How to Control GPU Fan Speed ​​Using MSI Afterburner

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For avid gamers and overclockers, it’s always hard to findright balance between temperature and GPU performance. Overheated graphics card or noisy fans–what are your options?

If you are an MSI Afterburner user, you can change the fan speed for both MSI and non-MSI graphics cards to achieve optimal cooling. In addition to its extensive hardware monitoring and overclocking features, it offers fan speed configurations manual and automatic.

Without further delay, let me walk you through the step-by-step process of adjusting the GPU fan speed in this app:

Launch Utilities

If you have installed MSI Afterburner, open it directly from Start Menu or launch the shortcut application from your Desktop. A prompt will appear asking you to grant administrative privileges–press Yes to continue.

For new users, I recommend downloading the installation file only from the Afterburner website official. Reportedly, there have been a lot of phishing sites reported to MSI lately. Keeping this in mind, avoid third party solutions as far as possible.

Set Power and Temperature Limits

The second step is to set limits for power and temperature parameters. This way, your graphics card won’t go over thresholds and helps prevent overheating issues.

Additional Tips:

It’s a good idea to stress test before adjusting the fan speed. This lets you understand how your graphics card is performing at its maximum capacity.

In fact, you can even monitor its stability at different temperatures, powers and fan speeds to find the optimal fan speed you need.

You can use any application of your choice. But as MSI Afterburner recommends MSI Kombustor (check ‘K’ option in left pane), I suggest the same.

Select Automatic or User Defined Mode

GPU fan speed is dynamic, meaning it keeps adapting to the card’s (changing) temperature. For this reason, you don’t get a direct option to tweak their RPM. Instead, you must configure the fan speed as a percentage of its maximum capacity.

Just press the ‘A’ or ‘Auto’ button and it will automatically control the speed at the hardware level (by your GPU fan controller chip). This means that the fan will rotate periodically based on the rise/fall of the graphics card temperature. However, if you want to set a custom fan speed, disable the Auto switch for activate manual mode. Then, set slider to the percentage you want. When doing so, pay attention to the temperature and power limits you have previously configured.
For example, when you set the fan speed to 70% and if the temperature limit is 100°C, you will definitely not achieve optimal cooling. This is because the fans will still run at 70% even if the graphics card is boiled at 100°C. Better to lower the percentage when you’re not running graphics intensive applications (also keep temperature/power limits low). But to achieve optimal cooling (especially when playing games), I recommend increasing the limit and setting a high fan speed. After configuring auto/manual mode, don’t forget to apply changes. Log the fan’s behavior to make sure it’s working or run a stress test per my tip above.
Finally, you can proceed to load these settings into a custom profile. Move on to Step 7 to learn more. Along with the Automatic option, you have to find ‘user definition’ button next to him. This feature allows the Afterburner software to periodically check the GPU temperature and change the speed as determined by the fan curve.
We’ll see details about this configuration in a later step. While enabled, you can still choose to manually configure the fan speed (by moving the slider or editing the value).

Enable User-Defined Software Automatic Fan Control

Before using the ‘User defined’ option in the main application window, you must enable the feature from advanced settings. Follow the instructions below to learn how to do it:

From the left pane, select an icon Arrangement . Once the MSI Afterburner Properties window appears, switch to the tab fans. By default, the option ‘Enable software user-defined automatic fan control’ is disabled. Put a tick to activate it.

Notes: If you are running dual graphics cards, you can select/change your master graphics processor. Go to Settings > General > Master graphics processor selection > Select your GPU. If the MSI Afterburner app doesn’t detect your graphics card, here’s a guide that can help you fix it.

Adjust the Fan Speed ​​Curve

Once the Automatic Fan User Defined Software Control is enabled, a fan speed curve editor will appear along with additional options.

The horizontal line shows different fan speed (in percentage) and the vertical line shows the change in temperature (°C). All you have to do is drag and drop nodes in increasing order.

The general idea is to place the point somewhere above the previous point. Even if you place the second node below, you will get an error message because the configuration is invalid. This is because your fan speed should not decrease with increasing temperature.

So, you know, You will never make a mistake and even if you do, you will be asked to change the curve. Here’s how I do it:

I always start with added a few more nodes (maximum 8). You can follow a similar approach. Just press anywhere on the curve and it adds it automatically.
To delete a node, press Del or Delete. Establishing the first point is very important. This lets you decide how your curve will be–normal, silent (at the lowest possible RPM), or aggressive (to reach potential fan speed).
As you can see above, I set the speed to 20% at 10°C. Now, set the second node somewhere above it. If you want to plan normal, my approach is the best (50% at 30°C).
But if you’re looking for quiet, keep it slightly below (say, 30% at 30°C), and for aggressive, place it higher (say, 70% at 30°C). As well as, drag and drop all remaining nodes in the right place. You can even manually switch between step-up and linear curves. Just double click anywhere on the editor and it should work.

Configuring Automatic Fan Control Properties

Now that you’ve plotted the manual curve, it’s time to enable/disable the other advanced options before saving changes:

User firmware control mode: You can enable this so that the firmware can control the fans based on the curve you have defined. But note that this will only work if your graphics card supports this feature. Predefined fan speed curve: Once you start adjusting the curve, it is automatically set to Custom. To load default values, you can choose Default option or just use Ctrl + D. Fan Speed ​​Update Period: By default, the value is 5000 milliseconds. This field allows you to increase/decrease monitoring time. Temperature Hysteresis: This feature allows you to set a delay period to prevent frequent GPU fan speed adjustments. For example, you can set it to 2°C, and the fan will try to spin at the same speed before when the temperature is increased/decreased by the specified degree.

Along with these options, you can also enforce the fan speed at each period or override the fan speed (when set to 0) by hardware curve. Once everything is adjusted, press the button Apply/OK to save your changes.

Save and Manage Your Profile

Whether you’ve configured manual, automatic, or a user-defined software automatic fan speed, the final step is to save it to the profile slot. For the latter, make sure you have enabled the ‘User Define’ mode before proceeding with the instructions below:

As mentioned before, first press the button applyto quickly check if the configured settings are working properly. After you confirm the fan behavior, press it save icon and all slots will start flashing. Choose one of them and your settings should now be permanent, even after you exit the app. To ensure your settings are applied from startup, make sure you enable Windows icon from above. You even get options for lock your profile. This way, you won’t override your previous configuration because the save button is greyed out. To make new changes, press the same button to open it. you can create multiple profiles (up to 5), each for a different purpose.
For example, assign one individual slot when you want a fast fan and a different slot when you want to get rid of loud noises. After doing so, you can load the desired settings based on the type of task you will be performing.


Thus the article about How to Control GPU Fan Speed ​​Using MSI Afterburner
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