Are the be quiet! PSes the only ones with fan controllers?

PSUs: The source of DC power for all components in the PC & often a big noise source.

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Fraoch
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Are the be quiet! PSes the only ones with fan controllers?

Post by Fraoch » Sat Nov 16, 2013 1:54 pm

Hello:

Are the be quiet! Dark Power Pro 10 series power supplies the only ones available with integrated fan controllers?

I have an old Antec 400 W power supply that came with my Sonata II case that had a rudimentary fan controller - it consisted of a single Molex marked "FAN ONLY". It was quite effective at keeping a fan quiet. It would be nice to have this again, I don't mind my fans ramping up when the power supply gets hot.

I suppose I could just use a fan controller (I'm looking at a Fractal Design Define R4 that comes with one) but this is a nice automated way of doing it.

CA_Steve
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Re: Are the be quiet! PSes the only ones with fan controller

Post by CA_Steve » Sat Nov 16, 2013 2:54 pm

While the DPP 10's fan controller is a nice extra, I don't think I'd rely upon the PSU temp to control case fans. Let the PSU temp control the PSU's fan :)

Every single motherboard made has a fan controller of some sort built into the bios or as a s/w utility, if you want automated control.
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Fraoch
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Re: Are the be quiet! PSes the only ones with fan controller

Post by Fraoch » Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:06 am

CA_Steve wrote:Every single motherboard made has a fan controller of some sort built into the bios or as a s/w utility, if you want automated control.
To control multiple case fans, do you use a splitter connected to the system fan header?

They don't seem too common. The only one I can find is this one:

http://www.swiftech.com/8-waypwmsplitter-sata.aspx

quest_for_silence
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Re: Are the be quiet! PSes the only ones with fan controller

Post by quest_for_silence » Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:14 pm

Fraoch wrote:
CA_Steve wrote:Every single motherboard made has a fan controller of some sort built into the bios or as a s/w utility, if you want automated control.
To control multiple case fans, do you use a splitter connected to the system fan header?

They don't seem too common. The only one I can find is this one:

http://www.swiftech.com/8-waypwmsplitter-sata.aspx


That splitter can control only 4-pins PWM fans, and all together (with reference to just one temperature). The Akasa Flexa is another example, but IIRC there are several ones. Such a splitter is useful in order to not overload a fan header (so it can be used just with PWM fans, while connecting multiple fans to a single 3-pins header may blow the header or the mobo itself), and it worths to mention that case fans are mostly 3-pins DC type (not PWM).

Broadly speaking, in order to control multiple case fans you do need multiple fan headers: check how many fan headers there are onto your motherboard, and if it doesn't sport enough, then you need an external fan controller such as the Scythe Kaze Server and the likes (or a splitter, if you have just one temperature sensor with a PWM header, but it is unlikely).

But this is just the hardware side of things: other than that, you do need a software to control the fan headers, it can be either built-in your UEFI/BIOS or a dedicated program like SpeedFan.
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Fraoch
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Re: Are the be quiet! PSes the only ones with fan controller

Post by Fraoch » Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:10 am

Thank you! I'll be changing my motherboard - mostly for other reasons, but it looks like the one I want to change it to has 4X4-pin PWM fan headers - one for the CPU fan and 3 for case fans.

Which brings up another question about 3-pin DC fans in 4-pin PWM headers, but that's a question for another subforum. :wink:

Abula
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Re: Are the be quiet! PSes the only ones with fan controller

Post by Abula » Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:37 am

Fraoch wrote:Thank you! I'll be changing my motherboard - mostly for other reasons, but it looks like the one I want to change it to has 4X4-pin PWM fan headers - one for the CPU fan and 3 for case fans.
Just be careful into what motherboard you chose, most motherboards only have one true 4pin PWM fan header, most of the time is the CPU header, the rest even if they 4pin phisically, they are 3pin in disguise. There are some that do come with 2, like MSI (CPU_FAN1 and CPU_FAN2) and AsRock (CPU_FAN and SYS_FAN1) in some of their line of motherboards. Some say that intel mobos have all true PWM, i cant say this for sure, as in my mini itx build i only used 2, and both were PWM fan headers, but never really tried an ATX mobo with all the fan headers. This is why would be best for you to chose the motherboard depending on the features you want and the price you willing to pay, and just use those PWM fan splitters if you want to go full PWM fans.
Fraoch wrote:Which brings up another question about 3-pin DC fans in 4-pin PWM headers, but that's a question for another subforum. :wink:
On Asus motherboards, they only have one true PWM fan header, CPU_FAN (CPU_OPT is just a mirror), but on asus motherboards you can enter the bios, go to fan control and change the Q-FAN from AUTO to ADVANCE, and it will make the PWM fan header into a voltage controlled fan header, like this you can use any 3pin fan on it and control it via FanXpert2. Other motherboards i havent tested if there is a feature like that, but in most cases there is only 1 true pwm header and the rest are 4pin fakes, but its not a big deal either, just gotta understand how is your motherboard design and buy the correct fans for each header.
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Fraoch
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Re: Are the be quiet! PSes the only ones with fan controller

Post by Fraoch » Thu Nov 21, 2013 6:33 am

Abula wrote:
Fraoch wrote:Thank you! I'll be changing my motherboard - mostly for other reasons, but it looks like the one I want to change it to has 4X4-pin PWM fan headers - one for the CPU fan and 3 for case fans.
Just be careful into what motherboard you chose, most motherboards only have one true 4pin PWM fan header, most of the time is the CPU header, the rest even if they 4pin phisically, they are 3pin in disguise. There are some that do come with 2, like MSI (CPU_FAN1 and CPU_FAN2) and AsRock (CPU_FAN and SYS_FAN1) in some of their line of motherboards. Some say that intel mobos have all true PWM, i cant say this for sure, as in my mini itx build i only used 2, and both were PWM fan headers, but never really tried an ATX mobo with all the fan headers. This is why would be best for you to chose the motherboard depending on the features you want and the price you willing to pay, and just use those PWM fan splitters if you want to go full PWM fans.
I'm now considering a Gigabyte motherboard - I would go with ASUS but I can't because they removed an important feature I was looking for. The Gigabyte motherboard implies that the CPU_FAN header is PWM - it even identifies each pin:

GND
+12 V/ Speed Control
Sense
Speed Control

but the 4-pin SYS_FAN1 is not PWM:

GND
+12 V/ Speed Control
Sense
Reserved

and then there are the 3-pin SYS_FAN2 and PWR_FAN headers, which don't even seem to be voltage controlled from the pin description:

GND
+12 V
Sense

The case I'm considering (Fractal Design Define R4) has a rudimentary fan controller. It might do the job for a while but I might go to something like this:

http://www.bitfenix.com/global/en/produ ... ies/recon/

A bit gaudy but there are much worse ones and it will be closed behind the R4's door.

thierry.
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Re: Are the be quiet! PSes the only ones with fan controller

Post by thierry. » Thu Nov 21, 2013 11:57 pm

Abula wrote: Just be careful into what motherboard you chose, most motherboards only have one true 4pin PWM fan header, most of the time is the CPU header, the rest even if they 4pin phisically, they are 3pin in disguise.
So true!

Since I am reading a lot of interesting ideas around here, yesterday I opened my motherboard manual to check.
I was wondering why my Bios was not changing the speed of my case fan.

I have a 4 pins SYS_FAN, but just 3 active pins. (which is normal, considering my cheap board.)

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