Connecting case to mainboard

[as the title says, this is not about finding suitable parts, please move to different category if needed]

I never build a system myself before and know noone living nearby who did, so I'd need some help regarding the connection of the case electronics to the mainboard. The case manufacturer couldn't help me and the mainboard's manufacturer support hasn't proven themselves helpful yet, so I'm not too optimistic with my newest inquiry to them.

My questions are, pics linked:

There was this speaker included with the case, but I have no idea where to plug it

connector's guide mainboard MSI Z77A-G45

Secondly, the front fan needs a 3pin, however it came adapted to a molex-connector, so not sure if I should connect the molex to the PSU or unplug the molex to connect it to the mainboard? The only reachable fan-pin on the mainboard is a 4pin though, wouldn't know which pin to leave out in that case..

Third question is where to plug the front panel? The manual didn't really help me, theres JAUD, several JUSB's but also JFP's, so I'm a bit lost here.

And the last point is, I'm not sure how to connect the remaining cables to the mConnector of the mainboard.
The triangle is at the coloured cables, so positive I assume. I'm a bit insecure though, as the writing will be hidden at some pins when connecting and for some not. Probably because every case has different pins, but well, I never did this before, so I rather get a confirmation.

mConnector side 1

mConnector side 2

So I connect:

HD LED+ > red !?
HD LED- > (red's) white !?
RST SW- > (blue's) white !?
RST SW+ > blue !?

PWR SW- > (orange's) white
PWR SW+ > orange

SPK+ > speaker here, its triangle to + !?
BUZ- > speaker
BUZ+ > speaker
SPK- > speaker



+P LED/- P LED to SLED/PLED/GND somehow or somewhere else?

HDD LED to HD LED+/- I assume

RESET SW as above I assume


others stay unused then aka not needed!?

I'm sorry for so many probably silly questions, but at least they're easy to explain then, Thanks very much for that in advance!
13 answers Last reply
More about connecting case mainboard
  1. The 4-pin fan connector should be "keyed" so that you can only put the 3-pin in one way.
  2. Also, pull out your MOBO manual and go to page/section 1-26, it provides a much better diagram for the specific parts you are trying to connect. And yes, the Triangle indicates positive according to your manual.

    Page 1-25 describes the "keying" of the fan ports I mentioned, if you look in the pictures for the CPUFAN and SYSFAN1/SYSFAN2 pictures you can see a small plastic block behind the pins, that prevents you from inserting a 3-pin fan connector incorrectly.
  3. Since you seem quite capable of taking pics, post some of the wires coming from your case, it will be easier to determine which goes to which for us, you could also post what case you have that will help.
  4. hmm, will reread the manual more carefully then!
    And some more pics:
    backside of the front
    So green and red for the small lights in the front showing ON/OFF and usage I think? blue and orange for power-switch and reset as the writing on the connectors says
    And HD Audio and USB are obviously for the audio- and USB-slots on the front panel.
    Case is the Cm Elite 430.
  5. Are there any markings on the end of those wires? I was hoping to see the wording on the actual connector pieces, wire color and such doesn't help much.
  6. in the mb box should be a connector for the front pannel header. it so that you can plug all the cables to the connector then push it on only one way to the mb header. if the led are reversed you wont hurt them they will just not light up. as this is your first build when you getthe system to post for the first time go into the bios and go to the temp monitor screen. sit there for 10-15 min and watch the cpu temps and make sure all the fans on the cpu/gpu are moving. if the heat sink on right your cpu temp should sit around 40-50c with the stock fan depending on the size and airflow of the case and room temp. if the temps hit 60c and are still going up the heat sink not on right...turn the pc off and check it.
  7. chugot9218 said:
    Are there any markings on the end of those wires? I was hoping to see the wording on the actual connector pieces, wire color and such doesn't help much.

    Yes, I posted pic's of them earlier, if you didn't see. Just click '+P LED/- P LED', 'HDD LED', 'RESET SW' and 'POWER SW' in my first comment!

    @smorizio There was nothing like that included for the mainboard. There's only the mConnector, back panel cover and the sata-cables (+manual&CD). And I'm pretty sure that audio and usb need to be connected to one of the Jsomething pins at the lowest part of mainboard, no? And indeed I just saw the mConnector goes to the JFP1/2, so I assume front-audio goes to JAUD1, front-USB to any of the JUSB, right?
  8. OK, apart from the +P LED and -P LED, I'm confident that I'd connect the mConnector correctly. My guess would be +P to Power LED and -P to either Suspend LED or Ground, need you for that..Might also be that FP/PWR SLP, which is called Power LED in the manual, if I see that correctly..
    The speaker will be lose in the case then? And can I leave the pin for ground empty?

    Also the front panel audio and usb seems quite clear to me now, no idea how I managed to not understand it before, maybe I misread it or I don't know

    Leaves the fan. I only have this one front fan atm which was included in the case (besides the one on the CPU-cooler), will get more if needed.
    The english manual is slightly different from the multi-lingual one. Anyways, it says there it can be connected to either mainboard or PSU, can't I just plug the molex in then? When using the mainboard, as said the only reachable pin is the 4pin SYSFAN1. According to the drawing, the one on the left/the upper one/the one furthest from this little wall (don't know what it's called) is to be left out, right? I don't know what keyed means, the words not used in the manual either.
  9. You see how the port for the fan has that little plastic piece behind the pins? That is to make sure that you can't plug the 3-pin plug in incorrectly. You will have to have at least one fan plugged in, the CPU_FAN header must have a fan connected. You can connect the case fans to a Molex plug but the fan will just run full speed, you cannot take advantage of any MOBO fan controlling software. The speaker does not need to be plugged in, but if you want it to you have to connect it to the two spots for the speaker (not the 2 in between, those are for a "buzzer", I am not sure what that does).
  10. ah, I see, that's what I meant by little wall^^
    the cooler is connected to the CPU_FAN, as told in the manual
    I wanted to try how loud it is at full speed, I even bought an extra molex to 3pin adapter to regulate the voltage if needed, but apparently I didn't had to. Will just use the 3pin then, Idk if I can control this fan from the mainboard, as I think I read that not every fan is compatible, but I will find out about that!
    It won't harm having a 'beep' when somethings not alright, so I'd use the speaker.. You can't see it well on the photo, but you can plug the speaker on a 4pin. The mConnecter with the SPK on it has 4 pins, the buzzers inbetween SPK+ & SPK-, so I assume the buzzer is related in a way.
    Do you have any idea about the P+ LED? Else I'll just try my luck if it does no harm and spam the manufacturers..

    Thanks a lot for your help so far!
  11. Well I would put the P+ and P- LED into the Power LED slots on JFP1. I think the spots on the other connector are for less common case lights, a power led and suspend LED, which I assume show whether the CPU is actually on or in standby. It states that the JFP1 is configured according to the intel standard, and the plugs on it are generally on every case. The JFP2 has functions not on every case, for example my case came with no system speaker.
  12. Also make sure your USB header plugs are put only into USB headers, plugging them into a firewire header can damage your MOBO. And you should only need one of the provide audio plugs, I think one is HD Audio and the other is AC 97, your MOBO should support HD audio (but look anyways, I didn't get a chance).
  13. I don't even know what a firewire header is..
    I'd connect it to JUSB1,2or3, most likely 3..

    In what order do I install graphics, o/s and mainboard btw? I always chose the o/s first, but if I need to check temps before an hour-long installation of it, the mainboard seems better?
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