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 Post subject: Software-adjustable ventilation for storage server
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:42 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2007 1:00 pm
Posts: 168
Location: York, UK
I am running a storage server using fundamentally normal desktop hardware inside an XCase RM420 (almost identical to Norco 4220) 4U chassis and with an Adaptec 71605E HBA in the PCIe slot, no dedicated graphics. At the time I recently upgraded the hardware (currently an i5 6500 and Z170-HD3P) I also attempted to quieten it down by adding an NZXT GRID+ V2. Despite running 18 mechanical disks, as they are all WD Green and Red drives, I am satisfied with the noise level of the storage, it's fan noise I'm struggling with. The GRID+ seemed like a good idea at the time but the software is very problematic and I have ultimately had to remove it to diagnose system stability problems and to stop it thrashing the disks for no reason. Thus, some of the fans are currently hooked up to the motherboard, the others directly onto the PSU. I have ordered a Corsair Commander Mini to try that out, but I can see similarly poor reviews of its software...

PSU - absolutely fine, I'm using a Corsair RM650 and have no fan noise issues with this at all.
CPU - Just using the Intel stock heatsink for now which keeps the CPU cool enough, but the board's 'silent' profile is way too aggressive, even with the CPU temperature in the low 40s, the fan speed is 1800rpm+ which with the plastic fan mount it comes with has a very poor acoustic quality to it. I may very well change the cooler but would ideally like another controller to deal with a PWM CPU fan. I would ideally like to avoid a large cooler with a backplate (partly as there isn't room for a tower cooler, I was previously using an HR-01 4U) but happy to upgrade at least a little.
Front 3x120mm - have swapped in a trio of Antec Tricool fans. These work fine, but it would be nice to have them scale with system temperature
Rear 2x80mm - Rear 80mm fans were actually fine even with a 3800rpm max speed, but without a decent fan controller obviously they are too loud, so I have swapped in a pair of Nexus 80mm fans instead, which are arguably a bit underpowered. The Z170 board insists on running these around 5V odd, so at 600rpm they are doing very little. The clutter of molex connectors is also very irritating, I would really like to be using fans that are 3-pin only.
Disk controller - I'm using a Gelid fan card in a nearby slot to help cool this - with lots of ambient airflow it wouldn't be needed, but when the system is in silent mode (as I briefly had it with the GRID+) there's too little airflow over this for my liking and it does get quite hot, so I installed this. The fans are good, but the bracket itself is abysmal, with the screws tight I can fold the fans back and forth with one finger and there is more than 10cm of vertical travel in the thing if you nudge it, resulting in it fouling anything else near the PCI slots, getting wires caught in the fans etc, so I want rid of it.

My questions therefore are:

- What is a good relatively low-profile heatsink that will offer quiet operation for a relatively low wattage LGA1151 CPU?
- What are people's recommendations for reasonable speed (2500rpm+ max speed) 80mm 3-pin (or with detachable 4-pin) fans?
- Are there any half-decent fan cards out there that use large (100mm+) fans? - also preferably 3-pin
- Are there any good software-controlled fan controllers out there? (This PC is not compatible with speedfan as it has too many hard disks attached, speedfan will not open)

Thanks in advance for any advice

Sam

_________________
RMS-VOYAGER: i5 6600, Z170 Gaming Pro, GTX970, HAF932, RM1000i, 6x SY1225SL12SH, 480GB M500, WD2002FAEX, WD40EZRX
RMS-INTREPID: i5 6500, Z170-HD3P, XCase RM420 4U, RM650, Samsung 830 128GB SSD, 18x WD Green/Red (60TB total), Adaptec 71605E
RMS-PRINCESS: i5 3470, Z68MX-UD2H, NZXT Lexa, Corsair CX V2 430W, X25-V, 750GB 7200.10
Dell UP3214Q, 3008WFP, 2x U2312HM, Logitech Z-5500, Pioneer VSX-922


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 Post subject: Re: Software-adjustable ventilation for storage server
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:10 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 3529
Location: Guatemala
Have you tried Gigabyte Bios fan control? i mean you could work it out if you were to know how it works, meaning if you know the limitations you can buy fans accordingly to achieve what you want, else i would get a AsRock/Asus.

Quote:
- What is a good relatively low-profile heatsink that will offer quiet operation for a relatively low wattage LGA1151 CPU?
What the max height?

Quote:
- What are people's recommendations for reasonable speed (2500rpm+ max speed) 80mm 3-pin (or with detachable 4-pin) fans?
I think above 2k on 80mm starts to get noisy, so i would go with Noctua NF-R8 redux-1800, but if you want 2.5k+ Scythe S-FLEX SFF80D - 80mm Silent Fan - 2800 RPM - Sleeved

Quote:
- Are there any half-decent fan cards out there that use large (100mm+) fans? - also preferably 3-pin
You could try something like Ultra Dual 120mm PCI Expansion Slot High Speed System Cooler (and use your desired 120 fans). Or do a more ghetto mod like ohhgourami's GPU, PCI fan mod.

Quote:
- Are there any good software-controlled fan controllers out there? (This PC is not compatible with speedfan as it has too many hard disks attached, speedfan will not open)
Have your tried the Gigabyte software?

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 Post subject: Re: Software-adjustable ventilation for storage server
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 3:05 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2007 1:00 pm
Posts: 168
Location: York, UK
The fans are already set to 'silent' in the Gigabyte BIOS, but I'm not too confident, as the SYS_FAN3 socket is not even listed in the BIOS for fan control, and the settings for SYS_FAN2 are ignored, 'silent' is interpreted as a continuous 12V, whereas SYS_FAN1 is adjusting the speed. I will try the Gigabyte software to see what happens, but really I'd want more than 2 (and only 1 working!) adjustable channels, not necessarily because I want separate fans controlled independently (though this obviously would be nice) but primarily because I'm not happy with the load of running all 7 fans off a single motherboard header.

The HR-01 4U dimensions are here - http://www.cnet.com/products/thermalrig ... ink/specs/
However, ideally something less cumbersome than that would be ideal (and something you can properly attach a fan to rather than having to run passive or use zip ties).

I'm aware 2500rpm is on the noisy side for 80mm fans, however the 80mm pair are the only exhaust fans for this case and while ordinarily that'll be plenty sufficient, on very hot days, since this room is not air-conditioned I'd like to have the option of having the fans ramp up to avoid any potential issues going undiscovered, especially since this is a PC which is not regularly monitored at the desktop for any software alerts.

S-Flex fans would be great, as I had very good results with some SFF21Fs used long ago in a previous build, however finding them in the UK is very difficult, I may have to see about importing them from the US via Performance-PCs.

That fan bracket looks identical to the one I'm already using, same brackets and everything. The 'ghetto' approach linked seems to use the same idea, but perhaps the bracket he found was better. There's nothing stopping me cable-tying the fans on this bracket to the PCI slot area cover, but that's where the weakest link is. Perhaps I'll scour ebay and see if I can find anything suitable.

_________________
RMS-VOYAGER: i5 6600, Z170 Gaming Pro, GTX970, HAF932, RM1000i, 6x SY1225SL12SH, 480GB M500, WD2002FAEX, WD40EZRX
RMS-INTREPID: i5 6500, Z170-HD3P, XCase RM420 4U, RM650, Samsung 830 128GB SSD, 18x WD Green/Red (60TB total), Adaptec 71605E
RMS-PRINCESS: i5 3470, Z68MX-UD2H, NZXT Lexa, Corsair CX V2 430W, X25-V, 750GB 7200.10
Dell UP3214Q, 3008WFP, 2x U2312HM, Logitech Z-5500, Pioneer VSX-922


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 Post subject: Re: Software-adjustable ventilation for storage server
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 4:48 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 3529
Location: Guatemala
samuelmorris wrote:
The fans are already set to 'silent' in the Gigabyte BIOS, but I'm not too confident, as the SYS_FAN3 socket is not even listed in the BIOS for fan control, and the settings for SYS_FAN2 are ignored, 'silent' is interpreted as a continuous 12V, whereas SYS_FAN1 is adjusting the speed. I will try the Gigabyte software to see what happens, but really I'd want more than 2 (and only 1 working!) adjustable channels, not necessarily because I want separate fans controlled independently (though this obviously would be nice) but primarily because I'm not happy with the load of running all 7 fans off a single motherboard header.
Sorry to hear, but personally i dont recommend Gigabyte, but try the software see what happens, on the latest SPCR didn't seem that bad, maybe its decent. For the future, i would recommend Asus if you want to use software, and Asrock/Msi if you want bios fan control.

samuelmorris wrote:
The HR-01 4U dimensions are here - http://www.cnet.com/products/thermalrig ... ink/specs/
However, ideally something less cumbersome than that would be ideal (and something you can properly attach a fan to rather than having to run passive or use zip ties).
Thanks for the link, the HR01 has 145mm of height, but im not sure if it would fit higher or if thats the limit (i couldn't find the case CPU cooler limit online), here are some coolers for you to consider,

Thermalright Macho120 SBM (150mm height, so its 5mm higher than the HR01, crosscheck if it would fit).
Thermalright TRUE Spirit 120M(BW) Rev.A (145mm height, should be the same as your HR01).
Thermalright Macho90 (135mm height so it should fit, but with tall memory might be an issue)
TRUE Spirit 90M Rev.A (125mm height, so it should fit, it grows toward the back, so it shouldn't even reach the memory with the fan)
Noctua NH-C14S (if you prefer not to go with a tower but with blowing down, this is as good as it gets, height 142 fan up / 115 fan down).
Nocuta NH-U9S (125mm height should fit fine).
Noctua NH-D9L (110mm height so it should fit easily, wondering about if it can keep a 6500 with its size)

Quote:
I'm aware 2500rpm is on the noisy side for 80mm fans, however the 80mm pair are the only exhaust fans for this case and while ordinarily that'll be plenty sufficient, on very hot days, since this room is not air-conditioned I'd like to have the option of having the fans ramp up to avoid any potential issues going undiscovered, especially since this is a PC which is not regularly monitored at the desktop for any software alerts.
Btw does the Xcase doesn't offer a middle case fan mount upgrade like on the Norcos that you can fit 3x120? this might allow you not to use the 80mm on the back or even lower rpms and still be fine.

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GameMi - Intel i9 9900K + Gigabyte Z390 AM + Asus RTX2080Ti Strix | MiniMi - Intel i7 8700K + ASRock Z370ITX + MSI RTX2080Ti
StreaMi - Intel i9 7940X + AsRock X299 Taichi + Asus GTX1080Ti Strix | WorkMi - AMD 1950X + AsRock X399 Taichi + MSI GTX1080
ServeMi - Intel Xeon E3-1230 + Supermicro X9SCM-F + 144TB | StoreMi - Intel Xeon E3 1240v5 + Supermicro X11SSM-F + 42TB | CamMi - Intel i7 4770K + MSI H81i + Blue Iris


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 Post subject: Re: Software-adjustable ventilation for storage server
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 1:39 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:12 am
Posts: 5275
Location: ITALY
samuelmorris wrote:
the settings for SYS_FAN2 are ignored, 'silent' is interpreted as a continuous 12V

This kind of issue often happens if you hook up either a PWM fan on a voltage controlled header, or a voltage controlled fan on a PWM header. Cross check, in case.


samuelmorris wrote:
I'm not happy with the load of running all 7 fans off a single motherboard header.

You can't do that (without blowing the board header at least), but with a PWM splitter (whether the header were a PWM one too).


samuelmorris wrote:
S-Flex fans would be great, as I had very good results with some SFF21Fs

The 80mm are rather different from their 120mm siblings, I got the various A/B/C back in the days and I literally hated them, horribly clicky.

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Luca

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 Post subject: Re: Software-adjustable ventilation for storage server
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 2:00 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2007 1:00 pm
Posts: 168
Location: York, UK
Quest_for_silence:
Noted re: Voltage/PWM control - the fan without any speed control is SYS_FAN3, a 3-pin header. The other two that are listed in the BIOS (both the adjustable and unadjustable) are both 4-pin headers, so presumably they are both PWM headers, and SYS_FAN3 is just a straight feed to 12V. At present all the fans connected apart from the CPU fan (which of course has its own header which is speed adjusting, albeit not really to my liking) are 3-pin voltage fans, not PWM, so I'd expect SYS_FAN1 and SYS_FAN2 to be behaving similarly, but they don't.

I rather suspected that with the S-Flex fans, fortunately in Nexus' case both fans were good though of course quite low rated, yet when I bought two 120mm Noctuas after good experiences with an 80mm I was very disappointed with the amount of 550Hz whine they produced at any speed.

Abula:
I appreciate the suggestion but there is obviously more to a machine than just keeping it quiet, after over a dozen Asus products having failed within 18 months of purchase (90% failure rate) I will never use another Asus board in my machine. I've very little experience with ASRock but given their parent company and being positioned as the cheaper option, I'm very wary of getting involved with them either. Gigabyte quality has certainly declined a bit over the years but I still find them preferable boards to use.

The RM420 already has three 120mm fans positioned in the middle of the case, these sit maybe an inch behind the drive caddies. However, in order for them to push much air out the case without the rear fans they'd have to be turned up pretty high. I have the Tricools on their low setting (about 950,1000 and 1050rpm respectively, they're all slightly different it seems) which seems adequate to cool the disks but even with the 80mm Nexus fans assisting slightly, there is arguably more air coming out the PSU (which until I took the powerful 80mm rear fans out was running passive).

I may have an experiment with the Gigabyte software and see what it does, but at this stage I think I will wait a little while to see if removing the GRID+ has actually improved the stability issue in the PC or whether it's coming from somewhere else.

_________________
RMS-VOYAGER: i5 6600, Z170 Gaming Pro, GTX970, HAF932, RM1000i, 6x SY1225SL12SH, 480GB M500, WD2002FAEX, WD40EZRX
RMS-INTREPID: i5 6500, Z170-HD3P, XCase RM420 4U, RM650, Samsung 830 128GB SSD, 18x WD Green/Red (60TB total), Adaptec 71605E
RMS-PRINCESS: i5 3470, Z68MX-UD2H, NZXT Lexa, Corsair CX V2 430W, X25-V, 750GB 7200.10
Dell UP3214Q, 3008WFP, 2x U2312HM, Logitech Z-5500, Pioneer VSX-922


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 Post subject: Re: Software-adjustable ventilation for storage server
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 2:46 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:12 am
Posts: 5275
Location: ITALY
samuelmorris wrote:
so presumably they are both PWM headers

I'm afraid you can't assume that, at the moment: check the pinout diagram/schematic, if there's any, or just test. Unfortunately lots of 4 pin headers are fake-PWM ones.

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Luca

Support SPCR, use these links when you buy: NCIX, Amazon and Newegg


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 Post subject: Re: Software-adjustable ventilation for storage server
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 2:51 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2007 1:00 pm
Posts: 168
Location: York, UK
From the manual:

Image

I'm curious about the phrase "The speed control function requires a fan with fan speed control design". Is this implying only PWM fans can be speed controlled? If so it doesn't explain why the Nexus 80mm fans are operating at less than half speed whereas the Gelid fans are at full speed...


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 Post subject: Re: Software-adjustable ventilation for storage server
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:04 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:12 am
Posts: 5275
Location: ITALY
samuelmorris wrote:
From the manual:

Image

That diagram is seemingly indicative of voltage-controlled headers (I'm referring to the SYS_FAN1/2 headers).


samuelmorris wrote:
I'm curious about the phrase "The speed control function requires a fan with fan speed control design". Is this implying only PWM fans can be speed controlled?

No (and no, I don't know what they meant).


samuelmorris wrote:
If so it doesn't explain why the Nexus 80mm fans are operating at less than half speed whereas the Gelid fans are at full speed...

I didn't get you, but if you have two different fans with two different behaviours just swap them and see what happens.

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Luca

Support SPCR, use these links when you buy: NCIX, Amazon and Newegg


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