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Dell R720 server. Put in PCIe card, fans run twice as fast. No PCIe, card fans run normal.

Posted on 2014-11-11
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Have a server. Dell R720. Install a USB 3 PCIe card, fans speed up to twice their normal  (without PCIe) speed. The USB 3.0 USB controller is running as is, no additional power connected to it. Does the server need a firmware update?  Fans are running at 5200 RPM right now with the PCIe card installed. Without the PCIe card, they run at 2200 RPM....any experience in this? I do not see any updates needed, all are current via Open Manage and iDrac.

Thanks.
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Question by:dronethought
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by:bas2754
ID: 40436491
I would start seeing if there is an update for the BMC (Baseboard Management Controller - I think...).  I had a set of servers doing the same thing and that was the start.  That being said, do you have the ability to try a different slot?  It may be the add-in card is causing a conflict with the system and the card needs to be on a different bus.  

If the server is under warranty, a quick call or online chat with Dell might be in order as well.  I don't have time at the moment to go look at the reference manual for the server, but it may have details as to where it is best to install these add-in cards as well.
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Casey Weaver earned 500 total points
ID: 40436509
This is normal behavior. When a card is inserted the server increases base air flow in order to provide cooler air to the cards that are all the way in the back (these could be fiber modules, GPU's, or high end RAID adapters, so the server provides plenty of cooling). The only way to get around this is to use official Dell cards specified for your server. These cards will contain their own BMC chips that report back temperatures to the server to let the server know there is no need for all the extra cooling (or it could be the opposite, they can tell the server to ramp the fans up). For a USB 3 expansion card I imagine you'll be out of luck. There may be a supported way to force the fans to slow down, but I don't know for that model of Poweredge.
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