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 Post subject: Controlling fan speed on a not so quiet Acer Aspire Athlon64
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 2:37 pm 
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Location: Sweden
I've got an Acer Aspire 1513 with an Athlon64 3400+ running Windows XP SP2. It's an amazingly fast notebook but it comes at a price - noise.

So, is there a way to silence this notebook? To begin with, is there a way to control at which temperatures the CPU fan speed increases and decreases?

As it is now the fan spins at its lowest speed when the CPU temperature is below 37 degrees Celsius. (At this speed the fan is actually quiet!) When reaching 37, however, it speeds up and the gets a little noisy. When the temperature reaches 47 it speeds up even more and finally when reaching 57 it speeds up to the maximum speed at which it is extremely noisy. There is also an inbuilt hysteresis in the control. The fan speeds down at 31, 41 and 51 degrees.

I would like to increase the 37 degree limit to allow for a more silent operation when just browsing the web and doing lighter tasks. As it is now the temperature reaches 37 even with zero CPU utilization. Operating at a higher temperature when just surfing the web should not damage the processor. The fan could still spin up to its maximum speed when the temperature reaches 57 degrees.

Power Scheme is NOT set to “Always On” and hence the throttling function of the CPU is in operation. The frequency is varying between 800MHz at low CPU load and 2200MHz at high CPU load.

I’m using the MobileMeter to monitor the CPU temperature.

If someone now of a way to cool the CPU more efficiently or silence the fan (switch to a new more silent fan?) it would be even better!

Nora


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 3:19 pm 
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Hardware mods in notebooks are tough. Why don't you try using Cyrstal CPUID to keep the CPU from ramping up to full speed as quickly? That's if you can accept the possible slowdown in max speed. You could also try CPU undervolting with this utility.

There's also a passive heatpipe notebook cooler by Nexus linked in another thread here. I can vouch that it kind of works. It won't make a hot loud notebook cool & quiet but it will reduce the overall heat and keep the fan from ramping up as often.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 4:45 am 
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Undervolting makes a difference. The temperature still reaches 37 degree at low CPU load, but it takes a lot longer and when the fan speeds up, it quickly decreases to 31 where the fan spins down.

I still very much would like to be able to control the fan behaviour. An operating temperature of 45 degrees at low CPU load wouldn't hurt the processor. This is, by the way, the idle operating temperature when the processor is running at full speed, 2200MHz.

Anyhow, I guess you're right, it seems very though to mod notebook hardware. And if it was possible it would definitely be covered in these pages!

N


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 7:41 am 
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Have you dug through all the BIOS options -- and power management options in Windows? Maybe there's some buried control somewhere. In some of their P-M notebooks (all??) Toshiba has Advanced options under their Power Management area where different Cooling Methods are provided, Silent or Performance. You can guess what happens with Silent -- the fan almost never comes on.

Changing the fan turn on/off behavior from the hardware side means digging into the contrl/feedback circuits. I'd bet it's using the internal temp diode output and some PWM/switch circuit embedded in an IC chip somewhere on the board. If the control is not in the BIOS, I don't see how you're going to get at this.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 9:54 am 
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I'm afraid there are no such controls, neither in the Power Options in Windows nor in the BIOS. So the only solution seems to be ear plugs!

I wonder if you ever will be able to build a custom notebook. Buying the parts you like and putting them together just like you do with desktop systems today.

N


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 8:34 am 
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Using SpeedFan is a no-go?

You could probably splice the fan lead and solder a resistor in between. But doing so will void the warranty.

Cheers,

Jan

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 3:28 pm 
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Yes, unfortunately it is. But let’s hope an update will change that!

Thought of the resistor solution, but then the fan will never speed up to its maximum, which I think it needs to do when the CPU is under maximum load at 2.2GHz.

N


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