Fan noise

Robert G. Brown rgb at
Mon Jul 8 11:39:04 PDT 2002

On Mon, 8 Jul 2002, Pengcheng Zhang wrote:

> Is there a way to reduce the noise of fans? Our 8-node cluster
> makes me feel like working in an airplane. They are running

Our cluster room is more like working right behind a jet, but more than
half the noise is the air conditioner. So you wear headphones and listen
to music while you work (which also keeps your ears warm, since it is
between 55F and 65F depending on where you sit;-)

> Redhat 7.3. The same problem happens on a PC. When it's under
> WindowsXP, it's really quite; but under Linux it's noisy.

Curious.  We actually plug our fans directly into the power supply so
they run all the time when the system is up instead letting them be
regulated by the OS or BIOS at all -- a cool system is a happy system,
and when one is cranking away on a computation, the system generates a
lot of heat and the fans SHOULD be running all the time anyway.

On my laptop, OTOH, the fan only kicks on and runs when it heats up
under linux or anything else.  Now, when I run linux and do some sort of
computation, it does generate heat and the fan eventually kicks on.
When I used to run Windoze, I of course couldn't do any real work
without spending a fortune on compilers and so forth so the system spent
all of its time twiddling its silicon thumbs, and the fan never kicked

Could this be the problem?  Are you actually using your cluster under
linux so that it generates enough heat for the fans to kick on while
under windows your most common instruction is a noop?

Remember, the fans are your friends.  If you are working on the cluster
and the fans DON'T kick on, your system could be expensive yard art a
few minutes later...


> Thanks.
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Robert G. Brown	             
Duke University Dept. of Physics, Box 90305
Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
Phone: 1-919-660-2567  Fax: 919-660-2525     email:rgb at

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