7 Replies Latest reply on Jul 9, 2015 7:08 AM by digdug443

    Loud fan noise / Cooling settings for i5 NUC



      I use my NUC (BOXD54250WYKH1) primarily as a Media Center + server and am experiencing the fan running very loud quite often.

      I changed the BIOS settings for the minimum duty cycle (fan speed) from the default 40% to 20%  (which is around 1800 RPM) - at this level the fan is barely noticeable. However, the fan starts running at high speed when the CPU heats up to around 65-70C with some load. This in spite of having my BIOS settings set to have a 'control temperature' of 80C (which is what the fan is supposed to target) and max temperature of 90C. In my mind, as long as the CPU temperature is below 80C the fan should run at the minimum level - however, as mentioned, it starts running at max around 70C.  The secondary control temperature is from the motherboard, however, I have the tolerance levels set well above what this temperature ever reaches.

      I want my NUC to run as quietly as possible. Any help much appreciated!

      I'm running the latest BIOS firmware on Win 7 64-bit.


        • 1. Re: Loud fan noise / Cooling settings for i5 NUC

          My 5i5RHY runs mostly at 3300-3600rpm with CPU 53c, MEM 45c, Mobo 43c but I don't use it as a MC + server. It does run 24/7 but I've really NEVER heard the fan ... It's in there though..lol


          Sorry, not much help. Hopefully Intel does do some RnD on passive cooling.

          • 2. Re: Loud fan noise / Cooling settings for i5 NUC

            You can definitely hear the fan noise on 5i5RHY, it can go upto ~4600-4900rpm sometimes when you are just browsing on the net.


            Luckily at least we don't have the super hot/loud i7 NUC..

            (check my avatar.. lol)

            • 3. Re: Loud fan noise / Cooling settings for i5 NUC

              The issue though is that the fan is trying to keep the CPU too cool, and the BIOS settings seem not to correspond with what the fan control does in reality. It should be possible for it to allow for higher CPU temperatures before running. At higher CPU temperature it would need less fan speed to keep the CPU temperature in check.


              Anyone have any idea?

              • 4. Re: Loud fan noise / Cooling settings for i5 NUC

                That's not really the problem, main problem is that heatsink/fan is poor quality so that CPU gets hot very easily.

                I'm just browsing the net with a movie playing in the background atm, and CPU temp is ~80C, so the fan is running ~4700rpm.


                I think there was option in the 5i5RHY BIOS so you can delay the fan to wait for higher CPU temp, but that's not gonna help with the noise at all cos CPU won't have ANY problem reaching the higher temp with the crap heatsink/fan used on Intel NUC. i.e. Better Heatsink/Fan for NUC

                • 5. Re: Loud fan noise / Cooling settings for i5 NUC

                  Well plain physics should allow the fan to keep the CPU at a stable temperature with less speed at a higher temperature than at a lower temperature, because


                  1: More heat is dissipated through the NUC box into the cool air outside

                  2: The difference between the room temperature air and the CPU will be higher. So for the same amount of air draft the CPU will cool off faster when it's at a high temperature.   Without doing any research on this, I would say that the cooling effect of the fan should be a linear equation as:    (Fan_Speed) * (CPU_Temp - Room_Temp).    So with a higher CPU_Temp, one can compensate with a lower Fan_Speed to get the same cooling effect necessary to keep the CPU_Temp in check.   Am I wrong?

                  • 6. Re: Loud fan noise / Cooling settings for i5 NUC



                    Intel NUCs aren't noisy because they have overly sensitive fan settings in the BIOS. i.e. fan spins 4000+rpm when temp is 60+C, spins ~5000+rpm when temp is 70+C, etc.

                    NUCs are noisy cos Intel used cheap, very poor quality heatsink/fan across the NUC range(bad news for people with 28W TDP i7 NUC).


                    That's why i5 NUCs can be pretty noise despite the high CPU temp, and i7 NUC runs loud/hot very easily.

                    • 7. Re: Loud fan noise / Cooling settings for i5 NUC

                      I realize that if the NUC had better heatsink / fan etc, then it would be less noisy. That's not what I am debating.


                      I am trying to find out how to configure settings better to make it more quiet for the hardware that it actually comes with.  For that I am trying to find out how I can allow the CPU to reach higher temperatures before the fan starts going at high speeds. The key to this is the BIOS settings. However, the settings that I set in the bios dont seem to match up with how my NUC is reacting in reality.


                      I've set the BIOS CPU control temperature at 80 C,   but the fan keeps going at high speeds well below this setting, so there is something funky with how the BIOS settings work.


                      Has anyone else tried to play around with the BIOS cooling settings and got this to work as desired?