• We would like to remind our members that this is a privately owned, run and supported forum. You are here at the invitation and discretion of the owners. As such, rules and standards of conduct will be applied that help keep this forum functioning as the owners desire. These include, but are not limited to, removing content and even access to the forum.

    Please give yourself a refresher on the forum rules you agreed to follow when you signed up.

Adventures in fan replacement! IXP-34-16/12/8 and FD-FAN-60

godprobe

Forum Addict
[edit] (2009.December.27)
:cool: The Short Answer:
GuitarDojo said:
[...] SilenX IXP-34-12 60mm [...]
6/32 - 1.25" screws - Home Depot
#60 "O" rings - Home Depot
Canadian source (courtesy of vo.van): http://ncix.com/search/?categoryid=2-1164&q=IXP-34
[/edit]

[edit]
(2009.April.18.a)
So I've been through the 16dB SilenX (with ghetto-style rubber grommets, chronicled in this first post) and wasn't happy with it. Then I tried the Fractal Design (no association with Fractal Audio here) fans on a lark and they had a more "pleasant" sound and cool rubber screws, but the noise was still an issue.

Now, I'm fresh off of an install of the 12dB SilenX, the IXP-34-12, and it's great! There's still a tiny hint of the rattle that I also noticed on the 16, but the noise of the fan itself is nearly nonexistent. I can definitely recommend this fan as a replacement. I ordered from Directron since that was the cheapest for me after factoring in taxes and shipping. And I also ordered a pack of four of the "Heavy Duty Rubber Grommets" for the fan. Other shops seem to have the same grommets, and sometimes other options as well. Those got placed between the fan and the stand-off attached to the Axe-Fx lid, and the original fan screws were used.

I can still tell there's a fan spinning inside, but the ambient noise of it is no more than that of my nearfield studio monitors.

Next up, I'm going to try the 8dB version with the FD-FAN's rubber screws. However, I will never actually recommend the 8dB since the CFMs that it pushes are so low, it could very well lead to the Axe-Fx's CPU wearing out much more quickly.

(2009.April.18.b)
8dB is definitely even more silent. With ambient daytime room noise (including a computer in my room that's noticeably quieter than the stock Axe-Fx fan), I have to be six inches away from the Axe-Fx to even detect the fan noise. Drawing something with a pencil makes more noise than this fan.
[/edit]

So I finally replaced the fan in one of my Axe-Fxes today.

Ordered it a couple months ago and ended up getting the SilenX iXtrema 60mm fan, rated at 16 dBA and 18 cfm (SKU IXP-34-16). It was on one of these threads here and I figured, what the heck.

Thankfully, one of my Axe-Fxes is not racked, so it got to volunteer for the procedure.


  • Tools used:
  • Battery-powered screwdriver with two different sized bits[/*:m:114zj54c]
  • Small-shafted hand screwdriver[/*:m:114zj54c]
  • Some leftover rubber audio cable casing from splicing cables[/*:m:114zj54c]


  • Tools mis-used (you don't need these... :p ):
  • Soldering iron + solder[/*:m:114zj54c]
  • Multiple pliers[/*:m:114zj54c]
  • Hammer[/*:m:114zj54c]

DISCLAIMER! :D
I am not responsible for anything you do, nor am I responsible for the outcome of the things you do. This includes the things your friends and enemies do too.
This may void your warranty (though not necessarily). It is not recommended to provide photographic or even anecdotal evidence that you may have voided your warranty. Fractal is pretty awesome, and pretty understanding, and in all cases I'm aware of has not begrudged anyone warranty service when a person has properly replaced their fan. However, I don't speak for Fractal Audio, and, frankly, I don't trust you to properly replace your fan! :D

Also, this adventure is not intended for those of you who have ordered from G66 in Europe, since they undertake fan replacement themselves. And you guys get chocolate! Sheesh!

With that out of the way...

Here... we... go...


Using the powered screwdriver, loosen all ten screws.
There are five on the top, three in the back, and one on each side.


Once loosened, I prefer to unscrew them the rest of the way by hand to reduce the risk of stripping the threads.


And because I have OCD, I line them up in the order they were in originally so I can replace them exactly where they were.


Don't forget the ones on the side...


And now, with all ten screws removed from the top panel, we're ready to slide the cover off.


And here's where the magic happens.


BE CAREFUL NOT TO PULL THE COVER RIGHT OFF!!!
The fan is still attached to the board.


There's lots of fun things inside, but this little bit stood out. :)


Also, I do not recommend taking pictures, because it's hard to do that and hold the cover at the same time, and there's a good chance of the cover slamming down onto the PC board if you're not careful.
Still... it is a thing of beauty...






So here are the two bits I used, as well as the fan, still attached to the cover. I used the larger bit for the screws on the fan, and the smaller bit for the case screws.


Again, the screws only need loosening from the motorized screwdriver and the rest can be done by hand. When it gets about to here, the screw is completely loose... just pull it the rest of the way out so that you don't strip the threads.


Once the four screws are removed, remove the fan. There's a small amount of resistance, so I replaced it and filmed that... nothing to worry about, and nothing holding it back... just pull.
Pulling the fan off, on YouTube

Misadventures Part 1...
I noticed the bit extender I was using could work great to pull off the stand-offs that the fan is mounted on.


So I pulled those off and tried various methods of getting the fan to attach to the remaining bits of screw that the stand-offs were attached to (see the "mis-used tools" section above...). But in the end, I gave up on that, and put the stand-offs back on.

Here, a hand screwdriver with a very thin shaft comes in handy, since otherwise it's very difficult to add the screws to the new fan (the new fan is much thicker/taller than the old one, taller than the old screws).


So now, here's where people are talking about using some rubber spacers... this is as far as the original screw will go in, which is not enough to hold down the new fan.


See why? (The stand-off still has a screw going into it from the bottom -- there's no way the original screw can go completely into the stand-off from the top.)


Misadventures Part 2...
So... why not shorten the original screw? Well... because it's a pain in the ass, that's why! And even after you do snap the end off of one of those screws after about ten minutes of effort (probably using completely the wrong tools for it...), the end would still have to be sanded and formed so that it's not wider than the screw-hole. Don't make the same mistake I did... just go with the rubber spacer solution.
(sorry, no pictures chronicling that misadventure... it's hard to take a picture and try to cut a screw with pliers at the same time, especially when the end of the screw finally flies off in some random direction, ricocheting off walls, and never to be found again)

Back to the story... I didn't have any rubber spacers on me. But I *did* have some freshly-cut 1/4" rubber cable insulation stuff.


And that seemed to go right around the screw nicely.


And I was able to tighten the screw and not have the fan moving around (even though I only had three screws anymore due to Misadventure #2).


So unplug the original fan from here (just pull)...


And the original was wrapped in a loop around these wires (probably to keep the cable off the circuit board), so I aped that.


And plugged in...


Voilà!


Drop the cover back on...


And for those who might be concerned about the new fan touching the heatsink (since the new fan is much thicker than the old one), this photo was taken from inside the case, using a ten-second timer, with the cover completely closed. There's still about a centimeter of space between fan and heatsink.


Again, to avoid stripping the threads, I start replacing all the screws by hand before using the powered screwdriver to tighten them.


And the final results... my first time trying to turn it on, with a small bit of commentary...
End result, on YouTube
 

mworkman

Veteran
Re: Adventures in fan replacement - SilenX iXtrema IXP-34-16

Not that this was intended to be humorous but the ending YouTube clip:

It's quiet, but there's a rattle... ... That's gonna bug me... Shit.
Classic.

Thanks for posting that. Very informative.
 

godprobe

Forum Addict
Re: Adventures in fan replacement - SilenX iXtrema IXP-34-16

mworkman said:
Not that this was intended to be humorous but the ending YouTube clip:

It's quiet, but there's a rattle... ... That's gonna bug me... Shit.
Classic.

Thanks for posting that. Very informative.
Ha... yeah... true disappointment in real-time. :p
Really, the new fan is *much* quieter than the original, but it's definitely not "silent" like I want -- I may end up buying some other fan after all, even though I have two of these IXP-34-16s (I'll try installing the other one first and see if it has the same character).

abrasive said:
Did you figure out the rattle?
No, haven't opened the case up again yet. Probably won't get to that for a while.
For now, I'm leaving the Axe-Fx on for at least 24 hours, if not a week (or a month... or a year) on a 90+% CPU patch, just to make sure it's not gonna fry itself with the new fan (there's really no reason it should, but I'd like to make sure... I should put an electric heater next to it or something, just for fun).

And I know what the rattle is... it's just the fan spinning (it's more of a "buzz" than a "rattle" once the fan gets up to speed). I remember other people mentioning it in fan replacement threads, and the usual PC/TV repair method (whacking it really hard) often helped, but that hasn't done me any good so far.

If it was racked, it would probably be much quieter too; just placing my palm on the cover over the area where the fan is dramatically reduces the audible noise. If I start getting overly-obsessive about it, I'll attach some thermal sensors to see how well it cools itself without a fan.

--

Also, for the person who asked about accumulated dust in some other thread, even though it's enclosed, I still expected some dust, but the inside was still clean enough to eat off of after more than a year.
 
Re: Adventures in fan replacement - SilenX iXtrema IXP-34-16

Thanks for the post Godprobe.
I replaced mine last week. Took me about 5 minutes start to finish. To me...dead silent, so glad i did it.
 

GuitarDojo

Moderator
Moderator
Re: Adventures in fan replacement - SilenX iXtrema IXP-34-16

Saweeet! This belongs in the Axe-FX General area! Good job!
 

godprobe

Forum Addict
Re: Adventures in fan replacement - SilenX iXtrema IXP-34-16

Mike Snider said:
Thanks for the post Godprobe.
I replaced mine last week. Took me about 5 minutes start to finish. To me...dead silent, so glad i did it.
Cool. :)
Which model fan did you use?
 

chris

Legend!
Re: Adventures in fan replacement - SilenX iXtrema IXP-34-16

holy crap! all my tone comes from that?! WOW.

i love my axefx!
 

dav2321

Inspired
Re: Adventures in fan replacement - SilenX iXtrema IXP-34-16

Not sure if I used the same fan or not but no rattle with mine-plus it's dead quiet. Definitely worth the time to replace it if your a low volume player such as myself.
 

DNW

Forum Addict
Re: Adventures in fan replacement - SilenX iXtrema IXP-34-16

godprobe said:
If it was racked, it would probably be much quieter too; just placing my palm on the cover over the area where the fan is dramatically reduces the audible noise. If I start getting overly-obsessive about it, I'll attach some thermal sensors to see how well it cools itself without a fan.
It could be because it's not quite mounted properly, i.e. 3 out of 4 screws, which are using cable insulation in place of more purpose made spacer, or even better, a more appropriate length of screw.
 
Re: Adventures in fan replacement - SilenX iXtrema IXP-34-16

godprobe said:
Mike Snider said:
Thanks for the post Godprobe.
I replaced mine last week. Took me about 5 minutes start to finish. To me...dead silent, so glad i did it.
Cool. :)
Which model fan did you use?
I installed the same one as you. I used some rubber grommets between the fan and standoffs.
I hope there's more than a centimeter between the fan and heatsink...makes me want to go back in and put some lock washers on so the screws dont loosen and the fan scrape the heatsink.
 

godprobe

Forum Addict
Re: Adventures in fan replacement - SilenX iXtrema IXP-34-16

Mike Snider said:
godprobe said:
[quote="Mike Snider":19snnhv1]Thanks for the post Godprobe.
I replaced mine last week. Took me about 5 minutes start to finish. To me...dead silent, so glad i did it.
Cool. :)
Which model fan did you use?
I installed the same one as you. I used some rubber grommets between the fan and standoffs.
I hope there's more than a centimeter between the fan and heatsink...makes me want to go back in and put some lock washers on so the screws dont loosen and the fan scrape the heatsink.[/quote:19snnhv1]
Good to know. I'll try fixing up my install and hopefully the new fan will be just fine then.
As for the spacing between it and the heatsink, imho, the smaller the space, the better, so long as it's not risking touching the heatsink directly. Lock washers might be a good idea... hadn't considered that.

DNW said:
It could be because it's not quite mounted properly, i.e. 3 out of 4 screws, which are using cable insulation in place of more purpose made spacer, or even better, a more appropriate length of screw.
Good points. I'll grab some better spacers soon and see if I can't find a replacement screw(s) (or just cut the tip of the one I mutilated better, so that it works) to make sure it's mounted on all four points.

[edit]
Okay, it's probably partially the improper installation, but after comparing both of the new fans I have, the one I installed first definitely has a noisier character than the other. I'm not sure if extra rubber grommets will help in the case of the first fan I installed, but after I pick them up, I'll try that one first.
[/edit]
 
Re: Adventures in fan replacement - SilenX iXtrema IXP-34-16

I used 6/32 x 1.25" screws (someone had posted that in a different thread, maybe Shreddi). Picked them up at Ace hardware...you should be able to locate them at just about any hardware store. These are much longer than the stock screws and catch the fans outer casing. I used hard rubber washers inbetween the screwhead and the fans casing....grommets (its like a thick washer) between the fan casing and the standoffs. It really isolates the fan. however; now Im a bit concerned about it proximity to the heatsink....i think the lockwashers in place of the rubber washers will make me feel better.
Great job on documenting the mod, I'm sure many will find it helpful.
 

GuitarDojo

Moderator
Moderator
Re: Adventures in fan replacement - SilenX iXtrema IXP-34-16

GuitarDojo said:
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=763&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&start=35

The original fan just pops out with a little force. (no glue or any adhesive)
On install, you have to make sure the fan power cable is pulled away from the fan by looping it around the "LCD light" wire. (this is how I found it originally)
The difference in air flow with this fan is not an issue as its sits a lot closer to the heat sink. I have been watching it sit for a few hours, its running and I am checking the heat. I used #6/32", 1.25" screws and #60 "O" rings (plumbing section) for washers from Home Depot . BIG different in noise! (i have 2 Ultras to compare)
I got the SilenX IXP-34-12 60mm.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6835191004

Put em in last Aug! SUPER QUIET!!!!
 
Re: Adventures in fan replacement - SilenX iXtrema IXP-34-16

GuitarDojo said:
GuitarDojo said:
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=763&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&start=35

The original fan just pops out with a little force. (no glue or any adhesive)
On install, you have to make sure the fan power cable is pulled away from the fan by looping it around the "LCD light" wire. (this is how I found it originally)
The difference in air flow with this fan is not an issue as its sits a lot closer to the heat sink. I have been watching it sit for a few hours, its running and I am checking the heat. I used #6/32", 1.25" screws and #60 "O" rings (plumbing section) for washers from Home Depot . BIG different in noise! (i have 2 Ultras to compare)
I got the SilenX IXP-34-12 60mm.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6835191004

Put em in last Aug! SUPER QUIET!!!!
Thats the one. Scarr, not Shreddi....I'll thank them both anyway, whynot. I've learned alot about the axefx from the both of them.
And I stand corrected godprobe, I installed the SilenX IXP-34-12 60mm.
 

GuitarDojo

Moderator
Moderator
Re: Adventures in fan replacement - SilenX iXtrema IXP-34-16

Comparison of the SilenX fans used:

___________IXP-34-12 __________________IXP-34-16 ______________ IXP-34-08

RPM________1700 RPM___________________2000 RPM____________________1500 RPM
Air Flow_____14 CFM______________________18 CFM_____________________10 CFM
Noise Level__12 dBA_______________________16 dBA______________________8 dBA
 

Dpoirier

Forum Addict
Re: Adventures in fan replacement - SilenX iXtrema IXP-34-16

GuitarDojo said:
Comparison of the SilenX fans used:

___________IXP-34-12 __________________IXP-34-16 ______________ IXP-34-08

RPM________1700 RPM___________________2000 RPM____________________1500 RPM
Air Flow_____14 CFM______________________18 CFM_____________________10 CFM
Noise Level__12 dBA_______________________16 dBA______________________8 dBA
Anybody remember what the stock fan specs are? I know it's noisy as hell, but I'm curious about cfm. And a related question: how sure are we that reducing that cfm value from X to 14 or 18 (depending on which replacement fan you use) will *NOT* have a long term reliability impact on our beloved Axe-FX?
 

knoll

Inspired
Re: Adventures in fan replacement - SilenX iXtrema IXP-34-16

I think the stock fan is 15 or 16 CFM.

Edit: found from some older thread that it would be 15.54 CFM. Remembered it quite close :D
 

Gizmo

Inspired
Re: Adventures in fan replacement - SilenX iXtrema IXP-34-16

Considering that the box isn't vented, how useful do you think the fan is anyway? Not that I really want an easy access for dust, but shouldn't there be an exhaust vent if there is a fan?
 

godprobe

Forum Addict
Re: Adventures in fan replacement - SilenX iXtrema IXP-34-16

Gizmo said:
Considering that the box isn't vented, how useful do you think the fan is anyway? Not that I really want an easy access for dust, but shouldn't there be an exhaust vent if there is a fan?
think of the heat as mud oozing out of a diamond, and the air as water getting funneled around.
i'd rather have some muddy water and a slightly dirty diamond than a mud-caked diamond.

why there's mud oozing out of a diamond, I don't know...
 
Top Bottom