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How do i connect case fans?? Help? Whats the best way?

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December 18, 2013 1:35:14 PM

Im getting the cooler master haf x case soon, it comes with 4 fans inside, all of these fans can either be plugged into the motherboard or power supply using molex, whats the best way? Would i daisy chain them up behind the case? Or is it best to plug them straight into the motherboard fan headers? The motherboard has enough fan headers to do this, but which way is best?? I appreciate your time guys! Thanks in advance! :) 
a c 425 V Motherboard
December 18, 2013 2:49:32 PM

If your MB's BIOS has the capability of controlling fan RPM, I'd pick that over daisy chaining them to a Molex. If you go the latter route, the fans will all run at full RPM all the time. That can get quite noisy.
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December 18, 2013 3:51:10 PM

Well i don't have a motherboard yet as i am building this system at christmas time, but the motherboard i am defiantly getting is the msi z77a-g45 gaming edition, so is that motherboard capable of doing that?
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a c 425 V Motherboard
December 18, 2013 7:12:30 PM

olikonarider said:
Well i don't have a motherboard yet as i am building this system at christmas time, but the motherboard i am defiantly getting is the msi z77a-g45 gaming edition, so is that motherboard capable of doing that?


Go to the MB's website ( http://us.msi.com/product/mb/Z77A-G45-GAMING.html#downl... ) and download the manual. Look on page 1-25. It states that SYS FAN 1 and 2 are controllable with Smart Fan. They are 4 pin headers and would require 4 wire PWM fans I presume. The other 2 SYS FAN headers are 3 wire, and they appear to not be speed controllable.

Newer MB's are doing this now. In the past it was common to find just 3 wire fan headers on the MB. These were sometimes speed controlled thru simply varying the voltage. Now they seem to be providing PWM control (like the CPU fan headers use) to control speed. But unfortunately, they omit the voltage control for the 3 wire headers now.

So I'm going to say that you will have speed control on 2 fans if they are 4 wire PWM fans, and you will have no speed control on the other 2 fan headers. Therefore, if your fans are 2 or 3 wire, you would have to invest in a fan controller if you want to have control of the fans' RPM. Or buy a case that comes with a fan controller.
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December 19, 2013 2:00:21 AM

Well the fans which come inside the case all use a 3 pin connector, or there is an adapter so i can use molex
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December 19, 2013 2:09:25 AM

Surely the sys fan 1 and 2 are compatible with 3 pin fan connectors?? In other words 3 pin fan connecters will work with 4 Pin motherboard fan headers. Or are you saying in order to control the fan speed for those i need to have a fan with a 4 pin connector?
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December 19, 2013 2:17:01 AM

Or could i buy a 3 pin to 4 pin pwm fan adapter?
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a c 425 V Motherboard
December 19, 2013 1:28:24 PM

Yes, you can use 3 pin connectors on a 4 pin MB header. What I was referring to was the fact that the MB BIOS uses PWM instead of voltage control for the 4 pin headers. Therefore any 3 wire fans plugged into the 4 wire headers won't be speed controllable. But any fan, not matter the pin count, will work on any header on the MB.

It won't do any good to buy a 3 to 4 pin adapter (if they even make them) because the 3 wire fans don't have PWM (Pulse Width Modulation). So your choices are plug the fans into the MB and live with full speed, plug the fans into Molex adapters and live with full speed, buy a fan controller and use it to control speed, or buy a case that comes with a fan controller.
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December 20, 2013 12:35:32 PM

Ok thanks this is helpful, to be honest I'm not really bothered about controlling the speed anymore, but the cpu cooler is pwm which is good so il just plug them in the normal motherboard header way. But thanks anyway!
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a c 425 V Motherboard
December 20, 2013 2:31:08 PM

Your welcome. Yes, the CPU fan is usually the noisiest of the fans in the case because it is forcing its air directly into an obstruction; the heat sync fins. As a result, it usually makes the most noise. Fortunately, the CPU cooler's fan rarely runs at high RPM thanks to the PWM speed control.
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December 22, 2013 11:22:38 AM

Yes, im getting the cooler master hyper 212 evo, is it good? Im just hoping i wont have clearence problems with my corsair vengeance memory.
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a c 425 V Motherboard
December 22, 2013 11:28:40 AM

olikonarider said:
Yes, im getting the cooler master hyper 212 evo, is it good? Im just hoping i wont have clearence problems with my corsair vengeance memory.


I think it is one of the best for the money. I have 2 of them on two different rigs. It does sit quite low to the MB however. If you have high profile memory, you may have a problem with the stick that may end up directly beneath the 120mm fan. If the RAM stick is a little too tall, you can always slide the fan up a tad to clear the RAM. I've had to do that.
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