Current state of fan control with Intel platform!

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smilingcrow
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Current state of fan control with Intel platform!

Post by smilingcrow » Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:26 am

I'm out of the loop and looking at building a system with an Intel Z370 chipset and I usually use Asus or Gigabyte or maybe ASRock at a push but wary of MSI from past experiences.
Will probably be running 2 or possibly 3 fans in total including the CPU and prefer the flexibility of having both voltage and PWM control.
In the past I used Speedfan for years very successfully but never used it with Windows 10 and I have done some research and see that fan control at the EUFI level and using the board makers' utilities has come a long way.
So looking for any feedback good or bad on people's experiences.
Thanks.

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Re: Current state of fan control with Intel platform!

Post by Abula » Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:01 pm

These are my experiences with some mobos,

MSI Z370 Gaming M5
Superb bios fan control, all headers are switchable on the bios (PWM/DC), 4 breakpoint graph to detail your fan curve, no limits per header you can go as low as your fans can and if they were capable of stopping the mobo will be aswell.

AsRock Z370 Taichi
Great bios fan control, almost as good as MSI, two switchable headers, the rest are PWM (some say they are auto detect, i haven't tested this personally). No limit on any header, 5 breakpoints, if fans can be stopped you can do it with the breakpoints. If you use full PWM there is no difference with MSI, if you use some DC fans, for sure 2 are supported, and the rest only if the headers are autodetect (i cant say atm).

Asus H170 Gaming Pro (haven't tested any Z270/Z370)
Best software based fan control, FanXpert is to me above anything that the other manufacturers offer, FanXpert overrides any bios restrictions and consistently reads the correct rpm range, on the other hand AI Suite is a bloated software and does a lot of things that i dont like like CPU temperature algorithm, among other things. Bios fan control is meh, the bios has Qtunning, a FanXpert wanna be, that works sometimes with some fans, i personally had issues with some fans reading them incorrectly and setting it by what i know works for each fan created issues with resets. Again i have not tested Z370, maybe asus has improved their bios.

Gigabyte - haven't tested any mobo since i7 920 / LGA1366
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Re: Current state of fan control with Intel platform!

Post by BillyBuerger » Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:05 pm

My system is relatively old these days running a Core i5-3570k on an ASUS P8H77-M Pro. FanXpert has been working fine for the CPU/case fans. I can't say if SpeedFan was able to control the fans or not. But, I can say that SpeedFan had been working just fine on Win10 as I was still using it to control the fan on my PowerColor HD7770 GPU. The fan profile on that thing was crap as the minimum speed was about what I ended up running it under heavy load and it still kept the temperature at a reasonable level... Although, in the end the GPU started causing crashes and I had to pull it out. So maybe some parts of it were running too hot with the low/no fan speeds. The EVGA GTX 950 I have now is fine as is so I have no need for SpeedFan now.

I'm trying to remember if there was some issue with getting SpeedFan to run on startup. I feel like I might have had to run it through a scheduled task with the trigger being on logon. Possibly in order for it to run as admin. But I could be thinking of something else.

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Re: Current state of fan control with Intel platform!

Post by smilingcrow » Sat May 05, 2018 8:26 am

Thanks for the replies.
I’m considering a H370 board as they are a bit cheaper and have native Intel USB 10Gbs support.
The Gigabyte one looks reasonable to me although it doesn’t have DP or HDMI 2.x so no proper 4K support. It seems unlikely I will move to 4K from my 32” 2560x1440 screen and I could always add a basic dGPU if required. I’m wary of paying for features I am unlikely to need.
It also supports WiFi via the Intel CNVi WIFI upgradable slot; a separate purchase.

https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/H3 ... -rev-10#kf

Smart Fan 5
With Smart Fan 5 users can ensure that their gaming PC can maintain its performance while staying cool. Smart Fan 5 allows users to interchange their fan headers to reflect different thermal sensors at different locations on the motherboard. Not only that, with Smart Fan 5 more hybrid fan headers that support both PWM and Voltage mode fans have been introduced to make the motherboard more liquid cooling friendly

■ 6 Temperature Sensors
■ 4 Fan Pin Headers
■ All Fan Pin Headers Upgraded to Hybrid Fan Headers
■ Interoperable Fans and Sensors
■ Intuitive UI for Fan Control

I have all the parts except for the board and CPU cooler which I want to order this weekend.
Any further input gratefully received.

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Re: Current state of fan control with Intel platform!

Post by lodestar » Sat May 05, 2018 11:29 am

The Gigabyte H370M D3H is certainly fully featured when it comes to fan control. One of these features is Fan Stop which allows a fan to be set to not run until a specified temperature is reached. This temperature is normally based on the CPU but as you have already noted there are other sensors that can be specified. The main advantage of fan stop is that idle speeds of fans no longer become an issue because they don't run under idle/low system stress conditions at all. Normally Fan Stop is only allowed for case fans, it may be that the Gigabyte will also let you do this with the CPU fan but I don't know. If you want a CPU cooler that has fans that don't run under idle conditions you could consider the Arctic Cooling i32 single fan or i33 Plus dual fan models. This would give you a setup where neither CPU or case fans run under idle conditions. In the absence of a graphics card then potentially the only other source of fan noise would then be the PSU.

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Re: Current state of fan control with Intel platform!

Post by CA_Steve » Sat May 05, 2018 11:33 am

Looks like a decent product. Gigabyte finally upped their BIOS level fan control game. So, you should be able to just use that rather than the windows based stuff. Note that it has an older audio codec solution and the board just launched a month ago - so expect a lot of BIOS updates for the next couple of months.
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Re: Current state of fan control with Intel platform!

Post by smilingcrow » Sat May 05, 2018 2:05 pm

Thanks all.
lodestar wrote:This would give you a setup where neither CPU or case fans run under idle conditions. In the absence of a graphics card then potentially the only other source of fan noise would then be the PSU.
I’ve never been concerned about using fans in a true silent build and have usually had 3 fans permanently in use.
The PSU I have chosen is typically fanless up to about a 350W output which I doubt I will ever come close to
The PSU is the one thing I do like to work fanlessly as I don’t want to have to open it up to swap it out if the fan disappoints.
CA_Steve wrote:Looks like a decent product. Gigabyte finally upped their BIOS level fan control game. So, you should be able to just use that rather than the windows based stuff. Note that it has an older audio codec solution and the board just launched a month ago - so expect a lot of BIOS updates for the next couple of months.
I haven’t used onboard audio for ages and this is a DAW build so will have an audio setup that has ASIO drivers.
I should read a review of the H370 boards to see what they say. I am generally cautious about buying into a new platform but that seems to have slipped my mind this time.
Possibly because on the surface this isn’t that new but it does have at least two new things integrated that the Z370 lacks; USB 3.1 Gen2 and the WiFi aspect. So something to think about.

Overall it looks to have decent features and dual M.2 although one is 2x rather than 4x.
I wish they’d stop using DVI and standardise on at least one of DP or HDMI 2.x.
The majority of these boards under £150 can’t output 4k/60 which is absurd.

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Re: Current state of fan control with Intel platform!

Post by BrianF » Mon May 07, 2018 5:31 am

smilingcrow wrote:but it does have at least two new things integrated that the Z370 lacks; USB 3.1 Gen2 and the WiFi aspect. So something to think about.
I too have been shopping Z370/H370/B360 boards for a couple weeks now. There is the MSI Z370M Gaming Pro AC which has Gen.2/10G USB and WiFi (the wifi is quasi-built in as its actually a replaceable card). Not inexpensive though.

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Re: Current state of fan control with Intel platform!

Post by BrianF » Wed May 09, 2018 6:19 am

smilingcrow wrote:I have all the parts except for the board and CPU cooler which I want to order this weekend.
So what did you go with in the end?

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Re: Current state of fan control with Intel platform!

Post by smilingcrow » Wed May 09, 2018 3:21 pm

BrianF wrote:So what did you go with in the end?
I'm looking at the finer details and was hoping to order for delivery on Friday but it looks like it will be a bit later.
I'm going Z370 as of now.

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Re: Current state of fan control with Intel platform!

Post by smilingcrow » Wed May 09, 2018 3:43 pm

Abula wrote:These are my experiences with some mobos,

MSI Z370 Gaming M5
Superb bios fan control, all headers are switchable on the bios (PWM/DC), 4 breakpoint graph to detail your fan curve, no limits per header you can go as low as your fans can and if they were capable of stopping the mobo will be aswell.
I don't need many of the extra features of that board but the MSI Z370-A Pro looks to offer all the essential features I am after at half the price of that.

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Re: Current state of fan control with Intel platform!

Post by Abula » Wed May 09, 2018 8:20 pm

smilingcrow wrote:
Abula wrote:These are my experiences with some mobos,

MSI Z370 Gaming M5
Superb bios fan control, all headers are switchable on the bios (PWM/DC), 4 breakpoint graph to detail your fan curve, no limits per header you can go as low as your fans can and if they were capable of stopping the mobo will be aswell.
I don't need many of the extra features of that board but the MSI Z370-A Pro looks to offer all the essential features I am after at half the price of that.
I didn't post the board for a particular recommendation, just to reference which board I tested, weather another board from MSI has the same features regarding fan control is something that I can't say, but it's very likely that it's similar.
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Re: Current state of fan control with Intel platform!

Post by BrianF » Mon May 14, 2018 3:13 pm

Abula wrote:MSI Z370 Gaming M5 - Superb bios fan control, all headers are switchable on the bios (PWM/DC), 4 breakpoint graph to detail your fan curve, no limits per header you can go as low as your fans can and if they were capable of stopping the mobo will be aswell."
Encouraged by this I looked at a couple of their mainstream boards but they offer only "CPU" and a somewhat cryptic "System" as temps to relate case fan speed to. Not sure if "System" is really the chipset or if its an attempt at an ambient case temp taken from some mystery spot on the board. :)

Do they let you set a fixed speed of your choice?

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Re: Current state of fan control with Intel platform!

Post by Abula » Mon May 14, 2018 3:17 pm

BrianF wrote:
Abula wrote:MSI Z370 Gaming M5 - Superb bios fan control, all headers are switchable on the bios (PWM/DC), 4 breakpoint graph to detail your fan curve, no limits per header you can go as low as your fans can and if they were capable of stopping the mobo will be aswell."
Encouraged by this I looked at a couple of their mainstream boards but they offer only "CPU" and a somewhat cryptic "System" as temps to relate case fan speed to. Not sure if "System" is really the chipset or if its an attempt at an ambient case temp taken from some mystery spot on the board. :)

Do they let you set a fixed speed of your choice?
I never really tested it (not home for two weeks), but iirc it could be done two ways

1) place all breakpoints at the same pwm, the fan rpms shouldn't increase or decrease.

2) there is an option on the bios on each header called smart fan control, I believe if you unclick it, it becomes fixed.

PS, I also always setup my bios fan control with all as CPU, I'm not sure what's the temp for system, so I always use CPU on the options of each header on the bios.
Last edited by Abula on Thu May 17, 2018 4:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Current state of fan control with Intel platform!

Post by BrianF » Thu May 17, 2018 10:24 am

I had a chance to play with a friend's MSI Z270 Pro board....wow the BIOS Fan control is nice! Separate custom 4-point curve for each fan plus DC/PWM selection of course. I just wish there was more than 2 sensors (CPU and "System"...which I suspect is really chipset temp).

Conversely I looked at some recent Asus screen shots and it looks like you cant make your own curve, but have to chose one of three ("silent", "standard", "turbo"). At least you can set a fixed speed.

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Re: Current state of fan control with Intel platform!

Post by CA_Steve » Thu May 17, 2018 10:34 am

BrianF wrote:Conversely I looked at some recent Asus screen shots and it looks like you cant make your own curve, but have to chose one of three ("silent", "standard", "turbo").
I think that's incorrect.
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Re: Current state of fan control with Intel platform!

Post by BrianF » Thu May 17, 2018 2:43 pm

I may well have misinterpreted what I saw. Are you thinking BIOS or Software though?

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Re: Current state of fan control with Intel platform!

Post by CA_Steve » Thu May 17, 2018 5:57 pm

bios.
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Re: Current state of fan control with Intel platform!

Post by Abula » Thu May 17, 2018 6:43 pm

BrianF wrote:Conversely I looked at some recent Asus screen shots and it looks like you cant make your own curve, but have to chose one of three ("silent", "standard", "turbo"). At least you can set a fixed speed.
Silent/standard/turbo are Bios presets, you dont need them to run you own graphs, you can simply customize them, that said there are some that run the silent preset here and are fine with what asus established.

I still prefer MSI or AsRock over Asus on bios, unless you are into software, then Asus to me its the best of all.
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Re: Current state of fan control with Intel platform!

Post by lodestar » Fri May 18, 2018 4:13 am

The standard Asus BIOS fan control profiles are Standard, Silent, Turbo, Full Speed and Manual. Of these, only Manual can be configured. On top of this is Fan Optimization. So for example using the Manual profile the minimum fan speed that can be set is 20% before Optimization, and after running Optimization this will be reset to whatever minimum % PWM duty cycle will run the fan. With Noctua 120mm PWM fans the optimized figure typically can be 15 to 18%, with Noctua 140mm PWM fans optimization can drop some fans down to as low as 13%.

The main issue with Asus BIOS fan control is that it has not evolved much since the Z97 days. So, for example, setting fans to stay off until a set temperature is reached is either not available or is limited to DC mode only. For this reason, other manufacturers specifically AsRock, MSI and Gigabyte for their latest boards arguably now have better BIOS fan control that Asus. If you don't want semi-passive fan control and are happy to just set a custom mode that runs fans at the lowest possible speeds then Asus may well be OK.

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Re: Current state of fan control with Intel platform!

Post by BrianF » Fri May 18, 2018 11:11 am

Does MSI, through software, let you associate a motherboard fan header with GPU temp (assuming an MSI gpu of course)?

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Re: Current state of fan control with Intel platform!

Post by Abula » Sat May 19, 2018 10:46 am

BrianF wrote:Does MSI, through software, let you associate a motherboard fan header with GPU temp (assuming an MSI gpu of course)?
Not that I know. You could try speedfan.

What I would do if you wish to do some fans being controlled by the videocard, get a new Asus strix, most come with two extra pwm standard fan headers.
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Re: Current state of fan control with Intel platform!

Post by lodestar » Sun May 20, 2018 2:18 am

The other possibility you have with some Asus boards, for example the Prime Z370-A, is that there is a Thermal Sensor Connector header (2-pin T_SENSOR). A thermistor cable can be connected to this header and the sensor secured (typically using Kapton Tape) to any device you choose such as a GPU heatsink or a hard drive. This is a reasonably cheap and effective method of configuring a custom temperature source for controlling fans. It works just like any other fan control sensor so you can select one of the set profiles or setup a custom fan curve using the manual option. And obviously you can select any fan you want to be controlled by this temperature source.

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Re: Current state of fan control with Intel platform!

Post by BrianF » Tue May 22, 2018 6:25 am

Abula wrote:
BrianF wrote:What I would do if you wish to do some fans being controlled by the videocard, get a new Asus strix, most come with two extra pwm standard fan headers.
Yes, I used one for a customer a few months ago and it worked very very well for controlling an intake fan pointed at the video card (including full stop when the card's own fans are stopped). Trouble with these cards is they are extremely long and moreover markedly more expensive than comparable MSI. :)

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Re: Current state of fan control with Intel platform!

Post by BrianF » Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:32 am

I just purchased an ASUS ROG Strix H370-F. The fan controls are fine in that every header can be set for DC/PWM, can have a predefined or totally custom curve complete with multiple temp/speed points, rise/fall times, etc. The BIOS and software pretty much mirror each other in terms of what you can do, though the software does have a somewhat helpful calibration routine.

BUT curves in general are only useful if you have relevant temps to relate them to, and in this I am a little disappointed in ASUS. The product page, under "Cooling", clearly illustrates the board in question (not a generic image) as having no less than five temp sources: CPU, VRM, Chipset, and two arbitrary ones near the bottom edge. In actual fact there are a grand total of TWO: CPU and Motherboard ("motherboard" I believe to be a thermistor inside the Nuvoton chip).

Of course, if one wants to spend more money (this thing wasnt cheap) the board does have pins for a single thermistor (not included) plus a header for the optional Asus "Fan extension card" (which would give you three more connections).

I may just end up setting fixed speeds for the case fans but it still seems like a bit of slight-of-hand marketing, especially since this is their absolute "best" H370 model.

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Re: Current state of fan control with Intel platform!

Post by lodestar » Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:02 pm

What I see on that page under Cooling->multi temp sources is this "...Each header can be set to monitor and react to three user-configurable thermal sensors..." which would be CPU, motherboard and the optional T_SENSOR thermistor cable.

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Re: Current state of fan control with Intel platform!

Post by BrianF » Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:41 am

lodestar wrote:"...Each header can be set to monitor and react to three user-configurable thermal sensors..."
That would be in reference to the ability for a header to monitor any combination of three sources (hottest one taking precedence) from among the following six: CPU, "Motherboard" (aka Nuovon chip), Tsens, ExtSens1, 2, and 3 (the last 4, as it turns out, have to be purchased separately).

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Re: Current state of fan control with Intel platform!

Post by lodestar » Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:19 am

BrianF wrote:...ExtSens1, 2, and 3...
Yes these are on the Asus Fan Extension Card which has an additional three thermal sensors (and as part of the kit provides three thermal sensor cables). The Asus Fan Extension Card seems to be a bit elusive in the UK, I have never yet found a boxed complete set on retail sale here.

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