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My old (5 years) HP is excessively noisy (I clean it out regularly - it's not that). It was getting on my nerves today and I tried once again to figure out what, precisely, is going on. Got some weird results.

I installed speedfan, which showed me that 1 fan was running at 4400 RPM, and another one was running at 2400. The video card is an NVIDIA 8800 GT (I installed it a few years ago) and speedfan reported that the GPU temp was 75 degrees, and the CPU temp was zero (?), and the ambient temp was 35 degrees (which I assume is actually the cpu temp). I assumed it was the video card that was making all the noise, even though I literally just cleaned its fan last week

I tooled around with speedfan but wasn't able to control the fan speed - I couldn't really follow the help guide. I think it's over my head

I then installed an EVGA utility that also showed the video card temp was 75 degrees and that yes the fan speed was 4400. Using that utility, I dropped that fan speed to 2500 and there was no noise reduction, which I found baffling

Then I opened up PC Wizard, which showed there is another fan running at 10,000 RPM - speedfan never detected that fan so I'm guessing that the higher-running fan isn't connected to whatever speedfan looks at. PC Wizard didn't give me any information about that particular fan - I don't even know what it's connected to. PCWizard actually showed me 4 fan speeds, whereas speedfan only showed me 2. Two of the fan speeds matched what speedfan showed, then there was the 10k fan, and then another which wasn't running particularly fast.

A few years ago, I upgraded the PSU - maybe that's the fan in question (the PSU is a SeaSonic S12 Energy Plus SS-550HT 550W ATX12V). I do not remember the PC being this loud all the time, and I want to say that it got louder after I installed the new PSU but it was a few years ago and I just don't recall. I also installed the 8800GT a month after upgrading the PSU

Anyway, I am deathly afraid to touch my BIOS but I understand that BIOS controls fan speed and at what temps the various fans are activated. I am curious to look at the BIOS and see if there's a certain fan that's basically made to go on all the time (the loud noise is constant - it just gets slightly louder under load but even just idle, it's irritating).

All I know about BIOS is that you can get to it by hitting something on start up before windows loads (that pc runs xp). The other thing I know is that you should avoid monkeying with BIOS.

Can anyone give me an idea how I "get to" the fan controls in BIOS, and what to look for? Is it even safe to look at BIOS without invoking its anger and causing catastrophe? Would the PSU fan be controlled by BIOS, or does the PSU handle its own fan automatically? If it is the PSU fan and if BIOS can control that, is it wise to toy with the PSU fan speed?

Thanks in advance for any tips - sorry if this was a ramble but I wanted to lay out everything I could to help my helpers.
 

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It is doubtful you can cause too much trouble in the BIOS. Generally, you press the DEL key to enter BIOS. All of them that I'm aware of ask you if you want to save your settings if you change something...when you exit. At the top or bottom of the BIOS screen they will give you instructions on how to change stuff or how to exit. Nearly all BIOS's have a 'fail safe' boot selection too, where it detects your hardware and automatically sets the BIOS.

It is safe to 'look' at the BIOS. I'm not familiar with any BIOS that allows you to control any fan speed. But many have temp readings of important devices, and some have speed detectors. I'd trust those readings before I'd trust an after market software package.

The PSU would have a built-in (if any) fan speed controller based on temp of key components. Usually such PSU's are called 'Quiet', 'Smart', or similar. It's wouldn't be wise to toy with a PSU's fan speed.

If you take off the cases side, can you tell which fan is the noisy one?
 
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