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Please answer a question about video card fans

M0RPH

Diamond Member
Dec 7, 2003
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EDIT: Just looking for a simple answer to a question here guys.

If a video card has a fan with only two wires, does that mean it's non-controllable, meaning that it only runs at one speed regardless of whether it's idling or under load?

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I'm looking for a low-power, QUIET video card and was thinking of buying a MSI Nvidia GT 240 card that is on sale today. However, I saw a review that said the card was loud because it ran at full speed even when idle. They measured 50db at idle and 50db at load.

I also found another discussion about the card where others confirmed this... they called MSI and were told the card's fan could never be controlled because it only has 2 wires.

So I was browsing video cards at Newegg and noticed a lot of cards that have just 2-pin fans. Does this mean that all of these video cards have 'dumb' fans that just run at one speed? I thought that all video cards nowadays had 'smart' fans that would run much lower at idle when they're not needed?
 
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Madcatatlas

Golden Member
Feb 22, 2010
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coolest topic title this year!



seconding the recommendation to get a passively cooled graphics card. Id suggest 57xx or 56xx if you can find them.
 

M0RPH

Diamond Member
Dec 7, 2003
3,305
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Buy a passively cooled card.
That's what I have now and I'd prefer my next card to have a quiet fan because my passively-cooled 8600GT gets to 90C which is a little hotter than I'd like to see.
 

MJinZ

Diamond Member
Nov 4, 2009
8,192
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Uh, if you're not getting a powerful card, then a passively cooled one is never going to see those high temperatures.
 

v8envy

Platinum Member
Sep 7, 2002
2,720
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Then do what I did. Bolt a low speed, quiet fan onto a fanless card.

My 8800GT with the factory Accelero S1 has a low speed 120mm fan blowing over it. Can't hear it outside the case, idles at 40C and loads to mid 60s tops. Without the fan in a closed up case it'd hit mid 90s as well.

The cheap cards are noisy because they're cheap. Every corner *has* to be cut, and "quiet" is not a deciding factor for those shopping in the bargain bin.
 

killster1

Diamond Member
Mar 15, 2007
5,916
376
126
v700 is hardly quit or efficient. i have a few with Thermalright HR-03 those are some decent coolers strap a 140mm at like 700 rpm be perfect just takes up most your pci slot or runs into your cpu cooler ..
 

M0RPH

Diamond Member
Dec 7, 2003
3,305
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Thanks for the recommendations guys, but can anyone answer my question? If a card has a 2-wire fan that means it only runs at one speed, regardless of idle or load?
 

M0RPH

Diamond Member
Dec 7, 2003
3,305
1
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So, all the video card experts here and nobody can answer my simple question?
 

MJinZ

Diamond Member
Nov 4, 2009
8,192
0
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No, it doesn't mean the fan will only run at one speed. It means you lack the sense wire so the fan speed can not be monitored. If the fan speed can't be monitored, it MIGHT mean the manufacturer may not bother to use a PWM to create variable fan speeds...
 

Blastman

Golden Member
Oct 21, 1999
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So I was browsing video cards at Newegg and noticed a lot of cards that have just 2-pin fans. Does this mean that all of these video cards have 'dumb' fans that just run at one speed? I thought that all video cards nowadays had 'smart' fans that would run much lower at idle when they're not needed?
Even graphic cards with 2-pin fans can be controlled speed wise (by varying the voltage), but as someone noted, they will lack fan speed monitoring. But it will depend on the manufacturer and the particular card as to whether or not a variable speed is implemented on that particular card when it has a 2-pin fan. Some low-end cards with 2-pin fans may run at one speed, whereas others will allow a voltage adjustment (usually in %) or have an auto setting tha adjusts the speed of the fan. I "think" anything from a ~ $90 and up graphics card should have a variable speed fan -- at least as far as ATI goes. But if you're in the <$100 range, you might want to check to make sure.

Sapphire has a new (non reference board) 5770 V2 (version 2) out like the one in this review … overclocknet … or the MSI 5770 ... overclocknet which as one can see in the picture has a 2-pin fan connector. The 2-pin fans on those cards (I'm pretty sure) can be varied from 20-100%, or just set on auto which will vary the speed of the fan.
 

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