Bad Design from Intel (Reprinted)

Not the chips. Intel CPU and chip sets are among the best in the business. However, their cooling fans suck!

The fan blades are fine. The fan motor is excellent. The heatsink is more than adequate. The four plastic clips that hold the fan to the motherboard are cheap pieces of crap!

Intel i3, i5, i7 cooling fanThe CPU is the heart of the computer. If the fan/heatsink comes loose from the motherboard, the system fails and the chip dies. A $300.00 (US) CPU.  All because of  a rinky-dink push-pin that doesn’t  screw into anything.

Intel fan clip

It wouldn’t be so bad if the fan were mounted horizontally in the computer. But most modern cases mount it vertically, as if it were nailed to a wall. The combination of vibration and weight pulling on those horrid little plastic clips makes this an accident waiting to happen.

I’ve been reading posts on other forums where people have been having issues either installing these fans or upgrading, and the consensus is that you have to remove the motherboard and then install the new unit to make sure that the fan is properly connected on the backside. That’s ridiculous!

If this was a car or a baby’s crib or child safety seat, it would have been recalled. I won’t put up with an inferior OS, so why should I tolerate inferior hardware?

One loose connector might not make a significant difference. But if two consecutive connectors fail, the heatsink will lose enough contact with the CPU to cause the chip to overheat.  The end user will never even be aware of this until their computer stops working.

There needs to be a mechanism that applies constant tension between the fan/heatsink and the motherboard. These plastic clips are not exerting a constant spring-loaded tension, making the connection much weaker than it ought to be.

Another problem with using plastic lies in the fact that plastic becomes softer as it heats up. This can also weaken the bond as gravity pulls on the fan/heatsink. Someone didn’t think this through at all. They just looked at the cost and ease of manufacturing.

There is no excuse for bad design. And this isn’t just bad design, this is class-action-lawsuit bad design.


18 Responses to “Bad Design from Intel (Reprinted)”

  1. The Doctor Says:

    I’m still looking for a better alternative that fits an Intel 1155/1156 socket.

    I’ve been searching the Web and have found several companies (EVERCOOL THERMAL CORP. LTD, Thermaltake, Dynatron) that have replaced the plastic push-pins with spring-loaded screws. However, they all still require users to to remove the motherboard and affix a backing plate to attach the fan/heatsink screws. The backing plate then holds the unit firmly in place from the backside of the motherboard. It’s certainly a better solution than Intel’s original design.

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