NVIDIA today unveiled a new monitoring and control standard called Enthusiast System Architecture (ESA). The new protocol aims to fine-tune the performance of high-end systems by offering a closer integration of all the components in your case:
The new ESA standard is built around the current USB HID class specification and is designed to support new monitoring and control capabilities for PC devices such as chassis, power supplies, and water and air cooling peripherals. Until the introduction of ESA, there was no standard communication protocol allowing such components to report information back to users. Essential data, such as temperature, thermal, voltage, and air flow attributes are made available in real-time and are critical to obtaining maximum PC performance and overclocking. With ESA, component manufacturers can now embed a wide variety of digital and analog sensors into their devices which can communicate real-time data for use in analyzing and optimizing overall PC operating conditions. In addition, ESA's logging functionality offers PC manufacturers and system builders an inexpensive and easy way to help identify PC operating abnormalities, and enable them to quickly identify and resolve customer support issues.
This animation explains how it works:
"ESA is a communication protocol that ties together all the key aspects of a system," said Rahul Sood, CTO of Global Gaming Business at HP. "Most significant to HP is the fact that we can potentially use ESA-enabled technology to create a unique and immediately noticeable benefit to our customers."
Some benefits of ESA for specific components:
Quieter operation, more easily to adjust fan speed
Adjust voltage levels
Reports on PSU operating conditions and status. Useful to determine how close to rated maximums the PSU is operating. You can monitor the load, efficiency and runtime voltage drops
Monitoring of internal PSU temperatures
Adjust pump speed based on temperatures of CPU, GPU, MCP, ...
Adjust fan speeds based on monitored device temperatures
Monitor flow rate, water levels and temperatures. Allows you to get early warnings of leaks or thermal problems.
Manipulate LEDs and LCDs to reflect system status
Communicate fan and thermal sensor status for devices controlled by the
chassis. This includes 3D positions of thermal and acoustic zones within
the chassis using three dimensions of position data.
The royalty-free standard already has broad support from big OEMs like Dell and HP, system builders like Alienware, Falcon Northwest and Maingear, motherboard makers like ASUS, EVGA, Gigabyte, MSI and XFX. Other firms who will support ESA are CoolerMaster, CoolIT Systems, PC Power & Cooling, SilverStone, Tagan, ThermalTake and Ultra.