Quiet SLI Gaming PC Build Guide

Do-It-Yourself Systems | Silent PC Build Guides
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TESTING

System Configuration:


Device listing for our build.

Measurement and Analysis Tools

Software

Gigabyte's EasyTune software utility is generally a competent application for controlling fans. In the original review of this board, I had absolutely no problems with controlling 120/140 mm case fans, but it simply won't work properly with the FT05's 180 mm Air Penetrators. When the fans are plugged in initially, their speeds correctly register and are controllable with the available preset profiles. However when they go through the calibration process in order to enable customized control, things go a bit haywire.


EasyTune error message.

The fans go through their entire speed range as per usual, but at the end of the process, an error message states that it can no longer detect the fan speed. At below ~550 RPM, the fans run too slow for the speed to reported, even though they continue to function perfectly fine. This is common for 3-pin fans, but EasyTune's reaction to this is rather odd. It disables smart fan and changes the fans' maximum speed to approximately 700 RPM (even though it goes above 1200 RPM at the beginning of calibration procedure), which is about the same as the low speed when using the built-in fan controller. This happens regardless of whether the integrated fan controller is connected.


AIDA64 on the left, SpeedFan on the right.

Given EasyTune's bizarre behavior, I turn to our old standby alternative, SpeedFan, which when configured, offers much of the same functionality. Unfortunately, it doesn't see the board's CPU temperature or the CPU fan speed sensor, and doesn't allow the CPU fan to be controlled at all. Thankfully, the CPU fan can be moved to one of the system fan headers and operated under voltage rather than PWM control without issue. EasyTune and SpeedFan fight each others' fan settings so EasyTune has to be thrown out the door completely. To make up for the missing CPU temperature/fan sensor data, AIDA64 is employed.


GPU Tweak: main interface and monitoring screen.

For controlling the GPU fans, ASUS' GPU Tweak is our GPU utility of choice, as it offers adjustable/dynamic fan control and a customizable charting pane that can keep track of various GPU properties including temperature, fan speed, voltage, clock speeds, etc. Unfortunately, the card lacks the ability to shut the GPU fans off completely; they have a minimum fan speed of 1450 RPM (60%).

Overclocking can also be performed although this particular video card's power target can't exceed 106% of stock (unless perhaps the BIOS is modified), limiting how much higher the clock speeds can be boosted. The GPU temp target (the temperature at which fan control is overriden) starts at 79°C an tops out at 91°C.



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