XPS Desktops

Last reply by 03-13-2023 Unsolved
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XPS 8950, aftermarket case fan issues

XPS 8950

I already switch my CPU cooler to a BeQuiet heatsink and fan, with success.  I was hoping to replace my 120mm case fans with a quieter option.  I chose the BeQuiet Silent Wings 3.  At full throttle, they are a little quieter and move more air than the supplied OEM case fans.  However, the BeQuiet fans always run at full throttle and are not being modulated at all.  So at stable temps and low operating constraints, the case is actually louder due to the constant full speed of the fans.  My CPU temps are down a few degrees further, but otherwise my main objective of quieter running is a failure.  I tried FanControl software utility from GitHub, but it does not detect the case fans on the Dell motherboard.    Is there any pin header adapter that I need?  Is the proprietary Dell mobo and Bios setting just not going to cooperate with aftermarket fans?  I'm willing to try a hardware fan controller, but want the case fan speeds to be modulated with load/temp as they should be. Any advice or suggestions are welcome, or let me know any other info I can provide.  Thanks!

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2 Bronze

I do get the BIOS warning about the case fans, which I proceed past to boot.  I get the BIOS warning about the CPU fan as well, but with that the aftermarket CPU fan is still being modulated for load/temp while the case fans are not.

4 Beryllium

bequiet! Silent Wings 3 PWM 120mm fans claim 16.4 dBA @ 100% 1450 rpm. It doesn't get much more quiet than that. I am running some Silent Wings 3 140mm 3-pin fans @ constant 1000 rpm and 15.5 dBA. The "Gold Standard" Noctua NF-S12A PWM report 17.8 dBA @ 1200 rpm. Have you tried headphones?



I agree with you that the fans should be very quiet at that dB rating, but these are not.  I wonder if something is wrong with the PWM control signal coming from the Dell Mobo once the BIOS detects a different than expected fan RPM.  They are running full blast any time the PC is active....perhaps more 'full blast' than their design?  I'm looking into trying a hardware fan hub with its own temperature probes and customizable software fan curves.


Nothing is wrong with the PWM signal. You are using very slow (but quiet) max speed fans in place of high speed fans and they are acting accordingly. Unfortunately, Dell PC's are very picky about the fans they work with.


I appreciate your insight, which makes sense.  I will either try aftermarket control suitable for this style fan or just reinstall the stock fans.  This is the first desktop I've ever bought vs. built and wasn't prepared for the nuances of minor limitations like this.  Otherwise, it's a pretty solid PC.


I hear ya. The fan thing is ridiculous. After spending as much as I did on the PC, I definitely would have paid a bit more to have BeQuiet or Noctua fans from the factory. Or at least the ability to change them out without errors.


"Or at least the ability to change them out without errors."

That was my big miss on assumption.  I can figure it out one way (controller) or the other (back to stock) and your comment has helped to arrive at the conclusion.


I'm not sure what your component cooling solutions are at this time . . . but just a note that, at least for the XPS 8930, any 3-pin fan will work without throwing the diagnostic startup error. Of course they will not be modulated, but they are just case fans meant to provide an adequate air flow regime through the chassis.


I ran a slew of updates through Dell SupportAssist, some drivers and Intel performance manager packages were called for.  The fans now run silently.  They must have been on some erroneous overdrive signal prior.  No way they were meeting the 16dB fan spec, but after updates it went from vortex sound to silent operation.

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