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precision 670 fan noise


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precision 670 fan noise

  • I just bought a precison 670 last month and i noticed a different fan noise as compared to the precision 650. The precision 670 creates this modulating noise and i was wondering if that is normal? The 650 does not do that and that is why i am little concerned.
  • if you think fan noise is not normal better call dell and have it replaced.
  • Hi ViperWeaponX ,
    I have just taken delivery of a Precision 670MT Dual Xeon 3.2Ghz Dual SCSI 147G drives and notice that the fans run quiet for about 10 mins (idling Windows desktop) and then the dual fans cooling the processors slowly increase to the point that it is ridiculously fast and very noisy, unbearable! Opening the case reveals the heatsinks of the Xeon processors are cool, not even warm. I am running Windows XP SP2 with A05 BIOS. If I shut windows down and restart then the fans slow down to a gentle breeze.
    Does your 670 do this? Is it normal for this vacuum cleaner type noise? I think I will report a fault to see what Dell techs say.
    I don't get any modulation fan noise as such when they are slow but as they hunt to speed up the noise is strange to say the least.
  • ausboy,
    My noise is different. Its not the cpu fan (no vacuum cleaner noise yet). Its like something that revs and then slows and revs and then slows. Its hard to explain and i know its not the cpu becuase the load is minimal.
    It does not resemble a cpu fan. I called the tech support and he suggested i open the case and check. I did that and could not locate the noise, infact once i opened the case that noise was not evident. I ran a cpu intensive job and still no noise and so i just gave up. I am just going to wait and see. Oh! I am using linux rhel4 on my box. You may have to ask the support gusys. Sorry i am not much help, i wish i had better news.
  • Hi viperweaponx
    Looks like the 670 has its problems! I note that elsewhere on this forum Vacuum cleaner noises are stated. Have you got the latest BIOS? Mine came with A03 so I jumped to A05. A03 had thermal management changes.
    If the noise is not the CPU fans then it must be the fan at the bottom side or the PSU fans. I will email tech support in Australia. If I get any meaningful reply I will post it here. I doubt I will get any sensibly reply. I have tried turning off HT. I might try turning one of the Xeons off to see if that changes my problem. The fans on mine run very smooth and increase evenly until a blizzard occurs at the rear of the case. It's like a Boeing 747 about to take off! I think I know what sort of noise you describe. Check all the shrouds are clipped in securely. I found mine in a bad state with the hard disk shroud not clipped in properly, and the plastic cover over the two fans on the PSU at the rear base was not clipped in either. I think I will check my motherboard has all sensors and fans plugged in correctly.
    I'll update this as info comes to hand. Cheers & thanks!
  • Hi ausboy,
    I am using the A03 bios. I have to get to a windows box to create a boot disk for the new bios. You think it could be windows related? I work on unix or linux machines only so i have good feel for the machines and how they should run. I have no clue regarding windows. Is there a way you could check the cpu load from a process: sometimes some process from the desktop can make the cpu go crazy.
  • Thanks reply Viper WeaponX,

    Good point! I had considered it could be an XP issue knowing how bad Microsoft are. The 670 came pre loaded with XP SP2 and even though it was a return stock, the Windows had not been setup. It seemed a newer version than I have ever loaded myself. I will check the build and also check CPU activity. I might play a DVD or burn a DVD once I put a burner in the 670 (came with a CD-ROM can you believe) and see if I can get the processors hot. It is winter here and really cold in the room I have the PC in so the machine is cold.

    Good idea to run Linux or whatever you are running. I see flashing BIOS is not an easy task for you. I was suprised to see two versions of BIOS in such a short time. I know the 670 could not read more than 4GB Ram until I see they fixed the BIOS recently. I intend getting hold of XP 64bit later on.

    All in all a nice machine with lots of flexibility ala SATA,SCSI and IDE. Firewire at front is good as I just purchased a SLR camera that I will use it. Can't stand bending down to rear or bottom USB on Dimension 8300. Looks like BTX case will take over soon for this 670. That will change fan noise!

    Thanks again. Ausboy

  • Hi Ausboy,
    I have one suggestion if you are going to reinstall the os using 64bit windows; you may want to dual boot with a linux OS that is 64bit. For dual boot with linux install the windows 1st and then the linux. Use Suse9.3.
    I installed Rhel4 with no hiccups. And you can use the Linux install to check the vacuum cleaner noise problem. The installation was easy on my machine. I think Suse9.3 is the best if you cannot get Rhel4 (expensive if you have to buy it). You can download the iso for suse9.3 from their site and Australia has a good Linux base that can help you.
    I did what you suggested after saying a lot of prayers i opened the case and checked everything and really did not notice anything un-attached or out of place. The shrouds are connected. There are these rubber protrusion on the corners of the cpu shroud, do you know what they are for? I gave up trying to figure out the noise and the funny thing is that now i cannot notice the noise . I just hope everything is ok.
    Anyway goodluck with the new-install
  • Hello,
    Just to put in my two cents worth.
    We have just replaced 100 motherboards in our Optiplex GX 280 machines (Dell sent someone to do it). This is because of a manufacturing defect with the capacitors on the motherboard. You can tell if you have bad capacitors just by looking at them. The top of the capacitor should normally be flat. The bad ones will be bowed up, kind of like a soda can with too much pressure in it. One of the symptoms of the problem is that the CPU fan would go into what we call Hair Dryer mode. It sounded like a jet engine taking off. I guess that these capacitors were in the place that the motherboard controlled the CPU fan because the CPU's were not hot at the time the fan was in Hair Dryer mode because the system was just turned on.

    A firend of mine told me that he heard about a bad batch of capacitors that came from a supplier. It could be that these bad capacitors were also used in the 670's.

    Something you may want to check out with Dell.

    Hope this helps.
  • Blackdgragon3x,

    Thanks for the tip! I am still waiting for Dell to get back to me on the Precision 670. It is under warranty so I will get to the bottom of it sooner or later and post the results. I will have a look.

    Was the symptom of hair drier affect immediate on power up or after 10-15 mins of use?

    Interesting to hear of the GX280 capacitor issue. Where are they on the mother board do you know exactly? I have 2 of these machines and one is not under warranty (bought as damaged but actually is brand new just needed Hdisk reformatting) so I better check to see if they are affected. One is build 11/04 and the other is 4/05 so if you knew a batch date on these affected PCs it would be good to know. 100 motherboards to swap is a huge task, no doubt the capacitor manufacturer is paying the bill.

    Thanks again!

  • Once the failure occured (about ten months after we purchased the 280's) the Hair Dryer mode was immediately after power on.

    It should be noted that we have the small form factor Optiplex GX 280's.

    The capcitors were the ones right next to the CPU. There is another bank of capacitors that are next to the memory slots on the far side away from the CPU. We did note that the revision of the motherboard that was failing is A00. There is a small sticker on the MB between the memory slots and the CPU that indicate the revision of the MB. We purchased ours in September 2004.
  • Hi all,

    Dell recommended checking the Xeon processors had thermal grease and seated properly to their heat sink. In doing so the actual XEON chip came out of the socket with the heatsink (gasp!). Cut a long story short, I swapped processors around and it seems that the thermal management on one of the XEONs is stuffed causing only one of the fans to run flat out. I am waiting on Dell to respond to my findings. I want both XEONS replaced.

    Has anyone with these 670 Precision systems suffered memory failures on POST. I just took delivery of another and I had to reseat the memory and swap around three times before it would pass the POST. Same issue with the fan beast 670, seems very dodgy. Maybe these machines aren't what they're all cracked up to be? Memory is all Samsung 512Mb 2R ECC PC3200.

    When I get it all fixed I'll post it here!




  • I originally had problems with a noisy fan, but they came out the next day and fixed it.  I'm really happy with my 670, it's performance and the service Dell has provided.  Have had it for 3 months, prior machine was a souped up 4600.
  • Thanks for comments hdfatboy, My machine is New but 3 months old (from build date) so there could have been a bad batch of XEON chips. The one that is faulty is a 3.2Ghz 1M.

    Was the fix for you a faulty fan or were the XEON processors at fault?

    Dell is sending out a service call next week so I will see how things go then. Beware of memory issues I stated when and if you move the 670. My machine was quality controlled checked in June and when I powered it up it did nothing. Checking those lights on the front is kids play to sort out any issue which in this case was memory problems. Either the sockets are no good or the Samsung memory is poor quality or just incompatibility issue or even a bad batch. Don't get me wrong I have nearly 10 dells which never miss a beat (Dim 8300 & Optiplex 150 & 280) in my place and these 670s are the first to go bad. Just wish Dell would post a common fault bulletin so we could determine if we have a similar issue rather than wasting all our time. It seems this fan symptom is not UNcommon. 

  • It was a noisy fan.  Sounded like it was off balance when it went into a higher gear.  They sent out a tech the next day and he replaced both fans.

    I haven't had any problems with my Samsung memory.  I've got 2 x 2gb 2r and 4 x 512mb 1r. 

    Actually, I've had it longer than I thought it got here the third week of April.

    My company uses Dell for all of it's desktops and some of our servers.  I have a 3 or 4 year old Optiplex that is so quiet you wouldn't even know that it was on.  And my 4600 was a great machine until I got into HDV editing and just wanted more horse power and disk space.

    Hope the techs get your machine back to good working order.