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Thread: PWM fan controller




  1. #11
    RickJP909's Avatar
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    Default Re: PWM fan controller

    Quote Originally Posted by parsec View Post
    Fan speed control is always a compromise on mother boards, since there are no standards for fans about their start up speed and how much voltage is needed to start a fan spinning. All fans are different, some might start spinning at 5 volts or less, and others will need 7 volts before they will start spinning.

    Mother board manufactures are worried that some fans will not start spinning if the fan speed control is set to the lowest speed. That will be a big problem for fans on a CPU cooler, the CPU could over heat and owners will blame the mother board manufacture.

    So mother board manufactures will set the lowest fan speed setting for the CPU fan high enough for 99% or more of the fans used to start spinning. Your Nexus fan has a very low starting voltage, lower than most other fans, so even at the lowest CPU fan speed setting, it will spin faster than most other fans, 1200 RPM.
    Having just read Parsec's post properly, I think they explain it nicely and if this is true, (I only say this as I haven't looked into it as I've not experienced this issue), then it really is a case of finding another case fan or perhaps a different model from the same manufacturer but one which has different technical characteristics.

    You can get the specs for my mainboard from my Profile but so that you can compare which fan controller I have to the one used on your mainboard, I'm using an AMD based 990FX Extreme 4.

    The reason why I say that is because mainboard manufacturers have a habit of using several different suppliers of logic ICs across their range so it's possible that we have different fan controllers, in which case my suggestion of a fan may not work with your configuration as well!

    Good luck but I'll be interested to know which fan you get working in the end.

  2. #12
    jabba is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: PWM fan controller

    Quote Originally Posted by RickJP909 View Post
    The reason why I say that is because mainboard manufacturers have a habit of using several different suppliers of logic ICs across their range so it's possible that we have different fan controllers, in which case my suggestion of a fan may not work with your configuration as well!
    Good luck but I'll be interested to know which fan you get working in the end.
    The most that I can get with this fan and this MoBo (Sys Fan):

    Set Minimum from the BIOS andSet Minimum with Speedfan:

    PWM fan controller-senza-titolo-1-png

  3. #13
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    Default Re: PWM fan controller

    Here is a great example of what I'm referring to, from a test of many fans, and a graph of their start up voltages:

    PWM fan controller-fan-start-voltage-png

    The entire review can be found here: 120mm Fan Roundup: 1350 RPM and Higher Rotation Speeds. Page 24 - X-bit labs

    There a several fan "roundup" articles they've done over time, just check the Cooling tab on the home screen.

    We can see that the fan with the lowest startup voltage, and the one with the highest startup voltage actually have almost identical top speeds of 1560RPM and 1580RPM. That is over 2.5 times a difference in startup voltage.

    How a mobo manufacture deals with that varies by manufacture. An ASUS board I have lets you adjust almost any CPU fan to a very low speed, but if that speed is below a certain level, about 400RPM, you'll get a warning when you boot and it gives you the option to adjust it in the BIOS. That puts the responsibility in the hands of the user. Other manufactures choose to not let the user have complete control, and never allows a low fan speed/voltage setting.

    That is a design choice, which the user may not feel is perfect...

  4. #14
    jabba is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: PWM fan controller

    Quote Originally Posted by parsec View Post
    How a mobo manufacture deals with that varies by manufacture. An ASUS board I have lets you adjust almost any CPU fan to a very low speed, but if that speed is below a certain level, about 400RPM, you'll get a warning when you boot and it gives you the option to adjust it in the BIOS. That puts the responsibility in the hands of the user. Other manufactures choose to not let the user have complete control, and never allows a low fan speed/voltage setting.

    That is a design choice, which the user may not feel is perfect...
    That's right, the new UEFI have dragged the old factor "CPU Fan Error press F1 to resume"

    I have other old PC to try when I have time and desire to disassemble and reassemble the fan, just to try.

    CHA_FAN2 connected to the 3 pin comes right at 500 RPM, but without the PWM function

  5. #15
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    Default Re: PWM fan controller

    Hey Parsec, thanks for that link as I'm going to go and read that article with interest as I've been trying to use fans in my system which have the highest air flow and lowest noise as I've been trying to get the nominal noise as low as possible and that article is going to help do just that!

    Jabba, have a look at my fan speed, etc as shown by AXTU when set to level 1 and 9.

    Note the speeds!

    PWM fan controller-temps2-jpg

    Hope that helps.

  6. #16
    jabba is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: PWM fan controller

    Quote Originally Posted by RickJP909
    Jabba, have a look at my fan speed, etc as shown by AXTU when set to level 1 and 9
    I had already written that I do not solve even with AXTU (Chassis Fan1 Speed should be 500 RPM not 1209 ...)

    PWM fan controller-senza-titolo-1-jpg

  7. #17
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    Default Re: PWM fan controller

    Quote Originally Posted by RickJP909 View Post
    Hey Parsec, thanks for that link as I'm going to go and read that article with interest as I've been trying to use fans in my system which have the highest air flow and lowest noise as I've been trying to get the nominal noise as low as possible and that article is going to help do just that!
    ...

    Yes, I've always thought those are probably the best fan reviews on the Internet, at least given what I've been able to find. You might find that a favorite fan of yours is actually not to good, although any fan testing methodology is not perfect, and comparing one type of testing to another is rarely consistent. One of the main things that you learn from these reviews is noise levels and air volume movement specs are wildly inaccurate.

    Jabba, I've never seen much difference in fan speeds using the Target CPU temperature setting, but did you ever try it set to a much higher temperature? Or does that just delay the increase in fan speed? I always set mine to the lowest temperature, but my PWM fans run below 700RPM just using the standard Level 1 setting.

  8. #18
    jabba is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: PWM fan controller

    Quote Originally Posted by parsec
    Or does that just delay the increase in fan speed?
    Exactly.

    Quote Originally Posted by parsec
    I always set mine to the lowest temperature, but my PWM fans run below 700RPM just using the standard Level 1 setting.
    Look at my screenshot > Level 1 = 1209 RPM

  9. #19
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    Default Re: PWM fan controller

    Quote Originally Posted by parsec View Post
    Yes, I've always thought those are probably the best fan reviews on the Internet, at least given what I've been able to find. You might find that a favorite fan of yours is actually not to good, although any fan testing methodology is not perfect, and comparing one type of testing to another is rarely consistent. One of the main things that you learn from these reviews is noise levels and air volume movement specs are wildly inaccurate.
    Yes, that's exactly the problem so it's good when you see a review such as this as at least they're all tested at the same time, under exactly the same conditions otherwise all you can go on is the manufacturer specifications.

    It's a shame that they didn't test my Akasa Viper as I'd like to have seen how that compared. I'm really intrigued by those Corsair fans as they reviewed really well so on that basis, I may try one out!

    I'm really looking for a good exhaust fan now and one which has blue LEDs as I have a case with a window and I like seeing lights inside the case...

  10. #20
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    Default Re: PWM fan controller

    Quote Originally Posted by RickJP909 View Post
    Yes, that's exactly the problem so it's good when you see a review such as this as at least they're all tested at the same time, under exactly the same conditions otherwise all you can go on is the manufacturer specifications.

    It's a shame that they didn't test my Akasa Viper as I'd like to have seen how that compared. I'm really intrigued by those Corsair fans as they reviewed really well so on that basis, I may try one out!

    I'm really looking for a good exhaust fan now and one which has blue LEDs as I have a case with a window and I like seeing lights inside the case...
    Do you mean this Akasa fan: 120 mm Fan Roundup, Part 2: 1350 RPM or Higher Rotation Speed - X-bit labs

    I mentioned that there are other fan reviews at that site, that particular one is from 1/2011, so farther back in their list of cooling reviews. Don't stop there, more after that one, and one or two before it.

    Yet another site, with no where near as many fans, but worth a look is this: silentpcreview.com | Everything about Silent / Quiet Computers

    I'm partial to Scythe fans, mainly the PWM models, and some three pin models. But Scythe has not been available in the US for a while now, so hard to find.

    I've used those new Corsair fans, including their new PWM models. Of course they are not silent at full speed (over 2000 RPM) but are pretty quiet at lower speeds. I'm using one Scythe Slip Stream PWM fan and one Corsair SP120 PWM High Performance Edition in push-pull on a H80 AIO liquid cooler. Using Level 1 of the ASRock fan speed control, at idle they both run at a bit under 700 RPM (sorry Jabba!)

    I like the Corsair 140mm models for case fans, they move a decent amount of air and are above average quiet. I can run them at full speed (~1000RPM) and they are not very noisy. Corsair does have some 120mm blue LED fans, in their Air Flow series, all three pin case fans.

    Jabba, what I don't understand is the Scythe fans I've used have a super low starting voltage (3.6V - 4.8V) yet I can run them at under 700 RPM on my ASRock board. I should mention that this is on my ASR Z87 board, whose fan control may be a bit different than the Z77 boards.

    I don't understand why your Nexus fan will only go down to 1200 RPM... but wait, I just checked my ASR Z77 board PC, and the lowest I can get the Scythe PWM fan I use on that board's CPU cooler, is about 1070RPM, using Level 1, not the Custom setting. So it looks like you are stuck with 1200RPM with your Nexus fan, sorry to say.

    No mother board made by anyone is perfect, and IMO, ASRock boards tend to have somewhat simpler fan speed control software compared to other manufactures.

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