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A Solution for H80 Fan Regulator Problems if Don't Want to RMA


jseidel

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H80 was installed by a custom PC builder and just wanted to share my experiences with the forum. Initially from the get go I heard a sound like something starting (a hum was made); running for a time, and then the sound would stop. Everything worked fine on the new system expect for a couple of unrelated problems with the USB 3.0 and nVidia driver errors. Those problems are also resolved.

Because I had the LED fan upgrade, the builder of my PC used all the same fans in the system substituting Cooler Master 120mm blue LED fans instead of the Corsair fans that were supplied with H80 in the box. That would seem to be a good choice for visual case appearance but Corsair does not state “foreign” fans can be used with the H80 system and they also do not specifically say they cannot. Anyway after the 6th week the back case fan attached to the H80 radiator started to make a grinding noise every time it started. Observing the fan I noted it would go through a roughly 50 second cycle of revving up to full speed, slowing down and then completely stopping. The noise came from the fan when it started each time until it came to full speed. After seeing this I knew where the sound of something starting, running and then stopping was coming from when the PC was brand new: It was the back fan going through the same cycle of revving up, slowing down and then finally stopping.

I contacted the vendor of my PC and they offered to send me 2 new fans as a replacement, but I would have to pay $8 shipping. They gave me the option of purchasing my own fans instead because they could be had for about the same price. I decided to buy my own fan so I would have one identical to the others in the case. In the meantime I unplugged the back fan from the top of the H80 pump block since I assumed the fan was not working and ran for a while with a single fan, the one inside the case which in my set up is the push fan. (Because all of the other three fans pull air into the case, the builder reversed the H80 fans to exhaust out the back.) My CPU temps were OK and never having liquid cooling before, I was somewhat intimidated to disassemble the fans and radiator sandwiched in between so even though I had the new fan to install I never did.

Because I have a clear side panel on my PC and it is positioned on the desk to my right the inner fan for the H80 is clearly visible from where I sit to do my work. One day I noticed the inner fan was also acting erratically, going through a cycle of a slow spin, then slowing down and sometimes completely stopping. I panicked thinking my CPU would overheat so I shut the PC off and restarted it. This time the fan came on and remained at what visually looked like a slow speed but I was afraid to walk away from it fearing there would be no CPU cooling. When this happened I posted on a computer support forum and it was suggested to try plugging the fans directly into a fan header on the motherboard. See the diagram for my motherboard below:

attachment.php?attachmentid=10302&stc=1&d=1330452910

The fan header labeled PWR_FAN1 on the top right of the motherboard was blocked from access by the top case fan so I had to remove it and drop it down to be able to plug in the back fan on the H80 radiator. Once reconnected to that header the inner push fan runs full speed all the time no problem. Encouraged, I decided to try to plug in the back pull fan mounted on the case to one of the other free fan headers on the motherboard, either PWR_FAN2 which is on the top left of the board or CHA_FAN1 located at left, center. Because I have a 4 port USB 3.0 card in the top PCI slot there was not enough room to fit my fingers between or around the H80 fans and radiator and plug the back fan into the CHA_FAN1 port. Even if I took the USB card out it would still be a tight squeeze to reach the header because of the graphics card just below it. The PWR_FAN2 header was out of the question being completely blocked by the H80 fan-radiator-fan sandwich. So, because the fan was making a grinding noise and I had a replacement I decided to take remove the back fan from the case and radiator, replace it and plug it into one of the headers on the motherboard. It was not difficult at all and the job took me about 15 minutes once I figured everything out. Unfortunately I made the mistake of plugging the new fan into the power fan header, PWR_FAN2. Put everything back together and turn on the PC . . . sounds like a jet taking off. Everything works and the CPU is running at 26D so I think just leave it. After second day I realize no way can I take this noise long term. So, once again I had to take the back fan off the case, remove the radiator to get it out of the way and move the back fan plug from the power fan port to the chassis fan header, CHA_FAN1. What a difference in the noise level. According to Asus Fan Xpert chassis fan 1 is running at 1,300 RPM as opposed to the 2,000 RPM it was probably running before. (There is no monitor for PWR_FAN2 in Fan Xpert but PWR_FAN1 which is monitored runs at 2,000 RPM so I assume they are the same.)

Now all is fine, the system noise level is what I expect to have adequate cooling for the nVIDIA GTX 560 and Intel Core i5. And there the saga ends.

I let the PC builder know all of this and they first offered to, once again, replace the fans with the Corsair fans that come with the system, with the knowledge that fans other than those that come in the box from Corsair may not function correctly. OK, but if the problem is with the fan regulator and I put in the Corsair fans, go through taking the whole thing apart yet again and plug the fans into the ports on the H80 pump and they behave erratically then I am back to square one. I also have the choice from the builder to RMA the whole H80 system and do it all over again if the fans don’t fix the problem. Because everything works perfectly, the noise level is fine, the CPU is cool and I am tired of hassling with it I have decided to leave everything alone. So, if you have problems with your fan regulator and don’t want to go through the RMA hassle this may be a solution for you.

J.

790072463_AsusP8Z6VProDiagram.thumb.jpg.deb2f712089de9026f5b6827a3f5ab57.jpg

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jseidel;

I have the P8z68-V Pro (not the gen 3 one though) and was thinking about doing the same thing once I get another H80 (see my post...the entire fan controller doesn't even light up). That is if the controller doesn't work again.

I also tried to mount the corsair fans to the cpufan and the powerfan connectors, but found that the fans were spinning way too loud.

So your saying that if I hook up the corsair fans to the "Cha Fan 1 and the Cha Fan 2" then the fans don't spin at full speed?

Is there a setting in the bios that controls the speed of these fans?

Thanks for the info. If what you post is correct then that may solve all of my problems if I get another faulty unit...not going through another RMA.

 

Was thinking about exchanging for an A70 (air cooled) however due to my vengeance ram, I don't think that's possible.

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Most if not all modern mother boards provide software to control the speed of fans connected to the fan headers they provide on their boards. There are usually settings in the BIOS/UEFI that provide similar fan speed control.

 

The usual standard on mother boards is fan headers labeled PWR Fan (Power Fan) do not have any speed control, and simply supply a full 12V, so any fan connected to them runs at it's full speed. Fan headers labeled CHA Fan (Chassis Fan) are controlled by the boards software or BIOS settings fan speed control. Note that all the fan headers I've mentioned are three pin fan headers.

 

CPU Fan headers are four pin, PWM fan speed controlled headers. Some boards have two or more four pin fan headers, but all of them may not be PWM controlled.

 

PC builders (enthusiasts and companies) are familiar with these options and have been using them for years. Three pin fan control is very simple and does not offer much flexibility. PWM/four pin fan control is much more flexible and is the best software controlled option. Many enthusiasts use manual fan speed controllers, and many are available.

 

Using fans other than the stock Corsair fans on a H80 or H100 fan controller is a gamble, they may or may not work correctly. Also, the Corsair fan controllers may have a problem or fail, and need a reset, similar to rebooting a locked-up PC

 

I'm glad you found a solution to your issue, but for most of us here this is basic mother board operation. IMO, even simple, all in one water cooling solutions like the Corsair H-series are not "set it and forget it" type equipment, and require some knowledge and occasional intervention by their user to insure that they work correctly.

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So your saying that if I hook up the corsair fans to the "Cha Fan 1 and the Cha Fan 2" then the fans don't spin at full speed?

Yes, and you can regulate the speed to a certain extent by using Fan Xpert. The software is on the CD that came with your motherboard or you can download it from Asus if you don't have the CD.

It looks like this:

attachment.php?attachmentid=10308&stc=1&d=1330556654

Then click on the "Sensor" tab, then the "Setting" tab. By choosing Silent from the drop down menu the fan will run at the slowest speed. You can see how mine are running in the sensor display window on the right, below:

Note the chassis fans are running about 600 to 700 RPM slower than the power fan.

attachment.php?attachmentid=10309&stc=1&d=1330556778

I am very happy with the noise level with this setting and arrangement. As you can see my CPU is running just above ambient.

J.

1756979492_FanXpert1.jpg.b07cfb1de155a2b28782255f6ffac151.jpg

439482507_FanXpert2.jpg.ccfd305be8830dfb66b06b382b1b3bc4.jpg

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I use AI Suite II with my ASUS P67 board, it is pretty good software, and IMO is about the best provided with mother boards.

 

It does have some limitations with the control of three pin fans, which are really caused by the fact it must work with any fan that it is used with. Notice in the pre-defined profiles the minimum fan speed is 60%. The User profile, which can be adjusted to a degree, is still limited compared to what is possible with four pin, PWM fans. You still cannot set the minimum fan speed for three pin fans below 60% in the custom profile, only the temperature where the fan speed will increase. PWM fans simply allow a much greater and finer degree of speed control.

 

The three pin fan speed control in that software provides a clue why the Corsair controller won't work with some fans. Software control of three pin fans is difficult when the characteristics of the three pin fan are unknown to the controller, and those characteristics vary quite a bit.

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The three pin fan speed control in that software provides a clue why the Corsair controller won't work with some fans. Software control of three pin fans is difficult when the characteristics of the three pin fan are unknown to the controller, and those characteristics vary quite a bit.

So, are the Corsair fans that come with the H80/H100 systems 4 pin or 3 pin fans? I note the controller on the top of the pump has 4 pin female connectors.

J.

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That's interesting, and it seems like having the 4 pin female connectors on the top of the pump is an invitation to use fans foreign to the system. Maybe 4 pin fans would work better with the regulator because it would sense them correctly?

J.

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Thanks for the info guys (gals...if that's the case). I think it's sad that we have to resort to this to use this almost $100.00 cooler.

Unfortunately, I am still waiting for a response from Corsair in regards to my third RMA. I have no choice to return this one because it doesn't even light up.

When I finally do get another one, and if the controller doesn't work (not getting my hopes up) I will try this configuration to avoid another lengthy RMA...I haven't had a real CPU cooler in my comp since January...so disapointed with Corsair.

They still have awesome PSU's and Ram though.

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