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Thread: What do the fan settings in the bios of a Z97 Extreme4 do?




  1. #1
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    Question What do the fan settings in the bios of a Z97 Extreme4 do?

    I know there are -

    Custom
    Silent
    Standard
    Performance
    Full Speed

    fan speeds available in my bios. Other than what custom does, are the rest just default minimums for what the fans should run at during boot? If I have my cpu fan on Standard and it heats up, does the fan increase it's RPM's? Or does it stay at the Standard speed? I am guessing these are minimum speeds and they will increase if necessary and then throttle back down to the minimum speed (profile setting).

    Is this how it works?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Britgeezer is offline Member
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    Default Re: What do the fan settings in the bios of a Z97 Extreme4 do?

    On paper yes, however, in silent or custom I can't get my chassis fans to slow down, even when I raise the target temps stupidly high.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: What do the fan settings in the bios of a Z97 Extreme4 do?

    All of the pre-defined fan speed "profiles" have a programed curve or graph that defines their characteristics of speed vs temperature.

    You can easily see and modify any of the available fan speed profiles. Simply select one in the UEFI, boot into Windows, and run A-Tuning and go to FAN-Tastic Tuning. This is the Standard profile of the Z97 Extreme6 board:

    What do the fan settings in the bios of a Z97 Extreme4 do?-atuning-standard-fan-speed-jpg

    The Standard profile is defined to run the CPU fan at ~66% of its top speed at any temperature up to 50C. Then it goes to ~70% at 60C, reaching 80% at 75C. At 80C the CPU fan goes to 100% or top speed.

    Important things to know about PC fans:

    • All fans are different in their RPM range, from minimum to maximum, there are almost no defined standards regarding a fan's speed. Given the range of PC fan sizes (25mm - 200mm+) and potential uses (quiet PC case fans, cooling enterprise servers, etc) that is a good thing. The closest thing to a standard fan would be the fans used on the stock AMD and Intel CPU coolers. There are standards for PWM speed controlled fans, but they don't specify what a fan's speed is.
    • One important PC fan spec that is rarely provided is starting voltage. This is only valid for Voltage Controlled fans, which have two or three wires between the fan motor and power connector. PWM speed controlled fans (four wire/pin, not a molex connector) have what is called a minimum duty cycle that identifies when a PWM fan starts spinning.
    • Some Voltage Controlled fans start spinning with less than 5V applied, while others may not start until 9V. PWM fans also have different duty cycle starting points.
    • What is the fan's RPM at its starting voltage? Usually slow, ~500 - 600 RPM, but it could be 300 RPM or 1000 RPM. Maximum speed? ~800 RPM to 3000+ RPM.


    Put all this together, and every PC fan is an individual. Reading fan speed specs alone tells us that. So how do you define an RPM vs temperature curve for all these different fans that will work well? You can't, it's impossible. But if we choose a fan that's common and use it to create the RPM vs temperature curve, it will be useful to some people. I don't know if ASRock uses a stock Intel CPU cooler to create the pre-defined profiles, but that would make sense.

    For those of use that don't use the "common fan", what can we do? Check the FAN-Tastic Tuning picture again, and find the Start FAN Test button. When the test is done, it will display a Fan Speed/RPM and "Fan Power" percentage. That percentage can be used to set up the Custom fan speed curve for the fans you are using. If you don't run the Fan Test, you'll never know what you are doing when you configure the Custom fan speed curve, it will be pure guess work and luck if it works as you want it to.

    Another thing we can do with the pre-defined fan speed profiles, is modify them in FAN-Tastic Tuning. Click and hold the mouse button on one of the dots in the graph, and you can move it up and down, left and right. I did that on the Standard profile above, and moved the dot to 20% at 30C. My CPU cooler fan went from audible to inaudible, with no difference in idle temperature.

    Britgeezer, I think you are referring to the "Target Temperature" seen in the Z77 Extreme4's board UEFI, not a Z97 board UEFI, is that right?

    ASRock's fan speed control has evolved since the Z77 board days, it is much better now. I agree that the Target Temperature settings do nothing that I have ever been able to detect. I set it to the lowest value and ignore it. I haven't used the Z77 boards in a while, I forget if you can modify the chassis fan speed curves, on the one or two chassis fan headers that even allow that.

    The ASRock Z87 and Z97 boards have much improved fan speed control compared to earlier models. Those earlier models have poor fan speed control compared to other mobo manufactures, at the same point in time.

  4. #4
    Britgeezer is offline Member
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    Cool Re: What do the fan settings in the bios of a Z97 Extreme4 do?

    No I'm talking about the Z97 Extreme4 - I will read your guide and see what happens. I completely missed the A guide.
    My CPU Fan (PWM) is only ticking over at around 400 rpm but the case fans (NZXT 3 wire) are up in the 1000/1200 rpm area, selecting them to monitor Case or CPU has no impact.

    Update I installed A Tuning, I will play with it but 2 immediate comments:
    1. Your screen print is easy to read. Mine is light grey font on white background in the description section. I see no adjustment.
    2. There is a tab for live update which is similar function as APP Shop - sigh

    Update.
    Well that was fun. I clicked around in A Tuning it looks interesting, I went from standard mode to Eco and then back, decided to replace the front case fan (Bios was showing 7800/8500 rpm.....) with a PWM fan I had as spare. I happened to reboot first and found I had no bootable drives! After some checks and much thought I checked the power to drives. Apparently the ECO mode had turned power off to my SSD's which were using the power saver header to provide power and reduce the clutter in the case.

    Users beware.

    PS: PC is near silent now without doing more than put fans in silent mode in BIOS.

    CPU Temp 31C @ 455 rpm.
    MB Temp 27C
    Chassis 1 874 rpm
    Chassis 2 587 rpm.
    Last edited by Britgeezer; 04-07-2015 at 09:41 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: What do the fan settings in the bios of a Z97 Extreme4 do?

    First, about your apparent problems with the A-Tuning display, and APP Shop too.

    Are you using a Windows "theme" (not the desktop background picture), like the standard high contrast themes, or changed the background color at all?

    I normally don't change those things much, what you saw in that screen shot was the default Win 10 TP color theme.

    Or, have you played around with the color, contrast, etc, settings on the Nvidia video driver Control Panel? Or even the display settings on your monitor? That's about all I can come up with that might cause what you are seeing.

    This is what APP Shop looks like on my Z97 Extreme6 PC, using an EVGA 760:

    What do the fan settings in the bios of a Z97 Extreme4 do?-app-shop-1-jpg

    The screen shot is somewhat blurred compared to the actual display I see. That is on a 27" IPS monitor at 1080P.

    Back to A-Tuning. The Operation Mode options are at least just the Windows default Power plans, which may have some tweaks in them beyond the default settings. I'm not sure if the Power Saving option also enables the SATA Aggressive Link Power Management in the UEFI, Storage Configuration screen. That can cause problems for some drives, including SSDs.

    You can switch to another Operation Mode and then check the Windows Power Plan in use, and the advanced option settings. If one or more need a "fix" for your drives, then have at it.

    I see you have a Crucial M4. That's a great SSD, but being somewhat older may not support the newer power saving features found on newer SSDs. You wouldn't think enabling a feature that a drive does not support would cause problems, but it can. Also, do you happen to use the Intel IRST driver? I assume (pray) you are using AHCI as the Intel SATA mode, and your SSD and main drives are on the Intel SATA ports. Sorry, I know they are, just verifying.

    So you thought the Power Saving mode enabled HDD Saver, which in turn turned off your OS drive? Note that A-Tuning has the HDD Saver feature in it, and if A-Tuning is set to auto-run, that might cause what happened to your drives. You know how HDD Saver works, you may need to Disable it again in the UEFI.

    On to FAN-Tastic tuning and fan speeds. I really suggest running the Fan Test on every fan connected to the board. Do NOT have any other hardware monitoring programs running when you run the Fan Test, IMO they can confuse the speed results of the Fan Test.

    Do not leave the FAN-Tastic Tuning screen while the Fan Test is running, that seems to mess it up.

    Note you must run the Fan Test for each fan/header individually.

    When the Fan Test is done, the fan being tested is set to full speed for some reason, and you must click the Apply button to use the fan speed curve being displayed.

    Also, I have seen a few goofy results in the Fan Test, for a few fans. That is, the fan RPM at 90% will be more than it is at 100%, for example. Try running it again if you get a result like that. Slight differences like I described are not a problem.

    Don't forget if you change a fan connected to the board, to run the Fan Test again.

    While you can modify the pre-defined fan speed curves (Standard, Quiet, etc) in FAN-Tastic Tuning, that does not permanently modify them. If you set A-Tuning to auto run, it will apply any changes to the pre-defined fan speed curves. Otherwise you must manually apply any changes to the pre-defined curves.

  6. #6
    Britgeezer is offline Member
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    Default Re: What do the fan settings in the bios of a Z97 Extreme4 do?

    Quote Originally Posted by parsec View Post
    First, about your apparent problems with the A-Tuning display, and APP Shop too.

    Are you using a Windows "theme" (not the desktop background picture), like the standard high contrast themes, or changed the background color at all? I'm using Windows Classic Theme
    I normally don't change those things much, what you saw in that screen shot was the default Win 10 TP color theme.

    Or, have you played around with the color, contrast, etc, settings on the Nvidia video driver Control Panel? Or even the display settings on your monitor? That's about all I can come up with that might cause what you are seeing. Nope all standard
    This is what APP Shop looks like on my Z97 Extreme6 PC, using an EVGA 760:

    What do the fan settings in the bios of a Z97 Extreme4 do?-app-shop-1-jpg

    The screen shot is somewhat blurred compared to the actual display I see. That is on a 27" IPS monitor at 1080P.

    Back to A-Tuning. The Operation Mode options are at least just the Windows default Power plans, which may have some tweaks in them beyond the default settings. I'm not sure if the Power Saving option also enables the SATA Aggressive Link Power Management in the UEFI, Storage Configuration screen. That can cause problems for some drives, including SSDs.

    You can switch to another Operation Mode and then check the Windows Power Plan in use, and the advanced option settings. If one or more need a "fix" for your drives, then have at it. I'm using the HD D Saver connector purely to provide power. Feature is now turned off on both Z97's.I see you have a Crucial M4. That's a great SSD, but being somewhat older may not support the newer power saving features found on newer SSDs. You wouldn't think enabling a feature that a drive does not support would cause problems, but it can. Also, do you happen to use the Intel IRST driver? I assume (pray) you are using AHCI as the Intel SATA mode, and your SSD and main drives are on the Intel SATA ports. Sorry, I know they are, just verifying. No idea about IRST but yes AHCI

    So you thought the Power Saving mode enabled HDD Saver, which in turn turned off your OS drive? Note that A-Tuning has the HDD Saver feature in it, and if A-Tuning is set to auto-run, that might cause what happened to your drives. You know how HDD Saver works, you may need to Disable it again in the UEFI.

    Yes that's possible, but I didn't invoke that app.

    On to FAN-Tastic tuning and fan speeds. I really suggest running the Fan Test on every fan connected to the board. Do NOT have any other hardware monitoring programs running when you run the Fan Test, IMO they can confuse the speed results of the Fan Test. OK
    Do not leave the FAN-Tastic Tuning screen while the Fan Test is running, that seems to mess it up.

    Note you must run the Fan Test for each fan/header individually. I saw that.

    When the Fan Test is done, the fan being tested is set to full speed for some reason, and you must click the Apply button to use the fan speed curve being displayed.

    Also, I have seen a few goofy results in the Fan Test, for a few fans. That is, the fan RPM at 90% will be more than it is at 100%, for example. Try running it again if you get a result like that. Slight differences like I described are not a problem.

    Don't forget if you change a fan connected to the board, to run the Fan Test again.

    While you can modify the pre-defined fan speed curves (Standard, Quiet, etc) in FAN-Tastic Tuning, that does not permanently modify them. If you set A-Tuning to auto run, it will apply any changes to the pre-defined fan speed curves. Otherwise you must manually apply any changes to the pre-defined curves.
    OK

    Thanks for the detailed reply. PS: I updated my spec.

    Its what I call my daily driver, there are two other PC's in the house (1 is Z97-Extreme4, 1 is MSI Z97 Gaming 7) and the Server which is still Z77-Extreme4. I've been asked to reduce the number of PC's in the house, not sure if I will do that and if so whether to sell off a Z97 or transplant one into the server and sell off the last Z77.
    Last edited by Britgeezer; 04-08-2015 at 11:34 AM.

  7. #7
    parsec's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do the fan settings in the bios of a Z97 Extreme4 do?

    Very strange why your APP Shop display is blurry. Your monitor is using a standard resolution. Maybe your APP Shop installation download itself was corrupted like the USB driver.

    Reduce the number of PCs by hiding it somewhere, out of sight, out of mind.

  8. #8
    Britgeezer is offline Member
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    Default Re: What do the fan settings in the bios of a Z97 Extreme4 do?

    Even stranger is 2 PC's same issue. You are probably correct that its related to my use of Classic Theme, but its only APP Shop with the issue so really no problem.

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