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Case fans on new build...help!!!

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June 29, 2010 6:29:59 PM

Alright here is what I have...

Lancool PC-K60 with 4 fans

Asus P7P55D-E Pro with a 3-pin power fan connection, a 4-pin chassis fan, a 4-pin CPU fan (for heatsink fan), and a 3-pin chassis fan.

First of all what is a power fan connection and whats the difference between it and a chassis fan connection?

The dilemma is i have more case fans than fan connections. I have heard that you can connect your case fans to the PSU via the included molex adapter.

I have also heard some people suggest that ALL of your case fans are connected to the PSU and not the mobo. This reduces the current coming through the mobo. However I only have one molex adapter I believe.

What should I do? This is my first build by the way. Thanks.

More about : case fans build

June 29, 2010 8:03:49 PM

Alright so i figured out that the 3-pin power fan connection is typically for your PSU fan control. But I am pretty sure that my corsair 850tx has no such connection. I have also read that I can use that power fan connection just like a regular fan connection, and the fan will run at 100%.

I still have 4 fans with 3 mobo headers though.
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June 29, 2010 8:13:06 PM

You can buy various fan power cables and Y-splitters at newegg.

Fan Power Cables - hope that works. If not, Computer Accessories -> Cables -> Power Cables -> Fan Power Cables

The easiest thing to do would be to power 2 fans that are close together off of 1 header with a y-splitter cable.

Alternatively, if the fans have speed controls on them, you could get a molex to 3-pin converter.

Or you could get a fan controller (also under Computer Accessories) and run the fans off of that (presumably it uses a molex power connector direct from the PSU).
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June 29, 2010 8:26:30 PM

The molex's of case fans can be daisy chained, ie connected to each other. You could honestly power 100 case fans off 1 molex if you wanted, though that particular daisy chain would probably go out your door and halfway down the block.
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June 29, 2010 8:28:06 PM

Thanks for the response. I had thought about a y-splitter, but I really don't feel like paying so much for shipping. Do you know of any physical retailers that carry y-splitters?

I live close to Fry's, Best Buy, Radioshack...

I was just curious if you knew somewhere else to buy them. I will probably need them anyways because some of my cables may be too short to get to the place I want them to be. I might just have to go Newegg.

Also, are there any issues power-wise with having two fans on one mobo header?

I don't want a fan controller. I either want the fan to just run at 100% (connected to PSU or power fan connection) or be controlled by the mobo/BIOS and included software. I am fine with my intake fan running at a constant 100%. I would like to try and have some control over my 3 exhaust fans, especially the smaller (louder) one.

What do you mean if the fans have speed controls on them you could get a molex-3 pin adapter? I'm just a little confused with what you mean.

Thanks for the quick response.
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June 29, 2010 8:33:39 PM

banthracis said:
The molex's of case fans can be daisy chained, ie connected to each other. You could honestly power 100 case fans off 1 molex if you wanted, though that particular daisy chain would probably go out your door and halfway down the block.


I keep seeing that phrase "daisy chain" everywhere I go. Can you elaborate a bit more on what exactly that entails? It's starting to get frustrating seeing that phrase all over the web and I have no clue how to "daisy chain" lol. Do I lose fan control ability when I "daisy chain"?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ImageGallery.aspx?CurImag...

Thats a link to photos of my case. You can see there are 4 3-pin connectors, one coming off of each fan. The front fan is intake and the rest are exhaust.

How would I go about "daisy chaining these"? And would a y-splitter be better?
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June 29, 2010 8:51:25 PM

The suggestion on speed controls (some have physical knobs you can turn or whatever) was based on the premise that you might not want the fans running at 100% all the time. If you're fine with that, then by all means, directly wire them to the PSU.

Daisy-chaining means plugging one into another in a chain. Imagine, say, 3 USB hubs. You plug the first one into the computer, then the 2nd one into the first hub, and then the 3rd one into the 2nd hub. That's daisy-chaining. Another common example is daisy-chaining power strips, where one power strip is plugged into the one before it. This is usually a terrible idea with power strips.

Any time you plug a fan into a molex power connector/converter, you lose the ability to control the speed of the fan.

Your options are:
1) plug into the mobo either 1-to-1 or with y-splitters - this preserves the ability to control speed
2) plug into molex - no speed control, fans will run at 100%
3) fan controller - which you have ruled out
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June 29, 2010 9:01:07 PM

coldsleep said:
The suggestion on speed controls (some have physical knobs you can turn or whatever) was based on the premise that you might not want the fans running at 100% all the time. If you're fine with that, then by all means, directly wire them to the PSU.

Daisy-chaining means plugging one into another in a chain. Imagine, say, 3 USB hubs. You plug the first one into the computer, then the 2nd one into the first hub, and then the 3rd one into the 2nd hub. That's daisy-chaining. Another common example is daisy-chaining power strips, where one power strip is plugged into the one before it. This is usually a terrible idea with power strips.

Any time you plug a fan into a molex power connector/converter, you lose the ability to control the speed of the fan.

Your options are:
1) plug into the mobo either 1-to-1 or with y-splitters - this preserves the ability to control speed
2) plug into molex - no speed control, fans will run at 100%
3) fan controller - which you have ruled out


Ah I see. Thanks for clearing that up. Yeah seeing as how I only have 1 intake fan, I don't really mind having that one running at 100% all the time, which is why I thought about the molex connector.

Then for the other three I thought I would try and have control over them by plugging them into the mobo.

I hope it didn't sound like I thought the fan controller was a bad idea. I just don't want to buy anything else for my build at this point (unless i find i really need something else). At this point I would rather just let software control my fans, but I can definitely see the benefit for enthusiasts in having complete control of their fans at any given moment.

So at this point I might not need a y-splitter. However I might need an extension cable. Do they sell that kind of thing at local stores?

Thanks again.
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June 29, 2010 9:05:16 PM

I would imagine that Fry's or a small local computer shop/repair place might sell a fan power extension cable. You could check Fry's website to see if they do. I would be shocked (shocked!) if Best Buy or Radio Shack carried that sort of thing. That's a little too specialized for your average customer.

No worries on the fan controller, just pointing out that it's technically an option.
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June 29, 2010 9:09:54 PM

coldsleep said:
I would imagine that Fry's or a small local computer shop/repair place might sell a fan power extension cable. You could check Fry's website to see if they do. I would be shocked (shocked!) if Best Buy or Radio Shack carried that sort of thing. That's a little too specialized for your average customer.

No worries on the fan controller, just pointing out that it's technically an option.


Yeah i didn't really think they would. Most of the stuff they sell is all OEM and pre-built.

Anyways thanks. I'm gonna make this work one way or another lol
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June 29, 2010 9:13:02 PM

I understand not wanting to pay shipping on a $2-3 item. But I usually just order something else along with it so I don't feel so foolish. :) 
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June 29, 2010 9:17:33 PM

coldsleep said:
I understand not wanting to pay shipping on a $2-3 item. But I usually just order something else along with it so I don't feel so foolish. :) 


Hahaha come on man I'm trying to save money not spend it!

But I bet I could think of something I really want. I should probably get a new game to go along with my new pc :) 
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June 29, 2010 9:24:33 PM

One more question if you don't mind. Does my HDD need to have air blowing directly on it, or can I move it to one of the upper trays so that the intake air can move more freely throughout the case?
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June 29, 2010 9:27:22 PM

Your HDD should be fine without air blowing on it. They can get hot, but not that hot. I might consider an HDD cooling solution if you were running a database that's going to be constantly reading & writing stuff at 10k rpm+ in a poorly-ventilated system, but for a standard system drive, it shouldn't be a big deal.

Heh. Wasn't trying to get you to spend more, just saying that's the decision I usually make...and it's probably a poor decision. ;) 
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June 29, 2010 9:33:56 PM

Hahaha hey everyone needs an excuse to get stuff they want. I would say yours is a fair one to make. Doesn't make a lotta sense to pay $6 shipping on a $2 item.

No I am running just one HDD, one of the Samsung spinpoint F3's (1TB). I will probably remove all of the unused HDD trays as well as the 5.25" internal covers to better increase the airflow coming in.

Thanks a lot.
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June 29, 2010 9:37:00 PM

Best answer selected by touchdowntexas13.
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