Friday, June 20, 2014

Controlling the CPU fan speed without AI Suite on Maximus VI Hero

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I had been using the Asus AI Suite from the very first day I bought the Maximus VI Hero motherboard. I used the fan controlling feature of it but wasn’t really happy that I couldn’t limit the maximum fan speed to a value that I liked.

Two things happened recently.

  1. I sold the Thermalright Silver Arrow SB-E Extreme cooler and went back to the old Antec Kuhler 620 with a Scythe Gentle Typhoon AP-29 fan cooling the radiator
  2. I decided to shred the bloat-ware off the PC to maintain the system responsiveness

The Gentle Typhoon fan came with a molex cable for powering itself up. I cut the cable and attached a 3-pin header to control the fan speed using the fan controller. Back then I had a hardware fan controller also made by Scythe. After I installed the cooler recently, I used AI Suite to control the fan speed. AI Suite was too aggressive with it’s sensitivity which made the noise vary rapidly depending on the CPU load. That was really irritating.

As I decided to remove the AI Suite, I had to depend completely on the UEFI to control the fan. Asus has what they call Q-Fan Control in UEFI. It is not as detailed as AI Suite but you can control the fan speeds up to a certain degree. But it still behaved a bit like AI Suite – making that irritating jittery noise.

I didn’t know what to do, so I turned to the trusty forums. I asked how I can maintain a constant fan speed in UEFI. One guy replied with the answer. I had to disabled Q-Fan Control completely. That got rid of the irritating varying noise. But the fan was not running at max speed. For the Gentle Typhoon, this meant running at 3000RPM – constantly. That’s not irritating, but I’d prefer a quieter setup.

Q-Fan Control Disabled

So I asked if I could do something about this in the same thread.

The guy replied that I could lower the fan speed up to 60% duty cycle and keep it constant there by selecting the same duty cycle for low temp and the high temp, in the screen that unlocks when I select manual fan control mode. I don’t know why Asus imposes the 60% duty cycle limit.

Manual Fan Control

After I set 60%, the fan speed dropped to 2000RPM. It’s much better than before, but I would like to drop the fan speed to 1300-1400RPM level for this fan. Unfortunately that is impossible without hacking the firmware.

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