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Zalman Z3 Plus fan speed controller?

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November 29, 2013 11:14:53 AM

I've just received my PC case, which is a Zalman Z3 Plus.
[Been playing around with how I want my cables done, and this thing is roomy. It feels like a really top-of-the-line case, imo. Lots of features, GREAT tool-free 5.25" bay system, and filters EVERYWHERE. Only problem I have is the cheapish-looking fan controller.]
The case comes with 4 fans (two top, one back, one front), three of which are 3-pin, with one being a 4-pin Molex (the one in the back).
Now, the case comes with a "fan controller" for two fans. What I can get from looking at the thing, the fan connector goes into it, but only two of the 3 pins are used (like, what the heck? I've seen them in Molex, PWM and 3-pin, but only utilizing 2 pins!?). There are only two different settings for the controller; "HI" and "LOW" (set by a button on the front I/O). The same for the other fan (there's only one button). And the controller uses a 4-pin Molex connector for power (which is, as I've found, a bit short for cable managment; anyone planning on buying it, get an extension cable).

My question is, can the fans be speed-controlled with the motherboard, knowing that they're all just 3-pin (besides the back one)(the mobo, of course, also has 4-pin connectors)? Or would the built-in "fan controller" do better than the mobo for the two fans that I can connect (but then again, one 3-pin fan is left to be plugged into the motherboard)?

Sadly, my retailer is a [beeeeep], so I've been waiting for my mobo and PSU (and CPU, and RAM. And HDD and SSD. Oh, and let's not forget the part where practically my entire PC takes two months to ship (from Germany, which is 6 hours or less a drive from here)) for over a month now. I'd be testing it myself, but, damn, some people sure do take their time (another retailer, for instance, had this case, a GPU and one of the best thermal pastes around ready for me in two days. Oh, and a DVD-drive.).

If it makes any difference, the mobo is a GA-H87M-D3H (Gigabyte). Or at least I'm hoping that's what the [beeeep] will send me. :I

Thanks for all yer replies!

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November 29, 2013 11:22:58 AM

three pin fans are controlled by voltage going into them. most users use a fan speed mod cable 7v (wire with a resistor in it)
to take 12v down to 7v so fans run at 50 percent speed. the four pin fan (small molex not the large ones are pmw fans and can be controlled by a mb or a good fan controller. if the case fan controller has the amp rating you can use a fan y wire and run two fans from one port. for the three pin fans.
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November 29, 2013 11:38:33 AM

Okay, so 3-pin header means no mobo speed control.
Only solutions are cables with resistors or a Y cable for all three 3-pin fans.

Thanks, then, it's really all I needed to know!
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January 22, 2014 12:38:11 AM

Sorry, off topic question but what do you think of this case? I'm looking at getting one but wondering about the usb ports and if they use headers or just those internal pin connector things?
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January 22, 2014 12:19:22 PM

Well I think it's great. Cable managment isn't as good as the more expensive cases but with enough time, you'll be able to hide the cables pretty neat.
Doesn't overheat (I mean, 4 fans, how could it?). The fan controller on the front is pretty useful if you run out of fan connectors on your mobo (like I have). The fans run silent, there's little (to none) dust accumulation. The connectors inside haven't broken yet (despite my un-skill with cabling).

One thing I have noticed is that, on the top right (if a mATX board), it sorta feels like there should be a screw (standoff) there, since pressing the ATXv12 cable in bends the board (or you could just put your finger behind like I did).
The HDD cage is awesome, but installing a bottom front fan is useless unless using a single 2.5" drive, fixed on the top of the cage.

Also, you get a bunch of zip ties and the like. Pay attention to what kind of screw you use where, they're really easy to mix, since one screw fits in many different holes (but can damage a component if in the wrong place).
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January 22, 2014 1:56:53 PM

Ok awesome. Also, do the usb ports use actual block headers or those pin type things?
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January 23, 2014 6:19:55 AM

I don't know what you mean by pins (I assume it's like the things for front audio, power button, front LEDs etc.).
There's only one cable for both USB2 ports, and, of course, a cable for the USB3 port.
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January 23, 2014 7:51:59 AM

The usb connectors for the motherboard side, do they use pins or usb headers?
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January 24, 2014 5:40:50 AM

Quote:
I don't know what you mean by pins (I assume it's like the things for front audio, power button, front LEDs etc.).

Still don't know this.
If what I assumed is correct, then no, there are no pins (they make cases with PINS there!? MADNESS!).
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January 24, 2014 8:37:55 AM

the newer usb 3.0 cable plugs in like a sata cable. the older usb 2.0 header have a bunch of pins on the mb.
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January 24, 2014 9:30:02 AM

The way it looks to me is that both connectors have pins on the mobo... The 3.0 mobo-side connector just has a bit of plastic around it...
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