Noctua fans come with the ability to control the fan speed. However, it’s not always easy to understand how to fix speed issues.
I’ve been working with Noctua fans for years, so I can simplify the process for you.
Here’s how to control Noctua fan speed:
You can control Noctua fan speed by changing the speed profile in the BIOS, deactivating automatic fan speed control, using Noctua fan controller software, applying third-party tools, Pulse Width Modulation (PWM), or voltage adjustment.
Each one of these methods requires a deeper explanation.
How To Control Noctua Fan Speed (BIOS)
If your fan uses a 4-pin header, you can control its speed by changing the settings in BIOS.
If you use a 3-pin version, you’ll need a workaround such as voltage adjustment (see how-to instructions later in this article).
There are several steps to changing the speed profile in BIOS, so let’s go through each step so that you know exactly how to do it.
What Is BIOS?
BIOS stands for “Basic Input/Output System.”
BIOS is a basic computer chip housed in your computer’s motherboard. It is an old and simple program that you can change based on your needs and preferences.
How To Access BIOS
Accessing BIOS is different on different kinds of computers.
You may have to press a special key before the computer loads up fully—for example, the F2, F10, or DEL button. Your computer will probably tell you what button to push on the screen during the boot-up process.
Check out this short, 2-minute video for how to access BIOS on a Windows PC:
If you’re still not yet sure how to access the BIOS for your specific PC, use Google. Browse for your specific type of computer and the phrase “how to access bios.“
In most cases, you should go into either [factory defaults] or [advanced options] under the recovery or troubleshooting settings.
Once you get into BIOS, move to the next step.
How To Change the Speed Profile in BIOS
From here, scroll down until you see a tab that says [Fan control] or a related term, and then choose the speed profile you want.
If you have a Noctua fan, there are usually three different profiles to choose from: Silent, Performance, and Balanced.
Here is the breakdown:
- Silent is slow
- Balanced is medium speed
- Performance is high speed
Some of the settings I recommend:
- Turn ON CPU fan fail warning control
- Smart fan mode
Here is a video for a detailed visual explanation for controlling your fan speed:
How To Deactivate Automatic Fan Speed Control
For Noctua fans with 4-pin connectors, you can also deactivate automatic fan speed control in your BIOS settings.
You’ll need to shut off and restart your computer.
Follow the above instructions to access your BIOS settings. But this time, turn off smart fan mode.
You can also turn off fan sensors and (if the option exists) choose the [Disabled] mode on speed settings.
You can play around with the speed curve and temperature settings until you find the right one for your computer and needs.
How To Use Noctua Fan Controller Software To Control Speed
There are also plenty of software programs that you can download, and they allow you to control your Noctua fan.
Apart from deciding how fast the fun spins, they can also help you track your PC’s hardware voltages and temperature.
This option is useful if (1) you don’t like to mess around in BIOS, (2) Noctua’s PWM function doesn’t work for your setup, and (3) You need extra customizations not available in BIOS.
Some Noctua fans come with fan speed control software that offers many options.
However, for maximum flexibility, Noctua fans are also compatible with most fan controllers.
Third-party tools to control Noctua fan speed include:
- Speed Fan
- Corsair Link
Download the SpeedFan software from the Alnico website. Follow instructions, install the application on your computer, and open it up.
Click on the “Fan Control” tab.
Here you can choose how fast your fan spins. You can also check if it is running in PWM mode.
If it is, then you don’t need to do anything else.
By selecting the fans, you can make the necessary adjustments as you please. As you make these adjustments, you will see some activities on a responsive curve on the right side of the screen.
After that, you can slow your fan speed in real-time and set it to alert you when the temperature reaches a certain point.
If your computer is browsing or performing other non-demanding tasks, you can lower the speed and temperature range and make your device quiet. If you don’t want to do it manually, the program offers automatic fan speed.
Just click enable, and it will do the rest for you.
Keep in mind that there are some pros and cons to this program. For instance, SpeedFan offers lots of features and is free to use. However, its user interface looks rudimentary and outdated in current standards.
Additionally, it doesn’t support all motherboards.
That means it might not detect your particular computer fans. If this is the case, you can still accomplish the same thing through BIOS or different software.
Corsair Link is another excellent software.
Unlike SpeedFan, this one has a sleek user interface, and you can set up profiles for custom fan speeds. This software is quite famous within the gaming community.
To use it, download, install and open it on your PC.
After that, open the fan control interface by right-clicking the menu on the taskbar (or right-clicking the icon).
From here, you can then choose the fans you want to disable or activate. Adjust your fan’s speed settings by inputting numbers manually or with a slider. Just like that, you get your desired fan speed.
Like everything else, Corsair Link 4 software comes with its own set of pros and cons.
It is the only free software that allows you to set the speed for each fan individually. You will also be able to see the temperatures for all fans, speed, and the water temperature of your AIO cooler.
On the con side, the software is somewhat dated and may not be compatible with all devices.
How To Control Noctua Fan Speed With Voltage Adjustment
If you want more precise control over your fan’s speed, you can use the voltage adjustment method.
It will give you a finer control level over the speed of your fans. You can reduce the power supply below twelve volts and consequently reduce the speed of the Noctua fans.
To do this:
- Find the 3-Pin header—You’ll need to find the 3-pin fan headers on your motherboard. It’ll be close to the CPU. The header connections are a series of Pin #1, +VDC (varying) to Pin #2, and Pin #3 (the Speed signal).
- Incorporate resistance—To control the speed, you need to incorporate a resistance in the supply wire. The mobo header needs to alter the input voltage on Pin #2 from the +12VDC to about +5VDC.
- Lower voltage—By dropping the voltage across the series, you automatically reduce the power reaching the supply pin. As a consequence, you lower the speed of your Noctua fan.
This method also has some limitations.
For example, all fans have a specified minimum threshold voltage rating. If it falls below the specified threshold, the fan stalls.
How To Control Noctua Fan Speed With PWM
The most prevalent method to control the speed of the Noctua fan is through PWM (Pulse Width Modulation).
Your 4-pin Noctua fans come with a fourth wire that sends a PWM signal to the motor.
The first three pins use almost the same signals as the 3-pin fan, but with one slight difference. Pin #2 has the same +12 VDC throughout and never reduces.
The extra pin (Pin #4) has the PWM signal that controls the power input of the fan.
There is a small chip inside the fan which uses PWM signals to regulate the current flow.
To control Noctua fan speed with PWM:
- Fnd the 4-pin fan header on your motherboard
- Lower the duty cycle
Since the PWM signals control the motor using square waves of 25kHz, you can reduce them. These waves form a duty cycle that will regulate the fan’s speed. Lower the duty cycle to at least 40% of the total time period of the PWM signal.
While this method is effective, there are also limitations. When the frequencies are too low, your fun will be stationary.
How Do You Make Noctua Fans Go Faster?
Sometimes you may notice that your Noctua fan is working slowly or not at all.
It may be due to several reasons, such as fan profiles, BIOS, and models of iPPC fans.
- Turn off automatic mode—If you notice that your fan runs slow and you want to change the speed, then turn it off. Switch off the automatic fan control on your BIOS. It will keep your fans running at full speed.
- Deativate fan profiles—Check whether profiles are active and try deactivating them. This way, you can make your fans go faster.
- Check the model of iPPC for your fan—There are two different models: one with 12v and the other with 24v. If you have the 24V while the fan headers on the motherboard are 12v, it will only go 50% of its full speed. Check which one you have and change accordingly.
How Do You Slow Down Noctua Fans?
In the same way that you can make Noctua fans go faster, you can also slow them down.
To do this, start by changing the duty cycle of the PWM signal or simply using the fan controller software.
- Open your BIOS and set a fixed RPM of about 600-900rpm.
- Enable the “CPU Smart FAN” profile and set it to whatever you want. It will keep your fan running at a slow speed as long as it’s within the specified voltage range.
Once you get your Noctua fan speed right, your computer will work brilliantly.
If you want to know more about Noctua fans, read our other blog posts that answer some of the most popular questions.
- Why Are Noctua Fans So Expensive? (Explained)
- Why Are Noctua Fans Brown? (Finally Explained)
- How To Make Noctua Fans Look Good (Ultimate Guide)
- What Do Noctua Fans Come With? (11 Things You Need To Know)