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DG45ID QST Fan Control Causing Case Fan Blinking

ryangibson77 Community Member
Currently Being Moderated

I just built a new desktop system with the DG45ID Mobo, and my LED-lit chassis fan is constantly "blinking." I am  guessing that the Mobo is turning the fan off and on rapidly in order to  reduce the fan speed, rather than reducing the voltage...but the  blinking is very obnoxious, and I am concerned about the constant  pulsing of power on the fan causing it to wear out faster (thousands of  pulses a day). Just as an experiment, I put my finger on the fan hub to  slow it down, and the LED stopped flashing, as the Mobo appeared to  apply full duty-cycle to bring the fan back up to the speed that it  wanted to run it at.

 

Anyway,  has anyone else experienced this? I just checked my BIOS and I am  running rev 127. I will be updating it this evening to 135, but  reviewing the release notes does not indicate a fix for this particular  problem. It would be nice if the BIOS settings allowed the user more  semi-automatic control over the minimum fan speed or minimum voltage, or  whatever is going on here. Perhaps someone at Intel can add this to  their BIOS fix list?

 

I  might try adding some circuitry to help smooth out the pulses...but it would be nice to be able to fix this at the BIOS level...

  • 1. Re: DG45ID QST Fan Control Causing Case Fan Blinking
    parsec Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    As a DG45ID owner, I have never seen or heard of this issue, and there are a few threads regarding this mother board in the forums.  The obvious question is to which fan header on the board is this fan attached to?  Is this a three wire/pin fan?  Even with PWM controlled, four wire fans with LEDs on CPU coolers, I have never seen the LEDs flash, which is the only fan speed control that does control the speed via "pulses".  Frankly, I've never seen this on any mother board or any fans I've used.

     

    If this is an issue for the board, it's the first time I've heard of it.

  • 2. Re: DG45ID QST Fan Control Causing Case Fan Blinking
    ryangibson77 Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    I just verified it with an extra fan from another PC: both the front and rear 3-pin chassis fans on their own 3-pin headers are receiving "pulsed" voltage from the 12v power to the fans (3-pin PWM) in order to maintain their lower "QST" speed. The problem I fear is hardware based, rather than software based...the 3-pin PWM should be designed in the "buck" configuration, allowing current to flow through the fans continuously, despite the modulated voltage...either that, or I have a defective board...?

     

    For what it's worth, this mobo does control the speed of the chassis fans, thats part of the new "quiet system technology" (QST) that this board is supposed to offer...the issue apparently is in how they implemented it...

  • 3. Re: DG45ID QST Fan Control Causing Case Fan Blinking
    ryangibson77 Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Can anyone else out there that has this mobo verify that your board does or does not send pulses to your case fans when spinning them at low RPM? The smaller 80mm "extra" fan that I tried not only blinked, but had obvious "surging" of the fan speed that coincided with the blinking of it's LEDs, whereas the 120mm case fans apparently have enough inertia (or lower power) that it is difficult to detect any change in speed.

     

    I need to determine ASAP if I just have a defective board, or if this is simply how the board was designed, so that I can get an RMA to have the board replaced, if necessary.

  • 4. Re: DG45ID QST Fan Control Causing Case Fan Blinking
    Curious592 Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    There is a separate forum under Desktop Boards Sightings for a similar issue that gets no use. I don't use the board to regulate my case fans but I did briefly install a small fan card next to the graphics card. While it fluctuated considerably on a 915GEV board the DG45ID maintained stable speed. All slots on this board are good and power management is good so I would be as likely to suspect the fans as the board.  One power supply of mine that offers separate power for the fans simply does not work.

  • 5. Re: DG45ID QST Fan Control Causing Case Fan Blinking
    parsec Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Since this is a new build, do you have the Intel Management Engine driver installed?  QST needs this to function correctly.  This is it:

     

    http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&DwnldID=16081&ProdId=2931&lang=eng

  • 6. Re: DG45ID QST Fan Control Causing Case Fan Blinking
    ryangibson77 Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Installed the latest IME. Didn't fix the problem. Speaking of, I cant get the IDU to work either...just starts up as a service, but the GUI never starts...I've done a few searches on this forum, and it appears that I'm not the only one that is having trouble with that either...I'm starting to doubt my decision to buy this board...

  • 7. Re: DG45ID QST Fan Control Causing Case Fan Blinking
    Curious592 Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Skip straight to removing the CMOS battery for several minutes after recording any changes you have made to the BIOS.  To correct the IDU you probably need to do a system restore to the point where it was installed.  Malfunction is a good sign the system was not correct at time of installation.

  • 8. Re: DG45ID QST Fan Control Causing Case Fan Blinking
    Flying_Kiwi Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    R. Gibson wrote:

     

    Installed the latest IME. Didn't fix the problem. Speaking of, I cant get the IDU to work either...just starts up as a service, but the GUI never starts...I've done a few searches on this forum, and it appears that I'm not the only one that is having trouble with that either...I'm starting to doubt my decision to buy this board...

    Ahh so it is IDU to blame then -  if you remove this version and install the previous version 3.1.2.022, you'll find that works and in the meantime it'd be worth writing to the IDU developers and outlining the problem: idufeedback@intel.com (as I'll be doing). The only time I've encountered case light blinking was when it went into certain powersaving modes - I don't remmber which computer though and I suspect it wasn't my DG45ID. I am a little unclear what your subject title is referring to though - do you have those fans with LEDs built in? If so, try replacing them with regular fans and you should find they work OK - my case fans operate fine - nice and smooth at around 530 and 600 RPMs and my (Intel original) CPU fan is normally around 1100 RPMs.

     

    Just explain to your fan supplier that the fans wouldn't work with the motherboard and that you need to replace them with compatible chassis fans.

  • 9. Re: DG45ID QST Fan Control Causing Case Fan Blinking
    ryangibson77 Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    kiwi, where would I *find* an older version of the IDU? I didn't see a link to it on the IDU webpage...

     

    Also, I just want to find out if the blinking case-fan LEDs and surging issues are the way the board was designed, or if I have a defective board. Do you have any LED lit fans that you could plug in to your Mobo and see if they do the same thing? If it ISN'T supposed to be doing that, I need to get an RMA on my  Mobo while I still can. In the mean time, yes, I can just swap in a non-LED fan for now.

  • 10. Re: DG45ID QST Fan Control Causing Case Fan Blinking
    Flying_Kiwi Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    R. Gibson wrote:

     

    kiwi, where would I *find* an older version of the IDU? I didn't see a link to it on the IDU webpage...

     

    Also, I just want to find out if the blinking case-fan LEDs and surging issues are the way the board was designed, or if I have a defective board. Do you have any LED lit fans that you could plug in to your Mobo and see if they do the same thing? If it ISN'T supposed to be doing that, I need to get an RMA on my  Mobo while I still can. In the mean time, yes, I can just swap in a non-LED fan for now.

    It's just as well I kept my previous version of IDU because as you mention R.Gibson, they look to have removed it (unlike older BIOS versions and older drivers which are still listed). In light of this situation, clearly Intel needs to revise this policy of withdrawing the older version of IDU as soon as newer version is made available - at least leave the older version up for a few more weeks in case there are bugs that haven't been noticed. There is the version for series 3 motherboards which I think was once upon a time the latest offering for the DG45ID so you could try that as an unofficial solution. I suspect an updated update will be soon on the scene if everyone emails the IDU team and/or posts in the Intel community about this.

     

    As for the blinking/speed fluctuating fans, I suspect this is more an indication of the way the case fan with LED(s) that you're using were designed and perhaps how they draw their power to light up the LEDs. I've only ever seen these things powered off Molex 4 pin PSU style connectors so a 3 pin speed monitoring motherboard connector powered design is news to me. I don't have any LED fans at all but I strongly suspect that swapping yours for a standard unlit 3 pin speed monitoring sort will get things working normally (otherwise you can go for constant speed ones as I referred to above but these will stay on even when the PC goes to sleep or hibernation). In the unlikely event that unlit fans dont make a difference to fan speed pulsing, THEN I'd start thinking about an RMA. What speed fans are we talking about anyway?

  • 11. Re: DG45ID QST Fan Control Causing Case Fan Blinking
    ryangibson77 Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Kiwi,

     

    The 120mm fans (one lit, one unlit) both came with my new case. Both spin at around 500rpm off the DG45ID Mobo, according to the bios. Both seem to spin at relatively constant speed. The lit one just blinks pseudo-randomly at about 10Hz, and looks like it could give someone a epileptic seisure...however, the 80mm fan that I hooked up was also lit, but spins at a noticibly higher speed (the BIOS said around 1500 rpm), and showed obvious signs of surging when the LEDs were on, and sagging when the LEDs were off.

     

    Considering that I design switched mode power supplies for a living, I've been tossing around the idea of building a simple circuit to "fix" the issue, again, assuming that this isnt a defective unit...as the solutions would be significantly different...or, a simpler (and less fun ) approach might be, as you say, to just hook the fans up to the PSU and let them run at full power all the time...again, I just would like someone out there with an LED fan or a high velocity fan to hook it up to the 3-pin Mobo header and see if they have the same issue or not.

  • 12. Re: DG45ID QST Fan Control Causing Case Fan Blinking
    parsec Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Ok, on my DG45ID PC, I have a 140mm fan with LEDs that was running straight from the power supply, and I changed it to the three pin mother board chassis fan header.  And the verdict is...

     

    The LEDs blink on and off.

     

    Ya know, I never used the chassis fan headers, but do use the CPU PWM header, so I never noticed this.  Now I am wondering if mother board fan speed control on three pin fan headers is accomplished via pulsing on all mother boards, or just this one (kinda doubt that.)  I'll tell you, every day I learn more about PCs, and every day I realize how much more I don't know.  And yes I really did this little test, and the reported result is not BS.

     

    I'm not noticing any speed surging with that fan, but it's hard to tell with a fan that size, it's inertia or relatively lower speed must compensate for any speed fluctuations.  The blinking pattern is fast on and off for about three seconds, then one longer on period, and then repeats.

     

    So if three pin PWM control is possible, with RPM feedback, what is the point of four pin PWM?

     

    So your board is not broken, but typical, apparently.  Now I must test my other PCs, because now that I think about it , I have seen this behavior in the past, but likely on a PWM CPU coolers fan.  Now I know why I don't have many LED fans...

  • 13. Re: DG45ID QST Fan Control Causing Case Fan Blinking
    parsec Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    What a coincidence, I just found something you (we) will be interested in.  The link below is to a thread in the Processors forum, and the last post by Spearson (as of 11PM CDT, 4/10/11) whom is an Intel employee, provides some insight into this issue.  Learn something new every day...

     

    http://communities.intel.com/message/87228#87228

  • 14. Re: DG45ID QST Fan Control Causing Case Fan Blinking
    ryangibson77 Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Parsec, thank you very much for humoring me! I'm releaved that the mobo is at least "normal."

     

    In answer to your question about 3-pin vs. 4-pin PWM, I will try to summarize the theory:

     

    3-pin:

    Power and ground are suppled, along with a tachometer feedback to the Mobo.  You can reduce fan speed a number of ways:

    1) Linear regulation - reduce the voltage between the power and ground pins on the fan by dissipating it in a resistor, diode or transistor (dissipates the most power)

    2) Pulse the power to the fan at a low enough frequency that it  doesn't interfere with the control circuitry of the brushless DC fan  driver itself. The inertia of the fan, combined with the average  voltage applied over time reduces the speed (dissipates little power but has obvious anoying side effects, also possibly reducing the life of the fan)

    3) switched mode voltage regulation - reduces the voltage to the fan, similar to option 1, but uses similar pulsing to option 2. However, it includes additional circuitry that allows current to flow  through the fan during the off time, rather than shutting it off  completely. Also slowly ramps the voltage up and down between pulses,  rather than having abrupt edges.  Also known as a "BUCK" configuration. IMO, this is how the board should have been designed...it would have only increased the cost by a couple dollars at most.

     

    4-pin:

    Power and ground are supplied at full voltage all the time. A  tachometer feedback tells the controller how fast the fan is spinning, but probably ignores it for other than diagnostic purposes.  The Mobo looks at the thermal sensor  to determine the appropriate fan speed, then sends a low current  Pulse Width Modulated signal to the fan (at a  much higher frequency than above). The brushless DC  fan driver converts the 12v DC power into AC to turn the fan, but reduces the amplitude of the AC waveform by interpreting the pulse widths, which adjusts the fan speed accordingly. Much more complicated, but also much more effective.

     

    ...that was probably WAY more technical than anyone really wanted...but hey, I do this for a living, and you asked...;)

     

    For what it's worth, I just hooked  my fans up to the PSU and decided to forget about it. I'm hardly  getting any heat out of this box anyway, and my fans are apparently very  low power, providing a very quiet, slow airflow even at max power. If I  ever decide to put in a decent graphics card, I'll probably have to upgrade my  fans and continue to just run them off the PSU...but it would have been nice to be able to run higher-performance fans that are smoothly controlled by the mobo, based on the temperature of the mobo/chipsets...

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