Gigabyte GA-MA74GM-S2: AMD 690G, Take 2

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

SpeedFan and PC Health.

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 Gigabyte's EasyTune utility, though there was a mysterous "Temp3" that seemed to rise with CPU temperature but it was in a much higher range — between 70°C and 100°C. Also, we could not locate the sensor for the so-called "System" temperature — increasing the cooling around the southbridge, northbridge and VRM areas did not lower this reading during load.

SpeedFan can 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" enables the speed controls. They offer a full range of control for both PWM and DC fans.

If you prefer to use the board's own Smart Fan feature, it does work fairly well. We tested it by connecting 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. A Scythe 80mm connected to the Chassis fan header stayed at about 860RPM (7V) throughout testing. A Scythe 92mm PWM fan connected to the CPU fan header started out at 400RPM until the core temperature reached 34°C at which point it began to gradually ramp out. It increased in speed incrementally about 50RPM for every two degrees until it hit 42°C when the increase in speed doubled. It eventually reached the fan's maximum speed of 2560RPM at approximately 66°C. On some boards the fan throttles quite abruptly when certain target temperatures are reached. The exact opposite was the case here as the fan increased in speed very smoothly.

The default Smart Fan settings.

Smart Fan's behavior can actually be customized using the EasyTune utility. By default the minimum fan setting is 31% and the minimum and maximum temperatures (the range in which the CPU fan speed will increase) is 20°C and 65°C respectively. The range can be adjusted to how fast you prefer the CPU to ramp up in speed. Note the the maximum fan speed cannot be changed — it is stuck at 100%.

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