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This driver release adds an option to control GPU fan speed
(among other settings). Sounds like it could be dangerous though,
so I haven't experimented with it.
Seems to be working fine here on my 64 bit install (no 32 bit libs)
"nvidia-settings" says my fan is at 35%. for whatever thats worth.
Option "Coolbits" "integer"
Enables various unsupported features, such as support for GPU clock
manipulation in the NV-CONTROL X extension. This option accepts a bit mask
of features to enable.
WARNING: this may cause system damage and void warranties. This utility
can run your computer system out of the manufacturer's design
specifications, including, but not limited to: higher system voltages,
above normal temperatures, excessive frequencies, and changes to BIOS that
may corrupt the BIOS. Your computer's operating system may hang and result
in data loss or corrupted images. Depending on the manufacturer of your
computer system, the computer system, hardware and software warranties may
be voided, and you may not receive any further manufacturer support.
NVIDIA does not provide customer service support for the Coolbits option.
It is for these reasons that absolutely no warranty or guarantee is either
express or implied. Before enabling and using, you should determine the
suitability of the utility for your intended use, and you shall assume all
responsibility in connection therewith.
When "4" (Bit 2) is set in the "Coolbits" option value, the
nvidia-settings Thermal Monitor page will allow configuration of GPU fan
speed, on graphics boards with programmable fan capability.
The default for this option is 0 (unsupported features are disabled).
I tried the "Coolbits" option a couple of times. The syntax seems complicated, since this option supports many features via various number combos. No matter which example I tried, the GPU fan kept going.
Maybe I didn't get the syntax right.
So the temporary solution was to apply a Gentoo patch to 180.60. This made the fan behave normally.