It is the weirdest thing that I have ever encountered.
Couple of days before I ordered the Maximus VII Gene motherboard, I ordered the Silverstone Heligon HE01 CPU cooler. The cooler worked pretty well on my old Maximus VI Hero motherboard. I had the fan on the CPU fan header and just used the automatic fan control settings in the UEFI.
But when I installed the cooler on the new motherboard, the fan stopped working properly. When I say "stopped working properly", I mean that the fan did not want to rev past 500RPM. The fan is supposed to rev up to 2000RPM at its maximum PWM signal strength. What's so special about 500RPM figure is that it is the lowest RPM that the fan can operate using the PWM signal.
I blamed the motherboard at first. That was the obvious thing to do given the circumstances. I thought the PWM signal from the motherboard was not compatible with the fan. Asus does a lot of non-standard things with their motherboards (that's to give more value additions of course), the Fan Xpert feature in this case.
I tried the optional CPU fan header, then the chassis fan headers and even tried it directly on the PSU Molex connector, but none of them made the fan speed ramp up past the dreaded 500RPM. It definitely should have worked fine when it was connected directly to the PSU, right? Since it didn't, it seemed that the motherboard is not to be blamed in this situation.
I talked with a fan guy on OCN forums and he came to the conclusion that the problem might be residing in the motor or the two way switch that can put the fan to Quiet mode or the Performance mode. It is just a RPM limiter. At Quiet mode, the RPM is capped at 1200RPM. At Performance mode, it goes all the way to 2000RPM - I actually observed 2142RPM on it while testing before this happened.
So what was I to do? I just bought the cooler. Of course it had warranty. So I went into Amazon and tried to send the product back saying is was faulty. I of course selected the same cooler as a replacement, and asked them to send me a replacement. The whole thing didn't take more than 5 minutes. They sent me an email saying that they will ship me a new item and that I had to send the defective one back to them within a month. That's not bad at all. I'm so glad that I bought it from Amazon. If I bought it from a regular Japanese shop, I would have had to go through a lot of hassle. It would not have been this instant - not even close.
The replacement cooler was shipped the next day and was supposed to arrive the day after. Want to know what happened with the new cooler? I'll surely post about it in the next post.