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Replace video card fan with fan-less heatsink

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Mar 5, 2014

Ive been searching all over the web for answers but could come up with any hard data.

I have an old MX440 PCI video card im using to rebuild an old IBM Thinkcentre.

IBM have built these machines to run almost silent no matter what the load or temps are.

The MX440 is the "128MB" model which has a tiny 40mm fan attached to the heatsink, i have a collection of old heatsinks from various other video cards and NB chips.

I want to remove the fan and heatsink, then replace it will a fan-less heatsink.

Since the card is very old and will never be used for gaming, im sure it will work fine. However i cant find any threads about anything like this being done before.

Is there some way i can ensure that the fan-less heatsink will work on my card? should i make sure the heatsink is double the size of the original to make up for the lack of air flow? or should i just put the heat sink on, boot the PC and watch the temps for a few hours to see how it goes?

I dont want to break the card since old PCI cards are like chicken teeth these days, but at the same time i dont want a screaming 40mm fan inside what would normally be a silent pc build.

any help would be amazing!
Here are some Pics of the card and some heatsinks i was thinking of using.


As long as you have decent airflow through the case either of those should work fine.
It will work just fine as long as you have some airflow. To be sure, check the temps under load. (3D screensaver works nicely for that.)

BTW, on a card that old, the official drivers are no longer supported so you'll probably want to use the Nouveau drivers.
Ill be running Windows XP on this machine, the Pc is only going to be used as a download server, and workshop Pc for downloading drivers. printing documents etc. so it will never be used for anything 3D.

I have put the larger Heatsink on the Video card with fresh thermal paste. The Heatsink was off a HIS 128Mb AGP card, the specs of that card were a lot higher than this old PCI card, so hopefully the cooling system will be more than enough.

So far its working fine, booted up straight away. been running now for 20mins with the "3D XP" screen saver. Temps has been 28c idle on desktop, 30c while in use, 42c under load.

For a video card thats amazing temps! since my GTX570HD runs at 65c under full load with the stock EVGA cooler.

Ill post up how i go testing the card, hopefully the thread helps out anyone wanting to do something similar to their video card.

let me do some digging i might have a pci card that is stock without a fan on it. if i find it ill let you know. sorry just read your final post im glad it is working for you. I am interested to see how stable it is and from the looks of it. It does not seem to be a problem. but then again im pretty new to overclocking and I tend to fall into the i wonder if i can put a fan here category. rather have a fan on standby and not need it then not have it and need it
Even for a machine that old I'd personally be a little wary running XP on it since support ended this week. You might be better off running Debian or something on it since it won't be as likely to get hit with any 0-day exploits anytime soon.

Videocard looks good. Nothing wrong with replacing coolers - passive ones work great for applications like that. Did the same thing with the 4850 in my HTPC/server since the stock fan was pretty noisy.
I have toyed with the idea of getting a fanless video card, and then strapping a 500 rpm fan on it. I have some -- the best is a Gentle Typhoon -- and those fans are essentially silent. I would recommend either doing that or taking another quiet fan and aiming its output at your card.

Great job on the mod, BTW