SpeedFan Tutorial

Print Topic | Close Window

By Slipstreem - 7 Years Ago
Why a tutorial?

Because SpeedFan doesn't generally self-configure, and I've seen many reports of it not working on hardware that definitely supports it, so hopefully this will ease the process for those who are struggling with it or have simply given up. Smile

What is it?

For those not already familiar with SpeedFan, it's a free piece of software that allows precision user-defined control of your CPU fan. When used in conjunction with motherboards approaching the high end of the market, case fans may also be controllable.

How does it do it?

SpeedFan relies on your motherboard having support for PWM (pulse-width modulation) speed control of its fans. All current motherboards should support this feature at least for the CPU fan, although some may still have controller chips that SpeedFan is unable to communicate with.

Is my motherboard supported?

A list of all motherboards reported by SpeedFan users to support CPU fan speed control can be found HERE. Even if your motherboard isn't on the supported list, it's still worth having a try. It may just be that your particular model hasn't been reported and added to the supported list yet.

Note: The options shown in the screenshots in this guide are those available for one specific motherboard and will vary from one make and model of motherboard to another. The screenshots give you an idea of what to expect and how to deal with the settings that you find. You'll have to interpret any differences you find from the information given.

Where do I get it?

It's always best to go directly HERE to download SpeedFan as mirror sites may still be carrying outdated versions containing bugs that may have been fixed in later versions. Just click on the hyperlinked text in the 'Download' paragraph immediately following the words, "The latest version is".

Before you get started...

It's almost a certainty that you'll need to go into your BIOS before being able to use SpeedFan to control your CPU fan speed. Look for a setting relating to the CPU fan and choose an option that allows manual fan control as opposed to forcing automatic fan control. The option may be called 'Manual PWM Control', or something similar. Failure to do this will lead to unpredictable results or even the complete inability of SpeedFan to control CPU fan speed at all.

Successful disabling of motherboard CPU fan control is indicated by the CPU fan speed immediately ramping up to full and staying there once rebooted from a BIOS setting change. If this doesn't happen with the setting you've chosen, go back into the BIOS and try another setting. The correct setting is almost guaranteed to be in there somewhere.


After downloading SpeedFan, double-click on the downloaded file and a self-installer will launch. Hit 'Next' whenever appropriate until installation is complete remembering to leave the 'Create Program Group' box ticked so that SpeedFan can be easily accessed via the 'Start/All Programs' menu.

Configuring auto-launching

Open the 'Start/All Programs' menu and find SpeedFan. Copy a shortcut of the main SpeedFan EXE file into the 'Startup' folder. That's it. SpeedFan will now launch automatically every time your PC starts up or reboots.

Configuring SpeedFan

This section will explain how to set up each configuration tab. The screenshots relate to an Intel C2D CPU on an ASRock 775Dual-VSTA motherboard, so the naming of certain options within a tab may not match the ones you see when looking at the same configuration tabs. A calm head and a process of elimination should get you there, but if you get stuck, ask.

It's worth mentioning at this point that some of the item names within tabs have been modified to give a more user-friendly and intelligible main tab presentation. The names of any of the items within a tab can be easily edited by left-clicking on them slowly twice and then typing in the desired replacement text.

The setup steps are numbered from now on for ease of following and assume that you only want to configure CPU fan control for now...

1/ Launch SpeedFan by navigating to the 'Startup' shortcut you created earlier and left-clicking on the shortcut.

2/ When the main SpeedFan window opens, click on 'Configure'. The foremost tab will be 'Temperatures' and should be configured to look something like this...

Note that the only root checkboxes ticked are those relating to CPU core temperature, and that the only branch checkboxes ticked are those relating to the second PWM channel. This is usually the channel used for the CPU fan, but if you still have no joy by the end of this tutorial, come back here and try the first PWM channel instead.

Clicking on the title text for each CPU core will bring up a desired target temperature at the bottom of the tab. This sets the temperature that SpeedFan will attempt to maintain through CPU fan throttling. Set this to whatever seems sensible to you, but remember to do this for every core of a multi-core CPU. Set the warning temperature around 10°C higher, but always within safe limits for the CPU in question.

3/ Click on the 'Fans' tab and set it up approximately thus...

As described above, the CPU fan is most likely to be on the second PWM channel, so only the second checkbox is ticked here. The same proviso applies here if you have no joy controlling the CPU fan by the end of this tutorial.

4/ Click on the 'Voltages' tab and exclude any voltage readings that are clearly wrong by unticking the relevant checkboxes thus...

Most motherboards don't read all voltages, so it makes sense to not display the ones that are clearly wrong on the main SpeedFan tab. It makes it much more pleasant and intelligible to read if irrelevant data isn't shown.

5/ Click on the 'Speeds' tab and set up as follows...

Once again, note that only the checkbox relating to the second PWM channel is ticked here to suit the hardware in question. Click on the relevant channel's text and settings for minimum and maximum fan speeds will appear at the bottom. A 5% minimum and 60% maximum are the values that give a full swing of speed control from 0% to 100% with my particular CPU fan. Your mileage may vary, so I'd advise leaving these set to 0% and 100% respectively until you have everything else configured, then come back and tweak these later to minimise dead-bands at either end of the automatic control range.

Don't forget to tick the 'Automatically variated' checkbox.

6/ Click on the 'Options' tab and set it up as below...

The 'Set fans to 100% on program exit' option serves to ensure that the CPU fan will go to full speed if SpeedFan quits unexpectedly. It also means that the CPU fan will blast away flat-out for a few seconds when you shut down Windows. This can serve as both a helpful reminder that all is well with the fan, and possibly to flush out collected debris from the CPU heatsink that might otherwise remain present in a gentle breeze.

7/ Click on the 'Advanced' tab and select the controller chip from the pull-down menu at the top...

A process of elimination will find the correct chip and reveal a set of values similar to those shown above. Make sure that the PWM mode is set to 'Manual PWM Control', and that 'PWM Enable' is set to 'ON'. The terminology here may vary from one motherboard to another, but a little detective work should find which settings relate to what.

Click 'OK'and you'll be taken back to the main SpeedFan pane. With a little luck, you've finished with the main configuration.

8/ Now that you are back on the main SpeedFan pane, you should see something like this...

Tick the 'Automatic fan speed' checkbox and listen to the CPU fan. You should hear the fan slowing down with an accompanying drop in the 'CPU Fan' (or 'Speed02' if you haven't renamed it) box reading. You should see the fan's indicated RPM dropping next to its label on the main tab.

If SpeedFan isn't controlling your CPU fan then it's time to go back through the configuration with the knowledge you've gained from the first pass and start changing a few settings. If you still find yourself getting nowhere then it may be worth trying an alternative BIOS CPU fan speed setting.

If after going through all of the above you still have no luck and your motherboard isn't on the supported list, then it's probably time to give up as you may be trying to achieve the impossible, but ask for help anyway as you may have missed something that another pair of eyes won't.

Trimming out the dead-band

For SpeedFan to adjust the CPU fan speed as quickly and accurately as possible, it's vital to trim out any slack there may be at either end of the speed control range. This can be easily achieved by temporarily removing the tick from the 'Automatic fan speed' checkbox and manually adjusting the fan speed up or down with the up and down arrows next to the CPU fan percentage indicator.

When you've established the minimum percentage below which the fan speed doesn't slow down any further as well as the maximum percentage beyond which the fan speed doesn't increase any further, go back to the 'Speeds' tab and adjust the minimum and maximum accordingly.

Don't forget to go back to the main pane afterwards and tick 'Automatic fan speed' again when you've finished.

The control that SpeedFan has over your CPU fan speed is now as linear as it can possibly be without potentially harmful lag in fan response at the bottom of the range when you begin to load your CPU, and also without potentially annoying lag before the fan slows down after the CPU returns to an idle or low-load state.


There's not much else to say really other than to ask you do your best to spread the word on how to configure SpeedFan because, as you can see, configuration can be a rather daunting prospect for a person to handle on their own the first time around. Wink

I'd just like to add a final note of posthumous thanks to Chris (spike09) for originally sowing the seed of an idea to write this tutorial a couple of months back in the MM chatroom. I may not have got off my backside and done it then, but at least I got around to it eventually. Tongue

Finally, if you get stuck, ask. Smile

Cheers, Slipstreem. Cool
By bifda - 7 Years Ago
Excellent guide slippy very well written, should deffinatly help those not familiar with speed fan.

Totally think this should be a sticky.
By Slipstreem - 7 Years Ago
Thanks, bifda. The cheque's in the post. BigGrin

Cheers, Slipstreem. Cool
By bigdaddy - 7 Years Ago
Excellent. Why not submit it to Simon for inclusion in the mag? You should get a few beer tokens for it.Tongue
By bifda - 7 Years Ago
To lazy to re-read it to check, but have u mentioned by highlighting the names of the things in the config and Pressing F2 you can rename them to what ever you want.

Comes in handy when doing more then the standard stuff, like so.

By Slipstreem - 7 Years Ago
bifda (25/05/2010)
To lazy to re-read it to check, but have u mentioned by highlighting the names of the things in the config and Pressing F2 you can rename them to what ever you want.

Yes, but via the method of left-clicking the label slowly twice. It's in the second paragraph of 'Configuring SpeedFan'. Smile

Cheers, Slipstreem. Cool
By bifda - 7 Years Ago
Slipstreem (25/05/2010)
bifda (25/05/2010)
To lazy to re-read it to check, but have u mentioned by highlighting the names of the things in the config and Pressing F2 you can rename them to what ever you want.

Yes, but via the method of left-clicking the label slowly twice. It's in the second paragraph of 'Configuring SpeedFan'. Smile

Cheers, Slipstreem. Cool

Ah ok, told u i was to lazy to re-read it haha..

@MR Green

There is'nt a speedfan type program from my searches, but Ubantu kinda has something similar but not really..


Now as i know nothing about linux it all goes over my head, and not sure if other distro's have it or not.
By conrad101 - 7 Years Ago
Deserves to be a sticky.

Good stuff slippy!
By Slipstreem - 7 Years Ago
You're welcome. Smile

Cheers, Slipstreem. Cool
By maygood - 7 Years Ago
Excellent Slipstreem. Well needed and I vote for sticky too Smile

Just a note in case anyone else has this problem -

I installed speedfan before creating the other post and could not get it to control the fans. When I started it to follow your guide it worked immediately, before I changed any settings. The only thing I can think of that changed were cool and quiet has been switched off and a reboot

Thanks again

By bifda - 7 Years Ago
Also a thing to take note of, not all headers on the mobo are controlable, i have 5 fan headers including cpu one, and only 2 normal and the cpu ones are control-able so sometimes u just have to test to each header along with testing speed fan, to know which are able to be changed.
By martintfs - 7 Years Ago
Thanks for a very interesting read

Does anyone know if it works with a Gigabyte GA-73PVM-S2H. 

Its not on the supported list and I wondered if anyone has tried it before I waste my time

By Slipstreem - 7 Years Ago
Yes it does. I'm running it here on Phoenix with no problems. Smile

Cheers, Slipstreem. Cool
By martintfs - 7 Years Ago
Marvellous, Thank you
By Slipstreem - 7 Years Ago
You're welcome. Give me a shout if you get stuck.

You'll need to go into the BIOS first and look in the 'PC Health Status' section. There's a setting in there called 'CPU Smart FAN Control'. That has to be set to 'Disabled', or SpeedFan does nothing. Good luck. Smile

Cheers, Slipstreem. Cool
By GaryP - 7 Years Ago
Excellent post thank you. Not only should it be sticky it should be an article in the mag Smile
By Mr Green - 7 Years Ago
Errr is there anything like speedfan for Linux?
By Jason - 7 Years Ago
Very, very useful. Thanks for putting in the effort. I'll now go back and check my own settings and make sure I've not goofed anywhere or overlooked anything.