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Any way to lower idle GPU fan speed?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 5, 2012 6:32:07 AM

I'm running a GTS 450 in my HTPC. I use my HTPC for games and videos and I leave it on all the time. This is because I want to preserve my hard drive's reliability and not force them to go through many start/stop cycles.

However, because it's in my living room, it's highly annoying listening to the fan when I'm not using the computer. Can I lower this somehow?

I'm using MSI Afterburner and it won't let me go manually less than 40% of the fan's speed.
a b U Graphics card
March 5, 2012 8:09:23 AM

put it to sleep when you aren't using it. it will save power. your harddrives are going to stop spinning on their own when not in use anyway and "start stop" cycles are not going to hurt then or the PC anyway
March 5, 2012 2:27:17 PM

Both WD and Seagate state that most drive wear occurs during spin-up.

They also draw their max power when spinning up

I actually buy into the idea that the drives will live longer is you leave it spinning. Not to mention the delay induced when you have drives set to "turn off" after x minutes of inactivity and then need to wait while they spin up.

The thing is I want to maximize my drive's reliability in anyway I can. I have 7.5TB of content. Of course the most reliable method is to have a backup, but with HDD prices where they are right now, it's not the most economical solution. It would cost me at least $600 and a crapload of space (because my PC is almost already full of drives) to back it all up properly.
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a b U Graphics card
March 5, 2012 3:06:41 PM

LOL I don't care what you think Seagate and WD say. your drives spin down when not in use. period. Spin up and down is not a significant source of wear. at all. nor is the delay on Spinup significant overall. the power to "spin up" is insignificant. vs continuous spinning just like it is with any motor. basic electrical theory shows this.
a b U Graphics card
March 5, 2012 4:38:34 PM

try nvidia ntune or nvidia tools (or something like that)
a c 504 U Graphics card
March 5, 2012 4:41:21 PM

unksol said:
LOL I don't care what you think Seagate and WD say. your drives spin down when not in use. period. Spin up and down is not a significant source of wear. at all. nor is the delay on Spinup significant overall. the power to "spin up" is insignificant. vs continuous spinning just like it is with any motor. basic electrical theory shows this.

Why, just because you said so? Where's your proof?

Windows has Power Management settings that allow you to set the "Turn off hard disks" setting to "Never". The only time the hard disks are off is when Windows is shut down.

I know that changing that setting works because I've tried it on my Western Digital Raptors that spin at 10,000 RPM. I didn't want to wait for it to spin back up to speed before it is able to service a disk I/O request because that's what I had to do before making the change to that setting and it was annoying.
March 6, 2012 12:29:47 AM

ko888 said:
Why, just because you said so? Where's your proof?

Windows has Power Management settings that allow you to set the "Turn off hard disks" setting to "Never". The only time the hard disks are off is when Windows is shut down.

I know that changing that setting works because I've tried it on my Western Digital Raptors that spin at 10,000 RPM. I didn't want to wait for it to spin back up to speed before it is able to service a disk I/O request because that's what I had to do before making the change to that setting and it was annoying.


That's the thing. I think keeping the disks running is better than turning them on and off multiple times during the day. That way the temperatures stay consistent and not have the components expanding and retracting. I'm not an electrical engineer or anything, but surely spinning up and down has to put some wear and tear on the head the drive.

I've also looked in nTune but it seems to be for chipsets from 2007 (that's when it was last updated).
March 6, 2012 1:18:55 AM

It is true that temperature fluctuations cause a significant amount of wear and tear in a lot of things, this not being excluded.

However, it's a catch 22, and probably not in your favor with how you're running things. If you use it 2 hours a day, and leave it running 24/7, then despite any gains from temperature fluctuations, just the fans and vibrations themselves will probably net you less hours of actual use time on your htpc. It's always been my opinion, that unless you use your htpc more than 10 hours a day, at very frequent intervals (which I doubt), then I would recommend just turning it off and on. I just threw a 40gig ssd in mine for quick bootup.

Not to mention, just having the PC on, you can use anywhere between $3 and $20/month from a single PC from my Kill-a-watt readings.

So, in conclusion, it's my belief (and I'm no expert) that the juice is not worth the squeeze when it comes to leaving a pc running.

Best solution

a c 504 U Graphics card
March 6, 2012 1:25:45 AM
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NVIDIA System Tools with ESA Support Version 6.06 from April 9, 2010

Allows you to create performance profiles for the specific applications that you use as long as you have a supported NVIDIA device in your system like your GeForce GTS 450 graphics card.

You can even edit the nvsutil.nsu, sysdflt.nsu and userdflt.nsu profile files to allow a fan setting that is lower than the default allowed.

GPUFAN3DMIN0=40

Change the 40 that is your graphics card's default to a lower value and reload the profile so that it takes effect.
March 6, 2012 2:35:29 AM

What? Lowering a GPU fan by deliberately could cause some serious damage to the chip, it's common sense. The chip on GPU die, if not any GPU available to date, has their own system to self maintain their survival of our behavior as user. The fan runs faster because the chip needs it to.

I think it's not wise to lowering the fan speed...why not just decreasing the noise it gave, like say pouring some oil lubricant on the fan.

I'm serious.

I do this too on any fan on my PCs. The trick is, you must take off your desired fan from the PCB or whatever its attached to, and carefully puts a drop or two as necessary right on the gear.

I use my scooter's oil lol
March 11, 2012 6:33:54 AM

Best answer selected by aftcomet.
a c 169 U Graphics card
March 11, 2012 10:21:15 AM

This topic has been closed by Maziar
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