Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

Questions about Case Fans

Last response: in Systems
Share
December 22, 2011 2:49:31 AM

Hi guys,
I'm currently in the stage of planning my first homebuilt computer.

I'm planning to purchase the Antec Dark Fleet DF-30 as my case. It comes with 3 fans. 2 of which have a high and low speed option and 1 has a knob to change the speed.
The PSU I'm planning to purchase is the Corsair CX600, which has four 4pin connectors.
The motherboard I'm purchasing is the Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3R, which has 2 system fan plugs.

What I am currently confused by is the case fans. Which of the fans (if any) need to be connected to a fan controller (or will they already be connected when I open the case)? Does the fan or the fan controller need to then be plugged into the PSU/Motherboard?

As far as I am aware, my case does not come with any 3pin to 4pin adapters. Does this mean my fans cannot connect into the PSU unless I have them? If this is true, then I'll only be able to operate 2 fans, which are connected to the motherboard, correct?

There are a lot of questions there so I'll list them here:
1. Which of the 3 fans (if any) need to be connected to a fan controller (or will they already be connected when I open the case)?
2. Does the fan or the fan controller (or both) need to be plugged into the PSU/Motherboard?
3. If I don't have 3pin to 4pin adapters, can my fans not be powered directly from the PSU?
4. If I do need adapters for the fans and my motherboard only has 2 fan connectors, will I only be able to power 2/3 of the fans without adapters?

As you guys can see, I'm sufficiently confused! It would be great if you guys could answer my questions.

Thanks in advance,
Kobalt Kour

More about : questions case fans

a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
December 22, 2011 4:24:51 AM

First of all, the Antec Dark Fleet DF-30 that I found online has four fans. The two intake fans in the front seem to have speed control knobs and the two exhaust fans in the back don't seem to have any settings or control.

From what I can tell, all your fans use the large molex connectors and you won't need to plug anything into the motherboard. Now I can't exactly tell what's going on by the pictures, but my guess would be that the two front fans are already connected to the fan controller and there's one connection that will connect the controller to the PSU. For the back fans (which also use large molex connectors) you will plug those straight into the PSU.

You shouldn't need any adapters. From what I can tell your PSU has four large molex connectors (4 x Peripheral). Two of those will go to the exhaust fans and one will go to the controller.
m
0
l
a c 93 B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
December 22, 2011 3:17:59 PM

Kobalt Kour said:

What I am currently confused by is the case fans. Which of the fans (if any) need to be connected to a fan controller (or will they already be connected when I open the case)? Does the fan or the fan controller need to then be plugged into the PSU/Motherboard?


In my personal experience I've found fan controllers to be pretty useless. The one built into my case (Corsair Graphite 600T) was such a hassle to get setup that I wound up not installing it. The fan controller on a case that I was using on a workstation build (Apevia X-Plorer) didn't do much either.

Quote:
As far as I am aware, my case does not come with any 3pin to 4pin adapters. Does this mean my fans cannot connect into the PSU unless I have them? If this is true, then I'll only be able to operate 2 fans, which are connected to the motherboard, correct?


The 3 and 4 pin fan connectors will actually connect to your motherboard, not your PSU. Your motherboard will have connectors for at least 3 or 4 fans plus the CPU fan. Any additional fans - you will need to connect to your PSU, yes.

Quote:
The PSU I'm planning to purchase is the Corsair CX600, which has four 4pin connectors.
The motherboard I'm purchasing is the Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3R, which has 2 system fan plugs.


I use the UD3P and it has 3 system fan plugs, which the case fans plug into, plus it has the CPU fan connector.

I also have the CX430 which I use in an HTPC build, and that has way more than 4 4-pin connectors, the CX600 should have more than that.

Quote:
There are a lot of questions there so I'll list them here:
1. Which of the 3 fans (if any) need to be connected to a fan controller (or will they already be connected when I open the case)?


I'd actually say to skip the fan controller - they're very confusing to install - even for someone like me - and they don't really do much.

Quote:
2. Does the fan or the fan controller (or both) need to be plugged into the PSU/Motherboard?


That all depends on the layout of your motherboard. Most of the Gigabyte boards I've used come with a very clear layout of what connectors go where, so that part of the install should be really easy.

Quote:
3. If I don't have 3pin to 4pin adapters, can my fans not be powered directly from the PSU?


Your motherboard will power 2 - 3 fans at most, your PSU will power the rest, but the answer to that question is definitely yes.

Quote:
4. If I do need adapters for the fans and my motherboard only has 2 fan connectors, will I only be able to power 2/3 of the fans without adapters?


I'm confused by this question as well - are you talking 3 to 4 pin adapters?

What you could also do is purchase a couple of Y fan cables and you can power 2 or 3 fans off your motherboard from one plug and that could work as well. I do that with my CPU fan.
m
0
l
Related resources

Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
December 23, 2011 3:11:41 AM

I think danraies got it pretty right, but I disagree with g-unit1111.

First, let me clear up a potential source of confusion. Fans that plug into mobo ports and can be controlled by the mobo and BIOS come with 3 wires or 4 wires to them, so they are called 3-pin (older) and 4-pin (newer) fans. Between those two there is a difference in how the speed is controlled. BOTH of those types have one wire that sends a pulse signal from the fan back to the mobo, where it is monitored to display fan speed. HOWEVER, some fans are not designed for power this way at all. They are designed to be plugged into a "4-pin Molex" connector. This is NOT the same as a "4-pin fan". A "4-pin Molex Connector" is a connector on wires coming directly from the PSU; originally, it was used as the power supply connector for IDE drives and optical drives. It is much larger that the connectors for 4-pin fans. In fact, fans powered directly from the PSU in this way use only TWO wires for power - Black for Ground and Red for +12VDC - and normally run only at full speed. They usually do NOT have any fan speed wire because there is no place to connect it - a PSU's 4-pin Molex does not have any connection for a fan speed signal to send to the mob.

Now, IF you are using fans designed to plug into 4-pin Molex connectors and run at only full speed, many people have opted to buy and install fan speed controllers as separate modules. These get their power from the PSU (usually from a 4-pin Molex) and then each fan connects to one of its outputs. The fan controller allows you to reduce the +12 VDC supply to each fan to run it slower. (This is exactly what a mobo's built-in speed control for "3-pin fans" does.)

Now down to your specific case. The manual for your case does not make it very clear how power is connected to the four fans, but we can make good guesses. First is the two fans in the front doors in front of the drive bays. EACH of these has a small knob near it in the door that you use to set the fan speed. So in effect, each of these two fans has its own individual speed controller.

Next, the top and rear TwoCool fans. EACH of these comes with two switches already connected and mounted on the back of your case. One switch simply turns on and off the fan's LED lights. The other chooses between full speed and slower speed for that fan. So again, you already have built-in fan speed controllers, except that this time it's not continuously variable like a knob, it is just a two-choice switch.

As I said, there is no clear mention of how these fans all get power. But I would bet that there is at least one (and possibly up to 4) connector for them that mates with the 4-pin Molex connector(s) coming from the PSU. NOTE in case you find yourself running out of 4-pin Molex output connectors from the PSU: you can buy in any computer shop a splitter that makes two 4-pin Molexes out of one. Three of these stacked can get you four from one. And that is entirely acceptable - a 4-pin Molex output can supply a lot of power, and fans don't use much, so powering four fans from one Molex is OK.

So, you do NOT have to buy or install any fan controller - your case already has them. Your do NOT try to connect ANY of these fans to your mobo's SYS_FAN ports, so those ports will remain unused. In fact, check your mobo's manual for this little detail. Most mobos are set by default to check the speed signals of the fans connected to their SYS_FAN ports and send out alarms if they don't get a signal (indicating the fan has failed). Your mobo will not get any fan speed signals. In the BIOS Setup screens for those SYS_FAN ports of the mobo, there should be an option to tell it to Ignore those fan speeds so it does not send out any false alarms.
Share
a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
December 23, 2011 4:54:52 AM

Paperdock summarized things pretty well. The moral is that you shouldn't buy any extra adapters or anything at first. In all likelihood you'll be able to connect everything just fine out of the box and it will make more sense when you open things up.

Also - as a little side note - I love my fan controller and I don't think they're useless at all. It's really convenient to be able to reduce the noise when I don't need the extra cooling. If you've got a graphics situation that puts out a lot of heat then you're going to need a lot of cooling but if you've got a lot of fans running full blast all the time it will be loud. I turn my fans on and off all the time.
m
0
l
January 4, 2012 1:17:35 AM

Best answer selected by Kobalt Kour.
m
0
l
January 4, 2012 1:48:19 AM

EACH of these has a small knob near it in the door that you use to set the fan speed. So in effect, each of these two fans has its own individual speed controller.
m
0
l
!