Cooling and Fan Controls

Documentation

Maintenance & Performance

000005946

10/01/2019

This document covers cooling and fan control options in BIOS Setup for Intel® NUC products. Follow these steps to view or change system fan control settings:

  1. Press F2 during start to enter BIOS Setup.
  2. Select Advanced > Cooling.
  3. Fan settings are shown in the CPU Fan Header pane.
  4. Press F10 to exit BIOS Setup.

System fan control settings in BIOS can be changed to meet the needs of your system usage model. Available settings can vary, depending on Intel NUC model. See the table below for fan control definitions.

Option Description
Fan Control Mode

Fixed: Allows the fan speed to be set at a fixed speed and never change. Options are from 20 to 100 percent in 10 percent increments.
Custom: Allows the fan speed to be customized based on processor temperature, minimum duty cycle, and duty cycle increment (see Other Fan Control Settings, below). Each value can be user-configured.
Cool: A preset configuration that keeps the overall system cooler, but slightly louder.
Balanced: A preset configuration that is set to keep the overall system balanced between cool and quiet.
Quiet: A preset configuration that is set to keep the overall system quieter, but slightly warmer.
Fanless: Hides all fan control-related setup options.

Minimum Temperature (°C) Fan speed increases if the processor temperature exceeds this value. The value is calculated by Tcontrol minus a fixed value.
Minimum Duty cycle (%) This parameter specifies the minimum duty cycle that outputs to the fan.
Duty cycle increment (%/°C) Fan speed increases by this percentage for each degree over the minimum temperature.

 

Cool, Balanced, and Quiet Settings

The table shows an example of the temperature and duty cycle settings for preset configurations:

Option Cool Balanced Quiet
Minimum Temperature (°C) 77 79 81
Minimum Duty Cycle (%) 35 30 30
Duty Cycle Increment (%/°C) 3 3 2

Preset values are for a normal desktop working environment. These settings help minimize fan noise while keeping the system properly cooled in a normal working environment. The default settings may be modified in future BIOS revisions as Intel continues to fine-tune them to get the best tradeoff between cooling and fan acoustics. You may need to change the fan control settings if your usage model includes any of the following instances:

  • Sustained file transfers for a long period
  • Stress testing
  • Benchmarking
  • Sustained processor usage of 75 percent or higher, for a long period

 

Other Fan Control Settings

Option Description
Fan Usage This parameter is always set for System fan control and there are no other options.
Control Mode This parameter specifies whether the fan will be controlled automatically or manually. In Automatic (Auto) control mode, the fan speed will vary automatically based on thermal conditions and configuration. The Minimum Duty Cycle, Maximum Duty Cycle, Primary Temperature Input, and Secondary Temperature Input parameters are used to specify the configuration for this mode. In Manual control mode, the fan spins at a fixed speed. The Manual Duty Cycle parameter is used to control this.
Duty cycle increment (%/°C) Fan speed increases by this percentage for each degree over the minimum temperature.
Manual Duty Cycle (%) This parameter is only visible when the Control Mode is set to Manual. It specifies the duty cycle that the temperature is to operate at. Warning: while configured for manual control, no circumstance will result in this manual duty cycle being overridden. It's your responsibility to ensure that the setting use doesn't allow the system to overheat
Maximum Duty cycle (%) This parameter specifies the maximum duty cycle that outputs to the System fan during normal operation. If the temperature of an associated sensor rises above the threshold specified in its
All-On Temperature parameter, the duty cycle will be overridden to 100%, regardless of the setting of the
Maximum Duty Cycle parameter.
Minimum Duty cycle (%) This parameter specifies the minimum duty cycle that will be output to the fan.
Primary Temperature Input This parameter specifies which temperature sensor will be the primary source for decision-making on fan speed control. The user can choose any one of the four temperature sensors supported. The default and typical choice is the Processor temperature.

Primary Temperature Input choices:

  • Processor – the Processor’s package temperature
  • PCH – the Platform Controller Hub’s package temperature
  • Memory – the temperature under the SO-DIMM connectors
  • Motherboard – the temperature under the Mini PCIe* connectors

 

Secondary Temperature Input This parameter specifies which temperature sensor will be the secondary source for decision-making on fan speed control. You can choose any one of the four temperature sensors (other than the one chosen to be the Primary Temperature Input). Or, you can choose None.

Secondary Temperature Input choices:

  • Processor – package temperature of the Processor
  • PCH – package temperature of the Platform Controller Hub
  • Memory – the temperature under the SO-DIMM connectors
  • Motherboard – the temperature under the Mini PCIe connectors

 

Under-Speed Threshold (ROM) This parameter specifies the threshold below which the fan speed sensor reports an unhealthy status.

 

Related topic
BIOS Settings Glossary