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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2002 2:32 pm 
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I posted a news piece <!-- BBCode Start --><A HREF="http://www.silentpcreview.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=index&catid=&topic=5" TARGET="_blank">here</A><!-- BBCode End --> about this software called <!-- BBCode Start --><A HREF="http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php" TARGET="_blank">SpeedFan</A><!-- BBCode End --> Anyone try it yet?
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2002 2:32 pm 
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I downloaded it earlier today...haven't had a chance to test it yet (production week--very busy time for me). I'll try to test it out later tonight or tomorrow morning. It certainly looks useful, though. <IMG SRC="modules/phpBB_14/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif">
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2002 2:32 pm 
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I wanted to try SpeedFan but none of my motherbaords were fully supported. Along the same lines, Fujitsu Siemens makes motherboards with fan speed conrolling at the hardware level. In addition to that, the boards can automatically scale back the processor speed to reduce heat, and consequently fan speed. They have a board for Athlon XP that even allows monitoring of the XPs interanal thermal diode. Check them out: <br> <br><!-- BBCode Start --><A HREF="http://www.siliconacoustics.com/motherboards.html" TARGET="_blank">http://www.siliconacoustics.com/motherboards.html</A><!-- BBCode End --> <br> <br>Jonathan
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2002 2:32 pm 
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Wow, those F-J boards are very cool Jonathan! Very sophistated stuff. How is the quality overall, and does it have good voltage & clock adjustments? <br> <br>I know that Ambient & some other quiet PC makers were using them, but they only seemed to have P3 boards before. The fact that the D1289 is using the XP's internal diode is something of a first. <br> <br>All the mainstream KT333 boards so far don't appear to supprt XP diode monitoring even thought they have "emergency shutdown" features that use the diode readout. In the Asus KT333 board, for example, for temp monitoring, they paralleled the output from the diode and the sensor (or something like that) instead of switching between the 2 for diode / no-diode CPUs. Naturally, core temperature accuracy is out the window as usual.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2002 2:32 pm 
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Mike, <br>The boards are very clean looking. There are unusually few circuit traces on the surface of the board, which must mean most of it is located on the inside layers. The P4 board has an optional reinforcing metal bracket that attaches on the backside behind the CPU. I presume this is an attempt to minimize the board flex problem that seems to plague other P4 boards. I thought this was a nice touch. Is anyone else doing this? <br> <br>The XP board is also unique in that it uses the 12V P4 power connector to power the CPU. From what I have been able to gather from German review websites this makes more efficient use of the PSU, so less PSU generated heat. Each board also includes an adapter in case your PSU doesn’t have a 12V P4 connection. Another nice touch. <br> <br>Fujitsu Siemens is reputed to have some of the most advanced fabrication processes in the world. They are also known to tune their boards for maximum stability and reliability at the expense of squeezing out the last drop of performance. That is the extent of my ability to comment on the quality. <br> <br>Unfortunately there are no voltage or clock multiplier adjustment, and only limited FSB adjustments. It's definitely not a tweaker’s board. I like to have the ability to underclock a CPU but in this case the underclocking is essentially performed automatically when the temps get too high. <br> <br>Jonathan <br>
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2002 2:32 pm 
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Yes, I downloaded Speedfan yesterday and have tried if for 2 days. I certainly appreciate the authors work - I know programs like this are a labor of love and very hard work. He has captured most of what I would like to see in a good program, but it is certainly not a mature program. This is just my observations and opinions, not a review. <br> <br>First, I am using it on a new machine with an Intel D845BG MB w/2.0A P4 CPU and Zalman 5500CU cooler, 2 Seagate 80GB drives, running Win2K SP2, and little else that is relevant here. <br> <br>I've been using Intel's Active Monitor to look at fan speed and voltage and give alarms if needed. It is primitive, but works. <br> <br>Speedfan downloaded fine and has a nice installer that worked well. <br> <br>The program doesn't run (or appear to have an option to) as a service, so I guess it needs put into startup and then minimized if I want it on automatically - haven't tried that yet. <br> <br>When it starts, it scans some busses and gives lots of info, mostly error messages in a window in the program - I'd certainly prefer something more polished here. <br> <br>So, I went through the configuration stuff (very intuitive <IMG SRC="modules/phpBB_14/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif"> ) and think I have everything set up ok. <br> <br>I'm not trying to adjust fan speed (the real use of the program, of course) rather just monitor what's happening. <br> <br>So what do I really have to report: <br> <br>The program performs sensor reading quite erratic so I don't have confidence to use it for modifying fan speed. <br> <br>Details: <br> <br>The program detects my board chipset as Intel82801BA ICH2 - ok, I suppose <br> <br>It detects Fan01 (my CPU fan) and reports 0 rpm, periodically it will report either 1982 or 2014 rpm for a minute or so then go back to 0. The fan is actually running at 2050 rpm (measured with an automotive strobe) and Intel (program mentioned above) reports it consistantly at 1991. <br> <br>It detects Fan02 (motherboard), but only reports 0 rpm, never the proper fan reading. <br> <br>SpeedFan reports my CPU at (all temp are degrees C.) 31 and board at 32 - correct, but the detection isn't stable. Periodically as I watch it update, it will report the CPU at +125 and the MB at -64 for 20 sec or so, then go back to the proper values - disconcerting. <br> <br>The voltages are also hard to use - the documentation does state he doesn't have enough information to be sure what he is reporting, but that isn't very useful to me. The voltage labeled +2.5 reports as 1.47 so I suppose that's a 1.5 output?? 12v consistantly reports as 0v, so no help there. Vcc is similar to fan and temp above in that it varies - usually it is reported as 3.27 (it's 3.3 according to my Fluke meter), but sometimes it get's reported as 0.55v for a time. <br> <br>The SMART feature detects my drives just fine and seems to work in reporting the drive data. Same problem on stable detection and reporting though. Both drives usually reported at 35 degrees, but the second drive would sometimes report at 0 degrees. <br> <br>Finally, the program seems to keep some configuration database, even though it does bus scans each time it starts. After about 7-8 times using the program it's database got corrupted, I guess. All voltages were reported as 1.47v and wouldn't change, even with a machine reboot. Also, the second disk drive was stuck on 0 degrees. Being pretty sure it was the program, not my machine, I uninstalled the program, reinstalled it and everything came back to working as earlier. <br> <br>An aside. The Intel program doesn't like it when it is running and SpeedFan is. Something SpeedFan does causes Intel to report (sometimes) a fan (CPU) going to zero (causing an alarm) or a voltage going to zero (also an alarm). So, of course I stop the Intel Active Monitor service before using SpeedFan. The author might be interested in why there is this interaction when the two programs are just reading sensor data (my theory). <br> <br>Another aside. Again, lots of hard work and a good program, but I do like the graphics in the Intel program. If SpeedFan had some graphics, us simple-minded users could see at a glance what's happening. <br> <br>Thanks for listening - my comments are meant to be useful, based only on my limited observations. <br> <br>-mg <br> <br>
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2002 2:32 pm 
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Hey that is VERY helpful! It's great that you went to the effort of more or less reviewing it for everyone. Thanks very much! <br> <br>If others did the same with different motherboards, then we'd very quickly have the makings of a complete review. (Hint: how about it, everyone!?) <br> <br>----------- <br> <br>Here's one more thing you could do if you are so inclined: capture key screens (if you think it's worthwhile) and send them to me by email. I'll post them with your comments here as a member article, and part 1 of a complete review of this software -- other parts being completed by other readers, of course! <IMG SRC="modules/phpBB_14/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif"> <br> <br>If you don't have a screen capture utility, email me. I'll send you a nifty little one that's very good.
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You might also want to try out <!-- BBCode Start --><A HREF="http://www.twistedfury.com/fanspeed/" TARGET="_blank">FanSpeed</A><!-- BBCode End -->. The program hasn't been updated in a while, but it works great with my Abit BD7. Much simpler interface than SpeedFan, same functionality. Can be installed as an NT service.
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Neat, it revealed the temps of my IBM 75GXP hard drive, which is sealed inside the SilentDrive enclosure... only 50C, and IBM's max spec is 55C <!-- BBCode Start --><I>ambient</I><!-- BBCode End -->...
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2002 2:32 pm 
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I dl'ed it and used it for a couple of weeks on one of my Microstar MS-6215 Slim PCs. This is a "Book PC" style unit. You can find more info about it at <!-- BBCode Start --><A HREF="http://www.msi.com.tw/program/products/slim_pc/slm/pro_slm_detail.php?UID=66&MODEL=MS-6215" TARGET="_blank">MSI's website</A><!-- BBCode End -->. I'm running Win2K SP2, with a 1Ghz Coppermine, 512MB Crucial PC133 and (like everyone else on this board) a 40GB Barracuda IV. <br> <br>There are three stock fans in the MS-6215. The heatsink has a high-speed 60x10 Delta, there's an Evercool low-speed 60x20 as a front intake, and the PSU has a 40x10 Adda. The Delta is by far the noisiest component, followed by the Adda, while the Evercool is only slightly louder than the rotational noise of the Barracuda. In such a small case, space constraints make it nearly impossible to use larger fans, and finding quiet small fans is near impossible. <br> <br>When I start SpeedFan 4.0.5, it finds the hardware monitoring chip on the MB and reports: <br>I/O properly initialized <br>Linked ISA BUS at $0290 <br>Linked Intel 82801BA ICH2 SMBUS at $0540 <br>Scanning ISA BUS at $0290... <br>Winbond W83627HF (ID=$21) found on ISA at $290 <br>SuperIO Chip=Winbond W83627HF <br>Scanning SMBus at $0540... <br>Found ST340016A (39.1GB) <br>End of detection <br> <br>Here's a screenshot of the UI (note that I changed the names of some readouts, and that the fans currently in my system are not the default fans): <br><!-- BBCode Start --><IMG SRC="http://mywebpages.comcast.net/justin_roman/speedfanss.gif"><!-- BBCode End --> <br> <br>Doing some open-case detective work, I was able to determine which speed controller (the boxes with the percentage signs) controlled which fan, and which temperature readout went with which component. I then relabeled the readouts appropriately using the "Configure" dialog (the program is a bit finicky about switching into the "text edit" mode when you click on a label). You can relabel every readout, including the electrical ones. Note that there are three fan RPN readouts, but only two speed adjusters. In my case, the first two RPM readouts corresponded to the two speed adjusters, which correspond to the intake fan and the CPU fan; the third RPM monitor may be for the PSU fan (which has only two wires), or for an additional fan header supported by the chipset but not included on the motherboard. <br> <br>I next went about adjusting the speed of the fans using the percentage controllers. The "percentage" entry doesn't really correspond to a percent of anything as far as I can tell (since I believe the program works by "pulsing" the fan with its full voltage, perhaps it is the overall percent of time that full voltage is being applied). I got a massive noise reduction by reducing the CPU fan to 30%. I left the intake fan as is, since the noise from it was comparatively negligible. I found that the lowest percentage the fan would run at was about 5%, but only if I approached this value from higher percentages. Going up from 0, the fan wouldn't turn on until about 20%. <br> <br>I ran a SiSoft Sandra Burn-in and found that the CPU got a little too hot after 40 min or so at full load. So, I went back into the "Configure" dialog and set the "Automatically Variated" checkbox and the minimum and maximum speed values for the CPU fan: <br> <br><!-- BBCode Start --><IMG SRC="http://mywebpages.comcast.net/justin_roman/speedfanconfig.gif"><!-- BBCode End --> <br> <br>On the main screen, I checked the "Automatic Fan Speed" box, and re-ran the burn-in. After a few minutes of Burn-In, the CPU Fan kicked into high gear, and temperature remained safe and stable after an hour. <br> <br>I set the "start minimized" flag under "Options" in the "Configure" dialog, and dropped a shortcut to the program in the Startup folder. Ultimately, I spent not too much effort and no money for a pretty serious reduction in fan noise. <br> <br>Here are the problems with the program I encountered: <br>1) The monitoring capabilites all fail if the system is brought out of hibernate, requiring that the program be restarted. <br>2) Low-speed fans can register as "0 RPM". I don't think this problem is specific to SpeedFan, though-- I have a DigitalDoc5 that doesn't recongize them either (and beeps like mad when you hook up temperature-regulated fans to it). <br>3) There's no way to control the ramping of how a fan responds to changes in temperature. <br>4) Doesn't do diddly for fans not hooked up to the motherboard (like PSU fans). <br>5) Doesn't affect fan speed until you logon to Windows. (If it ran as a service, it could at least quiet the fan while the logon screen sits there waiting for your input.) <br> <br>All in all, though, I think the program is effective enough to be used on a daily basis to quiet whatever fans are hooked up to your motherboard. Since your noisiest fan is probably your CPU fan, you should be able to use SpeedFan to quiet your system without worrying about overheating at high temperatures. Users who rely on the hibernate function and those looking to silence every fan in their system will be disappointed. <br> <br>Many thanks to Alfredo Milani-Comparetti for making this excellent program. <br> <br>(On a side note, I eventually found some quiet fans that I could (sort of) fit in my case, so I stopped using SpeedFan on that particular PC, but I still use it on another MS-6215.)
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 Post subject: ASUS sucks
PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2002 10:51 pm 
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I downloaded SpeedFan. It works great on my PC at work, but not on my ASUS A7M266 here at home.
As it turns out, ASUS didn't hook up the outputs of the SMBus chip on the A7M series to the fan plugs, so you can't change the fan speeds. I sent it to ASUS, but they just sent it back to me.

Next time it's Fujitsu Siemens.


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