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Old 04-25-2011, 11:06 AM   #1
NirvanaII
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Quiet distros - Linux or unix-based? (lessened fan noise)


Has anybody here ever switched unix distro and found themselves using an OS with better fan support for their machine? i.e. less noisy / 'noiseless'. And I mean beyond the usual nvidia issues.

Currently my psu fan never stops, and though not horrendously loud it does bother me. I want to know before opening up my machine and doing damage - to my wallet or the psu! - that what i'm dealing with isn't just a software inadequacy in the Linux kernel.

As for diagnostics, so I have tried some of the more typical solutions (running sensors-detect and installing its recommended modules; then after pwmconfig - to which I hear no difference in the fans it shuts down.) And more radically have tried out burns of alternate distros: Mandriva 2010.2, Ubuntu Natty, Open Solaris, and ReactOS (wanted to test somethinng approximated to Windows) w/ SimplyMepis 8.5 as my mainstay.

So what might I try software-wise, before plunging in and potentially buggering up my machine?
 
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:15 AM   #2
cascade9
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You really want to minimise your CPU and GPU use, and to a lesser extent your RAM and HDD use.

The more you work the hardware, the more power the system needs, that puts more load on the power supply, so the fan spin faster (if you have a power supply that will vary the fanspeed of course). Also, the more CPU/GPU and HDD load the system is under, the more heat produced, which can increase fan noise as well.

I dont know what distro you prefer, but I'd try a minimal install of your prefered distro and use fluxbox, LXDE or XFCE. Dont run video compositing. Avoid using big programs (eg, use xfburn, not K3B).
 
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:16 AM   #3
snowday
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The Arch wiki has a good guide to fan control, I imagine most of the concepts would apply to other distros as well:

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Fan_Speed_Control

Another tip is to make sure you have cpufreq correctly setup as this will lower your heat and therefore less fan will be necessary:

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Cpufreq

---------- Post added 04-25-11 at 12:16 PM ----------

The Arch wiki has a good guide to fan control, I imagine most of the concepts would apply to other distros as well:

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Fan_Speed_Control

Another tip is to make sure you have cpufreq correctly setup as this will lower your heat and therefore less fan will be necessary:

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Cpufreq
 
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:17 AM   #4
nicolasjengler
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Ok, correct me if I'm wrong. Though once I read something about fan controllers being able to manage them, nowadays I don't think that an OS or a 'driver' can make a fan less noisy or whatever. It all depends on the heat that your PC can take and the work you put on the computer, so if your CPU use is low there's less possibility for the fan to start running at high speeds and if the CPU or GPU temperature isn't that much hot the fan shouldn't be noisy.

There are many things that you can do to check on the work of your fan. As snowpine provided you, there are many guides and tutorials talking about this.

Anyhow I'm talking without having an idea so, as I said, correct me if I'm making a mistake here.

Last edited by nicolasjengler; 04-25-2011 at 11:31 AM.
 
Old 04-25-2011, 12:27 PM   #5
rob.rice
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there may be NO fan control at all in your PSU
the fan could be hard wired to run full time
there MAY BE nothing you can do about it
other than replacing it with one that dose have fan control

computers are still not standardized to the point that you can expect to have fan control on all PSUs

sorry about that bucket of cold water in the lap
 
Old 04-25-2011, 12:41 PM   #6
PTrenholme
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I had that problem with Intel CUPs, and solved it by replacing the Intel CPU fan with an after-market cooler. I also replaced my case fans with ones that used real ball-bearings. After that, I needed to look for the lights on the box to tell if the system was running.

Note that replacing the CUP cooling system is a non-trivial task. I managed to break my CPU on the first try. Fortunately my system was fairly old, so a replacement CPU was only $50. (And I'm still running that system - I just pulled it out of the garage, installed Fedora 14 on it, and copied stuff from the laptop hard drive, so I'd have something after my HP laptop decided not to respond to the power button.)
 
Old 04-25-2011, 02:15 PM   #7
MTK358
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PTrenholme View Post
Intel CUPs
What's a "CUP"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rob.rice View Post
there may be NO fan control at all in your PSU
the fan could be hard wired to run full time
That's true. Although many motherboards have a "PSU fan" plug on them, I've never seen a PSU that actually could use it (i.e. have a fan cord sticking out rather than having the fan internally hard-wired).
 
Old 04-25-2011, 02:41 PM   #8
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTK358 View Post
That's true. Although many motherboards have a "PSU fan" plug on them, I've never seen a PSU that actually could use it (i.e. have a fan cord sticking out rather than having the fan internally hard-wired).
You will see that mostly on expensive high-power PSUs, and even there it is rather rare.
 
Old 04-25-2011, 02:49 PM   #9
NirvanaII
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I don't know if there is fan control, and am having trouble finding information on the psu. Other than it being referenced on pc build forums, this is all I have found:

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/106449

It's not on the sansun website. If anyone knows this would be a great help to me!
 
Old 04-25-2011, 02:56 PM   #10
MTK358
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NirvanaII View Post
I don't know if there is fan control, and am having trouble finding information on the psu. Other than it being referenced on pc build forums, this is all I have found:

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/106449

It's not on the sansun website. If anyone knows this would be a great help to me!
See if there's a connector (with 3 or 4 pins in a straight line) on your motherboard with the text "PSU FAN" or something like that near it. If so, is there a cable coming from the PSU plugged into it?
 
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Old 04-25-2011, 03:05 PM   #11
MrCode
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTK358
What's a "CUP"?
I believe it's called a typo.

PTrenholme probably meant "CPUs".
 
Old 04-25-2011, 04:24 PM   #12
NirvanaII
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTK358 View Post
See if there's a connector (with 3 or 4 pins in a straight line) on your motherboard with the text "PSU FAN" or something like that near it. If so, is there a cable coming from the PSU plugged into it?
Right, I did that: there was a 3 pin connector marked SYS FAN on the motherboard, but no plug coming from the PSU.

Could this connector feasibly be used for anything other than a PSU fan? I'd guess 'system fan', only I don't know if such a thing exists, or indeed that a PSU fan might be categorised as such.
 
Old 04-25-2011, 04:31 PM   #13
MTK358
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NirvanaII View Post
Right, I did that: there was a 3 pin connector marked SYS FAN on the motherboard, but no plug coming from the PSU.

Could this connector feasibly be used for anything other than a PSU fan? I'd guess 'system fan', only I don't know if such a thing exists, or indeed that a PSU fan might be categorised as such.
The system fan would be a fan attached to the case, and not to a specific component like the CPU or PSU.
 
Old 04-25-2011, 04:48 PM   #14
NirvanaII
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Hmm, okay. I didn't see any other suitable connectors in that case. That or i'm not seeing it... It would be uncommon for there not to be one? Or it could be somethig other than a 3/4-pin, perhaps?
 
Old 04-25-2011, 05:06 PM   #15
TobiSGD
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You will find connectors for PSU-fans mostly on mid-range and high-end boards. Most cheaper boards do not have them.
 
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