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Is there any wa to spin down the GPU fan with the open source drivers for a RadeonHD 5870? The catalyst 11.9 in 11.10 is just crap, I am happy withthe open source performance but the noise is annoying. I dont run anay games.

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3 Answers 3

There is some risk of overheating the card (GPU and VRMs) if you turn off the fan completely - keep an eye on the temperatures before and after turning off the fan. The ATI/AMD control panel should let you check this, and gkrellm also monitors GPU temperature along with many other things.

The RadeonHD 5870 is a very high-end card if you don't run games - you could save quite a bit of power and noise by replacing it with something like an HD 5450 at $50, which has fanless (passive) versions available. Unless perhaps you boot into Windows for games, in which case ignore this :)

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You could always open terminal and type in

aticonfig --pplib-cmd "set fanspeed 0 ###"

replace the #'s with the fanspeed percenteage you want.

for example if you want you want to have your fan run at 35% speed you'd open terminal and type in

aticonfig --pplib-cmd "set fanspeed 0 35"

hope this helps

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You may want to set a lower power profile for your Radeon. I'm running on a laptop with Mobility Radeon X1600 and setting it to low has helped to reduce both the power consumption and lower the fan usage.

I'm using profile-based frequency switching in 11.04-11.10 by running:

$ sudo -i # you need interactive root session for this
# echo profile > /sys/class/drm/card0/device/power_method
# exit # exit sudo mode

To make your selected profile apply on startup put in /etc/rc.local. Look for more info on ArchWiki.

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