So Black Jacque over at arstechnica infected me and I've been playing; running new cable paths, wrapping bundles in spiral wrap, cable tying things down and trying different fan arrangements then monitoring the temperaturs in the case and audible noise levels (by ear, rather than DB meter)
I have an Asus P5B-Deluxe, 4 Scythe S-Flex 800rpm fans, and one 1200rpm fan in a P180B case. I'm playing around with PWM to see if its worth buying a Zalman fan controller for one of my drive bays to adjust noise vs. airflow. Right now, I'm thinking not, in that the fans are about as low as they can usefully go and the temperatures still seem acceptable. But I can still hear it. Hrm. Thoughts appreciated
The 800rpm fans are on the top vent (Fan2), rear exhaust (Fan4), front intake (Fan5) and CPU (CPU header) cooler (Ultra-120).
The 1200rpm fan is in the lower drive bay on Fan3. Fan1 + PWR are unused. (This board has seven(!) 3 pin fan headers)
Using Speedfan, 'Speed04' seems to control the speed for both Fan3 and Fan2. Speed1, 2 and 3 seem to do nothing (visually verified by setting from 100% to 0% and watching fans).
AsusProbe seems to report accurately for the CPU and Drive bay fans, but all the others show ludicrously low RPM (0 in speedfan, 80 in AsusProbe), even though I can see they're rotating fine.
Is this normal? Can anyone with a P5B using low RPM fans tell me if their fans reporting RPM properly on the non CPU fan headers, or if theres a way to use SpeedFan to manually set the RPM per -header instead of the weird doubled up way above?
Anyhow. Right now, I have the rear exhaust, CPU fan and Drive bay fan running at 800rpmish. The intake and top vent are currently disabled.
Idle temps are:
case 42c, CPU 44c, Drives 37+40c, GPU 74c.
Loaded seems to rise to, then cap (flat plateau on the graph over an extended period) at
case 46c, CPU 57c, Drives 40+40c, GPU 89c.
I'm mostly monitoring using MBM 5 with the MBM history graphing and Nvidia temperature/clock speed plugins added, although I've got SpeedFan and Asus Probe too when I need more detail or control (MBM is even worse at fan monitoring than those two).
These all seem pretty tolerable, given Im not running 2 of the fans at all at the moment, and the others are running mighty slow. The fans are soft mounted, where possible using Acoustimax AFM02s(The 180b has a weird 'clip' arrangement on the top vent, so that fan only has 2 softmount thready stretchy screw replacement thingies. All the others are fully mounted, except the heatsink which is clipped in against soft foam).
The case is still pretty audible when I sit near it, and Im guessing its the GPU fan... will find out when thermalright release their 8800 cooler, at which point I expect to have to turn on the front intake fan to get some airflow over the cooler and possibly the top vent to help get it out of the case; removing the stock fan setup will stop the card venting out the slot covers.
Any suggestions? Ideas on better fan monitoring + control software? Damping for the case that doesnt involve wrapping it in half a tonne of acoustic foam?
I'm trying to avoid any drastic mods just yet while Im still under warranty. The system is brand new, so I'd rather not cut away fan grilles unless people honestly believe the turbulence is likely to be a serious source of noise in such a setup.
The Socky one.