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How to hook up six fans?

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January 2, 2013 1:57:43 AM

I'm using this case http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168..., and ordered 6 of these fans http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168.... My question is how do I wire six fans? I'm hearing way too many different opinions about this. From my understanding i can just wire them all to the PSU or I can buy adaptors to wire them all to the motherboard. Also I can buy a 3.5in fan controller to hook them up to so I can control them manually. What is the most efficient way? And please explain in detail what things I may need to buy to accomplish this. This is my first computer build so I need detail and dumbed down answers :) . So far this is the only problem I'm facing thus far. BTW my motherboard only has enough connections for 3 case fans. Thanks for your time!

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January 2, 2013 2:26:03 AM

you have three options

1. wire straight to psu with molex to 3 pin fan connectors. the down side is you loose molex connectors and the fans will run at 100% all the time. it is loud but if you dont have enough connectors on your motherboard you might do this

2. plug into motherboard. this is a good option because you can change the fan speed of some of them with software. also the cpu fans can be automatically change based on cpu temp.

3. fan controller. this is my personally favorite as you can set fan speed curves based on given component temperatures. you can also do a straight manual speed for each individual fan. this has the ability to be the quietest option.

if it was me id just plug them into the motherboard but if you want more control get a fan controller. plugging straight to the psu is a last resort. you also might need y splitters if you dont have enough 3 pin connectors on the motherboard.
January 2, 2013 2:26:10 AM

mgx42 said:
I'm using this case http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168..., and ordered 6 of these fans http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168.... My question is how do I wire six fans? I'm hearing way too many different opinions about this. From my understanding i can just wire them all to the PSU or I can buy adaptors to wire them all to the motherboard. Also I can buy a 3.5in fan controller to hook them up to so I can control them manually. What is the most efficient way? And please explain in detail what things I may need to buy to accomplish this. This is my first computer build so I need detail and dumbed down answers :) . So far this is the only problem I'm facing thus far. BTW my motherboard only has enough connections for 3 case fans. Thanks for your time!


You have a couple options

1. Wire 3 to the motherboard, and use the other 3 with '3 pin to molex' adapters to the powersupply
2. Buy a fan controller and wire all 6 to it
3. Get a 3 pin splitter cable (allows 2 fans to be plugged into 1 fan port) and wire the tops into one, the front and bottom into the other
Related resources
a b ) Power supply
January 2, 2013 2:46:02 AM

Assuming 3 case + 1 CPU fan:

1. Wire 3 to motherboard.
2. Wire the CPU FAN.
3. 4-pin MOLEX if adapter included

4. Adjust the BIOS for Case/CPU fans
5. Install and tweak the motherboard software for FAN CONTROL (keep fans as low as possible and make the RAMP from about 40degC to 80degC).

Other:
- always cover up unused fan slots or the air flow is not optimal (use cardboard and tape on the inside).
- 500RPM is good for case fans but it can be difficult for the software and/or fans to get that low
- double-check your bottom-front are sucking air in and your top-rear are blowing it out of the case.
- it's possible to get simple addon reducers to limit fan speed
*The main difficulties with fans are:
a) getting them SLOW enough (usually spin too fast)
b) setting up fan control properly (the IDEAL which never works, would be for all six fans to spin down to about 300RPM until about 40degC and then ramp up)

FAN CONTROL INFO:
Types (3):
1) no fan control
2) 3-pin variable (controlled by VOLTAGE setting in BIOS which few have now. Will run at high speed at all times without)
3) 4-pin variable (controlled by PWM or "Pulse Width Modulation"; this is common now). Example, the BIOS is set to PWM control and additional software from the motherboard support site is added.
-Some rare boards have PWM/Voltage/Auto control.
-If your fan speed doesn't vary yet you think it should, recheck the BIOS setting.
-a 3-pin fan fits a 4-pin connection but you likely will have no speed control.
January 2, 2013 1:52:32 PM

Thank you for the responses but just to verify i meant 6 case fans, i purchased 6 120mm fans. The case has 7 areas for case fans (2 on top, 1 in back, 2 on side, 2 in front.). The mobo has 3 4-pin case fan hookups and separate one cpu fan hookup. Can't I just buy three Y-adapters and plug all six into the mobob, would that harm the mobo? Also it looks like each fan comes with a molex 4pin adapter. I just need somebody to explain the cable differences to me. Like i stated above this is my first build and i'm new to all of these cables. Thanks again for the responses so far guys.
January 2, 2013 7:26:18 PM

mgx42 said:
Thank you for the responses but just to verify i meant 6 case fans, i purchased 6 120mm fans. The case has 7 areas for case fans (2 on top, 1 in back, 2 on side, 2 in front.). The mobo has 3 4-pin case fan hookups and separate one cpu fan hookup. Can't I just buy three Y-adapters and plug all six into the mobob, would that harm the mobo? Also it looks like each fan comes with a molex 4pin adapter. I just need somebody to explain the cable differences to me. Like i stated above this is my first build and i'm new to all of these cables. Thanks again for the responses so far guys.


3 y splitters would work.

And, the molex adaptor plugs into the molex, the other end plugs into the 3 pin on the fan, but the fan will be running at 100% all the time

Are you sure that the mobo as three 4 pin and not 3 3pin?
January 2, 2013 9:08:57 PM

austing said:
3 y splitters would work.

And, the molex adaptor plugs into the molex, the other end plugs into the 3 pin on the fan, but the fan will be running at 100% all the time

Are you sure that the mobo as three 4 pin and not 3 3pin?


Here is the motherboard - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 38566&SID=

If you click on details it states that the mobo has 3x chassis fan connectors (4-pin) and 1x cpu fan connector (4-pin)

So how can i make it so that the fans automatically adjust? I thought they would if i plug them into the mobo, thats why i was trying to do so. And just to let you guys know I dont have the parts yet, still waiting for them in the mail.

What are molex connectors for? Just to plug things into the PSU? Do molex plugs plug into the motherboard too? Again sorry for the really dumb questions, first time builder here. Thanks for all your time!
January 2, 2013 11:43:37 PM

Ok I just did some research and it looks like I can only have automatic fan control if I have fans and a motherboard with 4-pin connectors. My fans are only 3-pin. Also after researching it looks like molex connectors plug directly into the PSU for permanent full power (I guess thats why the fans come with molex adaptors). If any of this information is incorrect please correct me because i'm learning.
January 2, 2013 11:57:11 PM

mgx42 said:
Ok I just did some research and it looks like I can only have automatic fan control if I have fans and a motherboard with 4-pin connectors. My fans are only 3-pin. Also after researching it looks like molex connectors plug directly into the PSU for permanent full power (I guess thats why the fans come with molex adaptors). If any of this information is incorrect please correct me because i'm learning.


if you read my post i said that molex would be full speed all the time but i lapsed in saying your fans needed 4 pins. my bad.
January 3, 2013 12:55:55 AM

cbrunnem said:
if you read my post i said that molex would be full speed all the time but i lapsed in saying your fans needed 4 pins. my bad.


No problem, since this is my first build im trying to figure out EVERYTHING before i start, so thats why most of these questions are common knowledge to most of you lol. Thanks for the response

Best solution

a b ) Power supply
January 6, 2013 6:39:12 AM
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Hi,
Fan control->

3-pin fans:
Can be controlled if motherboard supports VOLTAGE control. This is becoming rare now.

4-pin fans:
Requires PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) and usually works best with fan-control software from the motherboard Support section.

MOLEX:
As you know now there's no support there.

*MY ADVICE:
If you stick with these fans, I recommend:
1) Use ONE or TWO at the FRONT
2) Use ONE or TWO at the Top/Rear
3) Ensure your CPU FAN is controlled (via BIOS and software)
4) Cover any unused fan mounts with cardboard/tape on the inside of the case
(WHY? Leaving fan mounts open reduces cooling efficiency. For example, an open mount near the CPU causes the rear fan to suck air through it with much of this air NOT assing through the CPU heatsink. That's not efficient and the fans have to spin harder for the same amount of cooling)

*Optimal air flow also needs the INTAKE pressure to be the same as the OUTTAKE. That's why it's often better to have TWO front case fans in a gaming PC as intakes to counter a single TOP/REAR case fan, PSU fan, and GRAPHICS card fan. Most make the mistake of having a single (or NO gasp) front intake fan and TWO case fans near the CPU. Nope.

**Finally, experiment by seeing what the cooling difference is between having TWO case fans and having FOUR (2xfront + 2xrear). You may discover having four versus 2 isn't worth the extra noise but that depends on your hardware and ambient room temperature (which will go up in the summer).
a b ) Power supply
January 6, 2013 6:46:22 AM

Update:

I should add I got the Arctic F12 PWM fans for about $6 each. They are rated between 300RPM and 1350RPM but my software control is locked to 40% of maximum. Still, they are pretty quiet even at about 600RPM. If I'd KNOWN about the 40% minimum I'd have looked for fans with a 300RPM to 900RPM rating (thus spin slower). I had PLANNED to get FOUR CASE FANS (two front, two rear) but I dropped that to TWO after discovering it was overkill.

You may find just TWO of these work fine setup like THIS:
1. BIOS enabled
2. software installed
3. custom RAMP control set to->
- LOWEST fan speed up to 40degC
- HIGHEST fan speed at 80degC (will never get near that high)

Update 2:
I should mention my NH D14 HSF uses 3-pin fans. I'm going to just replace the big fan (in the middle) with a PWM version once I figure out what is compatible.
*So be WARNED as many CPU coolers still have 3-pin fans but motherboard support is rare (some support VOLTAGE but it's disappearing).

Update 3:
You can also provide additional control via:
1. LNA (Low Noise Adapters), and/or
2. Fan control system.

The F12 PWM fans from Arctic would likely be the cheapest and easiest solution. I know you already bought your fans but don't spend money on fan control if you can cheaply buy the F12 PWM fans and use your motherboard to auto control them (see motherboard manual for details).
January 10, 2013 2:49:37 AM

Best answer selected by mgx42.
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