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3 pin or 4 pin fan power for case fans?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I've only ever used the 3 pin connectors on the motherboard for my CPU pwn fans, case fans I've always put on 4 pin molex connectors.

I got a HAF 922 and all of the fans have a 3 pin connector as well as a 4 pin adapter. Is there any advantage to using the 3 pin connectors? Can modern motherboards (I'm using an asrock extreme4 p67) regulate the speed of all of the non-cpu fan headers nowadays?

Is the amount of power being put out by both pin types the same, so the fan runs at the same speed? In that case is it just a matter of convience, plug into whichever is easiest to get to for that fan?
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
2500k @ 4.6 Extreme4 p67 1070 Gaming X 4x4 ripjaws X 1600 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
850 EVO, 6TB Hitach/WD Xigmatek Aegir Win7 Shimian 27" 1440p 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Antec TP650 HAF 922 G400s (RIP 518) Puretrak Stealth 
Audio
Soundblaster Z 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
2500k @ 4.6 Extreme4 p67 1070 Gaming X 4x4 ripjaws X 1600 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
850 EVO, 6TB Hitach/WD Xigmatek Aegir Win7 Shimian 27" 1440p 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Antec TP650 HAF 922 G400s (RIP 518) Puretrak Stealth 
Audio
Soundblaster Z 
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Reply
post #2 of 5
Look at the manual for your MB, some MB's have BIOS settings to adjust the voltage to the fan headers so you can get low, medium or high fan speeds. Some MB's come with software that will do the same thing within Windows, you will need to see if any came with your MB.

If you want to invest the time in learning how to use it you can use SpeedFan to control your fans if you plug them into the MB. Be aware though that SpeedFan will not work on all MB's, you will just have to try it and see. Also be aware that SpeedFan will not adjust the speed of a 4 pin PWM fan if you plug it into a 3 pin header on your MB. It will just run a maximum RPM all the time.

I just have my case fans plugged into my MB and let them run full speed. They are not loud and since I have a 4.4GHz OC I want them to run at maximum RPM all the time.
My System
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
4770K @ 4.7GHz / 4400MHz Asus Sabertooth Z87 Gigabyte GTX 780 OC 8GB G.Skill Trident X 9-11-11-31-1T @ 2400MHz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
OS SSD 840 Pro 256GB / FSX SSD 840 Pro 256GB LG DVD Thermalright SB-E x2 Win7 Ult 64b 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Viewsonic VP2655wb 25.5" IPS LCD Logitech Wireless EX1110 w/Mouse Corsair AX860i CM HAF-X 
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My System
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
4770K @ 4.7GHz / 4400MHz Asus Sabertooth Z87 Gigabyte GTX 780 OC 8GB G.Skill Trident X 9-11-11-31-1T @ 2400MHz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
OS SSD 840 Pro 256GB / FSX SSD 840 Pro 256GB LG DVD Thermalright SB-E x2 Win7 Ult 64b 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Viewsonic VP2655wb 25.5" IPS LCD Logitech Wireless EX1110 w/Mouse Corsair AX860i CM HAF-X 
  hide details  
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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Is the max rpm on those 3 pin fans the same as it would be if it was plugged into a molex connector?
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
2500k @ 4.6 Extreme4 p67 1070 Gaming X 4x4 ripjaws X 1600 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
850 EVO, 6TB Hitach/WD Xigmatek Aegir Win7 Shimian 27" 1440p 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Antec TP650 HAF 922 G400s (RIP 518) Puretrak Stealth 
Audio
Soundblaster Z 
  hide details  
Reply
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
2500k @ 4.6 Extreme4 p67 1070 Gaming X 4x4 ripjaws X 1600 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
850 EVO, 6TB Hitach/WD Xigmatek Aegir Win7 Shimian 27" 1440p 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Antec TP650 HAF 922 G400s (RIP 518) Puretrak Stealth 
Audio
Soundblaster Z 
  hide details  
Reply
post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by SenorBeef View Post
Is the max rpm on those 3 pin fans the same as it would be if it was plugged into a molex connector?
Yes, with some exceptions. Most 3-pin MB fan headers can provide full 12v, but some do not. The difference could be as much as 10%. It also depends on the fan as well.
post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by SenorBeef View Post
Is the max rpm on those 3 pin fans the same as it would be if it was plugged into a molex connector?
As long as the MB fan header is providing 12V to the fan the fans will run at maximum RPM. Check your MB manual. The manual for my R3E says that it provides 12V to the fan headers.
My System
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
4770K @ 4.7GHz / 4400MHz Asus Sabertooth Z87 Gigabyte GTX 780 OC 8GB G.Skill Trident X 9-11-11-31-1T @ 2400MHz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
OS SSD 840 Pro 256GB / FSX SSD 840 Pro 256GB LG DVD Thermalright SB-E x2 Win7 Ult 64b 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Viewsonic VP2655wb 25.5" IPS LCD Logitech Wireless EX1110 w/Mouse Corsair AX860i CM HAF-X 
  hide details  
Reply
My System
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
4770K @ 4.7GHz / 4400MHz Asus Sabertooth Z87 Gigabyte GTX 780 OC 8GB G.Skill Trident X 9-11-11-31-1T @ 2400MHz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
OS SSD 840 Pro 256GB / FSX SSD 840 Pro 256GB LG DVD Thermalright SB-E x2 Win7 Ult 64b 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Viewsonic VP2655wb 25.5" IPS LCD Logitech Wireless EX1110 w/Mouse Corsair AX860i CM HAF-X 
  hide details  
Reply
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