Advice K39 Case-Mod Fan Bracket Cooling Kit mounted in PCI Slot for case exhaust fan(s)?

JJSEA

Caliper Novice
Dec 30, 2019
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As it happens, I built this exact combo a couple of days ago. What I did was:

  • shift the fan over by a few mm to avoid hitting the back of rear panel wifi
  • make sure that the fan clip was between the sticks of VLP RAM
  • very slightly bent the pipes on the cooler so that heatsink was exactly parallel to the base (the end of heatsink furthest from the bent pipes originally had about 1mm less clearance than the other end)
 
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BaK

King of Cable Management
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May 17, 2016
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Removed the motherboard supportive backplate (5-screws). Now I see two screws securing the WiFi enclosure. But even after removing two screws, the WiFi enclosure is still stubbornly attached?? I put it back together and stopped there.
Nice try!
There must be some de-soldering to be done I guess, but that's indeed not something we like to do to our beloved mobos!
I will see soon if I face the same problem with my freshly arrived ID-Cooling IS 60 Evo.
 

PVC

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Jul 12, 2020
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Well the 120mm fan (Noctua NF-A12x15 PWM) only cost $20 so I bit the bullet and filed a notch into the side of the fan to accommodate the protruding WiFi enclosure on my (GIGABYTE B550I AORUS Pro AX) mini-ITX motherboard. I am very happy with the results and I consider this a successful Mod!!

I used a hand file to create the slot and then a box cutter knife to clean the shavings. I do believe that the structural integrity of the 120mm fan remains intact after this mod. Now the 120mm fan is able to fit flush against the VRM heatsink and fits perfectly under the Alpenföhn Black Ridge fins.

Here's three pictures that show;
  1. Fan Mod
  2. Fan fitting against the VRM heatsink
  3. Fan Cable Routing; (note) Sorry about leaning CPU cooler, CPU not yet arrived/mounted.
 
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BaK

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I used a hand file to create the slot and then a box cutter knife to clean the shavings. I do believe that the structural integrity of the 120mm fan remains intact after this mod. Now the 120mm fan is able to fit flush against the VRM heatsink and fits perfectly under the Alpenföhn Black Ridge fins.
Nice cut, there is indeed still enough frame left on the fan, no worries.

However pics 2 and 3 seems to show the fan resting on the VLP RAM on a higher position than the opposite side (fan not parallel to the motherboard).
The flexibility of the heatpipes should add some tolerance and it should be ok, but make sure that doesn't prevent the base of the cooler to have a proper contact with the CPU.
 

BaK

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Oh yes sorry, I recall now you mentioned it earlier.
 

PVC

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Jul 12, 2020
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My CPU (Ryzen 5 4650G PRO) finally arrived!!
  • The blackridge cooler cooler fits nicely on the (GIGABYTE B550I AORUS Pro AX) motherboard, though the clearance above VLP Memory is a very tiny clearance, only 1 or 2mm.
  • The wide-120mm fan fits nicely on the underside of the Black Ridge cooling fins. Note: this did require a mod (filing a slot into the side of the fan) to accommodate the protruding WiFi enclosure on the GIGABYTE B550I AORUS Pro AX motherboard.
  • I used the AM4 backplate from a (Noctua NM-AM4-L9aL9i Mounting Kit $8) to provide extra/rigid support behind the motherboard for mounting the Black Ridge cooler.
  • I had to download Gigabyte's LAN driver in order to get an Internet connection. But after that, all other drivers loaded as standard Windows 10 drivers.
  • I am currently running (GIGABYTE B550I AORUS Pro AX) BIOS Ver-F3 but I may flash BIOS to Ver-F11n-2020/12/03 to get these two updates; Add Re-size bar option for AMD Smart Access Memory support; Improve connection stability for USB 2.0 ports of USB hub



I have three remaining problems before I log this build. The first two are minor, or I have workarounds, or I can put up with it for a while:
  1. It is difficult to boot into BIOS. If you press the DEL key too soon it freezes. It you press DEL key too late then it's too late to Boot into BIOS. Workaround is to unplug the wall power, and that slows the Boot process so that you can Boot into BIOS.
  2. My Dell UP3216Q display screen Blinks/Flickers. It is like my eyes blinking. Sometimes I wonder if I just blinked? No. The monitor just blinked. I opened an issue with Dell support. Perhaps it is too soon for Dell to support the Vega 7 Graphics produced by the AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 4650G CPU/GPU??
  3. This third problem is getting my memory to run faster than 2666 MHz!! I am a confused-novice when it comes to tuning AMD memory (and this is complicated) so I will start a separate thread for this issue.
This build runs as cool-as-a-cucumber (30c to 50c) no matter what load/Prime95. I cant get it any hotter than 50c. Maybe it runs cool because the memory is so slow??
 
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PVC

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Tip1: Don't turn on GIGABYTE's Fast-Boot or Ultra-Fast feature because you will no longer be able to Boot into BIOS.

Tip2: CLR_CMOS is buried underneath the Black Ridge fins and 120mm fan. Here's how to reach it; You need a flat metal tool such as one blade of a scissors. A screwdriver won't work because it needs to fit between the slats on top of your K39 case. First unplug the AC wall power!! Get a helper to hold a flashlight for you. At the top of your K39 case find motherboard parts (10 F_AUDIO and 12 TPM). You will need to slide your tool high over the top of those two sets of pins without touching them, and touch between the 2-Pins of (15 CLR_CMOS) which is just beyond the sets of pins you are avoiding. A touch is all you need. You don't need to hold it. It uses the motherboard battery power to create the CMOS short.

 
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BaK

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Tip1: Don't turn on GIGABYTE's Fast-Boot or Ultra-Fast feature because you will no longer be able to Boot into BIOS.
I think there is an option in Windows to make it go to UEFI BIOS at the next startup when fast-boot is enabled. Must have read it somewhere, never tried it...
 

PVC

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I think there is an option in Windows to make it go to UEFI BIOS at the next startup when fast-boot is enabled. Must have read it somewhere, never tried it...
Yep, I tried that and it doesn't work for this GIGABYTE motherboard. Actually Restart+DEL doesn't work either. Power off/Power on+DEL doesn't even work. What works is Power off, then disconnect the AC-Wall-power, then reconnect AC-Wall-power, then power on Plus DEL key. But even all of this doesn't work if you have selected Fast or Ultra-Fast Boot.

I wish Gigabyte had a start-to-BIOS utility-App like ASRock.
 

PVC

Cable-Tie Ninja
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Jul 12, 2020
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Windows advanced startup to UEFI BIOS has magically started working again. Restart+DEL too. So I no longer need the added step of disconnecting the AC-Wall-power to Boot into BIOS 🤔

Now that I can click Power, then Shift-Key/Restart to get to Troubleshoot/Advanced Options and select UEFI BIOS; I went to back to Ultra-Fast Boot again.

eta> Also I was able to heat it up to 80c with Prime95 running for a long time.
 
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PVC

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Jul 12, 2020
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I finally got around to testing the K39 Case Exhaust Fan mounted in the empty Graphics Card space. My fan bracket never did arrive from Aliexpress so I disputed that $3.56 charge and made my own bracket from cable ties wrapped around the unused Black Ridge fan. The fan will fit on the inside of the K39 case and function as an exhaust fan.


See two measurements below for ;
  • Prime95 for 15-miutes with Sys1 fan/CPU curve, result MAX CPU Temp = 83c
  • Prime95 for 15-miutes with no fan, result MAX CPU Temp = 84c

Basically no difference with or without the K39 case exhaust fan. Well there was a tiny 1c difference. But that could have been ambient temperature fluctuation. So fuggedaboudit, adding exhaust fans to a K39-case APU style build is a waste of time.


 

BaK

King of Cable Management
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May 17, 2016
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Basically no difference with or without the K39 case exhaust fan. Well there was a tiny 1c difference. But that could have been ambient temperature fluctuation. So fuggedaboudit, adding exhaust fans to a K39-case APU style build is a waste of time.
Thanks a lot for the feedback!