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.
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 :)
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
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:
To make your selected profile apply on startup put in