R210ii Fan Speed/Noise



  • With all the questions about noise from the R210ii's that some have and some don't, I decided to try to work through it since I have 2, one running pfSense fairly loud and the other running nothing (or Windows as a test & later pfSense to compare both running) and quiet like you all talk about (having to be next to it).

    Hardware:
    Dell R210II
    Intel Xeon E3-1240 @ 3.30 GHz
    16 GB DDR3 RAM (4x4GB Sticks)

    So, fresh R210ii ran through everything and took a screenshot for an archive and reference on every possible setting in the BIOS and iDRAC.

    This one no PCI card installed and only 1 HD in, my fans were quietly running at ~2800-3000 RPM.  Before I went any further I did a full update via F10 - System Services.  The only pieces of firmware that did not update initially were the Lifecycle Controller and the Broadcom NIC firmware.  Installed/Booted onto Windows to update the Lifecycle Controller, tried doing the Broadcom NICs and they failed, repeatedly.  Cut all power to drain flea and then powered back up, still quiet.  Good sign.  From here I installed pfSense 2.3.4 which gave me an occasional odd fan spin up during install but then went back to quiet (~3000).  Side note here:  Since this sits beside me, I hear it occasionally spin up while pfSense is running (this was on both).  There is no major load as everything sits at 0-4% and temps are at 29-31C (84-87F).  Temps are read both in pfSense and from iDrac.

    From here, I decided to take down my noisy R210ii and swap them.  As a note, the only piece of hardware I have added to ONE of my R210ii's is my 4 port Intel NIC (I350-T4).  I took this from my noisy R210ii and put it in my quiet R210ii.  Another note, my old noisy R210ii was already fully up to date with all firmware including Lifecycle Controller.  And they BOTH have iDrac 6 Enterprise installed with firmware 2.90.

    All good.. so far.

    From here after I installed my NIC in the new R210ii and rebooted, I noticed it was not nearly as quiet, while in the background my previously noisy R210ii was noticeably quieter, but not nearly as silent as the new one WAS.  Odd.  The new one is now running it's fans at 5,400 RPM and louder, but not nearly as annoying as the old one.  That's a 2.5k RPM bump for a PCI-e card.  No idea if it is SUPPOSED to do this… but it did.  My old one, previously the noisy one, is sitting here running ~3400 RPM and you can still hear the drone from the fans spinning up periodically but a noticeable and significant difference in volume.

    My new one with the card running at 5,400 RPM is about the same volume as my previously noisy one with no card running at ~3400 RPM.

    Both of them have the following BIOS settings:
    C States - Enabled
    Power Management - OS Control
    CPU Power and Performance Management - OS DBPM
    Fan Power and Performance Management - Minimum Power
    Memory Power and Performance Management - Maximum Power

    Both are System Revision I.

    pfSense Advanced -> System Settings -> Miscellaneous -> Thermal Sensors set to: None/ACPI
    Also Power Savings - Enable Power D is unchecked

    Note: Temp on dashboard never seems to change from 29.8C while running None/ACPI.  And

    pfSense running the command [sysctl -a | grep "dev.cpu.*.temperature"] does not generate anything while set to None/ACPI.

    While pfSense running the command [sysctl hw.acpi.thermal] generates:
    hw.acpi.thermal.tz0._TSP: 10
    hw.acpi.thermal.tz0._TC2: 5
    hw.acpi.thermal.tz0._TC1: 2
    hw.acpi.thermal.tz0._ACx: -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1
    hw.acpi.thermal.tz0._CRT: 95.0C
    hw.acpi.thermal.tz0._HOT: -1
    hw.acpi.thermal.tz0._PSV: 95.0C
    hw.acpi.thermal.tz0.thermal_flags: 0
    hw.acpi.thermal.tz0.passive_cooling: 1
    hw.acpi.thermal.tz0.active: -1
    hw.acpi.thermal.tz0.temperature: 29.8C [This temperature/value NEVER changes here]
    hw.acpi.thermal.user_override: 0
    hw.acpi.thermal.polling_rate: 10
    hw.acpi.thermal.min_runtime: 0

    pfSense Advanced -> System Settings -> Miscellaneous -> Thermal Sensors set to: Intel Core* CPU on-die thermal sensor
    This generates a no kidding temperature on the dashboard and by running command [sysctl -a | grep "temperature"] which shows between 40-54C.  Dashboard shows 46-50C.  Fans sitting at 5880 RPM w/ PCI-e card.
      dev.cpu.0.temperature: 49.0C
      dev.cpu.1.temperature: 49.0C
      dev.cpu.2.temperature: 54.0C
      dev.cpu.3.temperature: 54.0C
      dev.cpu.4.temperature: 48.0C
      dev.cpu.5.temperature: 48.0C
      dev.cpu.6.temperature: 40.0C
      dev.cpu.7.temperature: 40.0C

    Ambient room temperature: 73-75F (22-24C)

    Edit:  Tossed Windows on my previously noisy one for ~6+ hours with no sporadic spin ups… so what option am I missing inside pfSense or do I need to strip one of the BIOS settings?

    So with the random spin ups, is the OS control in pfSense wonky and I need to change a setting, or any ideas as to why pfSense on the R210ii screams/spins em up to ~7400+ periodically with no change in temperature?



  • Very detailed post.

    However, you may need to consider that PFS may only use Generic Chipset Support, so it may not be able to control and decide for you on a granular level.

    this means, it would just keep everything at a known safe speed and not be able to adjust accordingly due to the lack of support/drivers.

    Now this is a guess from previous exp with Enterprise Server Gear of various natures and something as Broad as PFSense, as PFS was made with all types of Hardware in mind.

    Hope this helps to a degree?.


  • Netgate Administrator

    Do you have powerd enabled? (System > Advanced > Misc)

    If not the CPU(s) will be running at full speed all the time. Not full power as most of that is idle but it does affect the idle temps.

    Try running:

    sysctl -a | grep freq
    

    Then enable powerd and run it again.

    Steve



  • Stan,

    Thanks for that input, I never considered it, but since Steve posted I went ahead with his solution.  No one has said anything about Generic Support, including Steve, but something I will look at for the future.

    Steve,

    I did not have PowerD enabled.

    Just to post the output:

    sysctl -a | grep freq    [With PowerD disabled]

    
    kern.timecounter.tc.TSC-low.frequency: 1646294460
    kern.timecounter.tc.ACPI-fast.frequency: 3579545
    kern.timecounter.tc.i8254.frequency: 1193182
    kern.timecounter.tc.HPET.frequency: 14318180
    device  cpufreq
    kern.eventtimer.et.i8254.frequency: 1193182
    kern.eventtimer.et.RTC.frequency: 32768
    kern.eventtimer.et.HPET.frequency: 14318180
    kern.eventtimer.et.LAPIC.frequency: 49887714
    kern.acct_chkfreq: 15
    net.inet.sctp.sack_freq: 2
    debug.cpufreq.verbose: 0
    debug.cpufreq.lowest: 0
    machdep.tsc_freq: 3292588920
    machdep.i8254_freq: 1193182
    machdep.acpi_timer_freq: 3579545
    dev.cpufreq.7.%parent: cpu7
    dev.cpufreq.7.%pnpinfo:
    dev.cpufreq.7.%location:
    dev.cpufreq.7.%driver: cpufreq
    dev.cpufreq.7.%desc:
    dev.cpufreq.6.%parent: cpu6
    dev.cpufreq.6.%pnpinfo:
    dev.cpufreq.6.%location:
    dev.cpufreq.6.%driver: cpufreq
    dev.cpufreq.6.%desc:
    dev.cpufreq.5.%parent: cpu5
    dev.cpufreq.5.%pnpinfo:
    dev.cpufreq.5.%location:
    dev.cpufreq.5.%driver: cpufreq
    dev.cpufreq.5.%desc:
    dev.cpufreq.4.%parent: cpu4
    dev.cpufreq.4.%pnpinfo:
    dev.cpufreq.4.%location:
    dev.cpufreq.4.%driver: cpufreq
    dev.cpufreq.4.%desc:
    dev.cpufreq.3.%parent: cpu3
    dev.cpufreq.3.%pnpinfo:
    dev.cpufreq.3.%location:
    dev.cpufreq.3.%driver: cpufreq
    dev.cpufreq.3.%desc:
    dev.cpufreq.2.%parent: cpu2
    dev.cpufreq.2.%pnpinfo:
    dev.cpufreq.2.%location:
    dev.cpufreq.2.%driver: cpufreq
    dev.cpufreq.2.%desc:
    dev.cpufreq.1.%parent: cpu1
    dev.cpufreq.1.%pnpinfo:
    dev.cpufreq.1.%location:
    dev.cpufreq.1.%driver: cpufreq
    dev.cpufreq.1.%desc:
    dev.cpufreq.0.%parent: cpu0
    dev.cpufreq.0.%pnpinfo:
    dev.cpufreq.0.%location:
    dev.cpufreq.0.%driver: cpufreq
    dev.cpufreq.0.%desc:
    dev.cpufreq.%parent:
    dev.est.7.freq_settings: 3301/80000 3300/80000 3200/75926 3100/72713 2900/66462 2800/63424 2700/60455 2600/57531 2400/51852 2300/49096 2200/46406 2100/43759 2000/41167 1800/36144 1700/33712 1600/31339
    dev.est.6.freq_settings: 3301/80000 3300/80000 3200/75926 3100/72713 2900/66462 2800/63424 2700/60455 2600/57531 2400/51852 2300/49096 2200/46406 2100/43759 2000/41167 1800/36144 1700/33712 1600/31339
    dev.est.5.freq_settings: 3301/80000 3300/80000 3200/75926 3100/72713 2900/66462 2800/63424 2700/60455 2600/57531 2400/51852 2300/49096 2200/46406 2100/43759 2000/41167 1800/36144 1700/33712 1600/31339
    dev.est.4.freq_settings: 3301/80000 3300/80000 3200/75926 3100/72713 2900/66462 2800/63424 2700/60455 2600/57531 2400/51852 2300/49096 2200/46406 2100/43759 2000/41167 1800/36144 1700/33712 1600/31339
    dev.est.3.freq_settings: 3301/80000 3300/80000 3200/75926 3100/72713 2900/66462 2800/63424 2700/60455 2600/57531 2400/51852 2300/49096 2200/46406 2100/43759 2000/41167 1800/36144 1700/33712 1600/31339
    dev.est.2.freq_settings: 3301/80000 3300/80000 3200/75926 3100/72713 2900/66462 2800/63424 2700/60455 2600/57531 2400/51852 2300/49096 2200/46406 2100/43759 2000/41167 1800/36144 1700/33712 1600/31339
    dev.est.1.freq_settings: 3301/80000 3300/80000 3200/75926 3100/72713 2900/66462 2800/63424 2700/60455 2600/57531 2400/51852 2300/49096 2200/46406 2100/43759 2000/41167 1800/36144 1700/33712 1600/31339
    dev.est.0.freq_settings: 3301/80000 3300/80000 3200/75926 3100/72713 2900/66462 2800/63424 2700/60455 2600/57531 2400/51852 2300/49096 2200/46406 2100/43759 2000/41167 1800/36144 1700/33712 1600/31339
    dev.cpu.0.freq_levels: 3301/80000 3300/80000 3200/75926 3100/72713 2900/66462 2800/63424 2700/60455 2600/57531 2400/51852 2300/49096 2200/46406 2100/43759 2000/41167 1800/36144 1700/33712 1600/31339
    dev.cpu.0.freq: 3300
    
    

    Now I went ahead and Enabled PowerD with All Options Set to Minimum:

    
    kern.timecounter.tc.TSC-low.frequency: 1646294460
    kern.timecounter.tc.ACPI-fast.frequency: 3579545
    kern.timecounter.tc.i8254.frequency: 1193182
    kern.timecounter.tc.HPET.frequency: 14318180
    device  cpufreq
    kern.eventtimer.et.i8254.frequency: 1193182
    kern.eventtimer.et.RTC.frequency: 32768
    kern.eventtimer.et.HPET.frequency: 14318180
    kern.eventtimer.et.LAPIC.frequency: 49887714
    kern.acct_chkfreq: 15
    net.inet.sctp.sack_freq: 2
    debug.cpufreq.verbose: 0
    debug.cpufreq.lowest: 0
    machdep.tsc_freq: 3292588920
    machdep.i8254_freq: 1193182
    machdep.acpi_timer_freq: 3579545
    dev.cpufreq.7.%parent: cpu7
    dev.cpufreq.7.%pnpinfo:
    dev.cpufreq.7.%location:
    dev.cpufreq.7.%driver: cpufreq
    dev.cpufreq.7.%desc:
    dev.cpufreq.6.%parent: cpu6
    dev.cpufreq.6.%pnpinfo:
    dev.cpufreq.6.%location:
    dev.cpufreq.6.%driver: cpufreq
    dev.cpufreq.6.%desc:
    dev.cpufreq.5.%parent: cpu5
    dev.cpufreq.5.%pnpinfo:
    dev.cpufreq.5.%location:
    dev.cpufreq.5.%driver: cpufreq
    dev.cpufreq.5.%desc:
    dev.cpufreq.4.%parent: cpu4
    dev.cpufreq.4.%pnpinfo:
    dev.cpufreq.4.%location:
    dev.cpufreq.4.%driver: cpufreq
    dev.cpufreq.4.%desc:
    dev.cpufreq.3.%parent: cpu3
    dev.cpufreq.3.%pnpinfo:
    dev.cpufreq.3.%location:
    dev.cpufreq.3.%driver: cpufreq
    dev.cpufreq.3.%desc:
    dev.cpufreq.2.%parent: cpu2
    dev.cpufreq.2.%pnpinfo:
    dev.cpufreq.2.%location:
    dev.cpufreq.2.%driver: cpufreq
    dev.cpufreq.2.%desc:
    dev.cpufreq.1.%parent: cpu1
    dev.cpufreq.1.%pnpinfo:
    dev.cpufreq.1.%location:
    dev.cpufreq.1.%driver: cpufreq
    dev.cpufreq.1.%desc:
    dev.cpufreq.0.%parent: cpu0
    dev.cpufreq.0.%pnpinfo:
    dev.cpufreq.0.%location:
    dev.cpufreq.0.%driver: cpufreq
    dev.cpufreq.0.%desc:
    dev.cpufreq.%parent:
    dev.est.7.freq_settings: 3301/80000 3300/80000 3200/75926 3100/72713 2900/66462 2800/63424 2700/60455 2600/57531 2400/51852 2300/49096 2200/46406 2100/43759 2000/41167 1800/36144 1700/33712 1600/31339
    dev.est.6.freq_settings: 3301/80000 3300/80000 3200/75926 3100/72713 2900/66462 2800/63424 2700/60455 2600/57531 2400/51852 2300/49096 2200/46406 2100/43759 2000/41167 1800/36144 1700/33712 1600/31339
    dev.est.5.freq_settings: 3301/80000 3300/80000 3200/75926 3100/72713 2900/66462 2800/63424 2700/60455 2600/57531 2400/51852 2300/49096 2200/46406 2100/43759 2000/41167 1800/36144 1700/33712 1600/31339
    dev.est.4.freq_settings: 3301/80000 3300/80000 3200/75926 3100/72713 2900/66462 2800/63424 2700/60455 2600/57531 2400/51852 2300/49096 2200/46406 2100/43759 2000/41167 1800/36144 1700/33712 1600/31339
    dev.est.3.freq_settings: 3301/80000 3300/80000 3200/75926 3100/72713 2900/66462 2800/63424 2700/60455 2600/57531 2400/51852 2300/49096 2200/46406 2100/43759 2000/41167 1800/36144 1700/33712 1600/31339
    dev.est.2.freq_settings: 3301/80000 3300/80000 3200/75926 3100/72713 2900/66462 2800/63424 2700/60455 2600/57531 2400/51852 2300/49096 2200/46406 2100/43759 2000/41167 1800/36144 1700/33712 1600/31339
    dev.est.1.freq_settings: 3301/80000 3300/80000 3200/75926 3100/72713 2900/66462 2800/63424 2700/60455 2600/57531 2400/51852 2300/49096 2200/46406 2100/43759 2000/41167 1800/36144 1700/33712 1600/31339
    dev.est.0.freq_settings: 3301/80000 3300/80000 3200/75926 3100/72713 2900/66462 2800/63424 2700/60455 2600/57531 2400/51852 2300/49096 2200/46406 2100/43759 2000/41167 1800/36144 1700/33712 1600/31339
    dev.cpu.0.freq_levels: 3301/80000 3300/80000 3200/75926 3100/72713 2900/66462 2800/63424 2700/60455 2600/57531 2400/51852 2300/49096 2200/46406 2100/43759 2000/41167 1800/36144 1700/33712 1600/31339
    dev.cpu.0.freq: 1600
    
    

    The dev.cpu.0.freq has cut in half, so hopefully like you mentioned it will truly affect idle temps.

    The only step I have not done and will do shortly is re-apply thermal paste, and if there is any interest of temps I will post here later.

    Thanks!


  • Netgate Administrator

    I recommend setting powerd values to high-adaptive. It should fall back to the lowest frequency anyway but won't affect responsiveness like 'minimum' can.

    Steve