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Atto R380 & PCI Fan noise

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Chad Smith
Atto R380 & PCI Fan noise
on Jul 23, 2010 at 3:12:34 pm

Just updated my Atto R380 to the latest driver. Flashed the card with the latest firmware and downloaded the latest Atto config tool. Running the card in an early 2009 8 Core Mac Pro. (OSX 10.6.4) Now I find that the PCI fan is running at 3000 RPM all the time. I called Atto teck and they said to try SMC Fan Control, however I cannot get this to work on my machine.

Is there a way for me to bring the PCI fan back down to 1500 RPM like it was before I updated the driver? OR am I asking for trouble if I lower the fan speed and just need to move the CPU to another room. Or think about getting a different card?


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Bob Zelin
Re: Atto R380 & PCI Fan noise
on Jul 23, 2010 at 9:50:35 pm

yes Chad, all new ATTO R380 cards make the fan noise. Run the driver, and all of a sudden your silent MAC is no longer silent.

That's just the way it is. The ATTO R380 is the best card on the market today - just deal with it.

bob Zelin




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Chris Blair
Re: Atto R380 & PCI Fan noise
on Jul 24, 2010 at 3:37:16 am

Can you replace the fan with a low-noise version that moves a similar amount of air? We spent a couple of days replacing all the fans in our edit suite computers and even some dedicated gear, like our waveform/vectorscopes (which are rack-mount devices that use your NTSC monitor instead of having their own dedicated one). It's amazing how much it reduced room noise. In two suites, we already had the computers in homemade isolation boxes (which also have vents and exhuast fans), so those rooms went from being annoying to almost silent. In the third, there's no isolation box but the difference in noise is still amazing.

We also have a two year old Apace vStor shared storage system and it's ONLY downside is how loud it is. It's in a large closet in our building (that also has sound absoption foam on the walls and door interior) that houses our phone and all networking gear, and I swear when you open the door it sounds like a jet sitting on the tarmac. When I brought this up to the guys at Apace and mentioned we replaced all the oem fans on our HP and IBM workstations with low-noise or silent ones, they asked for more info and that's one of the improvements they made to the unit.

BUT...heat is the number one enemy of hard drives and computer components, so it's important to maintain airflow numbers (or at least keep them close) compared to the original fans.

Oh yeah...fans are WAAAY cheaper (about $6-$10) per than buying or building your own sound isolation boxes. The ones I built, while MUCH cheaper than the commercial ones... still cost about $250 when all was said and done...and while they look pretty nice too, they also took me about a day and half to build...far more time than it took to replace the fans in each suite.

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com
Read our blog http://www.videomi.com/blog


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Chad Smith
Re: Atto R380 & PCI Fan noise
on Jul 26, 2010 at 3:47:07 pm

Chris - Thanks for the detailed response. Did you replace the fans in a Mac or PC box? I am running a mac pro so if you could pass on any info as to what the specs are for the PCI fan and where you got your replacement fans (if you have it) that would be great.

Thanks Again
-Chad


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Chris Blair
Re: Atto R380 & PCI Fan noise
on Jul 27, 2010 at 1:32:18 am

All of ours were in IBM and HP workstations as well as a couple of rack mount waveform/vectorcopes. I believe I got the fans from a place called EndPCNoise.com but just google silent PC fans and you can find a bazillion choices. All you need to know is the mm size of the fans you're replacing, the thickness of them and roughly the amount of airflow they move. You can typically find all that info right on the fans themselves. You also need to check the number of pins they have (usually 2, 3, or 4). Almost all the fans can be bought with whatever pin connector you need.

Here's a link:

http://www.endpcnoise.com/cgi-bin/e/std/category=Quiet_Case_Fans.html

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com
Read our blog http://www.videomi.com/blog


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Chad Smith
Re: Atto R380 & PCI Fan noise
on Jul 26, 2010 at 3:44:39 pm

Thanks Bob! Always a straight forward answer.


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Helmut Kobler
Re: Atto R380 & PCI Fan noise
on Jul 31, 2010 at 9:49:35 pm

Hey, I have an R380 card, and had a similar problem when I upgraded to Snow Leopard. My Mac Pro under Leopard was very quiet, but when I upgraded to Snow Leopard, the PS fan in the Mac ran at about 1500rpm, instead of half that speed on Leopard. It took a while to figure it out, and I got help from the guys at Sonnet (I have a DX800 RAID). Here's the first email where they identified the problem, followed by the email describing how to fix the problem (and I did indeed fix it). Here's the first email:

----------------------
Helmut,

We don't really need to see the video as you've discovered a bug that ATTO didn't know about. My contact at ATTO got back to me about 30 minutes ago just before he was leaving for the day and explained what was going on. I just haven't had a chance to send you an email about it. The ATTO software installs a service that revs the fans up a bit to compensate for the increased heat folks found in G5 machines. This was adversely affecting the ATTO card in those machines. They discovered a hardware fix for this heating problem so that service was no longer needed. ATTO's software is supposed to remove it so the fans will go back to normal operation. For some reason, that service wasn't removed in your machine. My guy at ATTO is waiting for an explanation of how to remove it from the software engineer. It will probably involve deleting a plist file of some sort. He said he'll try to get that to me tomorrow. He wanted to call me today to let us know that something was being done.

So you've discovered a bug and hopefully ATTO will send me a fix tomorrow which I will pass along to you. It's strange that yours has been the only report of increased fan noise. Or at least the only report I can remember.

Neal
Sonnet Customer Service
---------------------------------



Now here's the second email which I followed and solved the problem......



---------------------------
Helmut,

Left a message for my contact and had this email waiting for me this morning:

Have him delete the file /usr/sbin/fan-controllerd

He may need to be root to do this.

The plist item is /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.attotech.fan-controllerd.plist

So delete both of the above and that should restore your fans back to normal operation. Email me back if you are having any issues with the above.

Neal
Sonnet Customer Service
-----------------------------




Hope this helps!

-H



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Helmut Kobler
Re: Atto R380 & PCI Fan noise
on Jul 31, 2010 at 10:06:34 pm

Just to be clear, it wasn't the act of installing Snow Leopard that created the extra fan noise, it was that after installing Snow Leopard, I downloaded Atto's newest drivers, and THAT's when the higher fan noise started. Their drivers install some files that don't need to be there anymore, according to Sonnet Tech Support, which had spoken with Atto tech support.



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Chad Smith
Re: Atto R380 & PCI Fan noise
on Aug 2, 2010 at 6:22:47 pm

THANK YOU HELMUT!!!! I owe you a beer!

Yeah that worked like a charm. I could not find the file user/sbin/fan-controllerd so just trashing the plist worked. THis is great! Now the PCI fan is back down to 1K rpm. SO much better.

Thank you so much for posting

Best,
Chad


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Jeremiah Belt
Re: Atto R380 & PCI Fan noise
on Aug 9, 2010 at 8:28:23 pm

Is there any updates with this ATTO R380 card and the system fan issues? I tried the above "fix" and it did not solve the problem. It only takes the fans longer to get to a higher rpm. I have the latest ATTO drivers, flashed firmware, and have even tried SMC fan control to no avail. Any thoughts or solutions would be greatly appreciated.


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Amy Wilson
Re: Atto R380 & PCI Fan noise
on Apr 20, 2011 at 2:06:47 pm

Any updates on this? I just installed the R380 and have the loud fan noise, but don't see the plist files mentioned.
Thanks


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Jeremiah Belt
Re: Atto R380 & PCI Fan noise
on Apr 20, 2011 at 4:00:56 pm

Sadly after all the research and talking with Atto there was never a fix for me. Just dealing with a much louder system. In the winter it did settle down a bit more due to the temp change. Sorry.


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