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Windows 7: How do I check/change the speed of my fans?

02 Oct 2012   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
How do I check/change the speed of my fans?

Hi

I have 3 fans in my case and need to speed them up as my computer is overheating.
How do I check/change the speed of my fans?

-Iroro


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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02 Oct 2012   #2

Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon | Win 7 Ult x64
 
 

The simplest method would be to restart your PC and go into your BIOS. Most BIOS''s have a "PC Health" option, which will tell you temps and fan speeds.

Depending on the age of your motherboard, it might have options to control fan speeds.

Your specs don't say what CPU you have. You have a pretty good video card, so the obvious things to check are that the fans are big enough (at least 120mm), and you have good airflow

But, there are literally hundreds of threads here about cooling, overheating, and related topics. Rather than restate all of those, it would be worthwhile doing some searches here. You'll find plenty of good advice throughout the many threads.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Oct 2012   #3

Windows 7 Professional 64bit SP1
 
 

It may be something as easy as taking the computer outside and giving it a good cleaning with an air compressor or a can of compressed air if that's all you have. Also, is this a new issue?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Oct 2012   #4

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by iroro View Post
I have 3 fans in my case and need to speed them up as my computer is overheating.

How do I check/change the speed of my fans?
As was already stated, most BIOS setups include a "Hardware Monitor" item that will show you details of installed fans and fan speeds, voltages, etc.

But they also might include a "performance vs. silence" type of setting, primarily regarding the CPU cooler fan but possibly for the other case fans as well. Of course be prepared for increased noise from the CPU fan if it now spins at 2700RPM instead of 1800RPM or 1200RPM.

Many motherboards (e.g. from ASUS) have an "energy saving" piece of software (ASUS calls it "EPU-6 Engine") to go with it which monitors temperatures, voltages, fan speeds, etc., and can adjust the voltages sent to all the fans so that they spin up or down variably depending on "need". This goes along with the BIOS setting to enable this software control when Windows is running.

Some case fans have an optional resistor installed on the cable going to the fan header on the motherboard, to FORCE a lower speed (typically this is then fixed at that lower speed). Obviously this is an installation option and can't be undone unless you remove the resistor, so while it may be quieter spinning at a lower speed it's also going to produce a lower CFM airflow result, which will obviously reduce the cooling capability of that fan.

As far as actually SEEING (i.e. while under Windows) what your fans are doing, that again depends on your hardware and whether or not the onboard I/O sensor chip supports reading the fan speeds (assuming you have at least a 3-wire cable to the fan) via the motherboard fan headers. I use an excellent non-free product named Aida64 which is a wonderful highly configurable hardware monitoring product which has many nice user-interface display options, although the following is mine:



There are other similar products out there both free and non-free, but much of what you'll be able to see comes from your motherboard's capabilities and what the I/O sensor chip allows you to see. For sure, you'll know when you look inside the BIOS's hardware monitoring outputs and see what they show you there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Oct 2012   #5

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kbrady1979 View Post
It may be something as easy as taking the computer outside and giving it a good cleaning with an air compressor or a can of compressed air if that's all you have.
ABSOLUTELY!!!

I always do a "once-a-year maintenance" on the two machines at my sister's house when I go there for Thanksgiving. I open them both up and use a vacuum (powered up far away from the computers, so as not to create a huge magnetic field when the vacuum's motor starts up) with the upholstery brush attached to suck up all the cat hair and other accumulated dust which has found its way inside. Very important especially to vacuum the CPU fan area, so that there are no obstructions or impediments to full airflow.

It's amazing how much quieter both machines are once this is performed, and fresh outside air can now once again get in through the intake fan to cool the CPU. This is especially noticeable on Dell machines.

I prefer the "vacuum" approach to the "blow from an air can" approach, as this is done on the floor of the office where the machines live and not outside. I'd really not like to have big clouds of dust flying all around in the room only to eventually settle on the furniture and desks.

On my own two machines at home, they both have a removable/washable front air filter that is on the case, right in front of the intake fans attached to the chassis. Periodically I remove the front bezel of the case, remove this front air filter (which really does build up an accumulation of dust and lint from the room air being sucked in) and wash it clean, and then reinstall and put back the front bezel. This, too, results in improved airflow, better cooling, and allows the fans to run slower and quieter to accomplish the same result.


But the important thing: CLEAN OUT YOUR CASE PERIODICALLY.

Excellent advice.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Oct 2012   #6

Windows 7 Professional 64bit SP1
 
 

I usually take my computer out seasonally and blow it out with an air compressor. Keeping a reasonable distance so as to not blast sensitive components with huge amounts of air. Holding fans in place while blowing them off is also a good idea. Proper air pressure and cleaning techniques will get 99% of the dust and dirt off of components and out of your system. When you get it back inside you can take a soft cloth and wipe down anything the air didn't blow away. You can vacuum your system, but as I don't have a special PC vacuum or a vacuum suitable to be used inside a PC, I stick to an air compressor outside.

Laptops are a little different. If you are competent enough to take the outside casing off, you could blow dust and dirt off of fans and heatsinks and blow stray dust out of the cooling paths. A thorough laptop cleaning is a little more involved than taking a can of compressed air and blowing air in the exhaust vents.......that is counterproductive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Oct 2012   #7

Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon | Win 7 Ult x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kbrady1979 View Post
I usually take my computer out seasonally
I should be so lucky. We live in an area that is being actively developed. I have to take mine out every couple of weeks, and the carpets have to be vaccumed every couple of days.. It's amazing how much difference a good cleaining can make.

cheers
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Oct 2012   #8

Windows 7 Professional 64bit SP1
 
 

I have 2 dogs and hardwood floors. My old PC could have used a monthly cleaning easily. My new PC has filtered intakes, and I'm not using a slew of case fans. Seems to have made a considerable difference inside my case.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Oct 2012   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Sorry fror my late reply, the CPU is on the motherboard.

This problem only started occuring when I upgraded my Graphics card (even with the extra 3 fans on the card).
I keep my PC in a clean environment, the PC is on carpet. I vacuum once a week and the deg goes nowhere near the computer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Oct 2012   #10

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by iroro View Post
Sorry fror my late reply, the CPU is on the motherboard.
I don't understand. The CPU is installed in a socket on the motherboard, and has a cooler/fan stuck on top of the CPU.

And the CPU fan plugs into a specific CPU fan header (3/4-pin male) on the motherboard assigned for just the CPU fan, so that the BIOS can monitor the CPU temperature and correspondingly control the CPU fan speed... either fixed or variable... to keep the CPU from melting, depending on internal temperatures within the case along with actual temperatures of the CPU cores.


Quote:
This problem only started occuring when I upgraded my Graphics card (even with the extra 3 fans on the card).
Three fans on the graphics card?

I repeat my suggestion... install either a free or non-free (but free trial so you can at least try it out) "hardware monitor" software product, to tell you exactly what's going on when Windows is running. This is a more useful source of information than booting and getting into the BIOS to look at the "hardware monitor" values, since running in the BIOS is not the same as running under Windows in terms of machine use.


Quote:
I keep my PC in a clean environment, the PC is on carpet. I vacuum once a week and the deg goes nowhere near the computer.
We were all just kind of reminiscing about our own stories concerning the need to occasionally clean out the dust which inevitably enters the inside of your case, no matter what you do.

The front intake fan is sucking air into the case, and your room just naturally has dust floating around in the air. It will eventually accumulate inside the case, or mostly on the front air filter of the case... and need cleaning.

This buildup can certainly impact fan performance negatively, which in turn increases internal temperatures.

Please install some hardware monitoring software product (e.g. the Aida64 product I mentioned previously, or SpeedFan, or whatever you want) and get the actual numbers. Then you will know how to proceed.

There's no way of knowing whether whatever you do has helped unless you have numbers, to make objective comparisons.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 How do I check/change the speed of my fans?




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