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Is there any way to choose fan behavior in the BIOS? My VCS sounds like a siren whistle

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My fans are constantly going from 0-100-0 rather than running at any speed for more than a second or two. I've perused the BIOS and couldn't see anything, but I am wondering if the fan behavior can be changed to "performance" or something. I'm not concerned about noise since I don't use AC most of the time, I prefer cooling.


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36 minutes ago, crash said:

It seems that the factory thermal pad was not good at all. I replaced it with a Carbonaut pad and it has stopped the bizarre fan behavior.

So it spins up and down less frequently?   Can you link to the pad you used?

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I thought it I messed up something in the BIOS because it wasn't booting, but I guess my VCS just chose now as a great time to do a big update, but it finally finished.


The pad I got was a Thermal Grizzly Carbonaut, although I cut it to size so that it is only covering the CPU since I was concerned about causing a short circuit as this type of pad is conductive. I used the outside of the old pad to cover the other sections, but have no idea whether that is at all necessary.


Both the Carbonaut and the included thermal pad are fragile and I think could be torn accidentally so you have to be careful handling them.


I bought this one, which is about 4 times the size of the area that I actually covered. I didn't know how much I needed, so I figured having more than I needed was better than not having enough.




This smaller one would still have to be trimmed for just the CPU top, but costs half as much:




I suspect I got a damaged thermal pad or poor installation from the factory.


When I got the VCS last week, it would spin up constantly, and even crashed about five times while installing games from the store. I thought this might be normal since I've never seen the new VCS, but maybe mine was actually overheating due to a poorly applied or damaged thermal pad. Today, even if I was just sitting in the BIOS screen doing nothing, the fan would randomly and rapidly spin up to max and down, and in the Atari OS, it would spin up frequently not matter what I was doing in the menu or in game.


Some people are replacing the pad with paste, which might be slightly superior to a good pad, but I wanted at least decent cooling and I don't ever want to have to repaste this in the future. I normally use Innovation Cooling thermal pads in all of my computers, but in this case decided to try the Carbonaut.


I did not pay close attention to the tutorial videos to see if this socket has electrical components in it, and I'm not familiar with whether they or the surrounding ring need cooling or if that is only to keep the cooler level. The old thermal pad covered all of it, but the type of pads that I got are thermally conductive, so I'm not sure it would be safe to put on the surface mount components. I didn't want to risk it.


When I removed the cooler, the center of the thermal pad over the reflective CPU portion was broken into a few pieces. My guess is that it was not cooling properly. 


The old thermal pad basically came right off of the cooler and didn't need to be scraped off or anything, so I was able to reuse part of it. I cut out the damaged center by folding it in half one way to make some cuts then unfolding and folding it the other way to make some cuts, so what I ended up with was a ring that fits loosely surrounding the top of the CPU and covers the SMT components and surrounding metal ring. The old pad was large enough that it was covering the whole area initially. Perhaps someone more experienced with these can say whether it may only be necessary to put paste or a pad on the CPU top vs on the entire area that the old pad covered.


I cut the Carbonaut pad to fit the top of the CPU only (CCC), with the cutout old pad covering the rest (XXX), and reapplied the cooler. The pads together look kind of like this.




Now, it spins up high once at boot, but then becomes almost silent during my brief testing. I tried Tempest 4000, a Jaguar game and Haunted Houses in Atari 50. I'm not sure what the most demanding games are right now, but it is definitely not spinning up all the time in the few minutes I tested like it did before. I need to sit down and play for a while to see what happens.



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