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JMäen
New Contributor I
1,463 Views

Is 'Quiet' fan mode safe when gaming (Hades Canyon NUC owner)?

I have the Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK PC. As I value silence, I've disabled Turbo Boost and set 'Quiet' fan profile (found these advice online). The NUC has been remarkably silent. While I mostly do productivity type stuff, I do plan on doing some light 1440p gaming which will certainly push the hardware quite a bit. With that in mind, is it safe to use the 'Quiet' profile when gaming. As I plan on using this PC for at least six years, I don't want to cause it any harm by not properly cooling the components. On the other hand, it might be a bother to go to BIOS every time I want to game to switch the fan profile to something that will work the fans more.

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4 Replies
n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
292 Views

My facetious response: If it wasn't safe, Intel wouldn't have made it the default.

 

Regardless of the mode selected, blower speed will be determined based purely upon the temperature levels seen. In Quiet mode, it simply allows the processor to run a little bit hotter before increasing blower speed. This "little bit hotter" is not high enough to cause any issue, however. Rest assured, if the temperatures reach acute levels, the blower will run faster (and louder) to cool it.

 

Your decision to disable Turbo will definitely make a difference in the temperature levels encountered. Turbo utilizes the available thermal headroom to decide whether it can increase core clock speeds, which means that the processor runs hotter when it is engaged (and the processor is busy). By disabling it, you will maintain this headroom and run cooler.

 

Hope this helps,

...S

JMäen
New Contributor I
292 Views

I get what you are saying as my logic also dictates that Intel wouldn't have such a mode if it wasn't safe. On the other hand, it could be possible that this mode was intended mostly for non-performance use. However, I think there is thread with a comment from an Intel customer service person advising someone to use the Quiet mode and saying that the CPU allows 100 degrees. You'd think that they wouldn't give out such an advice if it was important to keep the system below, say, 60 degrees most of the time. Anyway, I switched to Balanced and cannot hear anything from the Hades Canyon when writing this (ten tabs and e-mail app open) so I think I'll stick to this mode as it, if nothing else, keeps the system cooler than Quiet would. HWmonitor is showing temps between 52 and 59 degrees currently.

 

Concerning gaming, are you saying that no matter which mode I use (between Balanced, Cool and Quiet) they all provide similarly sufficient cooling when the hardware is getting pushed and temps will go over 60 degrees no matter what? This would mean that the difference between the modes would only become apparent in how low a temp the blowers are audible and how rapidly they start speeding up when heat goes up. Is this right? So I guess Balanced Mode would be good then if in light usage I cannot hear it but it won't ramp up so hard when heat goes up as Quiet Mode will.

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
292 Views

Yes, that's exactly right. By choosing the Quiet setting, you are prioritizing acoustics over thermals and this results in the system allowing (somewhat) higher temperatures before requiring a response. At the same time, however, prioritizing acoustics does not mean that it will completely ignore thermals. If heat buildup reaches concerning levels, it will need to be dissipated, and if the blowers need to be sped up to achieve this dissipation, they will be.

 

BTW, remember that, by default, the BIOS' Primary Power Settings has Max Performance Enabled checked. I always uncheck this and check Balanced Enabled instead. At the same time, within the Windows Power Options Control Panel applet, the default is to use the High Performance Power Plan. I always change this to the Balanced Power Plan - but this is mostly to garner lower power usage when the system is relatively idle.

 

...S

LeonWaksman
Super User
292 Views

I have my NUC8i7HVK set also to balanced mode (which is the default setting). Most of the time, the blowers speed doesn't exceeds 900RPM and the computer is noiseless. Only under CPU full load I barely can hear the blowers. This NUC is the quietest NUC I have.

Leon

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