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Questions Regarding CPU_FAN, AIO_PUMP, etc. For iCUE H100i Elite


Trisuniel
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Hello, I've just finished building my second build. First being 8 years ago and not as complicated as this new one which makes use of the iCUE H100i Elite. I just not sure if the connections I have the fans in are the best way they should be in. So far I haven't had any issues except for the computer being a bit noisy.

I had to mount the radiator at the front of the case since it wouldn't fit at the top because it would hit the memory. I have 3 LL120 fans mounted at the front that came with the case, then the radiator and then the 2 fans that came with the H100i Elite at the other side, basically sandwiching the radiator between fans. All fans positioned as intake. I have 2 LL120 fans mounted on the top and 1 LL120 fan mounted on the back all positioned as exhaust.

The hub that came with the H100i Elite I'm using for the 6 LL120 fans in my case instead of the fans that came with H100i Elite. Those fans are instead being used for the hub that came with my case and being so, I had to connect them to those connections labelled as CPU_FAN, AIO_PUMP, etc. Right now I have the CPU fan connected to CPU_FAN, one of the fans that came with the H100i Elite connected to CPU_OPT and the other connected to AIO_PUMP. I'm pretty sure those aren't the right places they should be connected to, but they are the easiest places for cable management.

Is how I have my fans connected ok to do? The computer seems to be running fine. the only small issue seems to be noisy fans but I'm guessing maybe that has to do with the amount of fans I have? I haven't changed anything in the bios.

I have attached a screenshot of the dashboard in the iCUE software and ASUS Armory Crate showing my temps and RPM.

Sorry if I missed anything important, I'm quite new to this.

icue.PNG

asus1.PNG

asus2.PNG

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The Commander Core fans speeds are all low (LL120 has 600 rpm minimum) and right where you want them for idle.  It's the MB connected fans that are not on the same page.  Presumably CPU_FAN is the tachometer wire from the cooler.  That reports pump speed and has no other control function.

 

1) What's on OPT?  On Asus boards OPT is a copy of CPU fan.  It's meant for dual fan air coolers and gives no independent control over the OPT header.  If you have a fan there, you want it somewhere else.  One of the CHA_FAN headers will offer more control options.  

 

2) AIO Pump is a locked 100% fan control header for AIOs with that take power directly from the motherboard.  The Elite series coolers do not.  If you have the AIO lead there, it's fine but then that probably means you put the two ML fans that came with the Elite cooler on CPU/OPT and that will lock them to CPU temp control with very short trigger responses.  That will be a major annoyance.  

 

Part of the issue here is the MB does not have a lot of great control options for the fan curves. Using MB temp would be OK once you learn the range, but really you want to get the back side radiator fans in step with those on the front side.  When one side's speed (airflow) exceeds the other my a definite margin, you get weird noises and potentially hampered performance.  The best solution for that is to get the front 3 LL and the back side MLx2 on the same controller -- the Commander Core.  I am guessing you have 9 fans in total and that is more than the Com Core can handle.  This might be possible with multiple 2 way splitters, but the best option here is a PWM repeater.  This is effectively a powered splitter.  It takes a SATA connection from the PSU for power, then uses 1 Com Core header for control.  They vary in size from 4-10 fans, but the end result is they all the run the same speed.  This is an easy way to offload all 5 radiator fans onto 1 PWM header on the Com Core and they will all run the same speed.  This should help with the unnecessary fan action.  PWM hubs should be inexpensive, typically about $20 USD or less.  Just make sure it has a SATA connector for power.  There are passive ones out there that will not do the job.  

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21 minutes ago, c-attack said:

The Commander Core fans speeds are all low (LL120 has 600 rpm minimum) and right where you want them for idle.  It's the MB connected fans that are not on the same page.  Presumably CPU_FAN is the tachometer wire from the cooler.  That reports pump speed and has no other control function.

 

1) What's on OPT?  On Asus boards OPT is a copy of CPU fan.  It's meant for dual fan air coolers and gives no independent control over the OPT header.  If you have a fan there, you want it somewhere else.  One of the CHA_FAN headers will offer more control options.  

 

2) AIO Pump is a locked 100% fan control header for AIOs with that take power directly from the motherboard.  The Elite series coolers do not.  If you have the AIO lead there, it's fine but then that probably means you put the two ML fans that came with the Elite cooler on CPU/OPT and that will lock them to CPU temp control with very short trigger responses.  That will be a major annoyance.  

 

Part of the issue here is the MB does not have a lot of great control options for the fan curves. Using MB temp would be OK once you learn the range, but really you want to get the back side radiator fans in step with those on the front side.  When one side's speed (airflow) exceeds the other my a definite margin, you get weird noises and potentially hampered performance.  The best solution for that is to get the front 3 LL and the back side MLx2 on the same controller -- the Commander Core.  I am guessing you have 9 fans in total and that is more than the Com Core can handle.  This might be possible with multiple 2 way splitters, but the best option here is a PWM repeater.  This is effectively a powered splitter.  It takes a SATA connection from the PSU for power, then uses 1 Com Core header for control.  They vary in size from 4-10 fans, but the end result is they all the run the same speed.  This is an easy way to offload all 5 radiator fans onto 1 PWM header on the Com Core and they will all run the same speed.  This should help with the unnecessary fan action.  PWM hubs should be inexpensive, typically about $20 USD or less.  Just make sure it has a SATA connector for power.  There are passive ones out there that will not do the job.  

Thanks for the detailed response! I actually did some changes before reading this. I moved the fans that were connected to CPU_OPT and AIO_PUMP to CHA_FAN1 and CHA_FAN2. Doing that fixed the issue with the noise. Now I don't hear anything at all unless I put my ear directly to the case. I'm guessing the noise was coming from the fan connected to AIO_PUMP since that was running at 100% all the time.

I do like the idea of using a splitter and getting all the fans on the the Commander Core. As of now though I'm not getting any weird noises but I'll definitely keep and eye on that. How much of a performance hamper would I be looking at? Would it just be increased temperatures or am I looking at hardware damage.

 

Anyway, following off of this, now in the bios. I've seen mention on Q-Fan and that it should be disabled for CPU_FAN? I don't see a disable option but I'm guessing what that means is simply to set CPU_FAN to "Full Speed"? Right now everything is set to "Standard" and I'm guessing the CHA_FAN1&2 can be left at "Standard"? Lastly, I'm not too sure what the difference is for "PWM and "DC" and which mode each fan should be at.

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In Asus language "Full speed" is the EZ BIOS equivalent of "disabled" which you see in the Advance BIOS view.  Changing one changes the other.  They are the same.  However, it is not necessary in this case.  That MB connector from the Elite AIO is missing the necessary wires to allow speed control or power manipulation.  It can't do anything other than report a speed.  It's not a pre-requisite to lock the control to 100%, but I usually do in order to prevent the MB from hopelessly attempting to tune it if you run the fan training program.  

 

If one side of the push-pull is moving very fast and the other slow, the slow fans become resistance to the stronger side.  Often you will hear strange higher frequency noise.  If not great, but if you don't really have control over one side of the radiator, then sometimes it is better just to leave it as single sided push or pull.  Same performance, less noise.  However, if you can get them to work together that may allow you run lower fan speeds without penalty or get slightly better performance at middle speeds.  

Edited by c-attack
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  • 5 months later...
Posted (edited)

Hello, I've decided to go ahead and get the issue with the front and back fans sandwhiching the radiators being out of sync. I'm thinking maybe to start with a couple splitters. They seem to be the easiest and least messy way of dealing with it. I'm planning on purchasing this: Cable Matters 2-Pack 2 Way 4 Pin PWM Fan Splitter Cable - 4 Inches : Amazon.ca: Electronics

So I'll have the top 2 fans connected together with one of these and the middle 2 fans connected with another one. My only concerns are will there be an issue with them not being the same type of fans connected together? LL connected to ML? The other issue is the preferred method you mentioned requires additional power from the power supply. The method I want to try first doesn't require additional power. Will I run into an issue where there isn't enough power being supplied?

Edited by Trisuniel
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If you’re going to do this with splitters, pair the two fans on the same side of the radiator. Because they are different fan types this helps with control but also because of the different blade design you may not run them at the same speed. You’ll have to experiment but often running the back side ML slightly slower than the front side LL will produce a ‘cleaner’ sound.
 

If for whatever reason you do need to pair the ML/LL on the same splitter, one fan is going to be the lead — the one on the 4 pin connector. The one on the 3 pin follows the lead. I would put the LL as the lead because it has the lower maximum speed.  If you set it to 1700 rpm, both fans will stop there. With the ML in the lead it is capable of 2400 but the front sides LL will be stuck at 1700. That usually makes ugly noise and you don’t really want to be running over 2000 rpm anyway. That’s awfully loud for minimal return. 
 

So this should 8 fans total on the Commander Core. No more than that or you need to go to the PWM hub or a second fan controller. 

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I've decided to play it safe and go with a different option. The main reason why I was trying to avoid a PWM repeater is that it is such a pain getting additional power to the back side of the case. It is so tight and not much room. Although that probably just means I need to manage the cables at the back better. However I decided that I can just replace the Lighting Node Core that came with the case with another Commander Core since I've already brought power to it. That is probably the safest way to deal with this. One controller controls the pump and the 6 LL fans and the other controls just the 2 ML fans.

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Awesome! Just installed the Commander Core XT and the issue is now fixed. Computer is pretty much completely silent on idle and no more constant revving up an down of the 2 ML fans during gaming. Probably because those 2 fans were being controlled by the cpu temperature rather than the coolant temperature that the LL fans were being controlled by.

I guess the only issue seems to be that the 2 ML fans have a high rpm while the LL fans have a low rpm while the computer is booting and during the login screen, before iCUE has launched. But after it launches, the ML fans slow down into sync with the LL fans.

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Are the two ML fans on the new Commander Core (XT??) that is NOT connected to the AIO (mini 24 pin cable)?  If you are using coolant temperature (H100i Temp) as the control variable like you should, the other Commander can't get that data unless CUE is running.  It comes from the other Commander Core connected to the pump.  When outside the CUE environment, it usually maxes out.  

 

The only workaround for this outside of combining the fans on the same controller through splitters/PWM hubs is to run a temperature probe to the backside of the radiator.  Exhaust air temp will be approximately equal (or with a small offset) to coolant temperature.  The same curve will work, but you change the sensor value to Commander Core (XT) Temp #1.  

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Posted (edited)

The 2 ML fans are on the new Commander Core XT. That makes sense that it can't get the temperature of the coolant since it isn't connected to the cooler. I adjusted the settings for the XT in iCUE to use the coolant temperature as the control variable. As of now though it doesn't really bother me. It only is like that for max 1 minute when starting the computer but good to know of a solution for the future.

Edited by Trisuniel
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