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    Fan noise D54250WYK, and other models...any definitive solution yet?

    CharlieATL

      I've read a lot of posts about whining fan noise on several models of Intel's NUC, and am wondering if there is something I've overlooked.

       

      The only proactive solution I've seen, other than modifying the enclosure or adding external components, is to reduce the fan operation from 40% to something less, but not less than 25%.  I've taken the fan down to about 28% in BIOS, and see very minimal reduction in noise.  According to the application Core Temp, both cores of my 5450 are running around 140 - 150 degrees F, which may be about 10 degrees hotter than when the fan was set to 40% in BIOS.

       

      This issue was not something I experienced when I first bought the NUC, about 3 years ago, and since I'm operating with the latest BIOS, I am wondering if it is a BIOS issue.

       

      If anyone has any insights, please let me know.  The NUC is about 6 feet from my monitor and keyboard, and is mounted vertically to the back side of a desk.  As I write this, with Chrome open with 6 tabs, I can hear the fan noise.  It does seem to abate somewhat when I'm not browsing the Internet with Chrome or Edge.  (Running Chrome with just one tab open presents no appreciable reduction in fan noise, but does seem to reduce the temperature a few degrees, but that is a moving number of course.)

       

      This is a D54250WYK H13922-304, with serial # GEWY43202UP with an i5-4250U operating at 1.90Ghz, no overclocking or hyperthreading.  I installed a Samsung 840 EVO 250GB mSATA SSD and have two 8GB DIMM sticks of RAM installed.

        • 1. Re: Fan noise D54250WYK, and other models...any definitive solution yet?
          CharlieATL

          Update -

          This morning, the NUC is quieter, even with both Chrome and Internet Explorer/Edge running with multiple tabs open.  As I type this, my processor temps are in the mid-140s.  I can still hear it but it is not as loud.  I have no explanation for this and would welcome anyone's comments.

          • 2. Re: Fan noise D54250WYK, and other models...any definitive solution yet?
            Intel Corporation
            This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

            : Thank you very much for joining the Intel® NUC communities.

            In regard to your inquiry, it is not a BIOS issue, however you can always try different BIOS versions in order to confirm that behavior. To reduce the fan noise what we recommend is to use the different fan options that you will find in the BIOS, the option for “quiet” might be the best option in this case.

            In order to install different BIOS versions, you can always use the F7 method, on the links below you will find the instructions of how to do that and all the BIOS versions for your NUC:
            https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/boards-and-kits/desktop-boards/000005724.html
            https://downloadcenter.intel.com/product/76977/Intel-NUC-Kit-D54250WYK

            The T-junction for the Intel® i5-4250U processor is 100°C, so any temperature below that value will be considered normal, on the link below you will find a tool to do an overall test on the processor including the temperature:
            https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/19792/Intel-Processor-Diagnostic-Tool

            I also encourage all the peers viewing this forum, that if you have any further information on this subject to post all the suggestions or comments on this thread.

            Any further questions, please let me know.

            Regards,
            Alberto R

            • 3. Re: Fan noise D54250WYK, and other models...any definitive solution yet?
              CharlieATL

              Thanks Alberto. 

              I did download the tool and the processor passed all tests.

              To reduce the fan noise what we recommend is to use the different fan options that you will find in the BIOS, the option for “quiet” might be the best option in this case.

              I went back into BIOS and clicked literally everywhere, but did not see any options for "quiet".  The only physical change that I think I am able to make in this regard is as I mentioned earlier, i.e. reducing the fan operating threshold to 28% from the pre-set 40%.  If there is a "quiet" mode, could you tell me exactly where it is in BIOS please.

              Happily I'm not anywhere near TJMax, so I don't have a concern in that regard, even though I made the change mentioned.

              • 4. Re: Fan noise D54250WYK, and other models...any definitive solution yet?
                N.Scott.Pearson

                Charles,

                 

                Alberto is unaware of the fact that the D54250WYK[H] and D34010WYK[H] NUCs utilized a different, older fan speed control software stack and thus the parameters exposed in BIOS Setup (and Visual BIOS) are quite different and do not include Cool/Quiet/Balanced pre-configured parameter value sets. Let me explain how to accomplish something similar...

                 

                When you first enter the Cooling scene, the parameters related specifically to fan control are displayed. You can also get to these parameters by clicking on the legend entry for the fan in the left-hand (graphic) window. In order to change the parameters related to temperatures, you need to click on the legend entries for the (one or two) temperature sensors that are associated with the fan (at the bottom of the fan parameters display). For example, if Processor is selected as the Primary Temperature Sensor (as it should be; don't change it), you would click on the legend entry for CPU Core Temp.

                 

                In this temperature scene, you will see the parameters that control how the fan will respond to this temperature sensor. Three parameters are important:

                 

                1. The Control Temperature parameter specifies the upper bound of the temperature control range for this sensor. That is, it specifies the temperature above which the fan should be running at full speed. A 15 degree (Celsius) temperature range is used for fan control. Suppose that the Control Temperature is set to 80 degrees. This means that the fan will run at its Minimum Duty Cycle at all temperatures below 65 degrees. Then, as the temperature rises above 65 degrees, the fan will be sped up more and more and will (eventually) reach full speed (100% duty cycle) at 80 degrees.
                2. The Responsiveness parameter specifies how the fan should react to temperature change over the 15 degree range.
                  1. If this parameter is set to Aggressive, the response will be fairly linear. That is, the duty cycle will be increased by the same amount for each degree the temperature goes above the minimum. For example, if the Minimum Duty Cycle is set to 40% and the Maximum Duty Cycle is set to 100%, the duty cycle will be increased by 4% for each degree the temperature is above the minimum (65 degrees in our example).
                  2. If this parameter is set to Slow, the response to temperature increase will be very slow at lower temperatures but, as the temperature approaches the Control Temperature, the fan speed will be increased more aggressively so that it reaches full speed by the time the temperature reaches the Control Temperature.
                  3. If the parameter is set to Normal, the response will be somewhere in between what is seen for the Aggressive and Slow settings.
                3. The All-On Temperature parameter is not as important as the others. It specifies a temperature threshold which, if exceeded, causes all fans to be taken to full speed. In the NUCs, since there is only one fan, this parameter doesn't have any effect unless you set it to something below the Control Temperature. In this case, an abrupt jump to full speed will occur at the specified temperature. This can sound rather ugly, so I recommend that you set this parameter to the same value as Control Temperature.

                 

                Ok, all that said, my suggestion, to simplify things, is that you initially treat the Responsiveness parameter as being equivalent to the Mode parameter supported in later NUC models. That is, use Aggressive if you want the equivalent of the Cool setting, use Normal if you want the equivalent of the Balanced setting and use Slow if you want the equivalent of the Quiet setting. Obviously, there is a lot more that you can do with these parameters to achieve different responses, but this is a way to simply things in your initial testing.

                 

                Last comments,

                 

                1. When the processor needs cooling, it needs cooling; there is no avoiding it. If the speed of the blower (it's actually not a fan!) that is necessary to achieve this cooling produces sound levels that you don't like, well, tough; it is necessary. I am not sure what else to say. That tiny little blower has to spin very fast to move enough air to provide this tooling. Would that you could use a fan (which wouldn't have to spin as fast to accomplish the same thing) - but there just isn't room for one in a chassis this small and packed with this much goodness.
                2. In normal Desktop processors, the processor actually recommends the setting for the Control Temperature. A Model-Specific Register (MSR) in the processor exposes this recommendation as a value called Tcontrol (as in Control temperature; sound familiar?), which indicates how far below Tjmax (the Maximum Junction Temperature) you should have the fan running at full speed. Now, all that said, the NUCs do not use normal desktop processors. Instead, they use Mobile or Embedded processors and these processors do not provide this Tcontrol value. In deciding on a default to use for this value, a lot of testing was done on the processors in the D54250WYK[H] and D34010WYK[H] NUCs and a value yielding a similar amount of protection was established. If the Tjmax temperature is 100 degrees (Celsius), the Tcontrol value will be set to 83 (i.e. 17 degrees below). I recommend that you stick with this value, but, if you want to raise it in order to make the fans quieter, you can do so, but remember that the higher the processor temperature and the longer it spends at this higher temperature, the more of an effect this can have on processor lifespan. Remember too that the heat from the processor can have negative effects on the other components in the NUC and shorten their lifetime as well. Its a balancing game...

                 

                Hope this helps,

                ...S

                • 5. Re: Fan noise D54250WYK, and other models...any definitive solution yet?
                  CharlieATL

                  Thank you Scott, this is comprehensive. 

                  I actually found this in BIOS and reduced the control temperatures by just a few degrees in the interest of being conservative, since, as posted above earlier, I did reduce the fan duty cycle to 28% from 40%, which seemed to alleviate, mostly, the whining blower noise.  My temperatures for each core is right at 126 F as I type this, according to my Windows based little app, Core Temp.

                  It will be a few days, but I'll go back into BIOS and more carefully follow your instructions.

                  In the meantime, I'm marking this issue as solved, so thanks again.

                   

                  Charlie

                  • 6. Re: Fan noise D54250WYK, and other models...any definitive solution yet?
                    Intel Corporation
                    This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                    Thank you very much to for sharing all those details with our communities, we really appreciate that.

                    : You are welcome. As mentioned above, the equivalent option for “quiet” for this NUC will be “slow”, let me apologize that I gave you the wrong name.
                    We are glad to hear that the information posted previously was useful for you.

                    Any other inquiry do not hesitate in contact us again.

                    Regards,
                    Alberto R

                    • 7. Re: Fan noise D54250WYK, and other models...any definitive solution yet?
                      CharlieATL

                      Scott –

                       

                      It’s taken me several days to try to follow your instructions but I finally got to it this morning.

                       

                      Although the BIOS choices were not precisely as you iterated, in Responsiveness I set the choice to SLOW.  I made a snapshot of the BIOS page to send you and tried to save it to my current year’s documents on the C drive, but didn’t hold my feet right, so I can’t paste/attach it for you.

                       

                      I’ll let you know if I hear any change in blower noise. Right now, I’ve got Microsoft Edge/Explorer and Chrome running about 10 open tabs minimized and my temp is about 60°-66°C on both cores.

                       

                      Charlie

                      • 8. Re: Fan noise D54250WYK, and other models...any definitive solution yet?
                        Intel Corporation
                        This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                        : Thank you very much for providing that information.
                         
                        It is great to hear that you were able to find the option to set the fan to slow. The fact that the processor is running at 60°- 66°C it is normal, there is no overheating on it so the NUC should work just fine that way.
                         
                        Any questions, please let me know.
                         
                        Regards,
                        Alberto R
                         

                        • 9. Re: Fan noise D54250WYK, and other models...any definitive solution yet?
                          N.Scott.Pearson

                          I would love to see what differences you are seeing. But, ...

                           

                          Don't save snapshot files to your SSD/HDD/SSHD drive(s)! There are bugs in their NTFS file driver and it could result in your drive being badly corrupted. Only save snapshots to FAT32-formatted USB flash sticks.

                           

                          ...S

                          • 10. Re: Fan noise D54250WYK, and other models...any definitive solution yet?
                            CharlieATL

                            Ugh, that is not good to hear Scott.  Now I can't even find the thing to get it off of my SSD.

                             

                            I'll assess the results of any changes by the by, maybe by Monday/Tuesday.  I need to use it for a while in a quiet environment to see what I hear.

                            • 11. Re: Fan noise D54250WYK, and other models...any definitive solution yet?
                              N.Scott.Pearson

                              Yea, I once wrote to root folder of my C: drive and corrupted the whole dang drive. I had to reinstall the O/S from scratch. I think that it was on a 5th gen NUC (NUC5i5MYBE) that this happened, but I would avoid writing to any NTFS-formatted drive on *all* NUCs.

                               

                              Note that Intel removed this file driver from the BIOS of some of the later NUC models and thus do not support writing to any NTFS-formatted drives. They should go back and remove it from the BIOS of *all* of the NUCs - or better yet, fix the bugs...

                               

                              I would suggest that you run Check Disk and scan that drive for errors. From Computer, right-click on the entry for the drive and then select Properties. Select the Tools tab and then click on the Check Now button. In the Check Disk window that will appear, make sure that Automatically fix file system errors is checked. I also recommend that Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors be unchecked (unless you want this scan to take a *very* long time to run). Press the Start button to start the scan. If this is your system drive, you might have to reboot before the scan actually occurs, but it will run immediately on all other drives/partitions. Unfortunately, you may have (also) corrupted some of the files in and below the folder that you wrote to. In this case, you will need to find a good file recovery tool if you want to try and resurrect them...

                               

                              Hope this helps,

                              ...S

                              • 12. Re: Fan noise D54250WYK, and other models...any definitive solution yet?
                                CharlieATL

                                Hmm.  I used to run chkdsk as well as defrag on my HDD machines, but I haven't had one of those in a while, I use SSDs on my laptop and desktop and of course one does not defrag a SSD.  But how about chkdsk on a SSD?  If you check "automatically fix file system errors" isn't that the same thing as the /r suffix to the chkdsk command, or is that suffix associated with the "Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors", which you said to leave unchecked.

                                 

                                I'm wondering if there is a way to find the file I saved and delete it rather than running chkdsk at all.  Any thoughts on that?  I did rename the file to something that I should be able to remember, but as I said above, I couldn't find the file when I tried.

                                • 13. Re: Fan noise D54250WYK, and other models...any definitive solution yet?
                                  N.Scott.Pearson

                                  Check Disk (or chkdsk, whatever you want to call it) is checking the integrity of the file system data (bitmaps, etc.) placed on the drive. What kind of drive it is really doesn't matter.

                                   

                                  Sorry, I don't remember the chkdsk command line and I am not at home where I can look it up.

                                   

                                  The corruption is happening to the folder you put the file into, not the file itself. This is why I talked about losing other files in the folder...

                                   

                                  ...S

                                  • 14. Re: Fan noise D54250WYK, and other models...any definitive solution yet?
                                    CharlieATL

                                    Hello Scott -

                                     

                                    Well, I heeded your advice about where to save files trying to capture BIOS information.  Here's what occurred.

                                     

                                    Instead of using the little camera icon (snapshot), I used screen capture, thinking that that might be a safer file format.  I saved it to my external HDD and, BAM, no more external HDD.  It could not be read on two PCs by Windows and returned a message saying it was corrupted.  I had to reformat the drive and lost all data on it of course.  (This was not a disaster.)

                                     

                                    So, this is the behavior you warned about, right?  If so, is Intel unaware of this?  How should I proceed, engage Intel or the Visual Bios people whose website appears in the BIOS screen?

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