I’ve been looking for a software PWM fan speed solution for my Asus motherboard, Antec case,… where I’ve tried a few PWM CPU fans, and couple PWM case fans, with both SpeedFan and Fan Xpert trying to reasonably control them… SpeedFan didn’t play well with my board. Fan Xpert is about 80% there and friendly, has great potential, BUT is missing a few key items that prevent builders from being able to use it. I’m wondering what works best for you and what doesn’t work for you. Hopefully, Asus will see many comments and further improve the product…
Bruce’s Fan Xpert review: (v1.05 & 1.06)
• The CPU fan control GUI allows the builder to design a temperature/PWM% profile curve to control the fan speed and gradually ramp it up as the CPU becomes warmer. This is great for keeping things relatively quiet until the user is loading the CPU. The only down sides are a) Fan Xpert mandates a 20%PWM minimum, which is unnecessarily fast/noisy for some PWM fans, and b) it would be better to have the builder enter the minimum rated speed of the CPU fan and let Fan Xpert find the minimum PWM% during its Calibration.
• The Chassis Fan setting GUI also needs a builder-designed profile curve like the CPU Fan has. The 60% setting Fan Xpert mandates for the lowest speed in all the available curve profiles is unnecessarily fast/noisy for some PWM fans, and below the rated minimum for other PWM fans. The builder should be able to, at least, set the minimum level as a PWM percent. Ideally the builder should enter the minimum rated speed of the chosen monitored fan and let Fan Xpert find the minimum PWM% during calibration. In addition, since many builders have well ventilated cases, multiple chassis fans, some externally speed-controlled, Fan Xpert should allow the builder to turn off the chassis fan header if the temperature is below a builder-designated threshold +/- to prevent short-cycling.
• Additional builder-designed profiles should be able to be set to control any additional PWM headers on the motherboard using any available temperature sensor – even if the 4-pin header is labeled for the power supply.
• Other thoughts include… Fan Xpert should be separate from AI Suite. And Q-Fan BIOS settings should designed to mirror Fan Xpert builder-designed profiles.
• Note that your controlled fans need to be 4-pin PWM and you may need to enable Q-Fan in BIOS for the fans you want to control. Setting each to Turbo is a good start so you see what Fan Xpert subsequently does. Once you set and apply the settings in Fan Xpert, you do not need to re-run Fan Xpert each time you restart, as the settings are kept [somewhere].
I personally would like to be able to control rpm by entering # values and not pulling that graph line 1st of all. also the program that tracks this should be like core temp with real time stats all the time if the user likes with fan speeds and voltage and location of these fans. I mean if you are going to make a fan controller make it as thorough as possible right? As such I would like to see a central fan header on the board that has a software interface that has a wide range of settings at the USERS FULL control. But a piece of software that gives the user a FULL range of options would be a GREAT start.
With a lot more searching, finding nothing worthwhile, and with considerable thought, I’d like to suggest this hardware/software combination: http://www.mellen.biz/fancontroller/
Do you want to automatically adjust your fan speeds based upon case temperature(s), and/or want some more fan headers of the type you want for the fan make/model you want to use, and monitor all your fan speeds in the best respected application out there? This relatively simple controller board, in conjunction with SpeedFan’s new fan control user interface (as of 4.44β), is a great way to automatically control your fans to keep your build cool, as quiet as possible, and safe. Tom’s hardware says that “If you are interested in regulating your fans, you should also furnish your system with numerous heat sensors. An alarm function triggered at critical levels should alert the user that the PC is getting too hot, or better yet, automatically take control of and adjust fan settings.” This solution is all that and more, without paying too much for it.
To obtain it, you have three choices…
1) You need to ask your favorite manufacturer to make it so. Apply pressure showing a market, and manufacturers won’t want to be the last with the solution. Along with a personal note, send the information below to them, so they get a consistent picture. Are you listening Antec?, Silverstone? LianLi? Gelid? ArcticColling? Thermaltake? CoolerMaster? Zalman? Scythe? Noctua? NZXT?
2) If some electronics, Win7 programming, and marketing people can get together and get it prototyped & proven, they could perhaps work something out with a PCB design & assembly service to get it to market at a reasonable price point, or
3) Arm-twist a local university that might entertain this as an interdisciplinary project that could be subsequently run with…
Write me at email@example.com if you have further improvements for the product or visit www.mellen.biz/fancontroller if you want the latest thoughts on the product. I’d be glad to get this rolling…