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Need help with automatically controlling fan speed.

Looking at reviews I am very confused, the case I got comes with 4 120mm fans which apparently use 4-pin connectors. My motherboard can control the fan speeds automatically based on how hot my system is, which is what i want. Louder when it needs to be, quieter when it doesn't. However reviews state that the 4-pin fans CANNOT control the speed and must plug directly into the power supply and that it needs to be a 3-pin. To help, here is a link to my case and motherboard:

Motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157296&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-na-_-na-_-na&AID=10446076&PID=3938566&SID=

Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811822001&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-na-_-na-_-na&AID=10446076&PID=3938566&SID=

What is the easiest way for me to control my fan speed (with the least purchasing possible)? Can I just get an adapter for the molex connectors? I have 4 fans, but can't tell how many spots my motherboard has to plug in fans, so i assume I would need an adapter for that as well? Would I be better off purchasing different fans? I've built PCs many times before but have never bothered controlling my fan speed and can't believe how confusing it is. I don't want to do anything manually, I Just don't want them running at full speed when they don't need to be...thanks.
13 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about need automatically controlling speed
  1. Where did you see that the fans came with molex connectors? Case fans even whe bought seperatly come with the small fan connectors , either 3 pin or 4 pin.
  2. inzone said:
    Where did you see that the fans came with molex connectors? Case fans even whe bought seperatly come with the small fan connectors , either 3 pin or 4 pin.

    Sorry I may be using the wrong terminology, I will update it. My case fans are 4-pin but I heard they need to be 3-pin to have the motherboard control the speed since most motherboards don't have 4-pin connectors.
  3. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811352010

    This would be a much better case and it comes with three fans and spots for more to be added , you can add a side fan (140mm) and you will get great cooling with all four connected to the motherboard.
  4. inzone said:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811352010

    This would be a much better case and it comes with three fans and spots for more to be added , you can add a side fan (140mm) and you will get great cooling with all four connected to the motherboard.

    I already have the case (just recently bought it and really like it) so while I appreciate that, it isn't an option.
  5. If your looking for the motherboard to control the fan speed then you would either need an adaptor for each fan or different fans. The other thing that you could do is to get a fan controller that would fit in the front 5 1/2 bay and depending on the controller you could control each fan manual with a knob or get a controler that will be temperature controled and automaticly adjust the fan speed acording to the temps.

    AeroCool Touch 2000 Controller, Panel
    $57.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811999198

    Scythe KM05-BK Kaze Master II Controller Panel
    $52.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811998097

    Sorry about the post for the case I thought I read that you were getting the case and not that you already had it. My error.
  6. inzone said:
    If your looking for the motherboard to control the fan speed then you would either need an adaptor for each fan or different fans. The other thing that you could do is to get a fan controller that would fit in the front 5 1/2 bay and depending on the controller you could control each fan manual with a knob or get a controler that will be temperature controled and automaticly adjust the fan speed acording to the temps.

    AeroCool Touch 2000 Controller, Panel
    $57.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811999198

    Scythe KM05-BK Kaze Master II Controller Panel
    $52.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811998097

    Sorry about the post for the case I thought I read that you were getting the case and not that you already had it. My error.


    OK so based on the information you've presented me I'm interested in purchasing adapters since that sounds like the easiest and cheapest.

    So how can I tell how many case fan spots there are to plug into my motherboard? And if there is only one port, do I then have to buy a 4 to 3-pin adapter for all four fans, then buy a SECOND adapter that plugs all four fans into the plug to go into the motherboard? Any links for which adapters would work? Once I know exactly what to purchase I'll run out and buy them! I appreciate your help so far.
  7. After looking at the board I can see a total of five fan headers on the board. There is a three pin and a four pin at the top of the board (cpu fan 1 and cpu fan 2) , then there is a three pin and a four pin fan header just above the top x1 slot and the final fan header is a three pin at the bottom of the board just about in the middle bottom. So depending on the fan locations you may be ok with just the adaptors or you may need exstensions , or you could get a couple Y splitters.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812200455

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812706023

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812200961

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812200917

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812123326

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812123297

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812311002

    This is a selection of splitters and exstensions that you can look through and it will give you an idea of what's available so that you can make a lot of different combinations to suit your needs.
  8. inzone said:
    After looking at the board I can see a total of five fan headers on the board. There is a three pin and a four pin at the top of the board (cpu fan 1 and cpu fan 2) , then there is a three pin and a four pin fan header just above the top x1 slot and the final fan header is a three pin at the bottom of the board just about in the middle bottom. So depending on the fan locations you may be ok with just the adaptors or you may need exstensions , or you could get a couple Y splitters.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812200455

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812706023

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812200961

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812200917

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812123326

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812123297

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812311002

    This is a selection of splitters and exstensions that you can look through and it will give you an idea of what's available so that you can make a lot of different combinations to suit your needs.


    I appreciate your help and I hate to be a further pain, but I just looked at the links you sent and at pictures of my case online and it looks like the 4-pin things you link to are much smaller than the ones on my fan so I think they may be different. It think my fan actually DOES have Molex connectors. Take a look at this screenshot to double check that I'm not just being a noob here (since I am a noob): http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p46/ShadowXOR/molexfan.png

    If this is Molex, what are my options? I think this might be what I need: http://www.bestbyte.net/merchant/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=BB&Product_Code=CBPO01F43B&Category_Code=CBPO What do you think? Or maybe I'm misunderstanding...sorry.
  9. inzone said:
    After looking at the board I can see a total of five fan headers on the board. There is a three pin and a four pin at the top of the board (cpu fan 1 and cpu fan 2) , then there is a three pin and a four pin fan header just above the top x1 slot and the final fan header is a three pin at the bottom of the board just about in the middle bottom. So depending on the fan locations you may be ok with just the adaptors or you may need exstensions , or you could get a couple Y splitters.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812200455

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812706023

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812200961

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812200917

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812123326

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812123297

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812311002

    This is a selection of splitters and exstensions that you can look through and it will give you an idea of what's available so that you can make a lot of different combinations to suit your needs.


    It may just be easier for me to actually replace the fans. Any recommendations on relatively quiet fans that could be speed controlled by my motherboard? The only thing I'm concerned about is replacing the front fan on the case...I'm not even sure how to get to it!
  10. Best answer
    Yes you do have molex connectors and to tell you the truth I don't recall ever seeing a case come with molex connectors for case fans , that's not very good because you can't do any kind of temp and speed controll without an expensive fan comtroller. If your planning on replacing all of the case fans then you want to get fout pin , pwm fans so that they can be pluged into the motherboard fan headers. You also want to get fans that have a 17-20 dba rating for noise and a 70 to 100 cfm for moving the air.

    COUGAR CF-V12HPB Vortex Hydro-Dynamic-Bearing (Fluid) 300,000 Hours 12CM Silent Cooling Fan with Pulse Width Modulation (Black)
    $16.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835553006

    If your fans that you are replacing are 120mm then you can give these a look as they have all the criteria covered.
    The front fan may take some work but they got it in there so you should be able to get it out.
  11. inzone said:
    Yes you do have molex connectors and to tell you the truth I don't recall ever seeing a case come with molex connectors for case fans , that's not very good because you can't do any kind of temp and speed controll without an expensive fan comtroller. If your planning on replacing all of the case fans then you want to get fout pin , pwm fans so that they can be pluged into the motherboard fan headers. You also want to get fans that have a 17-20 dba rating for noise and a 70 to 100 cfm for moving the air.

    COUGAR CF-V12HPB Vortex Hydro-Dynamic-Bearing (Fluid) 300,000 Hours 12CM Silent Cooling Fan with Pulse Width Modulation (Black)
    $16.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835553006

    If your fans that you are replacing are 120mm then you can give these a look as they have all the criteria covered.
    The front fan may take some work but they got it in there so you should be able to get it out.

    I very much appreciate your help, you are the man! I only have two final questions and I think I am done (thank you very much)!

    1. Can I completely build my PC, then replace the fans later? Or will the components be in the way and I will have to remove things? I'm not sure how this generally works so I'm curious if I need to buy fans tonight or not (I have a Fry's near me, worst case scenario Newegg is pretty fast). If I have to remove parts I'd rather just buy the fans today and swap the fans now rather than waiting.

    2. Above you said: "There is a three pin and a four pin at the top of the board (cpu fan 1 and cpu fan 2) , then there is a three pin and a four pin fan header just above the top x1 slot and the final fan header is a three pin at the bottom of the board just about in the middle bottom.". Does this mean if I want four fans in my case that I should have 2 as three pin and 2 as four pin since I only have 3 three pin slots and 2 four pin slots? Or do you recommend I get all of one type (if so which type?) then get an adapter to the other style? I know you mentioned something called PWM, does that apply to both 3 and 4 pin fans? Pretty much my only requirement is that they control the fan speed automatically via the motherboard, I'm not worried about anything else.
  12. 1. You can generally replace almost all the fans without taking anything apart. The rea fan there is nothing in the way unless you buy an enourmous cpu heatsink like the Noctua D-14. The side panel is the one plasce where there's absolutly nothing because the side panel is the door so to speak and that opens out. The top is a good place because there isn't anything unless you have a short case and there isn't much room between the motherboard and the top of the case. The only place you could have an issue is the front and you have said that so far you don't know how to start there , but I will say that I change fans a lot and never take anything apart.
    2. the three pin fans are what you should get since the majority of the fan headers are three pin and that third wire is to regulate the speed . The four pin PWM fans are for speed and temps so with just wanting to do speed you should be ok with the three pin connectors.
  13. Best answer selected by ShadowXOR.
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