Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

Powering and Controlling Fans

Last response: in Overclocking
Share
January 24, 2013 8:18:35 PM

I'm in the very early stages of researching components for my first gaming build (researching motherboards, currently) and I'm utterly confused about fans and air cooling—specifically, how the fans are powered and controlled. I've divided my question into several sections.

Let's say I buy a case that has space for 2 front fans, 2 side fans, , 2 top fans, one floor fan, and one rear fan.

1. 8 fans is more than the standard motherboard can handle, am I right? So which fans would I plug into the motherboard, and which fans would I plug directly into the power source?

2. Further, how do I know how many fans my motherboard can handle? I mean, what do the fans even plug into? I've heard something about 3- or 4-pronged plugs, so which should I look for when choosing a motherboard? And how many?

3. For the fans that don't plug into the mobo, but the PSU directly, I guess I need to be making sure that my chosen PSU will have adequate connectors for the fans, no? Or can I be pretty sure that as long as I'm not buying a cheap-o PSU I'll get what I need in terms of PSU fan connections?

4. And then what about LED fans? Do their LED plugs connect to the mobo or the PSU? And again, do I need to be making extra certain that my PSU/mobo will have the appropriate number and kind of connectors for these LED plugs?

5. Then there's the question of controlling the fans. I know I can buy a fan controller panel, or choose a case that has such an option pre-installed, but what should I be looking for in such a controller (assuming I decide to get one at all)? I'm the type of person who would forget to turn the fans up when I start gaming... are there controllers out there that can detect the case temperature and that I could program to increase/decrease fan speed at certain temperature thresholds?I mean, I saw a couple controllers that have warning beeps and stuff, but ideally, I'd want to just set my fans up and forget about them.

Best solution

a b V Motherboard
January 24, 2013 8:26:54 PM

I'm going to ignore your question sequence because itl be easier for me to explain it my way.

A motherboards support for fan headers is dependant on the motherboard itself, some, like the sabertooth have like 12, while my Biostar z77 has 3.

My recomendation is, if the fan is closest to that plug, pug it there.

For what you ran out of, you have 3 options:

1.Use a molex adapter (may or may not be included) to plug the fan into your power supply, note that it will run at only 100% speed.

2. Buy a Y splitter to connect the fan and the one next to it into one fan header

3. Buy a drive bay Fan Controller and controll the speed with the dial that comes on the controller.

You only need molex from your power supply to plug fans in if you choose to do so, and not many power supplies DONT have molex.

LED fans are no diffrent in terms of connections to regular fans.

There are fan controllers out there with monitors on the front of the controller bay with some fancy LED's taht will tell you temperatures. The cheap ones that come with cases do not have this feature.
Share
January 24, 2013 8:41:59 PM

Thanks austing! Very helpful. I know there are a lot of cases out there with buttons on the front panel that you can use to turn the LEDs in your fans on and off (I suppose it's usually just the front fan you can control that way, though...). So those LED fans still connect the same way, via a 3 pronged connector or molex adapter? I guess I was expecting to need two different connectors in order to isolate fan speed and LED function. That's not the case, then? How would that work, anyway?
m
0
l
Related resources
a b V Motherboard
January 24, 2013 9:09:28 PM

SyntaxSocialist said:
Thanks austing! Very helpful. I know there are a lot of cases out there with buttons on the front panel that you can use to turn the LEDs in your fans on and off (I suppose it's usually just the front fan you can control that way, though...). So those LED fans still connect the same way, via a 3 pronged connector or molex adapter? I guess I was expecting to need two different connectors in order to isolate fan speed and LED function. That's not the case, then? How would that work, anyway?


The button to turn them off is hooked up to either a fan controller or is hooked to the 3 pin, and it just shorts the second ground that allows for the led to light.

LED lights will always be the same 3 or 4 pin (depending on if its a CPU fan or not) as a regular fan.
m
0
l
January 27, 2013 7:00:46 PM

Best answer selected by SyntaxSocialist.
m
0
l
!