Adjust the Fan Speed on Your NVidia Graphics Card

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If you've got an NVidia graphics card and it has a fan that sounds like a jet engine, or, if as in my case your fan starts at full speed when the computer boots but then turns off after 20 seconds or so, you need nvclock.

After installing a new XFX GeForce 9800 GT video card last week I was met with a rather loud and annoying fan, but shortly there after the fan noise stopped, which is to say the fan stopped. After a cursory examination of the video card itself and a bit of head scratching I came to the conclusion that the fan was working fine and this had to be a software problem.

After a bit of web searching I stumbled upon nvclock, a utility that allows you to overclock your NVidia graphics cards (if you're into that sort of stuff) and also allows you to adjust the fan speed.

I'd suggest you get the version from CVS, particularily if you have a newer NVidia card (the release version didn't recognize my card but the CVS version did):

  $ cvs -d:pserver:anonymous@nvclock.cvs.sourceforge.net:/cvsroot/nvclock login
  $ cvs -z3 -d:pserver:anonymous@nvclock.cvs.sourceforge.net:/cvsroot/nvclock co -P nvclock

Then do the standard dance:

  $ cd nvclock
  $ ./configure
  $ make
  $ make install

Now check to see if nvclock recognizes your card:

  $ nvclock --info

My card produces this output:

  -- General info --
  Card:           nVidia Geforce 9800GT
  Architecture:   G92 A2
  PCI id:         0x614
  GPU clock:      601.712 MHz
  Bustype:        PCI-Express

  -- Shader info --
  Clock: 1512.000 MHz
  Stream units: 112 (1b)
  ROP units: 16 (1b)
  -- Memory info --
  Amount:         512 MB
  Type:           128 bit DDR3
  Clock:          899.996 MHz

  -- PCI-Express info --
  Current Rate:   16X
  Maximum rate:   16X

  -- Sensor info --
  Sensor: Analog Devices ADT7473
  Board temperature: 46C
  GPU temperature: 55C
  Fanspeed: 1195 RPM
  Fanspeed mode: auto
  PWM duty cycle: 40.0%

  -- VideoBios information --
  Version: 62.92.52.00.07
  Signon message: GeForce 9800 GT VGA BIOS
  Performance level 0: gpu 600MHz/shader 1500MHz/memory 900MHz/0.00V/100%
  VID mask: 3
  Voltage level 0: 0.95V, VID: 0
  Voltage level 1: 1.00V, VID: 1
  Voltage level 2: 1.05V, VID: 2
  Voltage level 3: 1.10V, VID: 3

Now you can adjust the fan speed:

  $ nvclock --fanspeed 40

Note: The argument to --fanspeed is the PWM percentage which is not the same as the percent of fanspeed. Adjust the fan speed to a noise level you can live with that also doesn't let your video card get too hot.

If nvclock doesn't recognize your video card you can try the --force option. Use this option at your own risk.

______________________

Mitch Frazier is an Associate Editor for Linux Journal.

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Curious

Jaywax's picture

Hello,

Have nearly the same hardware than yours and i can't slow down fan speed :( :
-- General info --
Card: nVidia Geforce 9800GT
Architecture: G92 A2
PCI id: 0x614
GPU clock: 300.856 MHz
Bustype: PCI-Express

-- Shader info --
Clock: 1350.000 MHz
Stream units: 112 (11111110b)
ROP units: 16 (1111b)
-- Memory info --
Amount: 512 MB
Type: 256 bit DDR3
Clock: 899.996 MHz

-- PCI-Express info --
Current Rate: 16X
Maximum rate: 16X

-- Sensor info --
Sensor: GPU Internal Sensor
GPU temperature: -394C

-- VideoBios information --
Version: 62.92.84.00.06
Signon message: NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT VGA BIOS
Performance level 0: gpu 300MHz/shader 600MHz/memory 100MHz/0.95V/100%
Performance level 1: gpu 550MHz/shader 1375MHz/memory 900MHz/1.00V/100%
VID mask: 3
Voltage level 0: 0.95V, VID: 0
Voltage level 1: 1.00V, VID: 2
Voltage level 2: 1.05V, VID: 3

hdbox:~/nvclock# nvclock --fanspeed 40 --force
Unhandled init script entry with id '�' at c9fa
Unhandled init script entry with id '�' at dbe2
Unhandled init script entry with id '�' at dc05
Unhandled init script entry with id '�' at dc28
Unhandled init script entry with id '�' at dc4b
Error: Your card doesn't support fanspeed adjustments!

Maybe an idea ??
thanks.

I use this.

Ted D's picture

I have used this for a couple of months, and I love it. I have a Script where I got from here...

http://www.category5.tv/content/blogcategory/15/77/

Called NVFANNER And it works great for me. Works on Intrepid also. This script is great for me. It regulates the fan speed. Don't set it too low or your card might Overheat. I use the NVIDIA-SETTINGS Program to watch the Temp.... or go into terminal and use NVCLOCK to check the temp. I keep the fan at 15% unless I am doing something with graphics... Then I turn the script off.

nice tips

felipe alvarez's picture

I will have to try this on my 8600GT. The fan's too noisy when not in use.

a little script

anon's picture

The best way is using a script that change the fan speed according to the card temperature, then we can add that script at boot with a "nice".

never had this problem

MarkS's picture

never had this problem before but read it carefully because I never know when it can happen to me!
Thanks for the tips
Mark

In case this didn't work for anybody else.

Anonymous's picture

I run i686 Arch Linux on one of the Inspirons that originally came from Dell with Ubuntu, and had the same problem. This model has a Nvidia GE8400GS, which does not allow fan speed adjustment. The way I got around this was to just use the nvidia-173xx driver. I hope there will be a better way, since I don't know how much longer it will be supported.

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