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To test the board's fan control, we connected the CPU fan to a manual fan speed
controller so we could slow it down to induce higher CPU temperatures during
load. A Scythe DFS922512M-PWM (200 to 2500 RPM) fan was connected to the CPU
fan header. In the BIOS, "CPU Fan Turn Off" was set to 25C, "CPU
Fan Fully On" to 50C and "Shutdown Temperature" to 80C.
When the CPU temperature was in between the Off/Full On temperatures, the CPU
fan speed stayed fairly slow it increased from 200 RPM at 25°C to
only 600 RPM at 50°C. Once the "Fully On" temperature was reached,
the fan speed increased almost linearly with the CPU temperature, but did not
hit the fan's maximum speed until 75°C. At 78°C, the system shutdown.
If anything we would say the board's fan control reacts too slowly as it did
not reach maximum speed until the Shutdown temperature was almost reached. The
"Fully On" setting acts as the trigger temperature and we suggest
you set this fairly low.
Also it should be noted that the each fan header is tied to a different temperature.
Of the two auxiliary fans that can be controlled, one is tied to the System
temperature, while the other reacts to the Chipset temperature.
For Windows users, 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 three of the six onboard fan headers as
well as the CPU, System and Chipset temperatures (correlated to DFI's Smart
Guardian utility). Through thermal testing we concluded that the System and
Chipset temperatures refer to the Northbridge and Southbridge. One of the temperature
sensors could not be identified it stayed between 24C and 26C throughout
SpeedFan can control the CPU fan header (only if a PWM fan is connected) and
the System and 3rd fan headers which are the two at the very bottom of the board,
close to the onboard power/reset switches. 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."
Smart Guardian: Main display.
DFI's Smart Guardian utility provides extra information including detailed
Smart Guardian: Option menu.
Smart Guardian also lets you tweak the board's automatic fan control to suit
your inidividual preferences.
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