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 Post subject: Convert ASUS DIRECTCU II to ASUS STRIX 0dB
PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 11:22 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:27 am
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Done in Windows 8.1 64bit Pro. Tweak works fine in Fedora Linux 20 64bit Nvidia driver 331.79.

Thought i would share my silent freak tweak turning an already quite silent ASUS DIRECTCU II cooling system into its STRIX 0db equivalent.
My graphics card is an ASUS GTX 680 DIRECTCU II OC, installed in a sound insulated Antex P280 case, running 6 120mm APACHE Blacks.
Very quiet system, but the DCUII cooler tends to have a slight high pitch whining sound even at minimum fan speed (about 1020rpms x 2 fans).
Just enough to irritate me and undergo the below:

This should work on any ASUS DIRECTCU II branded GTX Kepler GPU.

- Get the latest available BIOS from http://www.techpowerup.com/vgabios/index.php?architecture=NVIDIA&manufacturer=Asus&model=&interface=PCI-E&memType=GDDR5&memSize=2048
- Make sure you have the latest version of ASUS GPU Tweak.
Launch it, you'll notice that the DIRECTCU II minimum fan speed is 20% in ASUS GPU Tweak. Close it when done.
- From your GPU Teak folder, usually C:\Program Files (x86)\ASUS\GPU Tweak locate the provided nvflash.exe.
You can get the latest edition from http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/2386/nvflash-5-164-for-windows/ but that edition did not work for me.
Better to stick with the one provided by ASUS.
- From your command prompt, save your current BIOS to a separate file, using nvflash.exe --save BACKUP_BIOS.rom (will save in current folder).
- Download Kepler BIOS Tweaker v1.25 from http://www.trickmasterpc.com/kepler-bios-tweaker-v125.html, and launch it.
- Open the downloaded BIOS file, and in the common tab, Fan Control Range section, modify the Minimum Percentage to 0.
- Save the BIOS file, or use Save As function, to NEW_BIOS.rom
- Copy the saved file to the nvflash.exe folder.
- Remove the BIOS write protection with nvflash.exe --protectoff
- Then simply flash the new BIOS file using the following command: nvflash.exe NEW_BIOS.rom
Follow on screen instructions.
- When done, write protect the BIOS again with nvflash.exe --protecton

If successful, that's all there is to it.
If you launch GPU Tweak again, you will see the fan minimum is now 0%.
Go to the Fan1 user defined settings, and tweak the fan curve.
On my PC it was automatically set to 0% from idle (30deg celcius) to 65 degrees. Then 25% sets in, gradually increasing up to 100% at 95 deg celcius.

I tested the reliability on CoD Black Ops max graphics @ 1080p locked 60fps as well as X-Plane 9 max graphics locked 60 fps.
Could hear the Fans spinning at about 40% speed for 3 seconds only, twice, in an hour's time. Max temp 51 deg.
My Card is OC to 1204 Mhz, idles at 31 deg celcius.
I think the fans behave in multiple ways. They can be Off, or spin at ultra low RPM when in idle. Either way Idle whining noise is now gone.

Enjoy and Comment.


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 Post subject: Re: Convert ASUS DIRECTCU II to ASUS STRIX 0dB
PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 4:46 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:27 am
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See attached ASUS GPU Tweak and Kepler BIOS Editor screens.


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 Post subject: Re: Convert ASUS DIRECTCU II to ASUS STRIX 0dB
PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 5:18 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:12 am
Posts: 2770
Location: ITALY
skydive31 wrote:
This should work on any ASUS DIRECTCU II branded GTX Kepler GPU.
...snipped out...
If successful, that's all there is to it.
...snipped out...
Enjoy and Comment.

On an ASUS GTX-650Ti DC-II 1Gb didn't work (probably I will try on another 660 next week).

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Luca


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 Post subject: Re: Convert ASUS DIRECTCU II to ASUS STRIX 0dB
PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 11:54 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:27 am
Posts: 6
Hi Luca, what happened exactly?

The only trouble i ran into was that the BIOS wouldn't flash on my first attempts, but that was due to latest nvflash.exe version i downloaded. Went fine when i used the version provided with ASUS UEFI Tool.
Nothing more to do other than modify the fan min setting to 0%, save, and flash that same saved Bios.

Have you tried saving your current BIOS and modding that, then flash it back again? (instead of using a downloaded BIOS file?)

Oh and make sure you run Kepler BIOS Tweaker with elevated privileges.
nvflash.exe shall be executed from and admin command shell.


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 Post subject: Re: Convert ASUS DIRECTCU II to ASUS STRIX 0dB
PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 4:29 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:46 pm
Posts: 15
Does not work with my ASUS GTX-760. Appearently ASUS (or nvidia?) changed something in the way the fans are controlled in 2013 (700 line).
When reading out the BIOS, Kepler BIOS Tweaker shows a minimum Percentage of 10%, however, ASUS GPU tweak runs a min. of 29%. Flashing the card with a 0% version does not change this situation.
See also here. Thanks for your set of instructions, I had not done the flashing yet and was hoping to regain control over the GPU fan header, but alas, there still seems to be no way. So my GPU fans keep running off the second mobo fan header, controlled by SpeedFan.


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 Post subject: Re: Convert ASUS DIRECTCU II to ASUS STRIX 0dB
PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 5:03 pm 
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Location: ITALY
skydive31 wrote:
Hi Luca, what happened exactly?

I beg your pardon, I wasn't enough clear.

My card is the ASUS GTX650TI-DC2T-1GD5.
Apparently I didn't run into any problem while modding and flashing the BIOS, but the new modded BIOS has no effect on actual min fan speed. I would also add that there's no difference between the stock BIOS and the downloadable one.

With the stock BIOS, that min fan speed is 10%, for about 940rpm: with the modded BIOS, the min fan speed can even be lowered to 0%, but nonetheless the fans will still spin around 940rpm (so no real change).

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Luca


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 Post subject: Re: Convert ASUS DIRECTCU II to ASUS STRIX 0dB
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 2:07 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:27 am
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Here is my GPU-Z info and Kepler Tweaker, noticed my original screenshot was showing a different file.
As you said, I guess i have an early edition of the card. It's second hand, so i don't know when it was originally purchased.


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 Post subject: Re: Convert ASUS DIRECTCU II to ASUS STRIX 0dB
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:04 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:27 am
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The Kepler BIOS Tweaking part is really universal, i guess this can be done on any branded card, as long as it's running a Kepler GPU.

The fan curve adjustment part is really limited to what your OEM tweaking and OC software allows.

I think this is all ASUS did when creating the STRIX product line BIOS, aware that 65 deg was a safe passive cooling limit.

Can anyone test it out with MSI or Gigabyte (or any other for that matter)?


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 Post subject: Re: Convert ASUS DIRECTCU II to ASUS STRIX 0dB
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 3:56 am 
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Location: UK
skydive31 wrote:
The Kepler BIOS Tweaking part is really universal, i guess this can be done on any branded card, as long as it's running a Kepler GPU.)
The later version 1.2.6 and 1.2.7 will also work with the two Maxwell cards, the GTX 750 and GTX 750 TI. KBT 1.2.7 has a specific addition for Maxwell cards, a Power Tables tab.
skydive31 wrote:
The fan curve adjustment part is really limited to what your OEM tweaking and OC software allows.
It's primarily an issue of what PWM profile the graphics card fans have. Most PWM profiles provide the same minimum rpm for typically the 0 to 30% duty cycle range; fans where 0% duty cycle=0 rpm are less common. So editing the BIOS to a lower or 0% duty cycle setting may have no impact whatever on the fan speed at idle. Even the ability to edit the BIOS fan settings is absent from the GTX750/GTX 750 TI cards, which is particularly annoying as in some cases the minimum fan duty cycle is set as high at 42%.


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 Post subject: Re: Convert ASUS DIRECTCU II to ASUS STRIX 0dB
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 6:09 am 
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lodestar wrote:
skydive31 wrote:
So editing the BIOS to a lower or 0% duty cycle setting may have no impact whatever on the fan speed at idle. Even the ability to edit the BIOS fan settings is absent from the GTX750/GTX 750 TI cards, which is particularly annoying as in some cases the minimum fan duty cycle is set as high at 42%.


Confirmed. I noticed the idle fan speed before the tweak was 1020rpm. The fan monitor now alternates between zero rpms or 900rpm.
I guess the tweak slightly dropped the voltage below the admissible threshold.

Believe me, these missing 100rpms are AMAZING for hearing comfort. Getting rid of a high pitched sound is priceless. Can't imagine what 42% idle sounds like on these 750s.


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 Post subject: Re: Convert ASUS DIRECTCU II to ASUS STRIX 0dB
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 6:31 am 
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skydive31 wrote:
Can't imagine what 42% idle sounds like on these 750s.

Buy an eVGA and you'll know...

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Luca


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 Post subject: Re: Convert ASUS DIRECTCU II to ASUS STRIX 0dB
PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 10:21 am 
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Thanks for the tip - once I pick out a 750 Ti, I think I'll give this a try with the 650 Ti, as bricking it won't be an issue then.

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Case: FD Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K @stock, N650Ti-1GD5/OC, G.Skill 2x4/1600/CL9 DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD G 1 TB, m4 128 GB, RX-5300 PSU
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 + Scythe SS PWM, 2x Noctua NF-P12
Extras: Eaton UPS, Dell 24" EIPS, Ducky kb, SteelSeries m, Synology DS213j NAS
idle & load: CPU 32 °C & 44 °C @ 300/600 & 600/800 RPM, GPU 35-65 °C @ 1200-1650 RPM


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 Post subject: Re: Convert ASUS DIRECTCU II to ASUS STRIX 0dB
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:46 am 
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I just bought an asus r9 270 directcu ii. Is there a way of doing something like this for it?


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 Post subject: Re: Convert ASUS DIRECTCU II to ASUS STRIX 0dB
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 6:23 am 
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sleepysonic wrote:
I just bought an asus r9 270 directcu ii. Is there a way of doing something like this for it?

Use SpeedFan.

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Luca


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