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the popular hardware monitoring software, was used to analyze the BIOS Smart
Fan's behavior. The first step was to determine which temperatures were legitimate
and which were erroneous. "Temp2" at -128°C was discounted first
for obvious reasons. "Core" is read directly from the CPU on AMD
processors, leaving "Temp1" and "Temp3" unaccounted for.
When we stressed the system with CPUBurn
and looked at the temperatures, it appeared that "Temp3" increased
and followed "Core" very closely, making it a likely candidate for
the motherboard's CPU temperature sensor and we will refer to it as such from
now on. "Temp1" on the other hand only rose by approximately 5°C
and pointing a case fan at either the southbridge or northbridge did not reduce
this temperature, so we were not able to pin down exactly what this reading
corresponded to. As for fan RPM reporting, "Fan1" corresponded to
the fan hooked up to the 4-pin CPU fan header, while "Fan3" corresponded
to the 3-pin auxilary fan header (the motherboard only has two).
We set Smart Fan's target temperature to 40°C and the minimum fan speed
to 37.5%, stressed the system with CPUBurn, watching SpeedFan for changes.
The CPU fan speed fluttered between 770 and 850 RPM until the temperature
hit 35°C. The fan speed then increased gradually to 950 RPM at 38°C
and then spiked to 1180RPM at 39°C. At 40°C and above the fan speed
varied between 1200 and 1300 RPM. So Smart Fan worked more or less as it was
designed to. It should be noted that from a silent PC perspective, it doesn't
really matter since the CPU fan is inaudible in the system compared to the
power supply fans.
Smart Fan settings.
Also, manual or automatic control is possible. In the Advanced menu, under
the "F71882F" chip, "PWM 4 mode" must be set to "Manual
set PWM" and "PWM 1 Type" must be set to either "PWM mode
(3-wire)" or "Linear DC mode." Once this is done a 3-pin fan
connected to the CPU fan header can be fully controlled by the user via the
"Speed01" setting. There was a 3 to 5 second delay when changing
the fan speed manually.
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