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I have a Quadro FX 3800 whose fan goes to max speed when the computer is turned on, and it's extremely loud. It only settles down when Windows boots up and loads the driver for it.

Is this normal behavior, or have I configured something incorrectly?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Nope, that’s normal. The fans in the system are usually started at 100% speed to avoid over-heating. It is not until some software specifically sets the speeds that they get reduced. This is because the software has the ability to monitor and adjust the speeds according to what the user wants, while the pre-boot environment (ie, the BIOS) does not.

Moreover, most such software has the (recommended) option of setting the speeds back to 100% when they exit because if the fan is set too low and the system heats up after the program quits, then the system could overheat.

That said, you can check if your BIOS has a setting to automatically adjust fan speeds or set temperature thresholds, however it is unlikely that there will be any such settings for the video card, only the CPU, power, chassis fans and temperatures.

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Well, I'll accept the answer, but I don't have to like it! :) I would think that a video card this powerful would have a self-regulating fan that speeds up depending on the actual temperature! – Dmitry Brant Mar 11 '11 at 14:36
Yup, that’s up to the video card because the system has no knowledge of other devices that have fans. To be honest, most devices with fans tend to use 100% speed as the default and only provide speed changes as an, often unsupported, courtesy. – Synetech Mar 11 '11 at 19:29

In addition to the information in the other answers, the full speed fan on boot is designed to reduce the buildup of dust in the fans which can happen for fans that never get a chance to run at full speed otherwise.

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It might sound weird, but has the fan got dust in it?

I had a similar problem with my graphics card - when the fan was at full speed it made a hell of a racket!

I took the dust cover off and it had a ton of dust in it. A quick job with the vacuum cleaner and the fan is much quieter at full speed

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Nope, it's definitely free of dust. The fan slows down at the precise moment when Windows sets the video mode for the login screen. – Dmitry Brant Mar 11 '11 at 14:55

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