Dell H310 HBA cooling

I am really happy with the Dell H310 HBA card so far. It runs stable and I have absolutely zero issues with it, except one thing – heat. The thing that seems to bug all the HBA cards is that these cards runs HOT. Probably a little too hot to my liking.

So the logical thing to do is to cool the chip down via forced fan cooling. Many forerunners before me have already tried this with great results so I aspire to emulate their success. I started by doing some research what type of fan I should get. I am pleased with the Noctua fan that I installed to the network switch so I thought, why not another one for the HBA.

This time I wanted to get a 12V version. So the Noctua A4x10 FLX seems the perfect fit. The fan is 40mm x 40mm x 10mm deep. I bought this from PLE for Aud $24.

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The above picture shows the size of the fan with respect to the HBA.

The first thing I did is to remove the existing heatsink. I wanted to apply a new layer of thermal compound between the heat sink and the chip.

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I use some cotton buds dipped in Rubbing Alcohol to remove the existing compound. You can get this from any Chemist. I bought mine from Chemist Warehouse. With the rubbing alcohol, removing the mess is a breeze.

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And when the mess is gone, tada..……….

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I apply a little thermal compound (I use the Arctic Silver 5). I probably added a bit too much actually.

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And after cleaning the contact surface of the heatsink itself, I carefully re-attach the heatsink onto the HBA and fix the fan.

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The hardest thing to do is actually find the right screw for attaching the fan to the heatsink. Unfortunately none of my screws fit except 2. So these will do for now.

And here is the new combo pair in action.

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As usual the Noctua fan is excellent. Very low noise.

I use the IR thermometer and point at the heatsink. It reads about 30deg.C. Ambient temperature is about 21deg.C at the time so I think the heat on the HBA is manageable. I am well pleased.

Hope this helps the modder in you.