MSI 16L13 (Eurocom Tornado F5) Fan Modifications

Discussion in 'MSI' started by alaskajoel, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. alaskajoel

    alaskajoel Notebook Deity

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    I love the MSI 16L13. I hate the fans.

    AAVID fans have been used in many other MSI devices for several years. These new AAVID fans in the 16L13, GT73VR and others are a newer batch that use the same motor but include support for PWM. Earlier versions of this fan used variable voltage only to control fan speeds in machines like the GT72 Dominator Pro.

    My problem with the AAVID fans is not maximum performance. It is the sound profile of the fan at low RPM. I often work in extremely quiet environments and a fan motor whirring in the background is distracting to me. I have disassembled many of these AAVID fans and used various types of lubrication and replacement parts to remove low rpm noise. Despite many attempts, I have never been able to reliably take a noisy stock fan and quiet it down. There are some stock fans that are more quiet than others, but I suspect it is a function of the manufacturing process, over which we have no control.

    So what is this mod and who is it for?
    This mod is intended for those who need a replacement fan that has a better sound profile across all workloads. Depending on the fan configuration you choose (options below), performance will range from equal to stock to tangibly worse.

    In full disclosure, I do not spend time benchmarking my machines with unrealistic synthetic loads like Furmark + Prime95. I made this mod and have used it for the past several months with no discernible impact to the temperatures observed in my typical work and play.

    The machine this was tested on is an MSI 16L13, 7700k (stock clocks) with GTX 1070.

    What does the mod look like?
    CPU Side:
    [​IMG]

    GPU Side:
    [​IMG]


    What is the replacement fan?

    After trying 15 different fans for this modification, I settled on two of the following fan:

    ADDA Part AB08812HX26DB00(00G750)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    This is the 12v GPU fan found in certain models of the Asus G750 series of notebooks.
    12v, .60A, reported speed of 5000-5500 by the 16L13. It is slightly thicker than the stock fan, but has approximately the same output length.

    The ASUS replacement parts people said it was a DELTA fan when I contacted them, but it is stamped ADDA on the fan. Take care when searching for this fan. There are other fan models used in the Asus G750/G751 series, including incompatible 5v Deltas, so they might have been confused. Search by the part number to be sure. I picked up two of these fans from the seller Asusparts on ebay for $25 each. I later purchased another pair from a Chinese seller for $13 each, but they took 2 weeks to arrive to the USA.

    There is also another option for this fan mod that uses one of the above G750 GPU fans and one of the following:

    ADDA Part Number AB07512HX26DB00(00CWG750)
    This is the 12V CPU fan found in certain models of the Asus G750 series of notebooks.

    The CPU fan (Smaller) is on the left in this picture. The earlier mentioned GPU fan is on the right.
    [​IMG]


    Physical installation
    [​IMG]
    Physical installation of the G750 GPU fan on the GPU side of the MSI 16L13 requires minimal modification. The size of this fan and its orientation are very similar to the stock fan. The only modification you need to make is to slightly shave down part of the stock fan mount closest to the heatsink (lower left in the above picture.) I used an xacto knife and it took all of 10 seconds.

    The CPU side is a little more difficult. On this side the stock CPU fan mount needs to be completely removed from the case to fit the larger G750 GPU fan. I used an xacto knife and a hot knife attachment on my soldering iron.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The alternative to performing a non-reversible modification on your case is to use the G750 CPU fan which is slightly smaller. This allows you to keep the stock fan mount in the case at the expense of a little performance and/or noise. I'll talk a little more about the downside to this approach in the performance section.

    G750 Smaller CPU fan on CPU side
    [​IMG]

    G750 smaller CPU fan on CPU side and G750 GPU fan on GPU side.
    [​IMG]

    Mounting
    Because the new fans are completely different from the stock fans, the stock mounting holes are useless without fabrication of new mounts. My approach (as is often the case) is to use a foam core, double-stick tape. I actually prefer this approach because the foam dampens vibrations between the fan and case, further reducing noise.

    I used 3M VHB 5952 tape to mount the fans to the body. A very little bit goes a long way with this high strength tape. Use less than you think you need.

    In addition to the 3M mounting tape, I also used Aluminum foil tape to connect the fan to the heat exchangers. This is especially important since the ADDA fans are taller than the radiators and we need as much air as possible to cross the heat exchanger fins.

    Wiring
    Both of these ADDA fans are PWM by default, which we need for the 16L13. However, these are NOT plug and play! While the connector on the ADDA fans will plug into the motherboard just fine without any modifications, if you do this, you will quickly smell burning fan.

    The wiring harness for the ADDA fan is a mirror image of the stock AAVID. This means you need to cut and reattach the wires for the ADDA fans in the following configuration:

    Red -> Yellow
    Black -> Blue
    Blue -> Black
    Yellow -> Red

    Photo showing configuration (before soldering and heat shrinking)
    [​IMG]

    Performance
    You can use MSI Silent Option to control fans as normal. With two G750 GPU fans, I found no difference in temperatures when playing games, VR Development, rendering video or in my data related work flow. However, the ADDA fans are much quieter, even when set to 100%.

    When using the G750 CPU fan, there is a discernible difference in performance. In this configuration, the 7700k CPU would not maintain turbo boost on a 100% 8 thread load. Intel Extreme Tuning utility identified thermal throttling and would reduce clocks to 4.0ghz - 4.2ghz.

    I suspect the problem is the exhaust width of the CPU fan in this case. The heat exchangers on the 16L13 are not very big and require air be passed over every square mm for decent performance. More air over the same fins does not contribute much to temperature reduction when what we really need is more radiator surface area. When you use the CPU fan, there are about 6-8 fins not getting airflow, squandering what surface area we do have. With a machine like this that is already at its thermal limits, this is problematic.

    The aluminum tape was removed for these photos for a better view:
    G750 CPU fan:
    [​IMG]

    G750 GPU fan:
    [​IMG]

    Conclusion

    After using this configuration, I will not go back to the AAVID fans. The fan sound profile at idle and low loads is much improved. Even during moderate or high loads, the sound profile of the fans is much more to my satisfaction. It now sounds like air moving, not a motor humming. The bottom case of the 16L13 goes back on without difficulty for me, despite the fatter fans. Just take care with how much tape you use because it is very tight. I have not tried the bottom cover fan hole mod with this fan layout, but I don't expect any problems with it.

    I tried 15 fans before settling on these. If you have a question about another specific fan, let me know and I will do my best to respond.

    Case all back together
    [​IMG]

    If you are interested in seeing some of the other fan experiments I tried...
    MSI 16L13 (Eurocom Tornado F5) Fan Modifications
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
    Huniken, triturbo, aaronne and 5 others like this.
  2. Danishblunt

    Danishblunt Notebook Deity

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    I have a question, I have the exact same problem with my Clevo P157SM, the CPU fan has the most obnoxious sound profile in a notebook I've ever heard period.

    I was wondering about how to find out which fan would fit and be quiet enough. I don't really plan on buying 15 fans but would rather see if someone who already has experimented with this could help me out.
     
  3. hfm

    hfm Notebook Virtuoso

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    Thanks for this!

    Ordered one of those GPU fans, the CPU fan I currently have is definitely quieter than the GPU fan.
     
  4. alaskajoel

    alaskajoel Notebook Deity

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    If you remove your stock fan and give me the dimensions I can try to help. I have about 30+ fans in my basement and a P151em hiding somewhere... I can experiment with a few things.

    Let us know how it works out.
     
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  5. Danishblunt

    Danishblunt Notebook Deity

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    The P151EM has the same fans, if you can find it that would make things much easier!
     
  6. alaskajoel

    alaskajoel Notebook Deity

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    I can try to dig it out.

    Back to the 16L13, someone asked if I had tried the Delta KSB0612HB-B302 (From the G750JW series I believe?) This fan is also 12v, .40 amp and PWM. This fan fits well, has a good sound profile, but doesn't move quite as much air. It also has a critical problem I was not able to work around... the fan stays on during sleep. For some reason it doesn't get a turn off signal and it keeps running unless the machine is completely turned off AND unplugged from the wall. I tried a few different wiring configurations, in-line resistors, etc. and gave up when I found the ADDA fan I liked better.
     
  7. Delgada89

    Delgada89 Notebook Consultant

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    So how much you selling the already modified fans for those of us who are lazy? :)

    EDIT: I'm guessing you didn't find any fans that fit the housing of the existing fans but provided better noise/cooling?
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
  8. syscrusher

    syscrusher Notebook Evangelist

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    Tremendous experimental work. Thanks very much not only for the configuration you are using, but also for the other trials that didn't work out.
     
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  9. alaskajoel

    alaskajoel Notebook Deity

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    I did find components to fit into the housings, but the result was worse than stock.
    [​IMG]

    For what its worth, just about any single exit PWM AAVID fan (PABD19735BM) can swap into our housing. I dislike them all. Even the non-PWM versions I got worked, but only at maximum speeds without converting them to PWM.

    Not sure this is really clear, but only the top part of the fan housing is different between the AAVID fans. You can unscrew the housing and put in a different one. Again, sound profile isn't different, but might help out in a pinch if you experience a failure and you need to source something immediately from ebay or similar.

    GT72 fan on left, 16L13 fan on right. Interchangeable housing, but the GT72 is not PWM.
    [​IMG]


    Thanks for the kind words. I didn't plan on sharing any of this, but apparently there are other interested people.

    A lot of those other failed trials were still fun. My favorite was taking this 12v PCI blower fan for desktops and getting it to work in the MSI. The blower is 12v without even a speed wire. I used a separate controller board to convert the MSI's PWM signal to a variable voltage signal. Basically when the computer told the fan to slow down via PWM, the board instead changed the output voltage from 12v down to some other level (10v, 8v, etc.) It let me try out fans in the MSI that were not PWM. I would have been okay with this if it meant a non-PWM fan turned out to be the best. Fortunately, the best compromise I found was already PWM.

    I wish I could explain the sound this setup made...it was horrific. At least performance wasn't too bad with the fans on full strength.

    Here are some pics of that setup :)

    PCI blower fan (the PCI bracket / grill have already been removed in this photo)
    [​IMG]

    Board for converting the MSI to linear voltage regulation for fans
    [​IMG]

    To get the blower to fit, I had to cut some of the housing off the output side. The cut wasn't perfectly straight (shaky hands...don't get old) but it doesn't matter too much with the thermal tape.
    [​IMG]

    Very tight fit!
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. t456

    t456 1977-09-05, 12:56:00 UTC Moderator

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    Check the pcb of the non-PWM fans; most of them have a 'pwm' solder pad and are actually PWM-capable, so only need to solder an additional wire to convert them. Seems the manufacturer simply makes one type of fan and leaves out the pwm wire for the few customers that request voltage-control only.
     
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