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Setting Up Manual Fan Speed Controls for Nvidia GPU’s in Manjaro

I’ve been using AMD rx480 / rx580 graphics cards for a few years because they are the bang-for-the-buck champs at under $100 used. They’re even sold in current Mac Pros still!, and are extremely capable for professional work.

But when I built my workstation earlier this year, I had about $400 to invest into a GPU. My choices were between the AMD Radeon 5700xt, Nvidia RTX 2070, or a used Nvidia 1080ti (last gen’s flagship).

I picked the 1080ti, because I know there will probably be a 3070 this year, and it should trounce the 2070 (and my 1080ti). All things being considered, the choices I had were pretty similar, but unlike most gpu’s that top out at 8gb of vram, the 1080ti (and 2080ti) have 11gb. This means I can work on slightly larger projects.


When installing Manjaro, on the first options screen choose the “non-free” drivers. (Usually when I install Manjaro on an rx580 system I choose free). This will install the Nvidia software you need to set this up.

This is not necessary if you don’t have an Nvidia card or if you don’t ever want to manually control the fans. I wanted the option to blast the fans if I’m doing an intense render, for example.

Adding Fan Control To Nvidia X Server Settings

Hit the “super”/windows key, and type “nvidia” into the search, and click on the title. In “Thermal Settings”, you’ll see the fan speed, and we’re going to add a slider to to manually control these settings if you want to.

I went to /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d using the dolphin file browser, and opened 90-mhwd.conf by clicking on it.

In KDE’s Kate text editor, I scrolled down to Section “Device” and added Option "Coolbits" "4" to the end of that section, as found here: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/NVIDIA/Tips_and_tricks#Set_fan_speed_at_login

Obviously you can do all of that in the terminal, too. But this is a part of my newb series.

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