Fan control issues with case/mobo

I have a new gaming build set up for this coming fall, and I had a few things I wanted to make sure of before I jump in headfirst here.

Here's the case that I'm going with:

NZXT Phantom PHAN-001BK Black Steel / Plastic Enthusiast ATX Full Tower Computer Case

This case looks amazing and has plenty of space for cable management, fans, and my eventual upgrading to a custom water cooling setup (what can I say, I love overclocking :D ). However, it comes with top side slider controls for 5 full sets of fans and I doubt my mobo is going to be fully compatible with that kind of control.

Here's my mobo choice:

ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard [...] 77extreme4

If anyone has experience with this particular case or just connecting a lot of fan control, I'd be appreciative. I would just like to know how much control I can squeeze out of this build.
4 answers Last reply
More about control issues case mobo
  1. I dont know your case but chances are the fan controller connects to a molex plug direct from the power supply
  2. So generally if you have fan control integrated into the case, the stock fans are connected to that control and only need power? Any kind of motherboard connection?
  3. There would not be any need for motherboard control if the case has that

    I suggest you reading some online reviews , but almost certainly it will be one molex connector to the fan controller in the case and no connection to the mb at all
  4. Generally speaking, if a case comes with several fans and a built-in fan controller with variable speeds, you would use the fans as designed and NOT connect any of them to any mobo port. This means these factors:

    1. YOU control your case fan speeds manually using the controller knobs or sliders. How do you know what speed to set? Well, you will need to find a way to check temperatures inside your case to guide you, OR just make reasonable guesses. Your mobo BIOS probably has at least one sensor (maybe two) built into the mobo that it can use to display the internal case temperature. You can "see" these either in BIOS Setup or by using a monitoring utility application that runs under Windows, often supplied on the CD of info, drivers and apps that comes with the mobo.

    2. You will have no software or BIOS tools to tell you the speeds of your fans. Fan speeds are done by signals generated inside the fan motors and fed as pulses back to a mobo port for counting. But you will NOT be connecting to mobo ports - in fact, many fans designed for this use do not even have a speed pulse signal output line, since they won't be connected to mobo. This is NOT a big problem because speed CONTROL does not use speed MEASUREMENT to guide it - it is done normally based on measurement of TEMPERATURES.

    3. Some fans designed for this actually come with two connectors on their wires - a 3-pin connector for a mobo port, and a 4-pin Molex 8981 type to be plugged into a PSU output. You must NOT connect to both. Doing so would push PSU power into the mobo port and quite possibly damage the mobo. Pick one way or the other for each fan IF you have such fans with optional connectors.

    4. The CPU cooling fan does NOT come with the case; it usually comes with the CPU, or you buy one separately. This fan SHOULD be connected to the mobo CPU_FAN port. Before buying this fan, check whether the mobo port is 3-pin or 4-pin - most current mobos want a 4-pin fan for the CPU cooler - and get one that matches the mobo port. There are two advantages to using the CPU_FAN port for the CPU cooler: (a) it can be put under automated control from the mobo, based on the temp actually measured by a sensor built into the CPU chip itself; and, (b) many mobos monitor the CPU fan speed signal and, if the fan fails, will shut down the system immediately without waiting for the CPU to overheat. This a a protective measure to prevent disaster, but it cannot be done if the CPU fan is powered elsewhere (i.e., if it is not connected to the mobo CPU_FAN port).
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