Frequently Asked Questions About Chassis and Heat-Related Issues for Intel® Server Boards and Intel® Server Systems


Maintenance & Performance



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Do Intel® Server Boards work in other chassis?
We perform thermal testing in some non-Intel chassis, also called third party or reference chassis. See the product page for your board, under the Compatibility section.

Do non-Intel server boards work in Intel chassis?
We do not perform any tests in our chassis with non-Intel boards.

Background information

What is thermal testing?
We install server-related components, set the fans to run at 100% speed, and then run several tests that stress the processor and memory. These actions mimic the type of heat that would build up on normal usage. We monitor the internal temperature of the chassis, and the processors.

What is a constrained or an unconstrained thermal profile?
Constrained profiles share airflow. Consider additional heat issues when a chassis is designed to be in a rack with many other chassis. 1U chassis are considered a constrained thermal environment and have reduced cooling capacity. Pedestal chassis normally will not be sharing airflow, or be as densely packed together as rack servers, and can use the unconstrained thermal profile.

Manual configuration

What if I make my fans spin slower manually?
Making the fans spin slow will build up heat on the Intel® Server Board, and voids the Intel® Server Board and processor warranty. The Intel® Server Board may shut itself off unexpectedly. Data may become corrupted and components may become physical damaged. Always follow the posted thermal/mechanical design guides when testing a new chassis or fan setup.

For Intel® Server Boards with the Intel® S5520 Chipset

How do I update the field replaceable unit/sensor data record (FRUSDR) information?
Updating FRUSDR for optimum server performance on Intel® Server Boards and Intel® Server Systems guides you through the process.

Can I use the FAN PWM (pulse width modulation) offset feature under BIOS setup of Intel® Server Boards with the Intel® S5520 Chipset and Intel® Server Boards with the Intel® S5500 Chipset to customize third party or reference chassis fan speed?
In Intel® Server Boards with the Intel® S5520 Chipset and Intel® Server Boards with the Intel® S5500 Chipset, Intel added a method to customize fan speed for third party or reference chassis using the FRUSDR utility and BIOS configuration. This method provides the flexibility to meet your varying cooling requests. The 3rd party chassis vendor's responsibility is to validate the system against all of the fan profiles. The FRUSDR utility allows a user to select a fan profile depending on the server usage when selecting the Other chassis option when running the update. The following additional profiles are provided:

  • Maximum fan speed
  • Server (pedestal) profile
  • Data center (rack mount) profile
  • Workstation profile

After setting the fan profile during the FRUSDR update, it is recommended that the FAN PWM offset be configured under BIOS setup > Advanced > System Acoustics & Performance Configuration > Fan PWM Offset. The recommended values are between 0 to 100. This number is added to the calculated PWM value (not really a percentage of the actual fan speed).

If calculated value + offset is >100, then the value set will be 100 (It ignores calculations above 100).

Example 1 (you want a little faster fan speed control (FSC)): If System Fan Speed control calculates a PWM value of 25 (19h) and the Fan PWM Offset is set to 15 in the BIOS, firmware will program a PWM value 25 + 15 = 40 (28h).

Example 2 (you want a much faster FSC): If system FSC calculates a PWM value of 35 (23h) and the Fan PWM Offset is set to 75, and the resulting PWM value is 35 + 75 = 105, but the max PWM value is 100. So the PWM programmed is 100 (64h). Any value >100 will result in programming 100.