Case fan connections?

I currently use case fans with a molex connection. Looking at buying a new case and noticed they all are 3pin and plug into motherboard unfortunately my motherboard hasn't any fan sockets for this.

So im looking for the best solution?
Would a fan controller work? - Am I right in thinking all the fans 3 pin fan connections, connect to the controller. then a separte cable (molex) from the controller plugs into power supply?


Ive read about a few adapters but still unsure what works and what doesn't?

(I do not want to buy a new motherboard)

ASRock 4Core1600-GLAN
http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/4Core1600-GLAN/

Looking at buying the 200r or core 3000 case
(Core 3000 has a basic fan controller)


any suggestions appreciated!
10 answers Last reply
More about case connections
  1. a 3 pin connector will fit onto, and also run, on a 4-pin connector, but it will always stay on.
  2. a 4-pin fan connector will also work on a 3 pin connector.
  3. As far as i can see i dont have any 3 pin or 4pin connectors. which is why i want to convert the 3pin directly to a molex connection?
  4. Yeah most fan controllers use a 4pin molex connector to power a number of 3(or4)pin connectors for fans.
    It looks like the one that comes with the Core3000 is a simple motherboard expansion slot cover with a knob on it. This might work fine, but you might also find that the positioning makes cable routing a bit tricky.

    I own one of these- http://lamptron.com/products/view/Fan_Controller_FC9
    Requires two 4pin molex and can power 4 big fans. Plus it looks pretty. Wasn't particularly cheap though.
  5. Okay, I was just checking to make sure that you knew that you could do that.
  6. Rammy said:
    Yeah most fan controllers use a 4pin molex connector to power a number of 3(or4)pin connectors for fans.
    It looks like the one that comes with the Core3000 is a simple motherboard expansion slot cover with a knob on it. This might work fine, but you might also find that the positioning makes cable routing a bit tricky.

    I own one of these- http://lamptron.com/products/view/Fan_Controller_FC9
    Requires two 4pin molex and can power 4 big fans. Plus it looks pretty. Wasn't particularly cheap though.



    ah ok ive found out i have one chassis Fan connector (3pin). Am I right in thinking the 3 pin from motherboard connects to the fan controller- then a molex cable attaches to controller. and the 3/4pin fans connect to controller from there?
  7. lukelc1 said:
    ah ok ive found out i have one chassis Fan connector (3pin). Am I right in thinking the 3 pin from motherboard connects to the fan controller- then a molex cable attaches to controller. and the 3/4pin fans connect to controller from there?


    Er, no.

    FAN - 3pin.\

    FAN - 3pin ...\

    .................... FAN CONTROLLER - Molex(4pin) - PSU

    FAN - 3pin.../

    FAN - 3pin./

    (Apologies for awful diagram). The fan controller is powered from your PSU, and all fans just plug into it.

    The motherboard header should be a 4pin fan connector for your CPU fan. It's probably best to leave that connected as standard because the motherboard controls the fan speed automatically.
  8. Rammy said:
    Er, no.

    FAN - 3pin.\

    FAN - 3pin ...\

    .................... FAN CONTROLLER - Molex(4pin) - PSU

    FAN - 3pin.../

    FAN - 3pin./

    (Apologies for awful diagram). The fan controller is powered from your PSU, and all fans just plug into it.

    The motherboard header should be a 4pin fan connector for your CPU fan. It's probably best to leave that connected as standard because the motherboard controls the fan speed automatically.


    i wasn't going to touch the cpu fan connector. I was looking at the single 3 pin connector labeled as "Chassis fan connector.
    But think I understand it down! fan controller is powered by a molex and the fans just plug into it.

    If i didn't go for fan controller could i split the x1 Chassis fan connector and make it power 3 fans?
  9. lukelc1 said:
    i wasn't going to touch the cpu fan connector. I was looking at the single 3 pin connector labeled as "Chassis fan connector.
    But think I understand it down! fan controller is powered by a molex and the fans just plug into it.

    If i didn't go for fan controller could i split the x1 Chassis fan connector and make it power 3 fans?


    Yeah most (I think all, but I don't want to be instantly proven wrong) motherboards have a case(chassis) fan connector. Most of those have more than one, unless they are smaller form factor. As for running multiple fans off a single connector, it's definitely possible with a splitter but you won't be able to control them and you'll probably be limited in terms of the amount of power you have to split.
    You can go with something like this-
    http://www.ioffer.com/img/item/178/360/343/3-pin-fan-power-y-cable-splitter-new-8bafb.jpg
    or something like this
    https://www.rlsupplies.co.uk/2202888-15823-large/molex-4-pin-to-4-x-3-pin-fan-adaptor-cable.jpg
    either way you can run a lot of fans, but you won't be able to control their speed.
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