Controlling front fans & lights for Lian Li LANCOOL III

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More specifically I have a Lian Li LANCOOL III RGB Tempered Glass ATX Mid-Tower Computer Case.

Motherboard is MSI Z790-P Pro WiFi Intel LGA 1700 ATX Motherboard

I have downloaded and run (as Admin) MSI Center software, but it's really unclear to me how to use this to turn the front lights off and adjust the fans. I want to be able to make the fans run quieter (for when I'm recording audio the quieter the better) but am not sure how to do this.

When I run the MSI Center software, under the User Features tab there are several preset configurations. When I select Silent mode the computer doesn't seem to be any quieter but the CPU temp rose 10 - 15 degrees C (from roughly low 30s to mid to high 40s). So it seems that Silent mode doesn't control the fans I want it to control?

There is a list of fans in MSI Center but again it's not clear to me which fans control what. Or how, more specifically to control the fans I want to control.

One last thing: how hot is too hot for the CPU? I know I need to have the fan noise controlled when I'm recording audio, but I don't want to make it so quiet that I damage the CPU from excess heat.

Thanks for any help you can give me.

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Answers

  • PowerSpec_MikeW
    PowerSpec_MikeW PowerSpec Engineer
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    @Armadillo

    I'd check the BIOS under Hardware Monitor. You can set the curves there, but first make sure the header is in the right mode. I think that case has the fans daisy chained. If it's 4 pin, make sure it's set PWM then play with the curves from there.

  • Armadillo
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    I'm new to this - power curves and just about everything you talked about. So I'm afraid I don't understand what you said.

    Also I see in MSI Center there are 8 fans listed (CPU Fan, Pump Fan 1, and SYS Fans 1 - 6). Going through the components that I bought today, I count 11 fans in my system (case has 3 in front and 1 on back, 3 fans on my NVIDIA Graphics card, 3 fans on my water cooling kit and 1 fan on the Motherboard).

    So I was hoping I could (1) figure out which fans were the ones listed in MSI Center, and (2) once I figured out what the fans for the case were I could adjust them.

    It seems to me that I'd rather avoid adjusting the BIOS if possible since I think that's a bigger learning curve and more likely I could really screw something up. If I'm wrong on that if you can point me to some resources to figure it out I'd appreciate it.

  • PowerSpec_MikeW
    PowerSpec_MikeW PowerSpec Engineer
    5 Insightfuls First Anniversary First Comment 5 Awesomes
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    @Armadillo

    For figuring out which is which, look at the board and read the label on the header. It's printed on the PCB. I prefer the BIOS over the app for fan control. It's a pretty simple UI for Hardware Monitor.

    Just click on the fan you want to change, and drag the points around to set the curves. I think all your case fans are on a breakout cable, that would be a single system fan header. Your AIO's are going to be on a breakout cable or daisy chained as well to a single system fan header. Your Nvidia GPU fans aren't going to show here. I wouldn't adjust those. AIO fans should be on the CPU header, pump on the AIO/W_PUMP header. Let me know if you don't like that interface, I'd have to build something up to see the fan GUI, I never use it. Post a screenshot of what you're seeing, that would help.

  • Armadillo
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    @PowerSpec_MikeW

    First I want to thank you for taking the time to help me out. I do really appreciate it.

    If that's a screen from looking at your BIOS, how did you do that? From my brief research I gather you can only get to the BIOS interface upon reboot. Don't see how you'd capture screen shots.

    If I understand you correctly, there's a single fan setting that controls all 4 of the Lancool III case fans (3 in front, 1 in back). If I can get a chance later I'll shut the system down and drag the case out to where I can look at the Motherboard and see if I can figure out (without trial and error) which of the fan settings is the one I want to adjust.

    In MSI Center, here's a screen shot of the User Scenario Feature, Customize

    You can see the 8 fan settings I can modify. I just noticed this morning that SYS Fan 2 and SYS Fan 5 always seem to be 0. So I guess there isn't anything connected there. And likely it's SYS Fan 1, 3, 4 or 6 that I want to try to modify.

    I picked SYS Fan 6 just as an example and went to the Smart Fan setting screen:

    I checked and the Smart Fan settings are the same for all of SYS Fan 1 - 6. And these are different from the Smart Fan settings for CPU Fan and Pump Fan. (Not sure if that's important or not.)

    This looks very much like the BIOS screen you showed above.

    So could I lower the fan speed to 40% or lower without damaging the CPU? (I think your answer is going to be I'll have to try it.) But one problem I noticed is that I got an error when I tried to do that ("Warning: System fan RPM might behave abnormally if you set the fan speed too low").

    How high can the CPU temp get without damaging the CPU? 100 C? Lower than that?

  • PowerSpec_MikeW
    PowerSpec_MikeW PowerSpec Engineer
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    @Armadillo

    Sure, you can just drag the dots around to where you want it to ramp up when the system is put under load.

    On the MSI BIOS you can save screenshots to a flash drive with the F12 key.

  • Armadillo
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    Thanks. I will pull the computer out from under my desk (really a desk top) tomorrow when the light is better and see if I can see which fans plug in where.

  • PowerSpec_MikeW
    PowerSpec_MikeW PowerSpec Engineer
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    @Armadillo

    You could always map it acoustically. Go to manual and set the fan to 100% and see which one it is.

  • Armadillo
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    Good idea. I will try that. I was going to try to turn the fan off but that made me nervous since I didn't know how hot some of these components would get (or how quickly).

  • Armadillo
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    @PowerSpec_MikeW

    Thanks for the tip. I did figure out that SYS Fan 4 appears to be the controller for the case fans.

    Two major issues remain.

    1. What's a reasonable operating temperature for the CPU? When I'm hardly doing anything it runs in the high 30s C. It can jump pretty quickly to high 40s C or even low 50s C. Once I even saw it hit the low 60s C. Don't know what it will do when I actually start to record audio. I'm concerned that if I try to reduce the fan speed on the case I'll be running in the high 50s or even 60s.
    2. I don't know whether these fans are 3-pin (DC) or 4-pin (PWM). How do I figure that out? Or will I be required to shut the computer down, and physically figure out where the fan header connectors are and actually look at it. I'm hoping to avoid that.

    The full spec from the LANCOOL III Installation manual for the 3 front fans is:

    INCL FAN 140 mm ARGB fan x 3 (300 - 1650 RPM / DC 12 V, 0.23 A, 0.35 A / 83.5 CFM / 2.3 mm H2O / 33dB-A

    Spec for rear fan is similar. I'm only putting it here because I don't see anything that tells me whether it's DC or PWM but perhaps I'm missing something.

    I may experiment with running the CPU fan at higher speeds to see if that allows me to reduce speed on the case fans.

  • PowerSpec_MikeW
    PowerSpec_MikeW PowerSpec Engineer
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    @Armadillo

    1. Depends on the CPU. I'm guessing 14700/14900K. Sorry of I missed it. That sounds fairly normal. They'll run up to 100c on the BIOS defaults if the demand is there.
    2. If you can control it, the auto mode detected it properly so you shouldn't have to worry about that. They're PWM though.

  • Armadillo
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    I keep trying to leave a comment. I just noticed that there's a message that appears briefly that says "your comment will appear after it's approved". It's been about 16 hours since I first tried so I'm not sure how long this will take. Or whether this current comment will ever appear.

  • Armadillo
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    @PowerSpec_MikeW

    Since that last comment appeared right away perhaps the problem was my comment was too long. So I'll leave a couple of shorter comments.

    14700/14900K? I think you mean something other than the Kelvin scale but I'm not sure what. This is in response to what you said about operating temps for the CPU.

  • Armadillo
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    @PowerSpec_MikeW

    I went to the BIOS to configure SYS Fan 4 and noticed several things.

    The only fan that has Smart Mode configured is the CPU fan. All of the others are just running. I'm not sure how their speeds are set. The Auto mode was set for the CPU fan, and the scale was set to Volts which implied DC. I didn't touch anything here.

    The CPU fan is the only fan with the Auto option (along with DC & PWM).

    I did set SYS Fan 4 to Smart Mode. I first tried both PWM and DC and using DC the fan speed climbed up to 1000 - 1250 RPMs or so. So I tried PWM and the fan speed correlated to what I set. The only thing I changed was the lowest smart setting. When I went into Smart Mode it was set to 50% RPM up to 40 C. I changed that to 30% up to 40 C. It does seem to be much quieter. CPU temps are running around 50 C.

  • Armadillo
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    @PowerSpec_MikeW

    I wouldn't mind configuring the others (since they are all running at about 1500 RPMs or higher) but since I don't know what SYS Fan 1, 3 or 6 are attached to I think I will leave them. Same with the Pump Fan - I'd like to configure it but don't know what I should configure it to. And don't want to mess with anything.

    The computer is running much quieter. I hope that having the CPU running about 50 C indefinitely is ok.

    So perhaps it's time I should declare victory?

  • PowerSpec_MikeW
    PowerSpec_MikeW PowerSpec Engineer
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    @Armadillo

    Regarding the 14700/14900K I was asking what CPU you had in the system. Apologize if I missed it before.

    Sounds pretty normal. For the PUMP_FAN it should be on a PUMP header that will run full speed. If not, I'd set it to full speed. It shouldn't make much noise.

  • Armadillo
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    @PowerSpec_MikeW

    The CPU is i7-13700K. Not the latest but pretty close. Sounds like temps in the 50 C range then are OK. I'll need to monitor the temps when I start actually doing some work (audio recording / mixing, video recording / editing, especially when I'm rendering).

    I'll verify that the PUMP fan is running full speed.

    The BIOS wouldn't let me set any of the SYS Fans to full speed (I only wanted to do that to try to determine which SYS Fan header belonged to the case LANCOOL III case fans).

  • Armadillo
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    @PowerSpec_MikeW

    I just rebooted to check on the Pump fan. I don't know what full speed is for the pump but it was running at 2200 - 2300 RPMs which is faster than any other fans.

    The Pump Fan, like all but the CPU fan and SYS Fan 4 (which I set) is not running in Smart Fan Mode. Not sure how fan speed is set on fans not in Smart Fan mode but it seems to be pretty high.

  • Armadillo
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    @PowerSpec_MikeW

    14700/14900K? I think you mean something other than the Kelvin scale but I'm not sure what.

    I ended up pulling my old computer out and moving the new one into its permanent position. I took the opportunity to try to figure out which fans were plugged into where. I did not succeed. The case fan wiring seems to be routed behind something and I couldn't follow it through. Also I'm still not sure where on the motherboard all of the pumps are plugged in.

    However I did make progress. First I noticed that the only fan that has Smart Mode configured is the CPU fan. All of the others are just running. I'm not sure how their speeds are set. The Auto mode was set for the CPU fan, and the scale was set to Volts which implied DC. I didn't touch anything here.

    I did set SYS Fan 4 to Smart Mode. I first tried both PWM and DC and using DC the fan speed climbed up to 1000 - 1250 RPMs or so. So I tried PWM and the fan speed correlated to what I set. The only thing I changed was the lowest smart setting. When I went into Smart Mode it was set to 50% RPM up to 40 C. I changed that to 30% up to 40 C. It does seem to be much quieter.

    I wouldn't mind configuring the others but since I don't know what SYS Fan 1, 3 or 6 are attached to I think I will leave them. Same with the Pump Fan - I'd like to configure it but don't know what I should configure it to. And don't want to mess with anything.

    I did this configuring in the BIOS, from your suggestion.

    One last thing - I don't know where MSI Center gets its data. When I started up Windows and looked at MSI Center and the fan configuration the settings for Smart Fan for SYS Fan 4 were the original BIOS settings, not what I had just done. I'd like to be able to continue to monitor the CPU temp but I'm not sure what to make of what I'm seeing from MSI Center.

  • Armadillo
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    @PowerSpec_MikeW

    Ignore this last post. It says it's from 4:42 PM but that's actually yesterday. I guess somebody somewhere does eventually approve long posts.

  • PowerSpec_MikeW
    PowerSpec_MikeW PowerSpec Engineer
    5 Insightfuls First Anniversary First Comment 5 Awesomes
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    @Armadillo

    13700K will run pretty hot. On the Z690/Z790 boards manufacturers do not enforce a power limit with an AIO. So if you put a heavy load on it, like Cinebench Multi as an example. It's going to go until it hits a thermal limit, the temperatures are hard to tame on the 13th Gen. The 14th Gen was slightly more power efficient, but you'll see the same thing. Intel does not bin aggressively, that's one of the reasons they're so fun to overclock. If you wanna run cool though, enforced power limits and unervolting is the way to go.

    For the PUMP it should default to 100% if it's on the PUMP header.

  • Armadillo
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    @PowerSpec_MikeW

    I think as long as I can run the CPU without damage and it's quiet enough to record audio I'll be fine. Perhaps one day I'll return to figure out how to enforce power limits and undervolting. I just took a quick look and saw that there are several articles on undervolting and how to do it.

    So I think it's time to declare victory and move on. Again I want to thank you so much for your help. You've been incredibly patient with me, answered all sorts of questions and kept returning to answer more of my queries. When we started I would have understood your answer just as much if you had written it in Swedish. Now as I look back it makes complete sense to me. Yesterday I found myself going to look up the water cooling kit to see if it might have any information on the fans - yes it did and I immediately knew by seeing it had a 4-pin connector they are controlled using PWM. (If only the LANCOOL III documentation had that information.)

    So that's not to say I'm an expert, but just to let you know you've taught me a lot in 6 days. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. When I started I was concerned I had just bought a computer that was going to be useless for one of its major reasons for existing (audio recording). Now I'm looking forward to starting to actually do some of the things I bought it for.

    So thanks so much. I am grateful for your support.

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