Either Way, It Takes Care Of Your Headache

Why you now need to plug the CPU fan into the CPU fan header. — Ed

Twenty years ago, someone in the Chicago area decided that Extra Strength Tylenol needed another extra: cyanide.

At that time, the morbid joke going around was “Either way, it takes care of your headache.”

Nowadays, a lot of people complain that PC noise gives them a headache, and one of the biggest noise-makers are power fans.

So the Asus people apparently decided that it would be a good idea to put a command into the BIOS that shuts power to the power fan headers on the motherboard when the system goes into idle.

This would seem to be a good idea to quiet down the system. Except when you’ve plugged your CPU fan into one of the power headers.

This is what I think happened to Michael Schuette of Lost Circuits and his Thoroughbred.

The CPU fan was plugged into the power fan header. After booting, the system went into idle, the BIOS shut down the power fan circuitry. That shut down the CPU fan, and shortly thereafter, the CPU.

(The only flaw to this is that the same thing apparently isn’t happening with Palominos.)

Either way, it takes care of your headache.

If you’re thinking, “the system should have shut itself down,” well, any shutdown obviously didn’t do much good here, and telling a dead CPU, “You shouldn’t be dead,” redefines fruitless activity.

If you’re thinking, “only an idiot could have possibly done this,” well, I think there’s plenty of “idiots” out there who may not have been so meticulous about their plugging. I know of one for sure who could have done this. Me.

(I’m really grumpy today, so don’t even think about sending me an email telling me how smart you are because you wouldn’t do such a thing. :))

For the vast majority of you with more sense than that, this could become a more general problem.

Noise reduction is becoming popular, and others may implement this feature in BIOS updates. I think you’d have to expect Asus to implement this feature in other models, others may, too.

Since many descriptions of just what a BIOS update actually does are skimpy if not nonexistent (particularly Asus’), don’t count on being forewarned.

It would be a very wise precaution to make sure your CPU fan is plugged into the CPU power header rather than another. I would consider it a necessity before any BIOS update. Better do it now before you forget.

On the other hand, maybe you shouldn’t. AMD is going to need all the CPU sales it can get over the next six months. They’ll need your money. Help them.


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