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Thread: Asrock Z77 Extreme4 Fan control




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    Question Asrock Z77 Extreme4 Fan control

    Hi
    Does anyone look thru what's up with the fan settings in the BIOS?
    I run 3 Antec True Quiets here that can be manually set to run at 1000 or 600 rpms and it seems they run still at 1000 despite setting the fans 1 & 3 to level 7 and 2 to level 3(why does that header use different levels anyway???), I even get some ridicules high readings of the fan speeds jumping from around 1000 to 2000.
    At least the CPU fan works, set it to 6 and now it runs around 1780 instead of 2000rpms.

    I'm really worried that the fans could get damaged. Maybe they can run 2000 but now with the manual setting to high(what should make them run at 1000) and the fan levels that make them run at whatever those levels should mean they seem to produce those strange readings.


    Meanwhile I used AXTU Tool to play a bit around and at least I can the fans 2 and 3 under 1000 using lower levels, but I can't get fan1 slower even when set to level 1, what's wrong with that control???
    Is it because I use a 3pin fan on a 4 pin header?

  2. #2
    Chozo4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Asrock Z77 Extreme4 Fan control

    Quote Originally Posted by ChromeBeauty View Post
    Is it because I use a 3pin fan on a 4 pin header?
    That is your reason right there. Boards that have a 4pin header require the 4th pin to send a PWM signal to control the fan speeds but while they're backwards compatible with 3/2 pins they cannot change fan speeds for them (and thus run at their full speed). This signal is what tells the fans [hey! We need to run at THIS speed only!] by spacing out the signal 'spikes' more and more for slow speeds. 3pin/2pin fans require they be controlled over a variable voltage header which was only able to be done with the older mainboards that did not support the PWM signal. Sounds like the fans you have have, if i recall, a built in thermal sensor which is why the readings and speeds are changing otherwise based on the current air temperature being pushed through the fan. Put simply - it's a general thought that if your board has 4pin headers it will not support fan speed control on any 3pin headers that may or may not be on the board.

    I found the only way to get PWM control for 3/2pin fans VIA a 4-pin header is through using a PWM->Voltage converter adaptor such as the SunbeamTech Rheosmart 3 (3fans in 3.25" drive bay) or 6 (6fans in 5.25" drive bay) or the PCI-slot Rheosmart which handles a single fan. You can still use splitters to connect any amount of fans to these controllers however providing there is enough wattage from the controller. Other brands seem off the market last I checked far as PWM converters are concerned but you might get lucky such as the Nanoxia PWM adaptor or others. These normally take the PWM wire from a single 4pin header and convert the PWM signal [the speed signal] into a variable voltage from 1(?)-12v for one or more fans at a single time. The Rheosmart series {the drive-bay ones} can handle pretty much any amount of fans and supports both manual and automatic(PWM control). I've been using it just fine with a user fan profile set through SmartFan without issues.


    Quote Originally Posted by ChromeBeauty View Post
    why does that header use different levels anyway???
    The levels are basically the speeds from 10% to 90% (1-9 respectively) for PWM controlled fans and are the minimum speed the fan control will go when it reaches at or below the 'target' temperature. These are BIOS based settings of course and can be overridden safely from within windows (or your operating system of choice) using programs that have the ability to access the fan control data.
    Last edited by Chozo4; 10-22-2012 at 08:21 PM.
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    Default Re: Asrock Z77 Extreme4 Fan control

    Well looking at the manual the 4 Pin header has the same pin setup as the 3 pin versions(the 4th is Fan Control).
    CHA_FAN_SPEED - +12V - GND

    Seeing the same level settings for it as Fan 3 I expect that it can be set just like Fan 3.
    Manual also tells that Fan1-3 support Fan Control.

    Question is where do I connect the fan now?
    CPU1 & 2 can only be set together and there is no control for PWR_FAN.

    Unbelievable that I have 6 fan header but can only use 2 for real case fan steering, would have made more sens to make both CPU header as 4 Pin and keep the rest 3 pin that can be manually set.

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    Default Re: Asrock Z77 Extreme4 Fan control

    Quote Originally Posted by ChromeBeauty View Post
    Well looking at the manual the 4 Pin header has the same pin setup as the 3 pin versions(the 4th is Fan Control).
    CHA_FAN_SPEED - +12V - GND

    Seeing the same level settings for it as Fan 3 I expect that it can be set just like Fan 3.
    Manual also tells that Fan1-3 support Fan Control.

    Question is where do I connect the fan now?
    CPU1 & 2 can only be set together and there is no control for PWR_FAN.

    Unbelievable that I have 6 fan header but can only use 2 for real case fan steering, would have made more sens to make both CPU header as 4 Pin and keep the rest 3 pin that can be manually set.
    The best I can figure then [since it seems yours may be supporting voltage control on some of the 3pin fans] is to use the 3pin on the 3pin and the 4's with the 4's (or 4's on the 3's). Since 4pin headers are being only PWM controlled (since both controls would conflict on a 4pin) while the 3pin headers are being Voltage Controlled (which is not often to see on boards lately, multiple control support). This would result in a 3pin on a 4pin header not being controlled due to the lack of the PWM-pin [pin#4] but a 4/2 will work on 3pin with volt control since it's the +12v being changed. As for the fan speeds being reported - sometimes it's just a goof with the readings that aren't meaning anything strange as your fans aren't going to 2000 for a second and then back without audibly hearing it. Misreads occasionally happen when you have multiple programs reading the sensor data and reading at the same time.

    Far as connecting what to what, it doesn't matter if you connect say.. a chassis fan to a power fan connector or vice versa. Just connect whatever to the other headers that you can control and should be without issues. Also, as you say the pinout is the same by standard (GND,+12v,Tach(rpm),PWM) hence why you can put say.. a 2pin fan on a 4pin or whatnot. Your 3pin headers support voltage control but surely not individually basing on the fact the CPU fan headers are linked. Looking at the board, you only have 2 cpu fan headers so the only other thing I could figure is it's the chassis-fan headers being supported as 'fan 1-3' and also linked as one speed thus only allowing you only two separate fan controls (one setting for all CPU, one for all chassis going by a few good searches). *scratches head*

    Also, check the manual over and make sure it isn't showing multiple models as I noticed ASRock tends to use one manual across multiple versions of board in some cases whos features can differ between versions of board. You can only really tell which can be controlled by using the bios and seeing what options are avail for which headers. Just find it annoying that many boards cut corners on fan control built-in to the board nowadays with some only providing limited support for some headers. You could always just get a splitter and bridge multiple fans to the controllable headers if it came to that as well.

    Sorry if I seem confused and scatter brained as it's the first board I've seen or dealt with in the longest time that supported voltage control on the 3s at the same time the 4's supported PWM so trying to suggest to best I can to my knowledge at the moment. Only personally dealt with boards that had no control, control on the 3's only, or control on the 4's only.

    EDIT: Summarized Thoughts
    With a little searching, all your cpu and chassis are linked to each other only offering 2 controllable speeds (1 speed for all cpu1-2, 1 speed for all chassis1-3) but you can only control speed on a 4pin with another 4pin fan (which is typical). If you need to use 2x 3-pin fans or more on the CPU headers you will need to use a splitter cable off the 3pin header for them both. From experience, the PWR_Fan headers are never controlled as they are intended for power supplies with external-fan hookups and are normally temperature controlled through the PSU or FAN itself rather than the board.
    Last edited by Chozo4; 10-23-2012 at 04:57 AM.
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    Default Re: Asrock Z77 Extreme4 Fan control

    Why would you think your fans would be damaged? As long as they are standard 12V fans, they will be fine. Using a three pin fan on a four pin PWM fan header works, but there is no automatic speed adjustment, as in a PWM CPU fan that changes speed with the CPU temperature. That is, as long as it is configured correctly. This board is supposed to have some automatic fan speed control of three pin fans, set in the UEFI only, but I've never really tested it.

    Your weird fan speed readings, which are incorrect BTW, are usually caused by running more than one hardware monitoring program at once. For example, if I run HWiNFO at the same time as AXTU, the CPU Fan speed in HWiNFO will show 0 RPM at times, and at others the correct speed. The voltage readings from the PS are also confused in HWiNFO. Usually, it is the other way around, where the boards monitoring software (in this case AXTU) will show bad readings, that is common with ASUS software. What readings get weird is just random, depending on what programs you use. Even if you minimize AXTU, it will still affect other monitoring programs. If you stop AXTU, then it will not interfere with other monitoring programs.

    It's also possible that your Antec fans are sending bad RPM data to the board, but try using only one monitoring program first.

    There's a simple reason why your fans run as high speeds even with the speed level in AXTU turned way down. Consider all the different kinds of fans that exist, from tiny 40mm to 200mm models. The only standards for PC fans is that they operate at up to 12V, have several standard sizes, rotate in the same direction, and blow air out of the side where the arms that hold the center hub or motor are located. The problem is, all PC fans start rotating at different voltages, there is no standard start up voltage. Fan size does not necessarily dictate the start up voltage (SUV.) Some 120mm fan have a SUV of 3V, while others have a SUV of 7V. Next, while it may take say 6V to get a fan started, once it is spinning it may keep running with only 5V. Check out X-Bit Lab's fan reviews, they list the SUV for all the fans they test. They just published a review of 13 135mm - 150mm fans, and the SUV ranged from 2.7V to 7.1V.

    Now imagine a mother board manufacture designing the fan controls for their boards. They know the SUV of fans is all over the place, and they don't want the fans connected to their boards to NOT run when set to the lowest setting. Think of all the complaints they would get, including "... my PC fried because the fans did not start...", or were barely spinning. So given the wide range of fans' SUV, and the need to be protected from... stupid users (what can I say?), the minimum voltage the fan headers are set to is about 7V - 8V. "But that gives very little room for adjustment with some fans...". Uhm, yes you're right. In the end, dumbed down, or up (voltage) in this case, wins.

    You're also right that the fan control software or control capabilities on mother boards is rather primitive. Go back three or more years, and those boards were even worse. The ASRock fan control software and capabilities is IMO not the best that exists, but also not the worst. It also depends on the model of board, cheap ones may have less fancy controls, and that goes for all manufactures.

    I'm familiar with those Antec fans you use, they are standard 12V max fans. But the SUV is super low, maybe less than two volts. They probably would run at full speed at about 7V, but somehow the extra voltage up to 12V does nothing. You will need to use the fan speed reducers with them, or find the one three pin fan header that has more adjustment settings, I can't remember which one it is, I'm not using my X77 EX 4 PC now. You could use a one to two fan splitter cable with those fans, since they use very little power (Watts) as the current rating is so low, like 0.1 Amp. The fan headers should be good for 1 Amp (12 Watts) each.

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