://www.avc.com.tw/products/oem/list/119410.htm) would the Zalman dissipate more heat given that it is three times the height? If a fan could be mounted on the Zalman somehow, it should cool better at the same fan speed I think.

One other thing I noticed was that the thermal epoxy on the CPU heatsink seems to lose its bonding properties at ultra high temps. During my moving fans around, I turned the computer on not realising I had left the CPU fan off. It had got to 85C me before I realised but XP was still running fine. In my haste to put the fan back on, I knocked the heatsink and realised it was loose. Perhaps this may be a way for easier removal of the supplied heatsink? As ever I take no responsibility for burnt fingers, damaged CPUs etc.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2003 6:14 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2002 2:40 pm
Posts: 37
There are epoxy solvents, but they're nasty stuff as epoxy can be pretty tough stuff.

"Attack" is the first one I found googling for "epoxy solvent." It's mostly methylene chloride (a type of paint/finish stripper). Methyl Ethyl Ketone or Toluene and Xylene are others I've seen mentioned.

Problem is that the PCB is essentially epoxy + glass fibers. I suppose the CPU is in a ceramic, not plastic package?

If heat softened the bond, it might be a somewhat weak epoxy and easier to dissolve than the solvent-resistant types. Hmmm... try researching the manufacturers of this "thermal bonding" stuff to see if their application notes mention fixing errors....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2003 7:09 am 
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Posts: 37
I think Attack is acidic, so it'll eat PCB traces and IC pins.

GPU overclockers get glued-on heatsinks off by taking advantage of epoxy's weaker peel than shear strength.

http://homepage.mac.com/dgiessel/PhotoAlbum5.html
(this should work better than twisting the sink)

Epoxies do get weaker at high temperatures:
http://www.3m.com/us/mfg_industrial/adh ... cond.jhtml

but storage range tends to be wider than operating range (max 150C instead of 85C), so using a heat gun rather than stopping the fan while the CPU is powered seems a better approach.

Maybe try prying without heat & if it just won't pop off, apply gentle heat until it does.


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 Post subject: HSF successfully removed!
PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2003 9:57 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
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Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
morganw's advice seems sound. But all this fuss may be for nothing if my experience is any indicator:

Image

1) use needle-nose pliers to squeeze off spring-loaded plastic tabs
2) apply smallish blade screwdriver between HSF and outside edge of motherboard
3) a slow gentle twist of the blade: a wee POP... the above picture shows the result.

There is no epoxy. It looks like the TIM used by Intel & others on their stock HS. On mine, you can see that it did not really melt. I think the highest temp I saw on the CPU was low 60s C during stress testing.

So. The HS removal seems perfectly safe -- the above operation took 2 minutes. And yes, I think a good chunky NB HS or similar would actually work fine -- with an "L" (low speed) 40 or 50mm fan on it if necessary.

There are lots of such fans rated 20-25 dBA; I've heard a couple recently that are not at all objectionable. Because they are so small, even though the RPM might be 4000 (which would mean a scream for a 80mm) the actual blade edge velocity is low, so they don't even whine. (I may have to listen to more lower speed small fans -- and maybe change my tune about the suitability of wee fans... :oops: )

an ASIDE: Perhaps you can see -- on the CPU die are the words "HEATSINK/FAN REQUIRED" -- suggesting the thing could be sold or made available w/o a HS?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2003 10:52 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2002 9:04 am
Posts: 331
Location: Belgium
I suppose using a Zalman chipset cooler and a 7v papst 40mm would do just nicely!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2003 8:34 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
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Location: Philadelphia, PA, USA
I have a C3 866 that I ran for a few weeks using the stock heatsink from the retail package, without the 50x10mm fan that it comes with. My temps never got anything close to scary, but I did have an exhaust fan very close to the heatsink. In a lower airflow case, using the Aavid passive C3 heatsink would probably be a safe bet. For a while, I had an unpowered Thermaltake Golden Orb sitting on the C3, and that also worked fine as a passive sink. The only problem with using some generic heatsink on the EPIA boards is how tight the board real estate is around the CPU, but if you can find a heatsink that fits, I'm sure it would be up to the job.

MikeC wrote:
an ASIDE: Perhaps you can see -- on the CPU die are the words "HEATSINK/FAN REQUIRED" -- suggesting the thing could be sold or made available w/o a HS?

I've never seen an OEM C3 available from an online reseller in the US. But, for kicks, I have run the C3 without a heatsink. I ran the Sandra Burn-In Wizard, and let the CPU get up to about 90C before I stopped it. Of course, you should always use a heatsink when building a real system with it, but my point is that the C3 is pretty accomodating when it comes to heat.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2003 4:41 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2002 11:59 pm
Posts: 143
Location: Melbourne, Oz
Anyone used the Alpha heatsinks:
http://www.alphanovatech.com/cat_pe.html
Incredible range, although none for P4. But fine for EpiaM 9000 / C3.

Thanks for the advice above. I'll be taking my EpiaM CPU fan off and putting one of these on.

I'm also designing a case for a PSU with an 80mm fan mounted internally drawing air from the case through the PSU and out, so will cool the case and the PSU at the same time -- I'll locate the PSU fan right next to the CPU heatsink. Any thoughts on this? I'll post results when I'm done...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2003 6:41 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2003 10:45 am
Posts: 28
Location: N TX
Another thing to do is this,
Have a giganitic heatsink laying around? Draw out the maximum size the heatsink can be that will fit on the board. Then freeze the heatsink in a container of water so it will end up completely immersed and come out a block of ice. Take a saw and cut down the heatsink while frozen in the block of ice (this will prevent screwing up the fins) Get out the Artic Silver epoxy, apply the tape around the CPU, put on the heatsink and a heavy weight so it will thin out. Let dry overnight and enjoy you tall heatsink for free! :lol:
I have a Volcano7 heatsink laying around that would work well for this. Hmmmm, maybe a VIA in my future?

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Reformed overclocker (almost) Thermalright SK-7/Vantec Stealth Dual Panaflo L 92mm, Sunon 92mm exhaust. Antec Truepower 430 thermally controlling all case fans. NMB 80mm fan (on PCI card underneath) PIII heatsink on video card.


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