Dell R720XD Fans Full On

This week has seen me do battle with a Dell Power Edge R720XD. You see it’s a big old boy, and the fans – well the fans have been running full throttle for no apparent reason. Sure, you expect a spike as it POST’s and then die back to shhh. No. No such thing. Sounding more like it should be accompanied by the multicolour sunsets of a Tony Scott movie and the steam catapult of “Indian Ocean Present Day” backed by the dulcet tones of tubular bells of Harold Faltermeyer’s Top Gun Anthem.

It’s not right. It needs to stop. It needs to stop before my ears bleed, or one of my colleagues hurts me.

The box is fully patched up to date with the lifecycle manager in terms of firmware – so it is off to Dell Support.

“This is not a known issue, Sir.”

Of course it is not. They never are if they can be explained away through someone elses hardware or after market option.

However – I notice that whatever I change the THERMAL profile to under IDRAC SETTINGS – it seems to reset to OFFSET and HIGH OFFSET.

It doesn’t take a genius to realise what this means is ramped up fans.

It transpires all the reboots, all the take everything out, put everything back in, and general Oakey-Cokey was down to CPU settings.

Solution to 720xd fans running flat out:

BIOS > System Profile

  • Disable Turbo Boost;
  • Disable C states;
  • Disable C1E states.

iDRAC > Thermal

  • Switch cooling to Fan Speed Offset;
  • Set Fan Speed Offset to Low Offset.

Behold – the fans die back on saving that combination and STAY throttled back.

I am a happier man – and people clutching their ears.

Now – I am a bear of very little brain – however I am aware that the C states are to do with processor idling, thus power saving in terms of heat and current – and well – the Turbo Boost – as much as the term makes me smile and reminds me of the clicky button and the pointless 8 segment display or often yellow LED on the front of my PC AT clone … Turbo Boost is the self clocking mechanism that exists in the Xeon and i7 world.

So essentially – now when I look at the iDRAC and it says Turbo Boost capable – yes, enabled – no … this leaves me a little sad-in-pants. However my ears are happier, and the box is in production… so celebrate the small victories I say.

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