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Why use a fan controller?

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KillrBuckeye

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2005
Location
Livonia, MI
If your mobo has an adequate number of fan leads, what is the point of buying a hardware fan controller when there are software solutions like SpeedFan that work exceptionally well?

I tried SpeedFan for the first time last night, and I was very impressed with its customizable fan speed control based on temperature readings. I had been having a myriad of problems with Asus' software solution for overclocking/fan speed control of its video cards (SmartDoctor), and SpeedFan worked flawlessly! I had previously tried Rivatuner and some other video card control tools, but none seemed to be able to control the fan speed on my Asus V9999GT (6800GT).
 

otogrim

Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2005
Location
Houston, TX
personally I don't like to run my fans off of the mb leads. I preffer having it plugged in direct from the psu so fan controler is the way to go
 

Maviryk

Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2005
Location
Louisiana
Because speedfan doesn't necessarily work with all motherboards. And motherboard headers can only handle 10 or so watts. Also what if you have more than 3-4 fans?
 

KillrBuckeye

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2005
Location
Livonia, MI
I see. Good points. :) Though I've never used a fan that couldn't be powered off the mobo leads. I have 3x120mm fans (including 1 Panalfo and 1 Yate Loon) and they all run fine off the leads. For most people who don't use high-powered fans and have enough leads on the mobo, software control is fine, right? I was very impressed that Speedfan could control all of my fans, even my video card cooler which wasn't accessible using any other software. Not to mention the A7V333-X mobo I was using is very outdated and doesn't use a popular chipset.

EDIT: Nevermind, I'm getting mixed up b/c I've been using my wife's socket A system while I await my EVGA step-up card. On her system there is only 1 case fan, CPU fan, and GPU fan.
 

Captain Helghas

Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2005
Location
Tallahassee, Fl
Only so many fan leads on the mobo can be controlled. For instance, my P5WD2-e has 4 fan leads: CPU, PWR, Cha1, & Cha2. The only two leads which can be modulated are the CPU and Cha1. The other two I use for RPM monitoring.

I do use high performance delta's and have them directly connected to the mobo. The leads can handle 18W, which is just as good or better then fan controllers.
 

HousERaT

Senior Air Extraordinaire
Joined
Apr 9, 2004
Location
Imladris
Captain Helghas said:
I do use high performance delta's and have them directly connected to the mobo. The leads can handle 18W, which is just as good or better then fan controllers.
Just out of curiosity what motherboard is that?
 

t1mex

Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2004
Location
Denver, CO
KillrBuckeye said:
I see. Good points. :) Though I've never used a fan that couldn't be powered off the mobo leads. I have 3x120mm fans (including 1 Panalfo and 1 Yate Loon) and they all run fine off the leads. For most people who don't use high-powered fans and have enough leads on the mobo, software control is fine, right? I was very impressed that Speedfan could control all of my fans, even my video card cooler which wasn't accessible using any other software. Not to mention the A7V333-X mobo I was using is very outdated and doesn't use a popular chipset.

EDIT: Nevermind, I'm getting mixed up b/c I've been using my wife's socket A system while I await my EVGA step-up card. On her system there is only 1 case fan, CPU fan, and GPU fan.


If it works, go with it, is what I say. Some people don't have the option of using SpeedFan, and some do. If you find a solution that works for YOU, opinions of others should be taken with a grain of salt, because thats what you feel comfortable with.
 

muddocktor

Retired
Joined
Nov 1, 2001
Location
New Iberia, LA
I use a fan controller for my high amperage fans and just run the sensor wire to the mobo. As a person who has had burned a mobo header with a fan that was under the header's rating, I have a distrust of powering any fan off them that draws more than 3 watts. It was my cpu fan and that old P3 got up to around 75 C, but was still chugging along just fine. Luckily I had enough case airflow to keep it from going any higher.
 

hitokiri_808

Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2005
Location
Hawaii
I use a fan controller but never turn the fans down.:shrug: But I don't really like to run fans off the motherboard. I only have my CPU fans connected for rpm monitoring.
 

Arca_ex

Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2006
Location
Gilbert, Arizona
Maybe I use a physical controller because I have 11 fans... , oh wait i just found 8 more leads on my mobo
 
Last edited:

grumperfish

Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2005
I use a controller (*actually 2 counting the case) because there's really nothing better than having the system nearly Dell-quiet and then when I need it (benchmarking or gaming) -> 'Hay there go the panoflo and sanyo denki's' :bday: .. it's like revving the engine before a race.
 

Captain Slug

Helpful Senior Member
Joined
May 23, 2001
Location
Asteroid B-612
If I can accomplish something through hardware rather than software there's no doubt I'll go with hardware. Plus It's best not to use the motherboard headers for larger fans.
 

Jame Gumb

Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2005
Location
NewYork, NY
Captain Slug said:
Plus It's best not to use the motherboard headers for larger fans.

Why is that? I was thinking about that too with 120mm's, but I was just told that they come inspec.

I like the Sunbeam choice just because I don't want to have to run software in the background.

Unless you're routing wires behind the board, fan wires would be exposed to a neatphreak.

You can buy mobo 3pin -> 3pin splitter -> 3pin extension -> 3pin to molex.

@sidewinder, right? How many fans can you run off one 3-pin mobo? A lot I presume.
 

Evilsizer

Senior Forum Spammer
Joined
Jun 6, 2002
Hipcrostino said:
got a 220cfm delta, pulls 30 or so watts at 12v. Not fan controller could handle that. So i slapped a VR in there to keep her quiet. Found it got VERY hot. So now i have a p3 cooler attched to the back of it. Keeps pot temps down, and fan speed down. yay!

http://img164.imageshack.us/img164/171/computer0024uy.jpg (56k warning)


p.s thats three posts in a row about my delta :D
what you could do there is find the highest you want to run the fan at. Then find some 5watt resistors and paralle them together to get a higher wattage. then use the reo. in series with the (x) number of resistors. keep the reo. @zero when you need the speed... will take up much less space...
 

Hipcrostino

Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2006
Location
Canberra, Australia
true true, but space isn't an issue as no more opticals are going in this thing. Plus i crank the fan up during games. For perspective, with this much dust on the BT my idle temps are 41 @ 2.5ghz and about half fan speed. With fan cranked i never reach 45. I think im going to clean the dust out in the weekend....

but thnx for the advise. I may do it some day!
 

Enablingwolf

Senior Member overclocking at t
Joined
Jun 14, 2004
I like using hardware since I am controlling the output. During the whole power cycle. It adds options over software. Software can have glitches or be inaccurate. Most of all your limited to where the software will run and what Operating system in some cases.

I can get it to the conditions I choose, under all conditions. Speed fan will only work once in Windows right? So your going to have the fans full speed until it loads. Hardware will be at a desired speed until your desire changes.
 

neonblingbling

Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2004
Enablingwolf said:
I like using hardware since I am controlling the output. During the whole power cycle. It adds options over software. Software can have glitches or be inaccurate. Most of all your limited to where the software will run and what Operating system in some cases.

I can get it to the conditions I choose, under all conditions. Speed fan will only work once in Windows right? So your going to have the fans full speed until it loads. Hardware will be at a desired speed until your desire changes.

I have a similar opinion. Sometimes, it's easier to reach down, flip a switch, and have my fans come out of silent mode, expecially in the middle of loading a BF2 map. With 1GB of ram, it's suicidal to alt-tab to speedfan.