I recently bought a Zalman CNPS9900ALED for my Core i7 920. As soon as I plugged it in, it was on its loudest setting. With the stock i7 cooler it was always quiet, until I went into a game then it would speed up. So I tried enabling the thermal control in the BIOS (Have no idea why the stock cooler worked as if it was on but I am positive it was turned off.) and the fan turned completely off. So I booted into Windows 7 x64 and ran Prime95 while the fan was still turned off. I was watching the temperatures with Easytune 6 for my Gigabyte motherboard. (Awful software, can you recommend anything better?) The fan turned on when the CPU hit 60 C....no way to change this.
Since the fan was either on its loudest setting, or off, could I have a faulty heatsink?
Yeah, for now what I ended up doing was putting it at disabled (for my board yes, full speed all the time.) and putting a resistor that Zalman included that makes the fan run slower, and quieter. This is fine for now, but I plan on overclocking later, so if I need that extra bit of fan, I don't have it. Also, there is no advanced settings for pwm. On my last board, (MSI K9N SLI Platinum) there were quite a few options on it. Gigabyte has a fan controlling option in Easytune 6 but it doesn't matter what its set to, that program doesn't work. I'll try reinstalling some motherboard drivers, I'm thinking maybe that will allow Easytune to work. Will update
Yeah the Zalman isn't ridiculous, but it's noticeably louder than the rest of the case. Which is good for when I really need that extra cooling power. It was constantly running at ~2000 RPM, now it's running around 1200 its just about silent. I'm gonna figure out that cooling program and see if I can get something working.