Asus M3A78 Pro: An ATX 780G Motherboard

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When it comes to customizable control, SpeedFan is our application of choice. If properly supported, it can be configured to raise/lower multiple fan speeds to designated limits when any specified temperature threshold is breached.

SpeedFan vs. PC Probe.

The screenshot above shows the correlation between SpeedFan's readings and the temperature and fan speed sensors. Most of the readings in SpeedFan were corroborated by Asus' PC Probe utility. We found that SpeedFan could be configured to control both the CPU and Chassis fan headers. Setting PWM modes 1 and 2 in the Advanced menu from "SmartGuardian" to "Software Controlled" enabled the speed controls. CPU and Chassis fan headers have separate controls if a PWM fan is connected to the CPU header. If two 3-pin fans are used, they are both controlled using Speed02.

To test the range of the controls we connected two fans to the system: a Scythe 92mm PWM and a Scythe 80mm fan. The PWM fan speed varied from 260 to 2500 RPM, and the 3-pin fan could be fully controlled from off to 1560 RPM. Incidentally the fans run at 2600 RPM and 1560 RPM repectively at 12V.

To test how well Q-FAN's profiles worked, we connected the fan on the CPU cooler to a variable DC fan controller set to a relatively low 5V and proceeded to stress the processor using CPUBurn. The CPU and Chassis fan speeds were monitored and graphed using SpeedFan.

CPU fan speed behavior.

The CPU fan spun at the maximum speed in "Performance" mode, regardless of CPU temperature. In "Silent" mode, the CPU fan kick-started but then immediately turned itself off when the POST screen appeared, resulting in a CPU fan error prompt. It would not spin up again until the CPU temperature reached about 60°C. . The stock AMD fan did not have this problem, however. In "Optimal" mode, again the CPU fan did not spin up, this time waiting until 42°C to kick in, though we did observe it beginning to twich at 40°C.

CPU fan speed behavior.

In "Performance" mode, the chassis fan always ran at full speed (1550 RPM). In "Silent" and "Optimal" mode, the fan remained at approximately 900 RPM and then jumped quickly once temperature thresholds of 42°C and 58°C respectively prompted them to spin up.

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