I want to have the best of both this worlds. Passive and active cooling. Preferably as low budget as it can go.

My mainboard is only allowing me to spin down my CPU fan to 12.5%. I am looking for a solution to activate fans only if my system is on load.

I imagine something like a fan controller that actually reads the PWM signal from the mainboard and switches them on based on how high it is, meaning off in 12.5% mode and if my smart fan control kicks in the next tier power on fans.

In case picking up a signal from the mainboard is to complicated maybe just a external sensor bases solution like picking up the temp from behind the CPU (so cool air not messes to much with it) and have a fan controller that powers on fans based a temperature I can define.

Please please please only answer if you really know a solution, I have had horrible experience with a tech board with this question.

Just a little note: There are this Asus STRIX Graphics cards that do exactly that, the fans do not spin when the cards are not under load. I like my entire system work like that.

If you have hardware that allows fan control, then try Speed Fan.

It will allow monitoring of motherboard temperature sensors, and set up fan speed based on temperature.

I would recommend being familiar with safe and usual working CPU, RAM, Disk, and GPU temperatures before setting new limits (it sounds like you are, but this advice is for anyone else reading also).

If you overheat the CPU, these days it should throttle back to reduce temperature, or shut down if severely overheated. However, other components may not be monitored so closely, and could potentially be damaged if you allow them to get too hot.

  • Well as I said I have a mainboard that lets me control fans, but I don't think its supports shutting off the fans. Does Speed Fan offer that functionality? I think PWM fans always spin even at the lowest PWM. And for both PWM and voltage controlled fans its actually bad if there is power flowing through while they are not spinning. So I think this is actually the low quality answer I was not hoping for. But I am glad do be dis-proven on this. – redanimalwar Feb 28 '17 at 8:06
  • Also I am a Linux users and I boot windows only for gaming and then I actually don't care about sound. So I would need a linux solution to stop the fans via software, but again I don't think I can. Your answer sounds like you are only talk about controlling the fans speeds, I can control then right from the bios, I want them to stop. – redanimalwar Feb 28 '17 at 8:08
  • Just tested SpeedFan and as I expected I can not stop fans with it. It showed me the settings form my bios, not sure of it was forcing the fans to go lower then my bios allowed but setting everything to 0, setting automatic control on and all max values to 0 did not help. – redanimalwar Feb 28 '17 at 8:55
  • @redanimalwar If you have a modern motherboard you can usually control/turn off fans in the BIOS. I'm sure you do not want this but you can play with the settings until it fits for you. – RamonRobben Feb 28 '17 at 8:56
  • You are sure I do not want this? Thats exactly what I want turn fans of at low temps and turn them on when system gets warm. Of course I already played with the setting and I can not turn fans of in BIOS. WTF is up with ppl? I have a MSI Z97 Gaming 7 I consider that modern. Can you give me specifics? What boards exactly can shut down case fans based on temps and can they also shut down CPU fans more importantly. I am not sure if I want to completely switch boards for this but maybe I will, was hoping for a fan controller or something. – redanimalwar Feb 28 '17 at 9:22

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