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Case fans into molex connectors from PSU?

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June 15, 2011 5:16:42 AM

Is this the right way to go about it? I have an Antec 300, it's my first build. The fan connectors have what seems to be the male end on one side and female on the other for molex. Can I just take the cable from the PSU with some molex connectors on it and plug one of those into each fan connector, then control the speed with the little switches you can click between high medium and low? Sorry if it's a real newbie question, I'm almost there, just don't want to rush and blow everything up. I ask mostly because I saw some video where a guy mentioned plugging case fans into something on the motherboard, but I can't see how I'd go about doing that with my setup.

Thanks a lot!
a b K Overclocking
June 15, 2011 5:44:45 AM

Any fan can be directly plugged into the PSU. It will run at full rated speed if connected like this. Several fans can be 'daisy-chained' and plugged into the PSU.

If you have a fan speed control unit, the fans can be plugged into the speed control unit.

The motherboard has fan headers marked 'Cha_Fan' 'pwr_fan' etc., and fans can be plugged into these headers. In this case, the motherboard fan speed control will take over the speed control. The speed/temp relationship can be set in the BIOS.
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June 15, 2011 5:52:14 AM

Yeah, I see some pins on the motherboard for a fan to plug into, but they are tiny little pins and the connectors on the fans that came with the case are big molex ones, I'm not sure if there is some adaptor I would need?

Will the little controllers that hang off of the fans that come with the Antec 300 not control the speed if you plug it right into a molex connector? I was thinking they would just be electrical, control the amount of power that can go into the fan, not connected to the motherboard in any way.
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a b K Overclocking
June 15, 2011 6:09:40 AM

adamtheman87 said:
Yeah, I see some pins on the motherboard for a fan to plug into, but they are tiny little pins and the connectors on the fans that came with the case are big molex ones, I'm not sure if there is some adaptor I would need?

Will the little controllers that hang off of the fans that come with the Antec 300 not control the speed if you plug it right into a molex connector? I was thinking they would just be electrical, control the amount of power that can go into the fan, not connected to the motherboard in any way.

Yes there are adapters. Here are two examples (3-pin, 4-pin)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And yes, if you have speed control switches, they will work to control the fan speed. Just try it. You don't have to connect fans (except the CPU fan) to the motherboard fan headers. The CPU fan must be connected to the motherboard fan header marked "CPU_fan". The motherboard must sense this fan, or else the computer will not turn ON and run.
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June 15, 2011 5:41:16 PM

adamtheman87 said:
Is this the right way to go about it? I have an Antec 300, it's my first build. The fan connectors have what seems to be the male end on one side and female on the other for molex. Can I just take the cable from the PSU with some molex connectors on it and plug one of those into each fan connector, then control the speed with the little switches you can click between high medium and low? Sorry if it's a real newbie question, I'm almost there, just don't want to rush and blow everything up. I ask mostly because I saw some video where a guy mentioned plugging case fans into something on the motherboard, but I can't see how I'd go about doing that with my setup.

Thanks a lot!


Your description sounds like the molex connector on the fans are 4-Pin pass-through molex connectors (as oppossed to more common 4-pin male molex). Generally case fans have a smaller 3-pin female connector that will connect directly to your motherboard's 3-Pin male connectors. This is most likely what they meant in the video you referenced.

Getting back to your fan, since it is a 4-Pin pass-through molex connector, you can actaully daisy chain them together (i wouldnt connect more than 3 or 4 together) so they all get power from a single source like your 4-pin female power connector on the PSU or a fan controller. You can keep the fan connectors separate as well if you wish.

Dont worry too much though as it would be very hard to "blow up" your PC by connecting fans.
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a c 197 K Overclocking
June 16, 2011 5:11:23 AM

I have Antec 900 cases. I daisy chain the fan connectors and power them from the PSU. Because the airflow through the case is so good, I have the fans set to LOW.

You can either do that or you can get a fan controller and plug the fans into that.
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June 16, 2011 5:49:27 AM

Thanks for the responses! So it all worked out. I'm just so glad that everything went ok. I built this pc from scratch, my first time.

So yeah I just took one of the cables from the PSU, it has 3 molex connectors on it, plugged one into each of the fans that comes with the Antec 300. Left them on low, started up and they started spinning, and the little controller that hangs off will change the fan's speed.

My build is pretty moderate, i3-2100, 8GB Ram, eVGA Geforce GTS450, seagate 1tb hdd, dvd-rw, antec 550W truepower. So I think, and you can tell me if I'm wrong, cooling isn't going to be a major issue. I just used the stock intel CPU heatsink and then the Antec 300 has one rear and one top case fan. Would you add one on the front where it has space for two? Or is that unnecessary. I think that it says in the motherboard manual that there is a program on the driver disc that allows you to see temperature readings for your computer.

What a relief, I just installed Windows tonight, I was worried about the motherboard, It's a Gigabyte P67A-UD3-B3, and I was reading the reviews on Newegg, and half of them were saying "It's unusable!! Gigabyte should stop selling this it's killing their reputation, it just reboots every 10 seconds over and over in a loop!" and then the others said it works fine.

Biggest pain was getting the video card to go in, everything else - just took my time and read the manual and it was ok. Had to ask a few questions along the way, ie. the motherboard has 7 screw holes but the case only has a spot for 6 of those standoffs to go in and I wasn't sure if that was a problem, apparantly it isn't.

Fun experience though overall, I'm glad I built it vs. just buying one. Though I realize it might just be luck that I got no defective components or screwed anything up in which case I might have said it was a nightmare!
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a b K Overclocking
June 16, 2011 8:52:06 PM

Good news and congratulations! Most components are good these days. Reputable manufacturers cannot stay in business by producing defective parts. Occasionally, a bad part, or a bad batch will slip through. These are quickly recalled or replaced through the RMA process. Nothing wrong in this as long as the numbers are reasonable.

The cost of zero defects is infinite!
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