Yes less distance, but it also clatters your mobo with wires, which equates to poor airflow. Whereas if you plug your fans to your PSU, you can tuck it behind anything. Also true, the mobo can control the fan speed. On the other hand when you plug your fans to your PSU, if will run at full speed always.
thanks so much, this is great, ill plug almost all of them just straight into the PSU, and the case I have has amazing cable routing. do they have fan cable extensions just in case they wont reach? (edit: don't know why I asked, that I can google x)