It's 2017, what fan control software are we using?

Discussion in 'Water Cooling' started by ghostwich, Jun 30, 2017.

  1. ghostwich

    ghostwich [H]ard|Gawd

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    There's been a bit of discussion in the NCASE M1 threads about using water temperature to drive fans - I actually did just pick up a temperature sensor to do just this (unsuccessfully, as seen in my post in that thread) - and it got me thinking, what fan control software is everyone using?

    SpeedFan is good but limiting in many ways - I've found it doesn't connect to all temperature sensors, and its UI is less than intuitive.

    Motherboard manufacturers provide fan control that you'd imagine would be good - but I have noticed deficiencies in how it reads the thermal sensors (this was in AI Suite 3 with... erm... Fan Xpert 2 or something like that).

    Maybe it's because I've got a mini-ITX board and the full ATX boards handle this better? Or maybe people have Aqueros or other physical fan controllers?

    I feel like there's a need for something like SpeedFan but with all the sensors available in HWiNFO or something like that, or like Aquasuite's ability to make "virtual" temperature probes.
     
  2. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    I spent a lot of time trying to get fan control to work based on coolant temp, and was successful, but in the end I didn't like it.

    I got one of those eBay special little circuit boards with two zone temp PWM fan control.

    When you have a stable indoor temperature it can work quite well, but when it's hot out, it just results in the fans spinning faster for no reason, as the system tries to go subambient (and - of course - never succeeds).


    Then I decided to have it triggered based on core temp by tapping the motherboard fan header for it's PWM signal, and the GPU fan header for it's PWM signal and having each control about half the fans in the loop, based on BIOS settings, not software.

    I didn't like this either, as at idle it would spin down so low that the water temp would get really hot and then if I loaded it up quickly, the water temp wouldn't drop fast enough.

    In the end I built my own custom PWM fan controller with a switch to switch between the water temp board and my own manual PWM control board. I find I almost never use water control and just learn what the different games and software I run needs from a steady RPM perspective in my setup, and just set it. If the temp keeps creeping up as I game, I raise it a little, and if the temps stay below my target zone, I turn it down a little, for the silence.

    Maybe it's because I have a huge reservoir with lots of water in it, which results in some temperature inertia making it take both longer for the coolant to heat up and cool down, but I have found this method to be very good for me.

    If curious, here is how I built my fan controller.

    Doesn't look too shabby either, if I may say so myself.

    IMG_20160911_202713-crop.jpg
     
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  3. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex [H]ard|Gawd

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    Solid BIOS fan control is a feature that I will not compromise on when shopping for a motherboard. And I mean several PWM and DC controllable headers, each with a unique independent configurable curve, fan stop alarms, and temperature control source. If a mobo doesn't have this, I won't buy it.

    I don't like software control for fans, but if I had to pick one to live with, it'd be SpeedFan. It's hard to configure, but it's incredibly powerful.
     
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  4. ChoGGi

    ChoGGi [H]ard|Gawd

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    I like using SIV. I wouldn't say the UI is intuitive, but there's a least one guide to get you started.
    That and I think it only works with certain AIOs and a few custom fan controllers (corsair mini/nzxt grid).
     
  5. ghostwich

    ghostwich [H]ard|Gawd

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    I did something similar to my first PC - not as DIY, but I had a dial connected to the fan controller and I would "turn it up" when playing a game or something. Manual control is manual control - you're the one in charge, and in many ways it has benefits. What didn't you like about using coolant temperature?

    I agree that the BIOS as the lowest-common-denominator should be where true system control lies - however, have you found success there? My last few boards have been ASUS and while it seems like it's decent control I've found it to be lacking - not just in setting temperature sensors and all that, but in general - not enough granularity with setting curves. And maybe it's me but having to drop down to the BIOS every time to make a change is a bit frustrating (but admittedly once you get it right there's little else, and not running software is pretty great).

    SIV is... well that's quite a UI. Seems overkill and if it only works with Corsair Link, it's not general purpose enough.

    SpeedFan is a stalwart option and I don't mean to knock it - for the vast majority of actually controlling fan speed it does the job. It's annoying though as I feel like the dev is doing just enough to prevent it from being abandonware, and compared to the sensors I see in HWiNFO, what options I have in SpeedFan are so limited.
     
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  6. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex [H]ard|Gawd

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    My current board is a Gigabyte. Not an Aorus, but one made almost immediately before they started putting that big dumb bird on everything. (Love you Gigs, f'realzies, but the Aorus branding just doesn't do it for me.) I'm really happy with the fan control on it, though to be honest I still need to tweak it a bit to get it just right. I kinda set it and forget it when I built the system.

    Making sure my motherboard has lots of control is half of my approach. My other half is keeping my fan loadout pretty simple from a control standpoint. I have six fans. Three are intake, all the same model, and are all on a single header via a PWM splitter. Three are exhaust/radiator, all the same model, and are all on a second PWM splitter. One is my PSU fan (I wanted to control it from my motherboard because... well, reasons :D).

    With this setup, balancing case airflow is pretty simple. And I know that when I finally remember to do it, making that final tweak will be easy. =)
     
  7. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I'm still using the hardware fan controller I got about 9 years ago.
     
  8. rec0d3

    rec0d3 Limp Gawd

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    I still use BIOS hahaha I'm a loser.
     
  9. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex [H]ard|Gawd

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    BIOS is BestOS, my friend. XD
     
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  10. Pabaisa

    Pabaisa n00b

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    Actually I like Argus monitor to regulate my fan speed as it has most up to date fan controller support but it still is hit and miss (as is speedfan but it is free and was last updated quite a while ago). I would recommend NZXT grid+ but I realy do not like CAM software and fan control step is 10% (which really is sort really irritating).
     
  11. ghostwich

    ghostwich [H]ard|Gawd

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    I beta tested CAM and while it looks... erm... nice? You know in that minimalist kind of way, I was not overly impressed with the actual monitoring piece as well as the push to create an online account and all that. At the time it didn't have support for fan control (and hrm, looking it up, seems it only does that with Grid+ ?).
     
  12. bluesynk

    bluesynk Limp Gawd

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    I checked out Argus monitor. Great replacement for the gigabyte siv software, speedfan never worked for my chipset. much easier than bios tuning my fans
     
  13. Pabaisa

    Pabaisa n00b

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    Yeah, CAM only works with grid+ and grid+ only works with CAM (grid+ would be awesome if it worked with anything else other than CAM. I really like what it shows how many watts each fan header is pulling but CAM itself is very bloaty while offering none of "advanced" features).
     
  14. ChoGGi

    ChoGGi [H]ard|Gawd

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    Grid+ works with SIV :)
    No idea if it shows wattage though, this guide is for corsair but it's pretty much the same for grid.
     
  15. Krenum

    Krenum [H]ardForum Junkie

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    BIOS for Chassis & CPU PWM Control, MSI Afterbuner for Graphics card.
     
  16. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    The problem I found with auto fan control based on coolant temp is significant for people who don't have central air or for other reasons have highly variable indoor temperatures.

    For instance, I'd set a target coolant temp of 32C and that would work great for the winter, but on hot days during the summer, that's only 2 degrees over ambient, so the fans would be going nuts trying to cool the coolant to below ambient temperatures (which - of course - is impossible), and it would be loud for no reason sitting idle at the desktop.

    I found manual fan control to be much more convenient. I just peek at the coolant temp every now and then during a gaming session, and if it seems to be creeping to high, I turn the fans up a little bit until it is stable at a temperature I am happy with. This is probably easier for me as I have a HUGE reservoir, which means that the coolant temp changes rather slowly, so if it is creeping up slowly, I have plenty of time to adjust it.
     
  17. WhoBeDaPlaya

    WhoBeDaPlaya 2[H]4U

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    Partying like its the 90s dawg!

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  18. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Problem with voltage control is that you can never go below ~60% of full speed, and maybe not even that slow.

    I've got rid of all my 3 pin fans 5+ years ago for this reason.
     
  19. WhoBeDaPlaya

    WhoBeDaPlaya 2[H]4U

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    I don't disagree, but I have a lot of old fan stock to use (eg. Panaflos).
     
  20. thesmokingman

    thesmokingman [H]ardness Supreme

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    I dun go by speed, instead noise. Typhoons are noiseless for me for most of the range, but if I had to point to an rpm it'd be 1k rpm. The knob controlling voltage never moves unless I'm benching and I haven't benched literally in a year lol.

    As for pumps, it's still bios controlled pwm via Asus ftw. I have water temp sensors, extra sensor temp leads, etc etc but have really found them not all that useful for daily use. They can be helpful I suppose pinpointing problems, but then again as an experienced modder that doesn't happen very often. After the cool factor of having multiple sensors wears off like it did for me, I don't even bother anymore. Got my sunbeam fan controller, pwm in bios on Asus, and there's nothing else needed especially since I'm running P/P with AP15s on dual EK XE 480s. More surface area ftw.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2017
  21. Pabaisa

    Pabaisa n00b

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    What do you mean? I am downvolting my 3-pin Corsair SP120 (2350 RPM) down to something like 4 volts (~600 RPM) without any hub/motor noise (this is why I like SP120 so much). I do the same with EK Vardar F3 and will do the same with "soon to arrive" Gentle Typhoons (1850 RPM).
     
  22. WhoBeDaPlaya

    WhoBeDaPlaya 2[H]4U

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    W00t! Just built a Silverstone FT01 setup with this bad boy that I forgot I had around! :D

    [​IMG]
     
  23. ghostwich

    ghostwich [H]ard|Gawd

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    Argus Monitor has a 30 day free trial so I gave it a shot and it's pretty nice - UI is way better than SpeedFan.

    However!

    I'm not so sure it has detected my sensors properly - definitely not the additional thermal sensor (thanks a lot ASUS). I'm considering buying a license (which is not lifetime?) and maybe emailing the devs to see if they can figure something out.

    Fair point - I find myself fiddling with the curves as we get into the hotter ambient temperatures which is admittedly defeating the purpose of having software do this for you automatically.

    More surface area = more cooling at lower fan RPM = quieter

    I actually found Typhoons (and EK Vardar which are built like Typhoons) to sound slightly worse than Noctuas in a purely subjective sense.
     
  24. rgMekanic

    rgMekanic [H]ard|News Staff Member

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    all 11 fans in mine are running off a Grid+ and CAM. Been very happy with it
     
  25. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    What benefit do you find you get by PWM controlling pump speed?

    At least with my D5 (which is not a pwm model) when I change the fan speed using the dial on the bottom the noise level really doesnt change. The pitch of the noise changes slightly, but not the intensity of it.

    While I would like my pump to be quieter, (it is by far the loudest part of my system at idle and even a bit above) I don't find it any less intrusive at low settings than I do at high settings, so I just keep it at max.

    I wonder how much difference there is from D5 to D5 though, as I keep hearing that the D5 is supposed to be a really quiet pump, but I havent necessarily found that to be the case, even with all the rubber grommets and vibration dampening foam I can throw at it. That being said, I don't have anything to compare it to, as this is my first custom water loop. I could compare it to the pumps in my previous AIO coolers (of which I have had many, mostly CoolIT designed Corsair coolers), and those pumps were always much quieter, but then again, they were always much smaller loops so they never had to be as powerful as the pump in a large custom loop.
     
  26. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    I always liked the concept of those, and back around 2010-2011 some time I built a couple of systems susing its little brother, the Sentry 2, but as I recall the fan control is all three pin, which I found disappointing.

    I've considered buying a Aquacomputer Aquero on occasion, but always been turned off by its seemingly excessive price, and the fact that the documentation isnt all translated from German, and despite speaking German, I find it rather confusing which parts I need in order to do what I want.

    That's why I built my own, as I mentioned previously in this thread. It doesnt have any of those fancy touch screens, but it looks nice and clean and does the job.
     
  27. Bandalo

    Bandalo 2[H]4U

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    There's really only one "pro-grade" temp monitoring and control, and that's one of the Aquaero (sp?) from Aqua Computer. They're one of the only ones that will really let you monitor multiple temp channels, monitor pump speeds, flow rates, etc, and control almost anything based on those inputs.

    The s/w that comes with most new motherboards is decent for most of it, and probably will cover 90% of any actual "need" your typical watercooler might have.
     
  28. thesmokingman

    thesmokingman [H]ardness Supreme

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    Actually, the EK Vardar are nothing like Typhoons outside of their wannabe GT knockoff appearance.


    The benefit is that I don't ever have to mess with the pump speed. With PWM at least with DDC (not so much with D5) you can control a couple factors, minimum DC (duty cycle) ie. the slowest speed it will run at. The range that the pump starts scaling, ie. the minimum low temp before the pump ramps up. The maximum DC versus maximum temp, ie. you can limit the pump power to not go over X DC and within a specific range. Basically what this means is that I can run my pump very low for ex. 25% DC at idle and up to 45c, where it begins ramping up until it hits my preset max DC of 52% by 60c on the cpu sensor. With a MCP35x, you get 95% of the pump power at 52% DC, so there's no need to push higher unless you wanna waste a lot of power.

    Regarding D5 pumps, yea there are some differences between the various models. You might also check out AC's newer D5 variant that is not really a D5. D5's are generally quieter than a DDC because the D5 motor is inside the loop, and its this reason that makes it quieter. However they can still be noisy due to vibrations like any other pump so try and decouple it better maybe. The flipside to a D5 is that since the pump is inside the loop, it transfers its heat to the loop where the DDC is external and dumps its heat into the air. Different strokes...
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2017
  29. Nanook

    Nanook Limp Gawd

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    My build is in the NCase M1. I use the Asus Z270i motherboard software to control my fans. I actually plug a "chassis fan" to the CPU fan header, and the radiator fans to the CHASSIS fan header (running off of combination of CPU, and T_sensor). The D5 is connected to the AIO header.

    With my older Gigabyte Z170N motherboard, Speedfan would not pick up the temperature sensors, so I used NZXT Grid+ and Cam to control CPU and side fans via CPU temperatures, and the bottom dedicated GPU heat sink fans (for the Accelero4) via GPU temperature. Another reason I got the Grid+ was because my GPU fan header was fried, and I really needed a way to control the bottom fans. The GPU is so compartmentalized from the rest of the case that it needed its own fan controls.
     
  30. ghostwich

    ghostwich [H]ard|Gawd

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    Are you using the BIOS or the AI Suite / FanXpert thing? I guess I'm a little OCD in rearranging the fans like you have. I also didn't like FanXpert 2 in my previous board, the Z87I-Deluxe, which is why I moved (and have since stayed) on SpeedFan.
     
  31. Nanook

    Nanook Limp Gawd

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    I use AI suite. It's very basic but works. I'll have to learn how to use SpeedFan one day.
     
  32. Skylinestar

    Skylinestar Limp Gawd

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    Why do you need to go that low?
     
  33. damstr

    damstr [H]ard|Gawd

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    I'm using AI Suite 3. I know the CPU temp is way off but I just monitor HWinfo64 vs AI Suite 3 CPU temps then make my adjustments in the AI Suite accordingly. I don't like that if you use a certain header on the mobo (Asus Z270F) you can't rename what fan that is if it's say the AOI pump or CPU fan. Really annoying.
     
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  34. Frito11

    Frito11 Limp Gawd

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    in my rig i have a 480 rad and a 280 rad in push pull plus two front fans and a rear fan i run all of them off the phanteks pwm hub my case came with full of splitters but it came up just short of having enough capacity at that point so i just run the two extras off other fan headers on my motherboard and then use asus's AI Suite to control speeds but pretty much given that i have so much cooling in my system for just a 1080 Ti and 6700k i basically run everything at 600 rpm (virtually silent) unless it hot, if its hot then i have my window fan running in my room and its louder than my fans maxed out so i just max them all out to 1200 rpm
     
  35. pclausen

    pclausen Limp Gawd

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    I use Aquasuite 2017 to control an Aquaero 6 PRO. The 6 PRO has 4 PWM channels, flow input, 8 temp sensors, etc and a USB interface to the computer, but once configures, runs completely autonomously and has a nice display that fits in a 5 1/4 bay. There are also relay outputs so the rig can be shut down if there's a pump failure or something along those lines.

    EDIT: Didn't realize this thread is 3 months old. lol
     
  36. ghostwich

    ghostwich [H]ard|Gawd

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    I appreciate the thread necro.

    I switched from SpeedFan to Argus Monitor.
     
  37. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    I've always wanted one of those but was kind of turned off by the price.

    It's not a bad device, but man, that is some SERIOUS markup.
     
  38. Chapeau

    Chapeau Gawd

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    I've been pretty darn happy since installing the Aquero 6 LT into my Ncase M1... Aquasuite is also fantastic...

    upload_2017-10-26_15-6-31.png

    Running off the Air/Water delta means the system no longer spikes and can even do 0 rpm without worry....
    The temperature resolution is also amazing - all in all it's a worthy purchase.
     
  39. SvenBent

    SvenBent 2[H]4U

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    I have used speedfan for years. Free and works.
     
  40. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    speedfan. learn it, love it.