How to Silence a Loud Video Card Fan

This guide will take you step by step through the process to quiet down a loud video card fan.

About a month ago I decided I was going to do something about the insanely loud noise coming from my PC. I incorrectly assumed it was one of the large fans at the back causing what sounded like a jet-engine noise. Turns out, it was the tiny little fan on the video card creating all the ruckus. If your video card is running loudly, follow the steps outlined below to quiet the little guy down.

A few things to note up front – the steps in this tutorial are specific to my video card. If you have a new super-fancy card, you’ll probably have to improvise a bit as they can be almost completely encased in the cooling system/fan(s). And, I apologize in advance for the rather poor quality pictures, my digital camera is… lacking.

  1. To make your video card run quietly, you’ll need the following items:
  2. – A normal sized Phillips head screwdriver
    – A “small” sized Phillips head screwdriver
    – Ideally, very fine high-grade machine oil. Sewing machine oil worked perfectly for me.
    – A hypodermic syringe. If you don’t have one handy, a sewing needle, sharp thumb-tack or push-pin will also work
    – A loud video card

    a video card next to two screwdrivers and a syringe
    click to enlarge

  3. Turn off your PC. Unplug the power to it. Remove the casing from your computer. Most cases have an “easy access door” on the side, but if you have an older PC you might have to unscrew it from the back.
  4. Use the regular size Phillips head screwdriver to unscrew your video card, and carefully remove it from your PC. Place it face up on a wood or plastic surface (nothing metal).
  5. Use the small size Phillips head screwdriver to remove the screws that hold the fan onto the heatsink.
  6. a video card with 4 screws holding down a fan
    click to enlarge

  7. Flip the fan over so it’s face-down.

  8. click to enlarge

  9. Fill your syringe with a few drops of machine oil (or sewing machine oil). Use the needle to inject a drop or two (no more) through the sticker into the ball-bearing cavity. You might have to poke around a couple of times to find the cavity – you’ll know you’ve hit it when the needle punctures the sticker.
  10. a loud video card with the fan removed
    click to enlarge

  11. If you don’t have a syringe and you’re using a sewing needle, thumb-tack or push-pin, poke a hole through the sticker. Carefully put one drop of oil on top of the hole, and use the pin to work the oil through the hole into the ball-bearing cavity.
  12. a syringe putting drops of oil into a fan
    click to enlarge

  13. Now place your finger on top of the small hole created by the needle/pin, and spin the video card fan around a few times. This will work the oil into the bearings.
  14. Screw the fan back on to the heatsink, and plug your video card back into your computer. Plug the power back in, and turn it on. Once your card heats up to the point where the fan turns on, it should be running completely silent!

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19 thoughts on “How to Silence a Loud Video Card Fan”

  1. One more thanks!
    I couldn’t find a hole (for the pin), but sprayed a little oil through a gap. & Voila!
    :-)

  2. Works great. The only difference was I had to peel back the sticker on the back of the fan instead of poking a hole through it. Thanks!

  3. Brilliant! Just tried it on an Nvidia 7600GT. I shoved teflon lube through the pinhole and it’s now completely silent! You just saved me a load of aggro, not to mention money. Cheers!

  4. Thanks for the guide! Just followed it to silence an old graphics card. Now whisper quiet! Peace at last! My card was an ATI 9500 Pro, but it had a small tough bit of plastic underneath the sticker on the back of the fan, which meant I couldn’t get through it with a sewing pin to put the oil in. I had to remove the sticker on the underside of the fan, remove said bit of plastic, then inject the oil. Once plastic and sticker were replaced it was fine.

  5. This worked awesome. Thanks a bunch! Never thought I’d add a hypodermic to my tool box. Who knew?

  6. Thanks so much for the tips, the fan was driving me crazy, my PC is quite old and replacing the fan meant replacing the video card which in turn meant replacing the motherboard etc. Again, thanks a lot.

  7. Hey man, i have no words, i really appreciate for the great tutorial. My fan was acting up and i’ve done what you have told and no problem what so ever. :D Thanks. It helped me out a lot

  8. Greetings,
    This idea is pure genius. I took a small needle and punctures the sticker like you said, applied a drop of 3 in1 oil on the hole and worked it in with the needle, and wallah, instantaneously quieted the fan. The hole is not in the center of the sticker, it’s off-set, just so you know. While I had the side cover off, I took my air compressor, and blew the inside of the computer out as well. It looks like brand new.
    Thanks for the tip, it more than works.

  9. Awesome… been driving me crazy for many months… actually took it out of the machine and ran onboard just for some quiet. Starcraft II required a card and i put it in… and just had to do something about it. it took me 10minutes to pull the card out, unscrew the fan, remove the stickers and place some oil in carefully using a pin and some oil. now it is whisper quiet. Awesome i say again!

  10. thanks. i was thinking about doing the same thing with my fan, but i do not dare to do that, your post was a impulse to do this finally, thanks! :)

  11. Thanks for sharing this tip, Ross. I have an old desktop with an ATI Radeon 7000 that was making so much noise I couldn’t stand having it on any more. After putting a couple of drops of oil in it, the fan is now whisper-quiet.

    I didn’t have machine oil or a hypodermic needle, so I used some 3-in-1 and fed it in with a push-pin. This may prove to be a bad move, but at least the card is quiet for now. I was set to just tear it out and replace it, so the 3-in-1 certainly shouldn’t make things any worse.

  12. Awesome, my fan has been buzzing off and on for months now, finally to the point of occasionally buzzing and waking me up at night. I’d tried removing the fan and dusting it off, but the machine oil seems to have done the trick. Here’s hoping it works for the long haul!

  13. Bravo! You gave me the incentive to try it. i wasn’t able to puncture the label, but was able to apply oil to the shaft after raising the fan blades up and it worked! i save a nice chunk of $$$$.

    thanks so much!

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