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Fan Control NUC 11 Essential

ceg3rdnuc
Novice
752 Views

I just bought the NUC 11 Essential n5105 model. While it runs quietly I would like for there to be times when it's just silent. I have been in the bios and spent some time trying to learn how to go about this, but so far it's kind of confusing.

There are several presets and the balanced setting is the default and seems to be the right one for me, but again if the fan could shut down occasionally that would be my goal. The idea of the fan running in idle with temps at 35C seems unnecessary.

I really like the concept of a fanless mini, but in most cases you need a fan to get decent performance. It would just be cool if the fans shutoff some of the time. I would like to be able to walk away and leave the NUC idling with the fan shutoff.

Interestingly a youtuber reviewed the Pentium model and said he would post a video of that running in a fanless case.

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16 Replies
Jean_Intel
Moderator
722 Views

Hello ceg3rdnuc,


Thank you for posting on the Intel️® communities.  


Regarding your question, the only option to control the fan is the preset profiles on the BIOS options. Once you set one of them, the fan will apply the changes and would change its behavior automatically, and it is dependent on multiple factors such as ambient temperature, surface, and sensors.


Best regards, 

Jean O.  

Intel Customer Support Technician


ceg3rdnuc
Novice
715 Views

Thanks for the reply! Presets make life simple, but is there one that will allow the fan to shutdown at least some of the time? It's summer and ambient temps in my house are in the low 80's, so there is that, but I did hope to see the fan ramp down to off when idling some of the time.

Jean_Intel
Moderator
709 Views

Hello ceg3rdnuc,


Thanks for your response.


Regarding your question, I would recommend setting the Quiet profile, as it is a configuration set to keep the system quieter; however, the system will be slightly warmer. However, it will not meet your requirement of shutting down the Fan. If you want to gather more information about the BIOS fan configuration, please visit the following article:

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000005946/intel-nuc.html


Best regards, 

Jean O.  

Intel Customer Support Technician


n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
688 Views

@Jean_Intel,

I spent hours on this. The Fan Off capability in this BIOS is simply broken. I was not able to get the fan to stop with even the most ridiculous of manual fan control settings. No, none of the presets work either. Someone needs to look at this issue.

...S

ceg3rdnuc
Novice
678 Views

Thanks! This is very useful information. I did see when I first started looking into this that at one time the BIOS included fan off.  Useful or not, now it isn't even an option. I don't think this box needs to have the fan running non-stop. It reminds me of the ASUS Chromebox 3 with a Celeron I owned. Its fan ran continuously. It just seems dumb to design a box that doesn't power down the fan when possible. There is the energy factor and my perspective that fan noise is easier to tolerate if you know that at least some of the time a box is silent, but ramps up its fan when needed.

Jean_Intel
Moderator
671 Views

Hello ceg3rdnuc and n_scott_pearson,


Thanks for your response.


I will proceed to check the issue internally and post back soon with more details. 


Best regards, 

Jean O.  

Intel Customer Support Technician


Jean_Intel
Moderator
663 Views

Hello ceg3rdnuc and n_scott_pearson,


Regarding the problem with the fan profiles not giving you the option to shutting the fan down, we confirmed that it is an expected behavior to assure the proper performance of the product, so it will not be considered an issue.


Best regards, 

Jean O.  

Intel Customer Support Technician


ceg3rdnuc
Novice
653 Views

OK, thanks. It is what it is.  While I have some attention do you find much of an upgrade in graphic ability between the n6005 and n5105 that I have. I'm referring to 4K playback and light gaming and I guess overall performance too. I'm somewhat tempted to upgrade to the Pentium, but it is probably not worth the effort. Stepping up to the i5, which would be my real choice, is kind of a heavy lift. This is not say the 5105 is not a very capable box. This is my first quad core Celeron and I'm surprised how well it performs.

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
620 Views

@Jean_Intel, that may be true for the profiles provided, but not for manually-configured profiles. In my unit's case, the issue is that the Fan Off Temperature parameter is stated to be specified as an offset from the Minimum Temperature setting but is, in fact, interpreted as an absolute temperature value. This is a (albeit small) BIOS bug. I have tested with an appropriately input (absolute temperature) value and the fan does turn off properly (through its hysteresis is too large, IMHO). Someone needs to open a defect report for this issue.

BTW, I am testing with the low-end AT model, the NUC11ATKC2, which has the Celeron N4505 processor. While it is true that these AT NUCs all share a BIOS package, there can be conditionals in the BIOS that make it act differently from one model to another - and yes, removing the Fan Off support (and hiding the related parameter in BIOS Setup) for certain models would certainly be possible. Why they would want to remove this flexibility is beyond me, however.

...S

Jean_Intel
Moderator
648 Views

Hello ceg3rdnuc,


Thanks for your response. I am glad to hear that you are pleased with the performance of your system.


Regarding your questions, the 4k performance will be the same between both CPUs. Both processors are capable of running 4k at 60Hz. However, if you would like to take a look at their difference based on the specification, here is a comparison: https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/compare.html?productIds=212327,212328


Also, keep in mind that the overall performance of the unit will also be impacted by all the components added to the Nuc kit, such as the Storage drive and memory. Again, here is a comparison of both Nucs NUC11ATBPE and NUC11ATBC4.

https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/compare.html?productIds=217668,217669


Best regards, 

Jean O.  

Intel Customer Support Technician


ceg3rdnuc
Novice
604 Views

So, I've done some more thinking about fans. I see in the info the fixed speed setting lets you set the speed and the only option when changed to fixed is duty cycle, which I didn't understand but must mean speed in the setup. I experimented with 10 percent and could hear nothing. I then shifted to 100% and as expected the fan roared to life. At 30% the fan is working but only perceptible (even for us fan noise haters) from a few inches away, making it virtually silent, but still doing some cooling.

Jean_Intel
Moderator
600 Views

Hello n_scott_pearson,


Thanks for your response. I appreciate the information you provided.


I will proceed to check the issue internally and post back soon with more details. 


Best regards, 

Jean O.  

Intel Customer Support Technician


n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
587 Views

4-wire fans send a pulse-width-modulated (PWM) signal to tell the fan how fast it should spin. This indication is done via the duty cycle of the signal. While it's not quite accurate (response from most fans is not quite linear), you can essentially think of the duty cycle as representing a percentage of the fan's maximum speed.

In most fans, there is some minimum duty cycle below which they tend to struggle to keep spinning. If audible, this struggling can be annoying (fan starting and stopping). Bottom line, you should keep the duty cycle above this minimum. In most cases, they state something like 25% as being this minimum, but I regularly cheat and choose 20% myself. There's a 'but', however - if you are also going to have the fan turn off at low temperatures, you should set the minimum duty cycle to be at least 25% in order to ensure that the fan has no issues starting up reliably (remember that the fan is likely going to spend a while running at this minimum duty cycle and you don't want it struggling).

Hope this helps,

...S

Jean_Intel
Moderator
568 Views

Hello ceg3rdnuc,


Thanks for your response. I am glad to hear that you found a way to configure your system to behave in a more silent way


I would like to confirm if you need further assistance besides providing feedback regarding how the fan works.


Best regards, 

Jean O.  

Intel Customer Support Technician


Jean_Intel
Moderator
568 Views

Hello @n_scott_pearson,


Thanks for the feedback, I will be providing your information and feedback to the team in charge.


Best regards, 

Jean O.  

Intel Customer Support Technician


Jean_Intel
Moderator
512 Views

Hello ceg3rdnuc and n_scott_pearson,

 

I hope you are doing fine.

 

I have not heard back from you. So we will close this thread. If you need any additional information, submit a new question, as this thread will no longer be monitored.

 

Best regards.

Jean O. 

Intel Customer Support Technician.


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