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. 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to download SpeedFan as mirror sites may still be carrying outdated versions containing bugs that may have been fixed in later versions.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.Installing
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.Conclusion
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.
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.
Finally, if you get stuck, ask.
Phoenix III - Win7 Professional 64-bit, AMD Athlon II X3 450 OCed to 3.75GHz (250x15 @1.45V) with CoolerMaster Hyper TX3 HS (with 2x Arctic Cooling F9 PWM fans in push-pull)  on ASRock N68C-S UCC mobo, 2x 2GB Crucial DDR2-800 (5,5,5,15,2T @DDR833 @1.9V), ASUS EAH4890 1GB DDR5 graphics card OCed to 1GHz GPU & 4GHz RAM. Powered by CoolerMaster GX 650W PSU.
Sylvester III - Win7 Ultimate 64-bit on Intel X25-V 40GB SSD, Intel C2D E7500 OCed to 3.9GHz (390x10 @1.45V) with ACF7Pro HSF  on ASUS P5E Ai Lifestyle mobo, 2x 2GB OCZ Reaper DDR2-800 (4,4,4,12,2T @DDR780 @2.1V), PowerColor AMD HD6850 graphics card OCed to 825MHz GPU & 4.7GHz RAM. Powered by CoolerMaster GX 650W PSU.
Tweety - Storage Options Scroll Essential 7" Tablet PC running Android Gingerbread 2.3.3 with Lexar 32GB Class10 microSDHC card.