Netgate RCC-VE 8860 FAN noise



  • I got my Netgate RCC-VE 8860 System. I've installed pfsense 2.2.2 on it. Enabled powerd and coretemp on it, but the fan is really loud for me. I think the fan is always running at full speed. Temperature stays stable at 22.0°C.
    Something elese I need to enable, or is it normal that the fan is alway running at full speed and making so much noise?



  • I got the same unit and it's really annoying. I already thought about switching the fan, but didn't have the time to look at it for now.
    At least I know it's not only my unit. For now it's louder than my Xeon Server…



  • Same here, I liked the description on netgate page : "Operation from 0°C to 65°C ambient temperature using included heatsink with low-noise fan".

    That is not what I would call low-noise fan.  :(

    Is its speed event controllable ?


  • Netgate Administrator

    We are looking at this currently. I've never actually seen one myself though. Do you have anything else there to compare it to noise wise? Something I might have access to preferably!  ;)

    Steve



  • I have the SG-8860, which on the products page is described as "No Moving Parts".

    Yes, the fan is noisy. Despite it somehow not being a "moving part"….  >:(


  • Netgate Administrator

    Hmm, well that's clearly an oversight. I can't find that page though, do you have a link?
    Obviously we'd like to get that corrected as soon as possible.

    Steve



  • @stephenw10:

    Hmm, well that's clearly an oversight. I can't find that page though, do you have a link?
    Obviously we'd like to get that corrected as soon as possible.

    Steve

    On the pfSense store:
    https://www.pfsense.org/products/product-family.html#sg-8860


  • Netgate Administrator

    Yikes!  :o
    Ok, that's not at the store, I was looking in the wrong place. Thanks Shonky.
    I'll get someone to look at that asap.

    Steve


  • Administrator

    That is fixed now Shonky, I apologize. It was copy pasted from the 4860 and somehow overlooked in the editing phase.



  • Sorry, yeah that's not the store :)



  • I logged a ticket regarding the fan noise.
    After over a month they just came back with the response that they don't think it is a problem because nobody else complained and closed the ticket.
    So they will do nothing.

    I suggest you log a ticket if you find the fan annoying for a desktop system as it is described.



  • @immy:

    After over a month they just came back with the response that they don't think it is a problem because nobody else complained and closed the ticket.

    That's extremely misleading. The actual replies, in order:

    Last time I spoke to any one involved about it they were very keen that nothing be released until some heat testing has been done to get some idea of the minimum fan speed that can be run. The last thing we want is to have code floating about out there that allows people to set the fan to a damagingly low speed.

    and management follow-up:

    In regards to the fan, we've looked at the fan noise and have determined it is less noisy than the FW-7551. In a side-by-side comparison with other (similar) products, it isn't terribly loud. In fact, it was comparable or even less noisy. Our official stance at this point is that we don't think the fan noise is a problem. In all of the units we've sold, we've had no other complaints about the "noise" coming from that fan. To be able to control it through software (and more so on hardware) would take a significant amount of engineering to achieve.

    So at this point, we're going to step back from this situation. This does not mean that there won't be a way to control the fan speed in the future, but there is not a deadline in which we will address this.

    We've done a lot more than "nobody else complained and closed the ticket", it's been evaluated and determined to not be an immediate priority as it's quieter than the system it replaced, and no louder than comparable products. Any work to address the issue has the risk of causing hardware problems, so has to be undertaken carefully.

    The guy who claimed to have a Xeon that's quieter apparently has the quietest Xeon on Earth. It'd take a dozen 8860s to make as much noise as one of our Dell 1U servers. I can't even hear the fan turn on when firing up an 8860 in our computer room. It is noisier than I would want running on my desk next to me long term, though that's true of every similar class product with a fan in it.

    Those who purchased in the initial couple days it was for sale when the description was mistakenly copy/pasted with "no moving parts" have a legitimate complaint IMO if a silent system is necessary for your use case. immy, and anyone else in that situation, please follow up with sales or support and there may be something they can do (no promises though, I don't work on that side of things and not sure what options there might be, if any). The product description was updated quickly after we were aware to correct the issues there.



  • Selling it as a "desktop system" is rather misleading.
    Check your product description.
    If any desktop PC made that much fan noise constantly you would complain.



  • "Desktop form factor" just means it's not a rack mount form factor. We classify things either as desktop or rack mount. The FW-7551 that it replaced, which is louder, was classified the same way.



  • I got the same feedback from them as you. And this after the case was open for one month, and the have told me they are working on a solution:

    Here is the complete last mail:

    So, we've looked at the fan noise, and have determined it is less noisy than the FW-7551. In a side-by-side comparison with other (similar) products, it isn't terribly loud. In fact, it was comparable or even less noisy. Our official stance at this point is that we don't think the fan noise is a problem. In all of the units we've sold, we've had no other complaints about the "noise" coming from that fan. To be able to control it through software (and more so on hardware) would take a significant amount of engineering to achieve.

    So at this point, we're going to step back from this situation. This does not mean that there won't be a way to control the fan speed in the future, but there is not a deadline in which we will address this.

    Thanks for your feedback on the issue.

    And here are some mails, I've received before that:

    We have a proof of concept in place, we can control the fan after some moving files about and entering command line strings. We need to make that into something install-able and more importantly test some values in the look up table to make sure the cooling is still sufficient.
    Thanks,
    Steve

    and this one:

    As far as I know we are working with the manufacturers to determine a suitable set of speeds for the fan. We have to be sure that the air flow through the case remains sufficient to keep other components cool.
    I'll try to find out if where we are ion process for you.
    Thanks,
    Steve


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    While it is technically possible to control the speed of the fan we can't release anything to do so until we know what speeds are considered safe, acceptable heat levels, etc. Quite a lot of actual engineering work involved there beyond the technical issue of changing the fan speed. There would be even more trouble if we released a utility to adjust the fan speed and someone ended up burning up a unit because of it.

    So it's less about if someone can adjust the speed and more about if they should or if they can do so safely. The latter two are much more complicated questions that, given the level of noise in its typical operating environment, would take a large amount of work compared to the benefit of said work.

    Swapping fans, using low-noise adapter cables to cut fan speed, lowering the CPU fan speed on your own through other means, etc, would probably result in a quieter unit but until the legwork is done to verify the cooling is sufficient, it is too risky for us to officially condone.



  • My problem with this unit for me as a customer is very simple. I've bought that product based on the information I've found on the vendors page. And netgate is still telling that it's a low-noice fan. And I think all know that is not the case.
    So I'm asking to make it operate at low-noice. How they can arrive that goal doesn't interest me much. They are telling it's low-noice so I'm asking them to make it low noice.



  • I think the fan is always running at full speed. Temperature stays stable at 22.0°C.

    But this is quite better then the CPU is smoking up and all is quite.

    At least I know it's not only my unit. For now it's louder than my Xeon Server…

    I own a Intel Xeon E3-1286v3 @3,7GHz and this is water cooled but before as I really cool it down
    with an air cooler it was also really silent, but not in such a case like the SG-8860 desktop appliance.

    Selling it as a "desktop system" is rather misleading.
    Check your product description.

    The C2758 platform is sold as a 1U and as the SG-8860 variant, so called desktop case,
    and where now is the problem? All other vendors do also offering their equipment as I
    see it right.

    Quite a lot of actual engineering work involved there beyond the technical issue of changing the fan speed.

    I had be more loved a cool device that´s long time running more then a quite device that is earlier
    dying but quite.



  • @cmb:

    The guy who claimed to have a Xeon that's quieter apparently has the quietest Xeon on Earth. It'd take a dozen 8860s to make as much noise as one of our Dell 1U servers. I can't even hear the fan turn on when firing up an 8860 in our computer room. It is noisier than I would want running on my desk next to me long term, though that's true of every similar class product with a fan in it.

    Well, even servers nowadays have variable fan speed. My Xeon server also slows it fans down, and with the right bios settings (and fans) it is rather quiet. But 'noise' also has to do with the fan diameter, often those 12 cm fans are also making noise, but with a noise 'profile' that's easier on the ear.

    But, if you already have one of those 8860 units, why not modify it? Remove the built-in fan and put a large silent 12 cm fan on the top. Of course you need a bit of knowledge, and if the built-in fan has PWM, then by all means use a PWM fan. Or try your hands at a really large heatsink.  :)



  • I already own a 8860 unit. Why should I change components in it? I've bought that products because they have told me it's a low noice fan. So I don't like to replace anything in it (warranty).
    They should simple use the EMC2104 chip that is on the board. This chip is also able to shutdown the unit, if it gets to hot:

    The EMC2104 is an SMBus compliant fan controller with up to five (4 external and 1 internal) temperature channels. The fan drivers can be operated using two methods each with two modes. The methods include an RPM based Fan Speed Control Algorithm and a direct fan drive setting. The modes include manually programming the desired settings or using the internal programmable temperature look-up table to select the desired setting based on measured temperature.

    The temperature monitors offer 1°C accuracy (for external diodes) with sophisticated features to reduce errors introduced by series resistance and beta variation of substrate thermal diode transistors commonly found in processors.

    The EMC2104 also includes a hardware programmable temperature limits and dedicated system shutdown output for thermal protection of critical circuitry.



  • So I don't like to replace anything in it (warranty).

    I am considering to this really!

    But on the other side why imagine that the strongest and biggest pfSense appliance is quite!
    Either it comes as desktop model or 1U applaince!!! Ok if you place it on your desktop and
    then nothing else is running it could be that you might think the SG-8860 is very loud.

    They should simple use the EMC2104 chip that is on the board.

    And you mean this could be done because it is only technically doable?

    This chip is also able to shutdown the unit, if it gets to hot:

    And if only you and perhaps two other peoples are complaining now, but not
    all other 600 clients this must be done? Hmm, ok if you mean this must be
    done perhaps they will find a way for you!



  • But on the other side why imagine that the strongest and biggest pfSense appliance is quite!
    Either it comes as desktop model or 1U applaince!!! Ok if you place it on your desktop and
    then nothing else is running it could be that you might think the SG-8860 is very loud.

    I'm not asking that it should be quite. I'm asking for low-noice, thats not the same. In the same room I've running a Synology DS1511+ and a Lenovo P500 Workstation, and both of them doesn't make as much noice as the SG-8860 when the are idle (compared all devices when they are idle).



  • The guy who claimed to have a Xeon that's quieter apparently has the quietest Xeon on Earth. It'd take a dozen 8860s to make as much noise as one of our Dell 1U servers. I can't even hear the fan turn on when firing up an 8860 in our computer room. It is noisier than I would want running on my desk next to me long term, though that's true of every similar class product with a fan in it.

    I just picked my Sound Level Meter and had a look at the noise level.

    My Xeon, distance 30cm (in front of the fan): 39.5 dB
    The SG-8860, distance 30cm (in front of the fan): 45.2dB

    In my opinion that's too much to call it a "silent fan".



  • @ChacalCH:

    My Xeon, distance 30cm (in front of the fan): 39.5 dB
    The SG-8860, distance 30cm (in front of the fan): 45.2dB

    In my opinion that's too much to call it a "silent fan".

    It's no longer labeled as such, and hasn't been since the initial complaint. Heck of a quiet Xeon. jporter was using a sound level meter on an 8860, and my keyboard on the other side of the room measured much higher than the 8860. Granted, I have one of these keyboards, and type about 100 wpm. :)



  • You're right, it's not labed as silent. But it's still labeld as "low-noice" at least in the netgate store.
    And it's still far away from "low-noice".
    Compare with a keyboard is a bad comparison. Compare it with other computers. Comparing it with a keyboard is like comparing apples and pears.



  • So last info from the vendor is, it is as it is. They will not do anything.
    For me this means, don't recommend hardware from them to anybody. Because do will not always delivery you what the have promised you.