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Old August 26, 2014, 08:07 PM
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Default Caution: Phantek Enthoo lineup PWM hub and watercooling

This is a caution to a specific niche who watercool and use the PWM hub included with the Phantek Enthoo lineup to control their fans. I own the Enthoo Pro, but I suspect that the PWM hub is the same for the Enthoo Luxe and Primo (Disclaimer: I have not owned the Luxe or Primo but it would make sense that the PWM hub would be the same since they are described the same in their respective manual)

I have a watercooling loop and used Speedfan to automatically adjust the radiator fan speed in relation to CPU & GPU temp. Because watercooling is so efficient, I only need to run the fans at 5% to keep both the CPU and GPU temps below 40C when I'm just surfing the web. This is great because fans at 5% ~660rpm is nearly silent.

My setup is as follows: Phantek manual - Imgur

The problem is that I don't believe the PWM controller can handle throttling at less than 15% (~930RPM for Enermax TB Silence fans) and there is no mention of the PWM heating up when throttling down in the manual.

I used a Fluke 80T-IR thermometer and measured the temperature of the MOFSET on the PWM controller with various throttling of the CPU PWM header with Speedfan and here are my findings:

Tools & How I measured:
PWM - Imgur


The drop in temp at 100% makes sense since the MOFSET is by-passed because it doesn't need to switch at all since the PWM signal is a constant 100%. Normal operating temps seem to be ~mid 50C which is okay. Below 20% throttling, the MOFSET starts to heat up quite dramatically. At 10% it reached 92 degrees Celsius and surpassed the max power dissipation specified in the data sheet. I looked up the MOFSET (DTM4425) on the PWM controller and according to the datasheet the max power dissipation temperature is 70C. Combined with the temperature readings I'm getting, the data indicates that the lowest percentage I can throttle my fans to is 15%. Because of the temps at 10% I did not continue throttling the fans any lower.

Why does this matter?
What drove me in the first place to do this experiment is because the PWM hub that came with my case burned out because I didn't know about this issue and was throttling my fans to 5% as seen here:
imgur: the simple image sharer

Thankfully, I got a replacement from NCIX... but that took a month (had to run my fans at 100% which is torture for silent freaks like me). I'm posting this here so those who use the PWM hub like I do won't burn theirs out. I've also contacted Phanteks bringing this issue up with them. Hopefully their second iteration of the PWM hub would be able to handle lower throttling for us silence freaks! Or at least include a warning in the manual.

Feel free to check the temps yourself Enthoo owners :)

Before anyone says I nitpick, a 15% (~930RPM) to 5% (~660RPM) difference is DEFINITELY noticeable.

PS: This should not be a problem for those who are air-cooling because throttling your fans to 5% (660RPM) would cook your CPU/GPU anyways.

I also want to make a note that this case is awesome. Got mine for $110CAD, and for the price, it blows everything else out of the water. Thanks Dmitry!
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Old August 27, 2014, 06:50 AM
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10e 10e is offline
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This is excellent information, and thanks a lot for the heads up!

Xeven: How about 10^8.450980400142567e-001 -as a possible replacement for "10e"

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Old August 28, 2014, 02:34 PM
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I've had no such issue in my Enthoo Primo.
I use Fan Expert 2 that comes with Asus boards. I only throttle down to 40% for a total silent running system. @ 40% my fans are running at 700rpm. I'm using BitFenix Spectre Pro PWM Black 140MM fans x 8.
That 40% seems to be pretty close to the fans start-up voltage of 4.5 volts when I check these with one of my fan controllers with a display.

Last edited by Hooded; August 28, 2014 at 02:40 PM.
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