NewbQuestion on Case Fans and Slots on Motherboard

Well, I'm finally getting a decent case and power supply. Included with the case are 3 fans (side, rear, front). The problem is on my mobo there is only 1 input thing for a case fan... do I have a crappy motherboard or do those fans plug in somewhere else?

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  1. Actually, there are 2 types of power sources for fans. 1 is on your motherboard (these are usually 2 small pins labeled for fans), the other is your regular power supply from your core.

    If you'll notice the power wires running to your CD-ROM and harddrive, the have an input, then they go out (like dangling into the middle of space in your case - it is split right where the first plug is).

    These are 4 pin IIRC. They look like little plastic rectangles (sorry, I don't know the technical terms, this is not an often discussed area in computers! :-))

    I have two 80x80mm ball bearing case fans (they're attached to each other, stacked) on the back of my case (where the only ventalation holes for extra fans lie).

    Your motherboard should have at least 3 separate fan output pins (one for your processor, one for your northbridge MB chip, and one additional one). My Abit MB (based on VIA's 266A) has about 5.
  2. Alright, thanks. But just so I'm sure (2:30am, I'm getting tired) would a nice power source like 430 Watt Antec TruePower have things to plug the fans into?

  3. Yes, just use the "excess" cables running from your harddrive and or CD-ROM (both almost always require an external power supply)

    However, the input interface your fans run on may be different. If it's only the little 2 pin, you need new fans (sorry :-( But, thankfully fans are like $5 a piece
  4. d00d, that other guy is so wrong! MOtherboard fan headers have had 3 pins for years now. And if you have 3 pin fans but no place to plug them in, you can use what they call a 3 to 4 pin adapter to plug them into the power supply.

    What's the frequency, Kenneth?
  5. Perhaps they do have 3. I don't recall as it has been awhile since I looked at mine. But the entire insert is much smaller than the standard power plugs. Are you sure there is such an adapter?
  6. The third wire is for RPM detection. It is not used on the adapters though. I have several of them lying around. They have a three pin male end with one pin missing, and two large molex connectors on the other end (male and female for pass through).

    What's the frequency, Kenneth?
  7. Alright well, here's what it says on the website for the power supply:

    "Important Note: The TruePower Fan Only connectors are designed to power standard fans only. Attaching thermally-controlled fans to these connectors will likely result in unpredictable and undesired behavior. Thermally-controlled fans should only be connected to the standard 4-pin Peripheral Power Connectors."

    and then here's a pic of what the fans look like that come with my case:

    Thank you for all your help.
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