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Peripherals Fan controller or Speedfan

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by jeckulz, 9 Mar 2014.

?

Speedfan or Standalone controller

Poll closed 23 Mar 2014.
  1. Speedfan

    3 vote(s)
    20.0%
  2. Rheobus controller

    9 vote(s)
    60.0%
  3. Other

    3 vote(s)
    20.0%
  1. jeckulz

    jeckulz New Member

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    Okay.
    I've been around here for a while, long enough to see PC fashions change (Aesthetics I'm talking about) a couple of times over, evolving and improving.
    Now it seems to be the fashion to not have an optical drive, and to do away with superfluous parts. Less is more. I'm down with this.

    I was just pondering why so many people still fit rheobus type fan controllers to their systems. I'm not talking about the all singing aquacomputer ones that come with temp sensors to adjust fans in auto mode, I mean the ones where you have to set each fan(s) to the desired speed and then put up with the noise regardless of temperature. Or have it quiet and have to police helicopters think you have a ganj grow on the go.

    In September when I got my new case I bit the bullet and set speed fan up. It's not an intuitive process, it's poorly laid out and an nightmare to fettle the RPM/Temp curves to the optimal levels.
    Having said this, I did it, I got it set, and my rig has never been quieter, despite having more than double the amount of fans onboard.
    Then when the FPS count soars, so do my fans, and my temps stay comfortable.
    And this was free.
    I'm sure you're aware, although you might not be, speedfan is free!
    So why do people still install rheobus controllers?
    If its the wattage per fan header, get a mini distributor power board, they're cheaper than fan controllers by a long way, and take up less room.

    While I'm here, can I have a show of hands?
     
  2. Teelzebub

    Teelzebub Up yours GOD,Whats best served cold

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    Of course you can :D

    [​IMG]
     
  3. MrJay

    MrJay You are always where you want to be

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    I'm using a fan controler with my 2 rigs at the moment simply because I like to be able to manually tune my fans not the fly...I like to be able to twiddle my knobs : P

    Also speed fan can be a bit flakey on some boards! I still use it to log my temps and such though : )
     
  4. Umbra

    Umbra New Member

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    I used speedfan for a few years but on my last build I used two silverstone 180mm fans, an Enermax vegas fan which has lots of LED's and a controller for different light patterns and a 140mm fan on the CPU heat sink, as speedfan uses the sensors on the mobo obviously the fans have to use the mobo fan connections for it to work.

    I had problems with 180mm fans, only one would start at a time and the other needed a push to get it started also the LED's on the vegas fan would not work, even though the mobo fan headers should have handled the fans they didn't, so I had to use a hardware fan controller, Zalman ZM3, it's also handy because it displays the total Wattage the system is using.

    My latest build (work in progress) will have no optical drive because I have an external USB drive for when I need it but it will have a hardware fan controller, a Touch 2100, in fact, apart from the power switch and LED the fan controller is all that will be on the front panel and it has two USB3 ports for my USB optical drive, incidentally, I've never understood why some people prefer negative air pressure in the case because that means that dust gets forced into the case through any small gaps or through optical drives if fitted, with two 180mm fans in the base of my case blowing straight up over the GPU (mobo rotated 90 degrees) there is no chance of that happening and I do prefer the hands on control of a hardware controller.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 10 Mar 2014
  5. Nexxo

    Nexxo Stopped treating this country as if it was his own

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    Pros and cons, I suppose:

    Speedfan: the pros
    • free
    • integrated into the PC; no messing around with extra circuits
    • elegant: makes use of the processing power that is available anyway
    • plays nice with Samurize and Rainmeter, allowing you to design pretty control buttons and graphics of your own choice, and do calculations on data as they are displayed
    • coolant flow meters can pretend to be fans and data converted to e.g. l/min. flow in Samurize or Rainmeter
    • Can even control pump speed if it has PWM support

    Speedfan: the cons
    • you are limited to the fan headers and temperature sensors available on the motherboard, GPU and HDD; no data for things that need their own sensor ambient temps, or coolant temps (unless you splice them into the SMbus, and that is best left to hard core electronics geeks)
    • if the computer crashes, so does Speedfan --although the BIOS will make fans default to 100%, so there is little risk of overheating
    • data is not shared with other regulation/monitoring hardware
    • requires some expertise to get the most out of it

    Fan controllers: the pros
    • flexible: you can add as many fans and temperature sensors as you want; great for watercooling purposes
    • easy to set up
    • will continue to work even if the PC hangs
    • comes as an out-of-the-box solution; no messing around with Samurize or Rainmeter

    Fan controllers: the cons
    • cost
    • will generally not share data with the PC (unless there is proprietary software), and not with Samurize or Rainmeter so there is no on-screen data
    • little room for creativity with the display: the display you buy is the display you get

    That is what I can think of, off the top of my head.
     
    Last edited: 9 Mar 2014
  6. SuperHans123

    SuperHans123 Well-Known Member

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    Fan controllers: Tactile, easy to set up install and use
    Speedfan: Fiddliest piece of software I have ever tried to configure. Talk about non-user friendly.
     
  7. LennyRhys

    LennyRhys Oink!

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    I've just built a 5-channel fan controller and I'm about to build another one... the more I explore the possibilities of DIY in this regard, the more I'm convinced that manual fan control is as good as it gets. I can switch my fans on or off at the flick of a switch, and I can have them anywhere between 3.5v and 11.3v (approx), and each channel can handle several fans if needs be.

    Given Bit-Tech's association with modding, I think it's appropriate to suggest that you have a go at building your own fan controller, if that's your thang. :thumb:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. mansueto

    mansueto Too broke to mod

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    I use speedfan / MSI afterburner to control my gpu fan, and I use the basic 3 port fan controller that came with my fractal r4 to control my intake and 2 fans on my h80, though I leave them on max since they're Noctua's so they're quiet.
     
  9. Umbra

    Umbra New Member

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    Have you made a build log for your speed controller? I assume the micro switches are on/off and the pots for speed control but what screen did you use and did it require some coding to get it working, I would be interested in building one myself.
     
  10. LennyRhys

    LennyRhys Oink!

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    Yep, and the rocker switch inverts the polarity of the PWM control channel because some 4-pin fans have an inverted control signal which can get a bit confusing. The screen is a separate thing altogether, just an Alphacool LCD display which can (with LOTS of patience) be configured to report fan RPM.

    I don't really have a build log as such but I'm going to be doing something this week and I'll post a log of sorts. This is actually more of a precursor to doing a few fan tests but I've enjoyed designing and building the fan controllers a lot more than I anticipated. :)
     
  11. ashchap

    ashchap Member

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    I've always been a massive fan (excuse the pun) of speedfan. I couldn't live without it! I don't understand why anyone would want to have to manually turn their fans up and down depending on what kind of task they are doing on their PC. My PC is silent when idle (fans at about 20-40%) and then if I start gaming and it warms up, the fans slowly ramp up just enough to keep the temps within their target range. As soon as I stop gaming the fans automatically return to their silent levels again. For me speed fan is well worth the effort (15-30 mins?) of setting up, especially since it is free.

    Obviously if you don't have enough fan headers, or want to use additional temperature sensors then I can see why you need extra controller hardware, but otherwise I can't see the benefit.
     
    Last edited: 10 Mar 2014
  12. LennyRhys

    LennyRhys Oink!

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    Fan controllers give you much more specific control over fans, and up to six channels... many motherboards don't have that number of fan headers on them (mine included), and many motherboards don't work well (or at all) with SpeedFan.

    An additional benefit with some fan controllers is the ability to turn fans off altogether, which is great if totally silent operation is desired. For example, if I hook my PC up to the TV to watch a movie, all the case fans are switched off.

    IMO the real question is not "why do people still buy fan controllers or use speedfan"; it's why do people not buy 800rpm fans if they are so bothered about fan noise? Well, because they know that 800rpm fans just ain't gonna cut the mustard.
     
  13. Umbra

    Umbra New Member

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    Thanks for the reply, I have looked into building a fan controller with a screen before and the screen has always been the hard part to sort out, interesting about reversing the polarity of the PWM control channel, I've never heard of that before, I'll keep an eye out for your future post on this. :cooldude:
     
  14. Umbra

    Umbra New Member

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    Because we are modders, speedfan is too easy :D and my mobo wouldn't power two 180mm fans properly :rolleyes:

    Very true, the two 180mm fans I use in the base of the case need to be at 1000rpm to shift a decent amount of air but they are very quiet, it works for me but not everyone wants such big fans or has the case space for them.
     
  15. ashchap

    ashchap Member

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    Without wanting to sound like a speedfan evangelist, I would suggest trying out the different PWM modes in the advanced tab before accepting that a motherboard is not supported. Often the default is "ON/OFF" but most motherboards I have used have needed it to be set to "Software Controlled". Also, you can set fans to 0% (off) with speedfan :)
     
    Last edited: 11 Mar 2014

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