GUIDE: How To Control BOTH The CPU AND GPU Fans On The AW 17 Ranger Using HwInfo

Discussion in 'Alienware 17 and M17x' started by Clamibot, Nov 22, 2019.

  1. Clamibot

    Clamibot Notebook Consultant

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    To start off, I know you guys have been complaining for years that HwInfo blocks control of controlling both the CPU and GPU fans on the Ranger at once, and that you can only choose one or the other. However, I found a way to control both at the same time, which means you can now all use a custom fan table on the CPU and GPU fans at the same time!

    I was going to post this a few months back when I discovered it, but I forgot about it until now. But hey, better late than never, right?

    To achieve total control over both the CPU and GPU fans, you will need to open two instances of HwInfo. You will need to first open up HwInfo64 as normal. After the program has loaded, do NOT click on sensors yet, open up HwInfo32 first.

    After both programs are loaded, go to the settings window on your instance of HwInfo64 and check the EC Support checkbox if it isn't already checked.
    HwInfo64_Settings.PNG

    Afterward, alt tab over to HwInfo32, go to the settings window, and uncheck the EC Support checkbox if it isn't already unchecked.
    HwInfo32_Settings.PNG

    Next, open up the sensors on HwInfo64. If you still get the Compal EC warning, just click continue. Then, click on the fan icon and set up your desired fan table for the CPU fan. These are the values I used for my table:
    HwInfo64_Fan_Table.PNG
    Use CPU [#0]: (your cpu model): Enhanced as the first sensor, set the CPU package as the temperature source, and set sensor 2 to NONE / OFF.

    Next, open up the sensors on HwInfo32. If you still get the Compal EC warning, click Do Not Monitor This Sensor. Then, click on the fan icon and set up your desired fan table for the GPU fan. These are the values I used for my table:
    HwInfo32_Fan_Table.PNG
    Use GPU [#0]: (your GPU model) as the first sensor, set the GPU temperature as the temperature source, and set sensor 2 to NONE / OFF.

    After all of that, simply enjoy your custom fan tables! The CPU fan will be controlled by your instance of HWInfo64, and the GPU fan will be controlled by your instance of HwInfo32.

    Now there is one catch. Occasionally, and only if you're running both fans at max, both fans will simply stop spinning. This can be fixed by closing HwInfo64 and HwInfo32, then reloading both programs. This seems to happen randomly though, and only after lengthy periods of the fans running at max.

    I hope this helps a lot! Enjoy your new software fan control on both the CPU and GPU fans!
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2019
  2. 2CPU

    2CPU Notebook Consultant

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    The benefit is different RPM for each fan? To me that seems like you are just upping the chance to collide with the kernel driver querying the laptop battery and hosing the bus.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2019
  3. Clamibot

    Clamibot Notebook Consultant

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    Originally, nobody knew of a way to raise the max RPM of the CPU fan beyond stock max (4600 RPM) using Hwinfo without the GPU fan shutting off and refusing to spin up because of the Compal EC. Whenever any of us would try to push the CPU fan on the AW 17 Ranger to rotate faster than the max defined RPM in the default fan table (pushing past 4600 RPM), the GPU fan would stop spinning and we'd loose all control over it. This guide is a solution to that problem because it allows us to rotate the fans faster than 4600 RPM and have the GPU fan keep spinning. That is the benefit.

    I'll admit this doesn't really sound like a great solution since it increases the chances of kernel driver collision like you said, but I don't know of any other.
     
  4. IVHOTEP

    IVHOTEP Notebook Guru

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    I'm opting for PWM wire cut + switch, just cant seem to find a good switch.
    I had issues with GPU fan stop working = temp goes to 104c. I haven't messed with HWinfo fan control ever and I attributed the behavior somehow linked with unplugging laptop, battery use, that old desktop mode. It happened few times and the only link I could find is it happened after unplugging and then plugging it again. I have HWinfo running all the time but just for monitoring.
    Good thing coz I always keep an eye on it so I managed to quickly notice temps go WAAAY up since GPU fan stopped working.
    And I mean it was scary s..t! Those heatsink ribs at the back were orange! Like lava.
    Do not want to see that again - ever!
     
  5. 2CPU

    2CPU Notebook Consultant

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    The HWInfo author said that the bus gets locked up when the HWInfo collides with another usage. My guess is that there is a call from the OS that queries the battery and locks up the bus when HWInfo is already using/trying to use the same. I am trying to get more info from the HWInfo author to find a real fix vs. just running without a battery.

    From Martin:
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2019
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  6. TheReciever

    TheReciever D! For Dragon!

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    I cut my GPU wire and let EC work vanilla for now. I will be installing 2 cut off switches hopefully next week.
     
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  7. triturbo

    triturbo Long live 16:10 and MXM-B

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    I did this with mine.
     
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  8. Ashtrix

    Ashtrix ψυχή υπεροχή

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    I appreciate this workaround running two instances. But I remember some weird behavior with the EC management here + Rep @Clamibot

    Old post
    And if you read above J95's post on M17x R4, you can see clearly how the EC is granting him custom control of fans but on 2013 AW17 we do not have such luxury with fan tables as they are hardcoded into EC. Plus one thing to note I'd add is no matter what EC you use, you must disable monitoring on the HW Info "Sensor Status" Window when you run Sensors only mode (Which all of the people run to monitor all the sensors in the PC) this won't effect anything except some RPM monitoring and etc, the reason is enabling monitoring in that window will cause DPC Latency spikes.

    Can I ask you one question, I presume you are running Unlocked A14+ or other versions of sBIOS, PLUS you have an Extreme Edition Chip 4930MX can you actually tweak the Fan values from BIOS itself ? By giving the Temp Targets in such a way that fans ramp up faster.

    More info here.. below quotes are from page 2 to 4 only.



    Also one more point to note - This machine will never run fans at 100% in any EC mode except for 2 ways

    One - Auto mode ramping up temps controlled by EC as is out of box config screw up from AW. As the first quote above, 71C, yes, if you run the auto mode and fire up a game and let it run through you can "hear" fans ramping up to higher speed vs a Dell EC max mode (HW Info Fan 1 - 4600 RPM, that's why I was wondering if the DPTF works in sBIOS or not..

    Second - BIOS Flash (Official Way, even if you run an official A14 BIOS setup you can always flash an unlocked sBIOS to the machine since Secure flash bug exists forever. Plus do not run the A15 Official since it has Intel Microcode patches versions over 22, which cause severe ST/HT impact)

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  9. 2CPU

    2CPU Notebook Consultant

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    What does the old post mean when he says "even with EC changed from Compal to Dell"? How or where is this EC switch?
     
  10. 2CPU

    2CPU Notebook Consultant

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    How well does splicing the CPU PWM into the GPU fan? Can you game without HWInfo?

    Are there any chips that take a PWM as an input and scale it upwards? Would be awesome to wire something that could take the CPU signal higher than 50% and make the GPU 100%
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019
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