Asus M4A78-HTPC/RC: A Complete HTPC Solution?

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BIOS Fan Control

We tested the board's fan control by connecting the CPU cooler's fan to a variable DC fan controller, so we could lower it as necessary, and proceeded to stress the processor using Prime95 while monitoring fan speeds using PC Probe. A Scythe 92mm PWM fan (2500 RPM) was connected to the CPU_FAN header, a Scythe Kama Flow 80mm 3-pin fan (1600 RPM) to the CHA_FAN1 header, and a Nexus 92mm 3-pin fan (1400 RPM) to the CHA_FAN2 header.

Fan Control Results (Silent mode)
Test State
Min. Speed
660 RPM
420 RPM
490 RPM
Max. Speed
2450 RPM
1610 RPM
1350 RPM
Trigger Temp.
Temp. Range

Q-Fan in Silent mode produced very good fan control results. All three fans spun at approximately 25% speed when idle. The CPU fan began increasing in speed when the temperature reached 44°C and the Chassis fans followed suit at 51°C. It took a 10°C increase before all the fans reached their nominal speeds. The fan speed progression was fairly smooth.

SpeedFan Support

For Windows, SpeedFan is our application of choice for fan control. It can be configured to raise or lower multiple fan speeds to designated limits when any specified temperature threshold is breached.

SpeedFan with correlations entered.

SpeedFan reported the fan speeds of all four of the onboard fan headers. Temp1 matched the CPU temperature readout in Asus Probe, and Temp2 matched "MB" which, through thermal testing we determined to be related to the temperature of the southbridge — placing a fan over the southbridge heatsink under load resulted in a significant decrease in the Temp2 reading.

The CPU and Chassis fans can all be controlled independently through SpeedFan. Speed01 controls fans connected to the CPU fan header using PWM, while Speed02 works on both PWM and regular 3-pin fans. Speed03 controls the CHA_FAN1 header and Speed04 controls the CHA_FAN2 header. To enable full fan control, select the "IT8712F-J" chip in the Advanced tab of the Configuration menu and set all the PWM modes to "Software Controlled."

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