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How to Change the Default Fan speed on Two Pin Graphics Card Connector

Hello, I've seen many people talking about how their fan has trouble with keeping cool on their graphics card, yet mine is quite the opposite. I recently bought a graphics card and the fan only runs at one speed (Speedfan and other programs do not even recognize the RPM of the fan). It has a two pin/wire connector for the fan, meaning it only controls the voltage. It is not able to control the fan because it doesn't have three or four pins. Right now the fan is around three times louder than my CPU fan, which I find rather comical. The fan idles on 25C and is 32C while playing Skyrim and other games. I have considered actually unplugging the fan to see if it is able to operate at a moderate temperature without it, but I'd rather not for obvious reasons. 32C seems fine to me, I don't think the fan needs to be running at the speed that it is.

Is there a way for me to modify it through the bios, programs, etc to be able to control it or set the normal speed to be lower? I'd rather avoid decreasing the voltage because I'm not sure if that will cause any damage to it. Is there a way to modify the BIOS on the card to indicate a lower default RPM? It operates at this speed steadily, which isn't too bad since it's the only thing I actually hear...

I've tried programs such as the Nvidia Control Panel, MSI Afterburner, and the aforementioned speed fan to try and set the speed lower.

I'm thinking the only way to do this safely would be to modify the bios, if possible, to have the fan run at a slower RPM right when the computer boots up?
20 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about change default speed graphics card connector
  1. what kind of card?
  2. 2 pin is simply power and ground. Pins 3 and 4 are rpm and pwm respectively. With such low temps, I think even unplugging it would be fine. You could try connecting it to a molex off the psu but it should already be on low. http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/How-to-Create-a-Three-Speed-Fan-Control-without-Spending-a-Dime/496/1
  3. You can jam a 2 pin fan onto a 3 pin fan controller(use an extension cable if you do not want to bend the pins on the fan controller, it will bend them a bit.). This will let you control its speed with voltage alone(most fans, once spinning will get down to at least 5 volts(if it starts that way you can 5 volt mod it :) ), but may take 7-9 to get spinning, it all depends on the fan), but take care not to make it too slow and overheat it.

    I think to cut costs, they took off auto speed control on the card.

    Another option :)

    2 -> 3 pin adapter(then let your board control it, but you will not see the speeds). I have them from some 40mm fans.

    http://www.xsfans.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=357
  4. What will regulate the fan if I were to use the 2 - > 3 pin adapter? Will the board run it at a lower RPM than it is set at right now?
  5. It will depend on what you connect it to, if you connect it to a motherboard header that can control fans, it will vary with your system temps. If you connect it to a power supply 4 pin connector, it will run full speed.

    You you rewire the power supply connector(just on a fan adapter not the power supply it self), it can be set to run @ 5 volts, but should be tested first.

    I have run into a little snag however, It seems you can get 2 sizes of those little 2 pin plugs, so you may need to watch out.

    As you see the smaller 2 pin does NOT fit right on the adapter, it can be forced, but you can do the same with any 3 pin adapter as well. Always mess with adapters so you mess up something cheap and not you board or controller
    http://imageshack.us/a/img526/9866/23pin.th.jpg
    http://imageshack.us/a/img443/3131/2pinfanadaper.th.jpg
    Manual focus for the win :) Auto will not focus this close, no macro mode on this cam.
    Image hosting @ http://www.imageshack.us
  6. Nice pictures, I do indeed have the smaller pinned connector in the bottom picture. It would not fit all the way into the adapter, only half way as in the image? Right now I have a four pin connector for my CPU fan, the motherboard also has an open three pin connector that I assume would be if I decided to buy a three pin CPU fan. Would the adapter be able to plug into the open three pin connector and not cause any problems with the four pin CPU fan connector?

    Thanks. :)
  7. What board do you have? You may find the info in the manual or just connect any old 3 pin fan to the connector and watch its speed with something like HWmon

    http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/hwmonitor.html

    Some boards control ALL fans some do not. Old Asus boards used to be very good for a control for each plug, now days many are shared and cpu headers of some boards will only control a 4 pin fan(because they always apply 12 volts and a PWM[pin4] signal and do not have the variable voltage option.).

    Just as a reference.

    Asus P5W DH seemed to control fans very well.
    Gigabyte X58A UD5 will only control fans on its 4 pin plugs(it has 2), but will control voltage or pwm fans.
    Gigabyte H55N will only control its cpu fan speed(case fan would go full out. I used a Y cable, but may say not to).
    Maximus IV Gene-Z will control ALL 3 pin fans at the same time(it has 3) and speed and will only control 4 pin cpu fans, 3 pins will run full speed all the time on the cpu fan headers(it has 2).

    So yeah, not all boards are the same.

    With my old X1900XT and an Accelero X2 cooler, I just forced a 3 pin fan connector onto it and connected it to 12 volts(because it was so quiet and one time ATI tool stopped the fan when applying custom clock speeds. over 117c when gaming was not cool). It has run this way ever since. I electrical taped the connection to ensure it stayed and because it was a rather cheap connector and had exposed metal.
  8. My board is the ASUS M5A78L-M LX PLUS AMD 760G AM3+. The manual doesn't cover much other than the given, but it notes both as 'CPU and chassis fan connectors (4-pin CPU_FAN and 3-pin CHA-FAN)'. I'm assuming that even if it's meant for a chassis fan it will still be alright? I'll check to see if I can connect my old three pin CPU fan to it for the ability of it to read the speed. If the motherboard recognizes the CPU fan in the three pin slot while I have the four pin slot in, does it mean that the 2-pin to 3-pin adapter will most likely work if used for the graphics card fan?

    I tried out the three pin fan and Speedfan is able to read the speed, although I can't adjust it. I'm not sure if this is due to the Q-Fan option I have enabled in the bios. It causes the CPU to change for conditions, which I'm not sure if it would also affect the three pin connector as it seems to be running full speed. I'm going to try and check out other programs that may be able to control it better, I'll try the one you posted.

    HWMonitor looks as though it is able to read the speed of both the graphics card and the three pin fan which is cool, but neither of them can be altered. It is called HD'Monitor' for a reason I suppose.

    Do you know of any that may be better for controlling speeds?
  9. Any ideas? I was wondering if I should purchase that 2 pin to 3 pin adapter, or if it won't help?
  10. If you want to use speedfan, you will need to disable Q-fan.

    But, if you have a Q-fan option for the CHA-FAN, it should have its own q-fan options. I have CPU(controls CPU fan 1 and 2, yes this board has 2, Shame it can not control my Noctua 3 pin fans) and chassis fan that controls all other fans.

    With load in my case, the chassis fans speed up as well. so try that.

    Give me a second to get a measurement on my 2 pin fans to see if you can determine IF the 3->2 adapter will fit for you.

    Will be editing with fan connector spacing and stuff in a bit...stand by

    EDIT

    Adapters take(plug has 2 lines on the top center for locking. this may help identify your plug without a caliper to get sizes) a plug that is 5.7mm wide by 4.15(without the key tab on top) the pins are spaced @ 2.54mm

    My small fan(has one line in the center top and 2 bumps on each side) plug similar to what video cards use is 4.6mm by 3.4mm(without the key tab on top) the pin spacing is about 2.10mm

    The spacing on a normal 3 and 4 pin fan is 2.54, so this adapter will only work if your video card plug is the size of the adapter.

    You can try to force to either and adapter or any 3 pin adapter as the spacing is the exact same. so whatever costs less would work.
  11. As far as the manual goes, the Q-Pin setting tells me it is only possible for the four pin configuration of the CPU fan and does not affect the 3 pin/chassis connector. I tried both ways of having Q-Fan off and on while trying to adjust the 3 pin fan speed with no results. I'm not actually sure how to adjust them with this computer.. There are 8 different RPM changing boxes and all eight seem to do nothing...
  12. Best answer
    bump for edit.

    Just looked in the manual, so yeah, cpu fan only and 4 pin only. My poor Noctua fans and the future for 3 pin fans.

    Of, well now your options are fan controllers or inline resistors, but both require you to keep an eye on the temps to ensure you leave enough fan speed.

    Fan controllers like this. You can use almost anything you get for cheap. some of this seems overpriced to me so look around see what you can get.
    http://www.amazon.com/Zalman-Fanmate-2-Speed-Controller-Retail/dp/B000292DO0
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811996023

    5 volt mod. You can get those adapters all over. Some come with a 7 volt(12 - 5 will give 7, but may not be safe for all power supplies)
    http://www.overclock.net/t/1288048/question-about-using-different-fans-on-corsair-h80#post_17832287

    Last would be the inline resistor. they come in all brands i have a small army of them(2 with every Noctua fan i get and some from Zalman too).
    http://www.quietpcusa.com/Fan-Resistor-Cables.aspx

    The last 2 options are not variable speed, so make sure you meet your cooling needs at that speed.
  13. Thanks for the help. If I were to use http://www.amazon.com/Zalman-Fanmate-2-Speed-Controller-Retail/dp/B000292DO0, even though this is meant to be a three pin connector, will I be able to control it? I don't think it will be able to since I have the two pin, but it'd be awesome if it could.

    I tried unplugging the fan and the speeds were around 60C which I am not too comfortable with. There was a bit of stutter aswell.
  14. It will control it, the third pin is just for your computer to be able to see the speed.

    Also that pic is a fanmate 1 so what you get will look different(with an extension type cable).

    Here is what a forced to 3 pin looks like, if you file the little tab off the top of the plug(or remove the guide on the fan fan mate cable it self), it can slide it quite far with little effort. Some electrical tape to keep it all covered and you are off to the races. Best thing is this will not leave side effects so the fan should plug back into the card if needed in the future.

    I did not push it too far because I do not want to bend the pins on this adapter too much, I have one that has been running pushed in for years :). Ohh and anyone thats says the G9/G9X mouse cord does not frey, point em to this pic...
    http://imageshack.us/a/img826/9480/dsc0413ij.th.jpg

    Always remember to match the wire colors. RED = + | Black = -. Some adapters use yellow as +, but not many and that is normally the rpm sensing.
  15. Thanks, I think I'll purchase the Fanmate 2. I'll let you know how it works when it arrives. Do you think it will allow a range of a nice variety? I'm just hoping that I don't buy it and then have it change only 50 RPM or something, or not work at all. :)
  16. It will have a range of about 5-11 volts or so you will have more then enough range. The pci cover ones also have an advantage of being able to control the fan from outside the case, but the FM2 has a long enough cable.

    If you want to try it at the bottom of its speed range, set it, then power down the system when you power it back up, ensure the fan comes on. Some fans will not start at 5 volts.

    Remember to test at load to ensure you get the temps you want. It is a balance of nose to temperature.

    I know I keep stressing it, but make sure to align the right wires :)
  17. The black on the adapter would match up to the black on the two pin fan connector, then the red would match with the red, correct? The third wire on the adapter, the white one in the pictures would simply not be used, right?
  18. That is correct.
  19. Best answer selected by Michael Stone.
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