Gigabyte GA-F2A85XN-WIFI Mini-ITX Motherboard

CPUs|Motherboards | Do-It-Yourself Systems
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Fan Control

Using SpeedFan to track the CPU and System temperatures and fan speeds, I connected 2000 RPM PWM fans to the CPU_FAN and SYS_FAN headers, set both to "Silent" in the UEFI/BIOS (the equivalent of the manual 1.00 PWM value/°C setting) and put the system on full CPU load.


Load test: CPU temperature vs. fan speeds.

The CPU_FAN reacted fairly linearly to the CPU temperature but it seemed that a fail-safe activated at about 65°C, kicking it into high gear. Surprisingly I found that the SYS_FAN header responded to the system (FCH chipset) temperature which is a truly odd choice for a mini-ITX board.

Given the proximity of everything on the board, any fan that can affect the CPU temperature will also affect the FCH. Designing them to react to different sensors doesn't make any sense. This feature is far more useful in an ATX tower where perhaps a front or side fan can blow over the chipset. In a mini-ITX case, everything is jammed tightly together.


EasyTune fan control menu.

Gigabyte's antiquated EasyTune utility makes an appearance once again and its fan control capabilities are almost as limited as in the UEFI/BIOS. The CPU and System fan can be set to a minimum speed of 10% and 20% respectively and the maximum speed cannot be altered from 100%. If you decide to let EasyTune handle your fans, you'll need to set the maximum temperature fairly high in order to keep things running quietly, even if you have quality cooling.


SpeedFan screen with correlations inputted.

If you prefer to use SpeedFan, both headers are fully controllable via PWM once the application is set up properly (find the "IT8728F" chip in the Advanced menu and change PWM 2-3 mode from "SmartGuardian" to "Software controlled"). The same CPU and System (chipset) temperature sensors found in EasyTune are also available, reported as "Temp3" and "Temp1" respectively.



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