Smith07
1 Nickel

Dell PE R210 iDRAC6 Firmware Upgrade - Fans still Noisy

I just installed the latest iDRAC6 firmware (1.50 A02) upgrade for a Dell PE R210 in a hope to reduce the noise levels of the fans as per the BMC fixes (1.50 A04) but the fans are still running fairly high.

With the previous iDRAC6 firmware (1.30) the fans would run at 8500 rpm way too loud and even changing the BIOS power settings made no difference. Now with this release the fan speeds went down initially to around 6500 rpm and are now about 7020 - 7200 rpm. I have changed the power settings for minimum but this has not really made a lot of difference. Does anyone know of how to get the fan speed down further to say 4000 - 5000 rpm? I know the internal components have to be cooled but even the Dell PE R610 which has more fans and components runs more silently.

The server does have the PERC H200 adaptor card installed along with the iDRAC6 Enterprise card and two hard drives and the board temperature is around 28 - 30 Centigrade.

Any help would be appreciated.

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34 Replies
boecek
1 Copper

Re: Dell PE R210 iDRAC6 Firmware Upgrade - Fans still Noisy

This Problem was discussed on this thread before

http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/servers/f/946/p/19316464/19634677.aspx#19634677

and Dell-Matt M told us that this task should be solved in a early July firmware update.

I am also waiting for this since January but it looks like Dell is late or just does not care.

I dont know, Dell-Matt M have you any news for us?

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Smith07
1 Nickel

Re: Dell PE R210 iDRAC6 Firmware Upgrade - Fans still Noisy

After further testing yesterday the iDRAC6 1.50 update does adjust the fan speed but not far enough, if the system board temperature goes down to 19 C the fans spin down to around 5500 rpm, but they are still quite noisy. If the temperature is 24 C the fans are at 6400 rpm and they are still loud. I would of thought that at 19 C the fans would have been quite a bit lower than they are.

Can anyone from Dell comment on this and if there are likely to be any further updates for the fan issue. The server was originally bought for it's low power consumption and you would assume low noise but on the last part that does not seem to be the case. 

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simonicemans
1 Copper

Re: Dell PE R210 iDRAC6 Firmware Upgrade - Fans still Noisy

I have updated the bios on my T310 to 1.3.6 and the Idrac6 express firmware to 1.50 and the fans still run loudly.

Do Dell plan any further work on this or is that it? If so I shall be returning it as it is completely unusable in a small office.

 

 

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Re: Dell PE R210 iDRAC6 Firmware Upgrade - Fans still Noisy

If the internal temperatures are close to the middle of their range and the fans are still loud, you should consider providing the server with more airflow or a cooler environment so it can dissipate heat more easily.  The systems that had firmware modifications to make the fans quieter were also pushing the temperature lower than they needed to be.  There are also noise reducing cabinets that may help your situation.  If your system's temperatures are low and the fans are still loud, there may be a forthcoming firmware update to change it.

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simonicemans
1 Copper

Re: Dell PE R210 iDRAC6 Firmware Upgrade - Fans still Noisy

Jeff, thanks for the reply, here are some answers to your questions.

The T310 is sitting next to two other Dell desktop machines (running as servers) which always run whisper quiet no matter what the temperature is (ambient in here never goes about about 28 even on the hottest day). They're also about 3 years old and have run reliably 24/7 like this for those 3 years. The T310 is idle (load average 0.0) when it's making all this racket. The temperature of the T310 is only a few degrees above ambient at about 26 degrees today. The fan is rotating at about 3K rpm all of the time.

I have neither the room, budget nor inclination to add a sound proofing enclosure. A few more options in the T310 BIOS would seem to be the right way forward. That way, the default can be for it to blow like a gale for those that like the sound of a jet aircraft taking off in their office, while the rest of the world can work in blisful peace and calm.

As an aside, after the iDRAC firmware upgrade the fan speed ramped first up to what sounded like maximum for about a minute then fell to a very nice low level, before returning to 3K, so it can run much quieter...

I don't understand how Dell have cocked up with this really. If a particular machine chassis is destined for a data center, then fine, run the fans flat out if you want as there will be nobody working permanently at a desk in the room with them. But something like a T310 is fairly lowly in the full Dell product range isn't it and surely Dell must realise that these will be bought by small businesses such as myself who don't always have the luxury of a separate server room and who will have to have people working right along side them?

The fact that the system temperature is so low seems to me to indicate that the fan is definitely being run excessivly fast and that this is really an attitude problem by Dell rather than technical - ie. there's no real attempt to make these machines quiet as the assumption is that they'll be running in a room with no people (which as I've said above is wrong).

I bought the thing in January this year and it's only been turned on a few times. Although it is probably a small machine for Dell, it represents a considerable investment for me and one I can't continue to have lying around doing nothing.

I'm unfamiliar with the participants in this forum so could I ask a) do you speak for Dell Jeff, b) if so can you (or anyone else working for Dell reading this) give me some definitive idea of when this might be addressed.

Also, can someone from Dell please put some numbers on this. I'd like to know a) what temperature (or temperature difference above ambient) the control system aims for in the minimum power fan mode in the BIOS and b) what range of fan speeds are considered 'normal' for a T310. 

Simon.

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Re: Dell PE R210 iDRAC6 Firmware Upgrade - Fans still Noisy

Simon,

Did you get RDIMMs or UDIMMs for that system?  If you have RDIMMs, it will generate much more heat than the desktop systems, which probably use older RAM technology that won't generate as much heat, thus need less airflow.

I know that many people will set up their small office server in a comms closet with an extra air conditioning vent, which is an easy way to cut down on the noise.

If you want specific numbers, you should probably talk to the Sales rep that you originally purchased the server from, or call that department.

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Smith07
1 Nickel

Re: Dell PE R210 iDRAC6 Firmware Upgrade - Fans still Noisy

Jeff

I think you are missing the point as to what Simon was saying. When people buy these servers they expect them to run as they should especially if they are to be used in an office environment where they need to be quiet. Also they don't necessarily have the funds to provide the environment you suggest.

It seems like these new lower end 11G servers have not really been deisgned properly. As per my original post the R210 I am running is using UDIMMs but the fans are still running too high even at 19C they are still running at over 5000rpm. Why is it that the higher end servers R610, T610 etc have more fans and components but still run quieter? I would like to see additional work done by Dell to reduce the fan noise for the T110, T310 and R210 servers and for someone to actually listen to end user concerns, otherwise people will start switching to other server manufacturers.

I look forward to a response from Dell.

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de_iru_ch
1 Nickel

Re: Dell PE R210 iDRAC6 Firmware Upgrade - Fans still Noisy

Hi there,

I too have a R210 running here with the new firmware. It's still unnecessarily noisy, temperature is 20*, the air coming out of the server an estimated 25*. It's obvious that the fans will get louder when the server gets hot (and the environment is hot as well). But right now there's absolutely no reason for most of the fans spinning and those that do could run at a quarter of the speed. I hope your engineers can further improve the situation... Can I hope for an update? 

Also I couldn't make out any difference wether I set "Minimum Power" or "Maximum Performance" for the "Fan Power and Performance Management" setting in the BIOS. Does this option actually do anything? What should the difference be?

Cheers,
Simon

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Highlighted
briwlls
1 Copper

Re: Dell PE R210 iDRAC6 Firmware Upgrade - Fans still Noisy

What O/S are you running?

We're running Windows 2008 R2 Standard x64 bit.

We find the fans spin up on start up at the initial Windows Server start up splash screen, the fans continue to run high.

If we shut the server off, pull the power, hold the power button down for 15 seconds to flush the system board then the next boot up is normal and NO noisy fans.

If after this start up, we restart or shut down (leaving the power in) the fans will again spin up at 5400 RPM at the O/S splash screen and continue running until we perform a full power flush.

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