Choices, Choices

Control: management of fans, temp/rpm monitoring via soft/hardware

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Choices, Choices

Post by TokyoBrit » Mon Jun 28, 2010 7:37 pm

Now that I've got the majority of components of my new "silent" PC build, I'm left with just the "tuning" to get it to run as quiet as possible while not melting when I'm gaming during the hot summers, using GPU-Z and CPUID Hardware Monitor to records temps.

This has led me to this forum, as the only sources of noise that I can tell are the fans, and there are 7 in my system.

1) SlipStream 120mm PWM on the Mugen-2 CPU HS.
2) SlipStream 120mm non-PWM as the exhaust fan of the Solo.
3) 4) 2 x Slipstream 92mm non-PWM's as intake fans.
5) 80mm Antec fan in the Neo HE 550.
6) 7) 2 x Kaze Jyu Slim 100mm non-PWM's on the Musashi VGA cooler.

I will most likely follows Mike's idea about using a stiff piece of plastic to stop a fan in order to isolate which ones generate the most noise, but once I've done that, I'm not sure of the best way to control it.

Choices I seem to have for fan control are:

1) ASUS Q-Fan in the BIOS.
2) AMD Overdrive for the CPU fan.
3) Catalyst Control Center for the GPU fan.
4) Manual controller adjustment of the Musahi fans.
5) SpeedFan or FanControl software.
6) Scythe Kaze Server drive-bay fan controller or similiar.
7) FanMate or similiar inline voltage regulator for the case fans.

If you read my other thread, you'll see that while the Antec fan is a non-issue, both 1) and 3) are problems; The PWM fan on the Mugen-2 runs too slow when using Q-Fan, and the 3-pin fan connector on the EAH4870 is a different size to what the Musashi fans have.

Since both the CPU and GPU clocks are throttled at low workloads, I'd like at least those fans to pretty much do the same thing, and potentially have the case fans also adjust based on motherboard/case temperature.

Given the above, what are peoples experiences with getting good results?

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Post by TokyoBrit » Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:02 pm

Popped out to Akiba at lunchtime and picked up the Scythe Kaze Master Pro 3.5 (KM03-BK-3.5) and the Kaze Server 3.5 (KS01-BK-3.5).

I've not used the 3.5" bay on my cases for anything for the last 3 years. About time I did.

The KM03 will allow me to manually control the CPU, GPU, intake and exhaust fans if it turns out I can't resolve the problems with the PWM and the Musashi.

If I can, and those will adjust fan speeds automatically, then the KS01 will let me to also thermally control the intake and exhaust fans.

It's a shame you can't connect the onboard thermal probes to an external monitor.

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Post by IDvsEGO » Tue Jun 29, 2010 9:55 am

TokyoBrit wrote:It's a shame you can't connect the onboard thermal probes to an external monitor.
this is exactly my issue. I dont want to use thermal probes. I prefer the onboard sensors. I wish there was a programamble fan cotnroller that used the sensors. I would buy that. For now I am goign with a software solution unless it proves too troublesome or innacurate. you didnt mention what kind of card your mushashi is on. I amlost got one for my 5830 but am going to give the Accelero S1 a try first.

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Post by ascl » Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:40 pm

There is exactly that. The Silverstone CMD01. It connects internally via USB, controls up to 5 fans, and has some included sensors, but when configuring it via NVidia System Tools, you can select at least the CPU (and GPU) temps -- dont remember if it sees the other motherboard temps or not.

The device is marketed as an ESA device, however, I ran it just fine with an intel motherboard, however, I was using an Nvidia GPU, I am not sure you can install Nvidia System Tools without it (I suspect you can, but I'm not sure).

The CMD01 sells for < $20 USD at amazon and other places.

The disadvantages of it are:
-Only handles low power fans (IIRC 1a or so) -- isn't an issue unless you want to chain multiple fans or use some monster fans
-Hardware Monitor works great, Nvidia System tools allow creation of profiles... but isn't great software
-Software based solution, with the problems that provides
-Uses PWM to control the (3 pin) fan speed, which may cause some problems noise-wise, although I never experienced this

There are also (much) more expensive fancy fan controllers like the mCubed T-Balancer, but I don't know much about them.

In the end I switched to a hardware fan controller tho. I don't need my fans to change speed.

EDIT: I really think the CMD01 is a great device tho, and if it wasn't marketed under ESA would have found a lot more traction. It was a perfect solution at the time.

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