How to Adjust the Speed of a CPU Cooling Fan

By Nina Nixon

The cooling fan speed of a central processing unit (CPU) can be modified to better utilize the maximum performance of your computer. Understanding how it works is the key to making the correct adjustment. The fan diverts heat on the main microchip and prevents it from melting. In some cases, too much propulsion is a waste of electrical energy; therefore, the fan needs to be slowed. In other situations, the fan should speed up to prevent many simultaneous processes from damaging the computer. You can change a CPU's fan speed to increase its longevity and value.

Things You'll Need

  • Windows XP

Step 1

Click "Start" and then click "Control Panel."

Step 2

Click "Performance and Maintenance" and then select "Power Saver." (Note: Your computer may show another subcategory. Look under "Performance and Maintenance" to be aware of your specific options.)

Step 3

Move the "CPU Processing Speed" slider up in order to speed up the cooling fan; move it down to slow it down. (Note: The slider position may vary, and it depends on the manufacturer and model number.)

Step 4

Click "Apply" and "OK" to activate the new settings. For a fast way to view your CPU speed using the DirectX Diagnostic Tool, proceed to Step 5.

Step 5

Click "Start" and then click "Run."

Step 6

Type "dxdiag" and then click "OK."

Step 7

Go to the "System" tab and view the speed on the "Processor" line.

Tips & Warnings

  • Adjust the speed of the cooling fan in complete (not halfway between settings) but small increments and then test to see how your computer responds to the change. This way, it is easier to associate the level of change with the results.
  • Loud CPU fans are not necessarily bad. If it kicks on, it means it's working to cool down your unit. You can lessen the load by closing unused programs.
  • These steps apply to the Windows XP operating system. Please visit Microsoft Support for information regarding other software versions.