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Asrock Bios fan control is it equal on all models

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    Posted: 20 Mar 2016 at 2:43am
Hi,

Im currently interested on trying out an Asrock motherboard, mostly to test how they are working with their Bios fan control, but i have a kinda hard question for owners, do all Skylake AsRock motherboards have the same bios fan control and limitations?  For example for MSI is the same i have tested Z/H/B seriers and there is nothing different in the bios, aside from the smaller motherboards have less headers, but the control is practically the same, with the same options and restrictions.  The thing with AsRock is that it has tons of options to chose from, and to me i would buy the cheapest if the bios fan control is the same, but i would spend higher cost mobos have more options and lower restrictions.

Currently im interested on 
ASRock Z170M Extreme4 (the highest i could find on micro atx)
ASRock Z170M Pro4S (a little cheaper, not sure what the S stands for)
ASRock H170M Pro4S (cheaper, but not sure if it will have all the fetures on fan control being lower end model)
ASRock B150M Pro4 (even cheaper, but more worried it might have a worst bios fan control)
ASRock H110M COMBO-G (the cheapest of them all, and would be my pick if it has the same options os the Extreme4 on the bios fan control)

Thanks for any info or suggestions,
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Xaltar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Mar 2016 at 3:17am
That is an interesting question. I have not noted any differences between my 2 ASRock Skylake boards in fan control settings however I am not overly fussed with controlling my fans, I generally just set to the silent preset and be done with it. My case has 6 120mm fans in it and my CPU coolers are always overkill so it really hasn't been a concern for me as even the most basic "silent" mode is usually silent enough for my needs.

The "S" in Pro4S I suspect means "simple", if you look at the S and non S versions you will note simpler heatsinks on the VRMs/chipset as well as the absence of the IO Armor on the S model. From what I can tell it is a cost saving device to allow users to spend less for the same features of the non S board. If the "look" isn't important to you then the S version is perfect for your needs. If you want a windowed case with all the bells whistles and fancy lighting then the non S version may be preferable. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Abula Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Mar 2016 at 5:50am
Originally posted by Xaltar Xaltar wrote:

The "S" in Pro4S I suspect means "simple", if you look at the S and non S versions you will note simpler heatsinks on the VRMs/chipset as well as the absence of the IO Armor on the S model. From what I can tell it is a cost saving device to allow users to spend less for the same features of the non S board. If the "look" isn't important to you then the S version is perfect for your needs. If you want a windowed case with all the bells whistles and fancy lighting then the non S version may be preferable. 
Thanks for the explanation on the S, i saw the none S more appealing to the eye, but never really saw put attention to the heatsinks.

Originally posted by Xaltar Xaltar wrote:

That is an interesting question. I have not noted any differences between my 2 ASRock Skylake boards in fan control settings however I am not overly fussed with controlling my fans, I generally just set to the silent preset and be done with it. My case has 6 120mm fans in it and my CPU coolers are always overkill so it really hasn't been a concern for me as even the most basic "silent" mode is usually silent enough for my needs.
For me presets are not enough, specially to the sound levels i want to reach, i need full control, specially on PWM fans, although full control on voltage is also welcome and would allow me a lot more options.  THat said, i seen in the past the AsRock has very good PWM fan control on the CPU_FAN1, with multiple breakpoints and 1% increments, thus making it imo the best in the market, and i believe they also have the CHA_FAN1 as true PWM, same as the CPU, with full control with 1% increments, but this was on a Haswell ATX, not sure how it is on a micro atx and skylake.  What i dislike in haswell is the rest of the headers are presets (silent, normal etc), but i can live with 2 good fully 
adjustable headers, just wondering if the micro atx skylake would give me that, or i need to go enter ATX for the mobo to have the CHA_FAN1 being full PWM and controllable in 1% increments.

Thanks again for the reply,
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Mar 2016 at 11:42am
In the past, the level of fan speed control sophistication on ASRock boards varied somewhat with the price of the board.

That meant that cheaper boards did not have all the fan headers controlled in the same manner. That has changed and evolved with the last two or three Intel processor/chipset generations. The fan speed control options are not simplified on most if not all of the more budget oriented Intel based boards.

Recently, ASRock has added a GUI type FAN-Tastic Tuning option in the UEFI of most if not all of their 100 series chipset boards. This can also be found on some of their X99 boards.

From what I can find in the manual of boards like the H110M Combo-G, this new feature is included in the H/W Monitoring screen. The drop down menu type option settings for the fans is still included, but the new GUI type FAN-Tastic Tuning feature is very convenient.

I would suggest checking the manual of the boards you are interested in to verify this feature is included in the board's UEFI, to avoid any disappointments:


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Abula Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Mar 2016 at 10:11pm
Originally posted by parsec parsec wrote:

In the past, the level of fan speed control sophistication on ASRock boards varied somewhat with the price of the board.

That meant that cheaper boards did not have all the fan headers controlled in the same manner. That has changed and evolved with the last two or three Intel processor/chipset generations. The fan speed control options are not simplified on most if not all of the more budget oriented Intel based boards.

Recently, ASRock has added a GUI type FAN-Tastic Tuning option in the UEFI of most if not all of their 100 series chipset boards. This can also be found on some of their X99 boards.
Thanks for the info, really promising this leveling of all motheboards on the fan control.


Originally posted by parsec parsec wrote:

From what I can find in the manual of boards like the H110M Combo-G, this new feature is included in the H/W Monitoring screen. The drop down menu type option settings for the fans is still included, but the new GUI type FAN-Tastic Tuning feature is very convenient. 

I would suggest checking the manual of the boards you are interested in to verify this feature is included in the board's UEFI, to avoid any disappointments:
Thanks for the info again, really promising the H110M might serve what im planning.

And i'll checking the manuals for each motherboard, but to be honest, two that i have checked dont have much detail on the fan control.

A couple of question that comes to my mind now that you showed that picture are,

1) In the past AsRock allowed 1% incrments on PWM with no minimum restrictions, at leat on the CPU_FAN1 header, but watching the new GUI seems all numbers are rounded, wondering if they still allow 1% or they moved toward 5% or 10% incrememnts.

2) In the past AsRock also had 2 true PWM fan headers, in most cases was the CPU_FAN1 and CHA_FAN1, but there were some cases that they used the CPU_FAN2 (very few mobos come like this like the power and fatality).  But wondering more how is on skylake today, did they are still following this design?

3) Are all headers true PWM headers or some are voltage controlled? 

4) Minimum restrictions on CPU_FAN and CHA_FAN, in the past AsRock only offered presets on CHA_FAN2 and 3 for example, no GUI or allowing to have a custom graph behavior.  On MSI the restrictions on voltage controlled headers are high, around 50% wondering how is this being manage on the AsRock bios.

Btw you guys dont need to answer this, this are the kinda things i want to test, not saying if you know them dont post them, just i feel im asking to much.  Overall i seen so many good things going on AsRock since sandy bridge, and gradually improving toward bieng a brand that i personally im very eager to test and move all my setups toward, just i do plan a lot in advance, so this are things that i interst me and breaks a build for me.

Thanks again for your replies, really interesting and useful info you have provided,

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Mar 2016 at 12:41am
I must agree you won't see much detail about the fan control capabilities in the manuals. What caught my eye in the H110M Combo-G manual was this:



At the bottom of the screen picture we can see the highlighted in red entry for Fan-Tastic Tuning. That is the GUI type feature for creating custom fan profiles, as in the picture in my previous post.

We also see it listed below the picture, as well as the standard fan setting options. If you can find the Fan-Tastic Tuning entry in the H/W Monitoring screen in a board's manual, it will be there.

I see you noticed my personal need to have fan speed percentages in 5% or 10% increments. Wacko I can assure you that the steps in the GUI interface are in 1% increments for fan speed, and 1簞 C increments for temperature.

The CPU_FAN1 and CHA_FAN1 headers should be true PWM fan headers on all these boards. I say should only because I have not used all of these boards. My ASRock Z170 board PC has PWM fans connected to those headers, and they operate as they should, in PWM mode.

My board has all four pin fan headers too. I have not done the true test on the chassis fan headers to determine if they truly operate in PWM mode, or in voltage mode. That can be done with a PWM/molex power adapter cable, and a PWM fan.

We can find this statement in the specifications of the H110M Combo-G:

1 x CPU Fan Connector (4-pin) (Smart Fan Speed Control)
2 x Chassis Fan Connectors (4-pin) (Smart Fan Speed Control)*

*CHA_FAN1 can auto detect if 3-pin or 4-pin fan is in use.

My board has a similar statement, except the 3 or 4 pin fan detection applies to all of the fan headers. That seems to be one of the few differences between more expensive and budget boards.

The GUI Fan-Tastic Tuning screen in the UEFI, at least on my Z170 board, allows you to set fan speed percentage all the way down to 0%. That is, at least on the chassis fans, I don't recall if that is the case for the CPU fans. The only restriction I have is the minimum temperature that may be used, 30簞 C.

The H110M Combo-G is well built IMO. The main things that I would miss is the lack of an M.2 port, and only four SATA III ports.

Did you ask to much? IMO, you asked a lot of questions, but since they all made sense, I have no problem answering them. Wink

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Abula Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Mar 2016 at 5:25am
@parsec 

Thanks a lot for the detailed reply, really amazing info, and you have sold me into AsRock, all the things i want on Bios Fan Control are there, specially liked the autosensing of 4pin/3pin, even if its only in one header, on Asus you can but manually changing it on the bios, on MSI you cant from a build i did a couple of weeks ago on H170.

I really hope all works out well, this setup its more a testing setup for me to see what to expect in the future, but for now AsRock seems to have a big lead over the competition on their bios fan control, and that to me aside from stability is the biggest thing i look for on motherboards.  If this work out as i expect, i'll be switching my main rig toward a Fatality or Formula.

Again thanks so much for your reply parsec , im left without questions and eager to buy now the mobo to do some personal testing.

Btw this is the most helpful forum i seen from manufactures, really amazing responses, ill hang more here, hoping to contribute as you guys help me out.

Take care,



Edited by Abula - 21 Mar 2016 at 5:29am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Abula Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2016 at 9:35am
Just some comments, i manage to get some time today and still in the process of testing on an AsRock H170 Pro4, their bios fan control is the best that i seen, better than Asus or MSI, but not all is perfect, there are some things to take into account.

CPU_FAN1
Its an autosensing header, that means the mobo can sense if its a 3pin or 4pin, and according to what you plug thats how its controlled.  I tested the Intel stock CPU cooler (PWM), Thermalright TY147A (PWM), Noctua NF-S12B 700rpm Redux (3pin) and Silverstone AP182 (3pin).  All were controllable with in their own range of operation, no issues at all.

CHA_FAN1
Same as the CPU_FAN1, its autosensing and can control either PWM or DC at will on the bios.

CHA_FAN2
its a 4pin, but only can do PWM control, no autoseinng and no voltage control, tested all the fans above.

CHA_FAN3
This is a 3pin, and doesnt even appear on the bios, its a pure 12V or for somone trying to get rpms (for example a pump).  Usless to me.

I bought a value motherboard from AsRock, so i cant say how will higher end mobos would work, some even have CPU_FAN1 and CPU_FAN2 and more CHA_FANs, so i dont know if AsRock has the policy of only two autosensing or if its open to more in higher end mobos, i wish all were autosensing though, that would put it on par with Asus switching, that said, still a heck of fan control if you understand the limitations.  The no restrictions, 1% vairtions on 1C is amazing, you practically can reach any operation without having the bios restrictions that ASUS has, and to some point MSI also.


Edited by Abula - 15 May 2016 at 12:20pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Xaltar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2016 at 1:27pm
Thanks for the info Abula Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2016 at 1:41pm
Originally posted by Abula Abula wrote:

Just some comments, i manage to get some time today and still in the process of testing on an AsRock H170 Pro4,

CPU_FAN1 
Its PWM fan control its the best that i have seen/tested, you can set any temperature and any % pwm, no restrictions at all that i can see, by far what i always wished other manufacturers do. You can go in 1% increments on 1C, so this allow to reach whatever you want, 4 breakpoints allow you to do the cueve you like.

CHA_FAN1
This fan does the same as CPU_FAN1, it has a difference though, its autosening decides if its 3pin or 4pin, and this is very good, as you can use the bios the same as you do CPU_FAN, I tried a Noctua NF-S12B REDUX 700rpm (3pin) and it can do the full 700rpms or drop down to 200rpms on pure bios on voltage control. I also tested a TY147A and the austosering worked the same, as far as i could tell, as with my MSI and Asus mobos i can drop it to 300rpms or pull it up to 1300rpms, and as the CPU_FAN1 you have the 4 breakpoints, so there you can do the graph you wish with it, again no restrictions that i can see, love the this. But there is turn down for me, seems it cant power the silverstone AP182s, it bearly starts them on booting, but once bios loads or windows.... the fan is off, no matter the settings i change on the bios, even the presets, even the full 100% doesnt move the fan at all, my only conclusion is the header doesnt have enough power to move it.

CHA_FAN2
This is a different header, its 4pin as the CHA_FAN2, but seems the autosensing doesnt work (from what i have read only 2 headers have this feature on Asrock so in my case are the two above), that said its not a big deal, and this header can power the AP182, just the issue is that its always on 12V, no setting change on the bios (presets or graph) that would undervolt it. I also tested the Thermalright TY147A here and it works great, same as two above, this leads me to say this is a fully PWM fan header (not switchable).

For the above, and because im with FT05 i cant use the AsRock, mainly its the AP182, i'll do some more testing tomorrow.  AsRock semes very good, i like what they have done on bios, for a pure PWM fan build is superb, for a 3pin mix.... i would say it has its restrictions, and not many headers that can do voltage control, i think it still can be done fine, as long as not many 3pin fans. Im happy to see how AsRock has design their fan control, but sadly its not for me.


It's a shame that the AP182 fans in your PC case are affecting your choice of mother board. IMO, it is the AP182 fan that is the problem, not the board itself, more on that below.

Also, you cannot expect a lower priced board like the H170 Pro4 to have the same features as more expensive boards. I don't know what the price of this board is where you live, but in the USA it is about $90.

All fans are different regarding their electrical specifications, such as maximum power usage, starting voltage (minimum voltage needed to get the fan spinning), maximum speed, etc. There are no standards for power usage or starting voltage, they are whatever the fan designers give us.

Most modern PC fans have a starting voltage of about 6V, many start spinning at 5V or less. Maximum power usage of these fans is about 0.5A (6 Watts), although many fans use much less power than that. The size of a fan is not related to the amount of power it uses, very large PC fans can use the same amount of power that a very small fan does.

Let's look at the specifications of the AP182, these are from the manual supplied with these fans when sold individually:



A link to the AP182's manual: http://www.silverstonetek.com/downloads/Manual/fan/Multi-AP182-manual-V1.pdf

The AP182 is not a typical PC fan, its power requirements are greater than most PC fans. From the AP182 manual:

The AP182 is a relatively high current fan. At its maximum speed, the AP182's current will peak at 1.8A with continuous current at 1.3A.

Not all motherboard fan headers will support the AP182... To properly support AP182, the fan header needs to be able to provide continuous current of at least 1.3A.

The fan headers on ASRock boards are rated at 1.0A/12W maximum (continuous), which is standard for PC mother boards. This fan can use more power than is available from mother board fan headers. It will be difficult finding a mother board with a greater power rating for the chassis fan connectors.

Note the Start Voltage, which is measured with the manual speed control connected to the fan. 9V is the lowest starting voltage. Very high for a PC fan.

Then the fan's speed range of 500 - 2000 RPM is controlled only between 9V and 12V. That 3V range is small, which is another reason for the manual fan controller. I wonder how precise the speed control can be with manual speed controller?

The CHA_FAN2 connector is not the problem, the unique requirements of the AP182 fan simply make it unusable with mother board fan connectors. I'm not surprised that the CHA_FAN1 header could not get an AP182 spinning if you are connecting it directly to the mother board. Even if the board could supply enough power to the fan, the high starting voltage and small voltage range for speed adjustment is not compatible with standard mother board fan speed control.

I highly doubt you will be able to find a mother board with fan connectors that can work with AP182 fans, at any price. SilverStone knows this fan is not compatible with standard mother board fan connectors, and supplies the manual speed controller for that reason.

You'll never find a mother board with fan connectors that provide more than 12W of power, that costs $100.
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