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  • "Zero fan" support in amdgpu + mesa?

    Hi folks

    I've got a Radeon RX 570 from MSI with their "zero fan" feature. When I ran Windows this meant the fans would stop completely as long as the GPU was below 60 degrees Celcius.

    Now I'm running Debian Unstable (Unstable for the latest mesa drivers, as I use Steam Proton) and I've noticed the fans never stop spinning. Just typing this post it hovers around 900rpm and 38 degrees C (read using lm-sensors)

    Is this a missing feature on the driver stack I'm using, or perhaps just a missing configuration somewhere?

  • #2
    Originally posted by debianxfce View Post
    That is normal with Debian. 60 C without air flow can decrease the lifetime of microchips. I hope you have a silent GPU fan. My Asus RX570 4GB has now 38C and 1100 rpm at 4K60Hz.
    Bummer, but thanks for the reply. I realize higher temps aren't great for the lifetime, however even without airflow it only sat around the mid 40s on Windows. My case has a decent airflow so that helps a bit.

    But yeah the fan isn't all that loud, it's just the rest of my PC is whisper quiet, so the GFX fan sort of stands out a bit :-D

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    • #3
      I think amdgpu simply picks up the fan curve from the vbios. If that is the case, then it will depend if the vbios is implementing "zero fan". Or maybe the driver just isn't turning on the right switches within the vbios for it to work.
      radeon-profile has the option to enable zero fan behavior if you don't mind installing it. I'm using a pair of Cougar fans on my GPU now, which do not support zero fan like functionality, so I can't say if it works or not.
      Last edited by Melcar; 27 February 2019, 05:15 PM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by debianxfce View Post

        I have all fans quite type, so I can not say what is the loudest. I listen to music and play games and my desktop PC is silent. The FTX system in my house causes more noise.
        https://www.internet-radio.com/

        Use Padoka ppa Mesa and latest mainline or AMD wip kernels. If you have a 4K monitor, use the following in the kernel command line to fix a powerplay bug: amdgpu.ppfeaturemask=0xfffd7fff
        Nice Radio site, I'll test that out at work :-)

        As for the Mesa and kernels, I'd prefer to stick with the repo (Currently running Mesa 18.3.4 and kernel 4.19.0-3) as I have had some bad experiences with ppas in the past.

        I've set the ppfeaturemask to 0xffffffff to allow undervolting the card through /sys/class/drm/card0/device/pp_od_clk_voltage for improved efficiency. I'd this is a bitmask of sorts, and the bits you mention should be set as well this way.
        But my monitor is only 1080p, so perhaps it doesn't cause the powerplay bug you speak of anyway :-)

        My card is currently running a modified BIOS (self modified for lower voltages), I did this before finding out about the pp_od_clk_voltage, so I'm going to flash it back to stock and see if it changes anything. Will keep you posted :-)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by debianxfce View Post

          No freesync support, Mesa optimizations and other goodies then. I noticed that adding the latest vrr patch to the 5.0-rc7 kernel made my RX570 run at 32C instead of 38C while using the Chromium browser. I used Oibaf ppa many years and switched to Padoka ppa recently because of the llvm 7.0.1 causes system to freeze and other fatal bugs with radv and dxvk. All of my games runs great with Padoka ppa now.
          You make a good point, I'll probably switch to Ubuntu 19.04 once it releases, and test out the ppa by then :-)

          Also an update on the fan speed - flashing the card back to stock didn't change anything. I'll just leave it be for now, and see what happens once I get on Ubuntu 19.04 with your ppa recommendation :-)

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          • #6
            Originally posted by debianxfce View Post

            Ubuntu 19 is based on Debian unstable. Over 98% packages are the same.
            Yeah I'm aware of that, the main reason I'd go for Ubuntu is that it should keep more stable than the Debian Unstable (less new packages constantly, so hopefully a few less bugs)

            My PC has run stable on Fedora for 1½ year, but since I switched to Debian Unstable a week ago it has crashed or hung pretty much daily.
            Unfortunately I need OpenConnect v. 8 for work, so just running Debian Stable or Ubuntu 18.10 isn't an easy option, and I'd like a Debian based distro for some other things I use as well. Otherwise I had switched back to Fedora already :-D

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            • #7
              Thanks for the offer but I'm probably going away from the "pure" Debian again, and just switching to an Ubuntu variant :-)

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              • #8
                Hmm in that case I'd be better off on something like Arch maybe? (Rolling release)

                To the best of my knowledge none of the Debian based distros are proper rolling releases, and like mentioned before I'd rather avoid ppa's if at all possible. There's just something about ppa's I don't quite trust.

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                • #9
                  If you don't want to use ppas, then other than building your own drivers/packages, a rolling releases distro is your best bet. Arch is the go to one, but you can also try some of the popular Arch derivatives (Manjaro seems to be popular).

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                  • #10
                    debianxfce > Yeah I know it's not scientific, I just prefer using software from the repos because I understand where the software is coming from. It's probably an old habit from being on Windows where I'd never run a random executable I found on the web. (Malware risk etc.)

                    It's the same kind of mistrust I put in ppa's - it's AFAIK a single person maintaining it, and as such the risk of malware or malicious code is IMO higher. (I'm a developer with a focus on security and probably a bit paranoid about these things)


                    Melcar > Good point, I did actually try Manjaro since they have a ready-baked i3 edition (I use i3 as my wm). I liked it quite a bit, however I must admit the whole "what do I install from the Manjaro repo, and what do i get from AUR" got me slightly confused - AND I place the same distrust in AUR as I do in ppa's.

                    I'm probably a bit of a lost cause :-D


                    Anyway I think I've used enough of your time for this - If Debian keeps acting up I'll go back to Fedora 29 until Ubuntu 19.04 is released :-)
                    So far though it's been behaving nice for the last 2 days, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed :-P

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