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How to adjust CPU fan speed – 3 methods

Time to reduce the noise.
Last Updated on May 7, 2024
An AMD Ryzen CPU next to an adjustable black AMD cooling fan on a white surface.
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If you were looking to learn how to adjust CPU fan speed, you’ve come to the right place.

A CPU fan working too fast could result in extra noise, and if it’s slow, the CPU could suffer from high temperature, which could mean slower processing and experiencing lag even in basic tasks. Unfortunately, controlling the CPU fan speed isn’t something that is directly built into Windows, but there are ways you can increase or decrease the fan’s RPM. 

In this guide, we’ll take you through three different methods for adjusting the CPU fan speed so you can achieve the desired temperature for your PC. So, let’s get right into it.  

Quick Answer

Depending on your motherboard, enter the BIOS settings by pressing the F1, F2, F10, DEL, or ESC keys. Navigate to the “Hardware” section and find the “Fan speed” or similarly labeled tab. Then, select the fan’s mode or adjust the curve according to your requirements. 

What you need to know

Before we move on to the main section, you need to fulfill some prerequisites. This is important because there are three types of fans; only two can be adjusted via software. 

  1. Molex: These fans have a flat four-pin connector and are connected directly to the PSU. What this means is that since they aren’t connected to the motherboard, there is no way to adjust their speed.  
  2. PWM: These fans are also four-pinned but are small in size and are connected directly to the motherboard, meaning their fan curve can be adjusted.
  3. DC: These fans are just like PWM fans, but they have three-pins rather than four-pins.
An amd ryzen 7 5700g processor with its packaging box, positioned beside a CPU fan on a white surface.
A CPU and its cooler – Image taken by PCGuide.com

How to control your CPU fan speed in Windows

Adjusting the fan curve of your CPU can be beneficial in controlling its temperature, especially if you’ve overclocked the processors or live in a region with high ambient temperature. Here are some methods to control the CPU fan speed.



Adjust the power settings

Depending on your PC’s power settings, your CPU fan could work overtime or suffer from slow RPMs. Generally, most people have “Balanced” selected as their preferred power plan, but if you go for “High performance” or “Power saver,” the CPU fan could adjust its speed accordingly.

  • Press “Windows Key + i” to open settings and navigate to “Power & sleep.”

    Screenshot of a computer settings menu focused on "power & sleep" with options for screen, sleep timers, and CPU fan speed highlighted by a red outline.
    Power and sleep

  • Under “Performance and Energy,” select your desired setting depending on the level of performance you want from your setup.
  • On the right side, click on “Additional power settings.”

    Screenshot of the power & sleep settings window on a Windows PC, highlighting the "related settings" section including methods to adjust CPU fan speed.
    Additional power settings

  • This should open the “Power Options” window. Apply the same settings over there as well.

    Screenshot of the power options control panel in Windows showing different methods for adjusting CPU fan speed: balanced (recommended) and high performance.
    Power options

One thing to note is that if you’re making these changes on your laptop, the high-performance setting will most likely drain your battery quickly. 



Using the BIOS settings

Changing the fan speed from BIOS might seem complex, but it’s pretty straightforward, with the most difficult part being entering into the BIOS settings. Here is how you can do it: 

  • Turn on your computer, and press F1, F2, F10, Del, or ESC when the motherboard’s brand logo appears. This button for entering the BIOS settings varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, so you might need to try it a few times. 
  • Navigate to the “Hardware Monitor,” “PC Health Status,” or a similarly named tab. 
  • Once there, look for an option named “Fan Speed Control,”” Fan Control,” “Smart Fan Mode,” “Qfan Control,” or a similar variation. 
  • This should give you a couple of fan speed options, such as a quiet profile or full performance. Select an option depending on whether you want the CPU fan’s RPM to increase or decrease.
  • In addition, you might encounter a fan curve graph that lets you control the CPU fan speed. It might seem complex to understand, but it’s easy once you understand how it works.
  • On one side, you’ll see the fan’s RPM; on the other, you’ll see the CPU temperature. For example, if 6200 RPM corresponds to 91­­°c, the fan will rotate at that RPM when the temperature hits that mark. So, adjust the curve for specific RPMs against the desired temperature.

The logo screen can flash by pretty quickly, especially if you have an SSD installed. You can try to record the screen with your mobile phone and watch the video to know which button lets you enter the BIOS settings.



Using third-party software

You can use third-party software like SpeedFan to control CPU fan speed, but this will only work for PWM and DC fans. Here is how you can do it. 

  • Download, install, and launch the SpeedFan application.
  • The main interface should show the temperature of different components. If there is a down arrow next to them, that means the temperature is cool. A tick means that it is running at optimal temperature, and a flame shows that it is overheating.

    Screenshot of SpeedFan 4.52 software displaying system temperatures and methods to adjust CPU fan speed on a computer with various components listed.
    SpeedFan interface

  • Click “Configure” and head to the “Advanced” tab.
  • Select the “ISA” or “PWM 1 mode” entry.
  • This should give you a list of all PWM controllers available. 
  • For each PWM, select the “Software Controlled” option
  • Select the “Automatic fan speed” option and click on “Configure.”
  • Head over to the “Speed” tab and set the speed for each fan, again, depending on factors like whether you’re okay with noise and the ambient temperature.

Wrapping up

This was everything you needed to know about how to change CPU fan speed, and now, hopefully, you can adjust the settings to keep your CPU at a comfortable temperature. As we saw, changing the processor fan speed largely depends upon the type of fan installed. If it takes power directly from the PSU, then its RPM can’t be adjusted, and you’ll have to increase the overall airflow to keep your components and the CPU cool. However, PWM and DC fans can be controlled automatically and manually via their software or third-party programs.

That said, if you want to keep the temperature under control, we recommend checking out our best airflow PC case and CPU cooler guides for the best picks. Besides that, we’ve also covered solutions on how to stop your CPU from overheating, so give that a shot as well. 

Ussamah works as a content writer and editor at BGFG. He is experienced in tech, hardware, gaming, and marketing.