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Fractal Design Node 304 + E3C236D2I fan setup

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#1
Dear all,

I have recently added more HDD to my FreeNAS setup (total of 6 HDD nows) and though that upgrading fans with a better temperature control via PWM would be good. I went for Noctua NF-A9 and NF-A14. I have active CPU cooling (CPU_FAN1), which leaves me two fan sockets on the MB: REAR_FAN1 and FRNT_FAN1.
Currently rear fan has 140mm exhaust attached, whereas front fan takes two 92mm via y-cable, which of course takes only one of them with 4 pin connection (i.e. with PWM) and the second one without. I must admit that is something I have not though through before upgrading the fans ;-(

In case someone is running the same MB and case, I would appreciate any advise on how to approach the fan setup to keep good cooling without running fans at full speed.

It looks like I have the following options:

1. Control fans via Bios "Smart" option. Perhaps set fans set to spin 100% at around 55 C CPU temperature and do linear decrease to around 30 C CPU and about 30% of speed?
Given the y-splitter is used with the two front fans, I am not sure what would that do to the second one, which does not get the 4-th pin? Does it run full speed always?

2. Alternative could be to connect two front fans to MB and use Node 304 to control the exhaust fan via the L/M/H switch.

3. I would love to adopt some fan control scripts like this but I don't think anyone hacked it work with my MB. My understanding is one would at least need to figure out `ipmitool raw` commands. There is some discussion in the unraid forum for E2C226D2I, but could not find anything for E2C236D2I. There would be, of course, more to be adjust in that perl script, but should be doable according to this comment.

So far, looks like (2) + (1) is the best I can do with the given hardware. Anyone follows this approach? Any hints on a reasonable setup of "Smart" option in Bios?

p.s. In the retrospect, I should have probably gone for the Supermicro MB and control all 4 fans via PWM, but this train has left few years ago.

EDIT: (3) might be quite doable, I checked that I can control fans speed via

Code:
ipmitool raw 0x3a 0x01 0xAA 0x00 0xCC 0x00 0xEE 0x00 0x00 0x00
AA: CPU_FAN1 (PWM value)
CC: REAR_FAN1 (PWM value)
EE: FRNT_FAN1 (PWM value)
00h -> smart
01h-64h -> manual fan mode(1%~100%)


I should give a closer look at the script by Stux, https://www.ixsystems.com/community...in-response-to-hard-drive-temperatures.41294/ would probably be even better starting point.

Regards,
Denis.
 
Last edited:

Chris Moore

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#2
total of 6 HDD nows
What model drives are you using? Some drives run significantly hotter than others...
Maybe @Stux will stop in and offer you some advice.
 
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#3
What model drives are you using? Some drives run significantly hotter than others...
2 HGST NAS @7200 + 4 WD RED@5400. I used to have HGST only and over last two years they run (with default Bios settings) at 39-43 C.
With PWM fans looks like MB tries to be too smart and they started getting a bit hotter, so as a temporary measure I run 100% all three case fans (2 front and 1 rear). In this setup HGST stay at around 39 and WD RED at 31-32. The current setup is rather loud, I keep it so for time being to make sure I don't bake my raid drives...
 

Stux

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#4
I actually use that fan script with my node 304 case.

You should look for my build thread...

...4 hours later

Now that you’ve caught up :)

7200 rpms drives run hot. I’d suggest targeting 42C with them.
 
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#5
I actually use that fan script with my node 304 case.
I know, but you use a different MB ;-)

I am in the process of hacking Perl script to make it work with Asrock. For starters I plan to keep CPU on Smart option from bios and only help with HD FANs in case CPU temp goes above 60 or so.

I actually use that fan script with my node 304 case.
7200 rpms drives run hot. I’d suggest targeting 42C with them.
you mean 100% fan speed once I hit 42C? What's the recommended value for WD REDs 5400? I have a prototype script that would allow different values for different HDD groups (which is what I need here anyway).

I am still not sure what happens with Y-splitter cable used to connect two PWM front fans to E3C236D2I. I hope that there is way to control RPM on both fan from a single fan socket on a MB, as I only have two sockets free on the MB - one used for rear fans and one for two front ones.
 
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#6
I am making progress with the Perl script, however verification of the fan speed is currently a problem on this setup.

If I check the NF-A14 exhaust fan attached to a single socket I get reasonable reading:
Code:
# ipmitool sdr | grep REAR_FAN1
REAR_FAN1        | 1400 RPM          | ok

Maximum RPM is 1500. So I would say it's close enough to be 100% according to the current setting.

Now the two NF-A9 front fans on one socket give
Code:
# ipmitool sdr | grep FRNT_FAN1
FRNT_FAN1        | 2900 RPM          | ok

which is strange, The maximum per fan should be 2000 RPM.

So it boils down to

I am still not sure what happens with Y-splitter cable used to connect two PWM front fans to E3C236D2I. I hope that there is way to control RPM on both fan from a single fan socket on a MB, as I only have two sockets free on the MB - one used for rear fan and one for two front ones.
Stux , Kevin Horton , Chris Moore would either of you happen to know what one can expect from Y-splitter and two PWM fans?
 

Ericloewe

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#7
Stux , Kevin Horton , Chris Moore would either of you happen to know what one can expect from Y-splitter and two PWM fans?
One fan feeds the fan controller with its tachometer signal, both fans receive the PWM control signal. Weird hacks to combine both fans' tachometer signals are theoretically possible, but I've never heard of anything like that being done, much less supported by a motherboard or fan controller.
 
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#8
Thank you Ericloewe for the reply. Maybe a no-name Y-splitter I currently use to connect front fans is playing games, I will try the one supplied with Noctua fans. It's certainly not my intention to hack signals from fans.
 
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