I have a Zalman CPU cooler which came with Fanmate 2 (a controller that lets you manually adjust the fan speed).
At first I didnt install it because I wanted the motherboard to adjust the speed according to the temperature (this is possible, right?). Well, I found out that my ASUS P5Q board won't adjust the fan speed if the connector only has 3 pins, which is the case. So I had to install the fanmate and now I can turn a knob to select a speed for the fan.
My question is, if I keep the fan in silent mode (lowest rpm), won't the system increase it if the CPU is near overheating? To me it seems a stupid system, when am I supposed to turn the speed up? When I start to play a game or what?
Also Coretemp showed no difference in the temperatures when I had the fan running low and when I had it max out.
What is this fanmate thing and how are you supposed to utilize it?
As for your question, there are plenty of free temp monitor programs you can download. During heavy load (gaming, compression, video editing, etc.) occasionally switch over to the temperature monitor to keep an eye on things. If your temp starts climbing over like 60c-70c (some may so lower or higher) i'd start cranking the fan up. Once you learn your comp's fluctuations, you'll instinctively know when it needs the extra juice. Alternatively, there are fancy pieces of hardware that you run your fans to that can automatically adjust rpm's for set temps.
Thanks for the replies guys.
So I just have to manually adjust it when Im gaming etc.?
What about Intel's stock fans, I thought those vary their speed automatically according to the CPU temperature? At least for laptops this appears to be the case because you can hear the fan start humming once the CPU gets tasked?
Intel's stock fans use a 4-pin connector, so PWM works on them, and they auto-regulate on any board. For 3-pin fans, some high end motherboards support DC modulation; otherwise I think you're out of luck. By the way, the 3-pin to 4-pin converters are for connecting to hard drive power plugs, not to a motherboard fan controller.
I don't know which specific Zalman cooler you have, so I wouldn't know how easy it is to replace the fan, or to find a 4-pin fan in the first place.