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bmadden1975
1 Nickel

Area 51 R2 Liquid Cooling Unit - Unusual Noise

Hi,

I just received my Area 51 R2 Desktop today. Unfortunately, there is an intermittent, noticeable noise coming from the liquid cooling unit (the big black box just above the GPU). The best way I can describe the sound is that it sounds like an older mechanical hard drive reading/writing. It's not a constant sound - in fact it seems quite random but it is very distracting. I made sure to pinpoint the location of the sound by removing the side panels, so I'm absolutely sure it's coming from the liquid cooling unit.

Anyone else run into this issue? As soon as I get a chance, I plan on calling Alienware support to open a ticket.

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5 Replies
bmadden1975
1 Nickel

RE: Area 51 R2 Liquid Cooling Unit - Unusual Noise

To clarify, the sound is coming from the fan portion of the liquid cooling unit, not from the pump. It's an intermittent rattle. The rattle persists even when the PC is under little to no load. Any thoughts on how to fix this would be appreciated.

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Skjoldur
1 Nickel

RE: Area 51 R2 Liquid Cooling Unit - Unusual Noise

I was looking into strange noises and fan behavior of my X51 R3 myself. The occasional air bubbles in the liquid cooling system are normal, I know, but there is more:

The fan is making an unexprected noticible humming noise even at 900rpm which seems to be the minimum while idle. As soon as the CPU reaches 40-41°C (measured with HWMonitor) the fan speed goes up to about 1000 RPM and the sound becomes a very annoying vibration / rattling. The very erratic speed changes make it even worse than it has to be: Instead of slowly increasing the fan speed according to CPU temperature, the fan jumps sometimes from 1000 to 1900 RPM for only 5 seconds even when I only start an application.

My hope was, that I could change it in the Alienware Command Center but the options there are laughable: I can only adjust the PCI fan speed. And the rather interesting and important CPU temperature is completely missing.

This brings me to another thing: The Command Center has a very serious bug that could damage the CPU. I did change the PCI speed from automatic to manual with a linear progression and found that the erratic LC fan speed changes stopped. I was happy for a few days but found my system to be less stable. So I ran prime95 and was surprised that the fans did not kick in at all. When I started HWMonitor I was shocked to see 100°C (!) on the CPU. I could not believe it and did a restart to have a look at the temperatures in the BIOS. The fans kicked in immediatly and sounded like a turbine and the temps in BIOS still showed 80°C. I would have assumed that as a last resort the CPU throttling would have kicked in, but obviously it didn't.

I can reproduce this: As soon as PCI fan speed is switched from Auto to Manual, the Rear Fan speed goes up to 3300 from 2500 and the LC fan speed goes down to about 900 for any load and temperature. 

Summary:

The vibration from the LC fan combined the the totally stupid speed changes make anything else then gaming with headsets very annoying. 

The lack of speed configuration for the other fans, especially the LC fan, and the missing CPU temperture make the Alienware Command Center useless.

The LC fan bug when the PCI fan speed is set to manual is VERY SERIOUS and has to be fixed IMMEDIATELY.

bish73
1 Nickel

RE: Area 51 R2 Liquid Cooling Unit - Unusual Noise

I just posted a similar thing yesterday, and have noticed it since I got mine. en.community.dell.com/.../19660820

I didn't think it was fan related and thought it might be air bubbles, but you may be right about it coming from the liquid cooling fan. My first reaction to hearing it was also that it was a hard drive reading and writing a lot.

I also noticed that mine tends to go for a few minutes and then go quiet for a minute or so and the come back again.

I recorded the sound although it's kind of hard to hear over the fan noise but if you listen carefully you can hear it.

https://soundcloud.com/user762564055/computer-noise

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bmadden1975
1 Nickel

RE: Area 51 R2 Liquid Cooling Unit - Unusual Noise

A Dell tech just came over and installed a brand new liquid cooling unit. The sound is gone. Problem solved.

Cass-Ole
4 Ruthenium

RE: Area 51 R2 Liquid Cooling Unit - Unusual Noise

@ Skjoldur --> your X51 concern is buried inside an A51 thread. Might I suggest you copy/paste your post & create your own new thread here on the A-Club for greater exposure of your pressing issue; running Prime95 is a basic routine, so if your results are 100C, u need to sound the fire alarm; consider making companion posts on:

Chances are if you bring your issue to the right people above, you will have the peace of mind they are aware an issue may exist - whether they fix it or not is a side point - but you can bring it to their attention at least, documented over several sites. Make a post called 'New X51 R3 CPU Temps 100C' or similar, where over on Arena u may have fellow owners willing to try to replicate using Prime95. Ok?

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