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3 pin radiator fan management advice

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
So I've got a new water cooling kit going in right now, and I'm stuck on how I should manage the fans on the rad. It's a 240mm radiator, and I have 4 3pin fans I want to put on it. There are 2 or 3 other 3pin fans going into the case also.

Currently I have an ASRock P67 Extreme4 motherboard, which I've found through trial and error on my old air-cooling setup, to only effectively control 1x3pin fan either through AXTU (windows based BIOS contol software) or Speed Fan. (Other 3 pin fans were basically kept on 100%)

So I either use Y splitters for 4 fans on my rad from the 1 good mobo header (probably not a good idea?), or get a fan controller?

If a fan controller, I'd prefer something with a decent automatic control which would keep the fans quiet unless hot. I know the Auquero 5 is popular, but I can't justify dropping 16000yen ($200) on that. I looked at the Sunbeam Rheosmart 3 or 6, but it is never available and there are a lot of unhappy customers on newegg et al.

The Lamptron Touch looks OK (still expensive), or the less well known Nesteq MaxZero is an option, and much cheaper here in Japan.

Ideally I'd prefer the MaxZero on price, but it's actually a 4 channel controller fitted with Y splitters, and is rated at 4.8W or 0.4A per channel. Would I be OK attaching 2 1500 RPM fans to each channel if I'm planning to keep them at about 30-50% most of the time?

Also, where to people put heat sensors for managing radiator fans for a CPU loop? I guess most have 4pin PWM fans on the mobo? But if not?

Many thanks!
post #2 of 8
I don't know of many fan controllers that have automatic control so I can't help you there.

I can tell you that you'll want to find out how many watts/volts/amps your fans run at and then compare that to the max wattage the fan controller can handle. Be careful though, most fans have a startup voltage (more power) that fan companies elude from the packaging so if you can find that out you'll be fine. Do a little math and you'll find out what you need. Most people don't realize this and put 5 fans on a 10 watt controller, start the computer up and smell some melting plastic or the rare "this fan controller caught my computer on fire"...yeeeeaaah.

I don't know what products are available in Japan but I've always used Lamptron fan controllers and have yet to have any issues. Sorry I didn't help much. I hope someone with more knowledge can give you the info you need.

Also, welcome to overclock.net. redface.gif
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post #3 of 8
I'm looking at Lamptron Fan Controller Touch for my build....
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post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvgeniX View Post

I'm looking at Lamptron Fan Controller Touch for my build....

I have this controller. What I do not like is that it doesn't change anything until the temp threshold you set is reached. Then it jumps from the min setting your have set, to 100%, no in between. That means it tends to pulse back and forth. As soon as the fans ramp up, the item cools enough to drop back down until it heats up again and over and over it goes. What I do like is control over 5 fans, and 30 watts per channel (about 3 amps)

NZXT has several choices, if you like the cosmetics. I don't.

I had this one for a short while. Worked well enough, but it is too gaudy for me.

This one is cheaper and only takes up one bay.
Edited by Capt Proton - 5/8/12 at 5:46pm
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post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tips guys. I've been looking at all the options pretty seriously (at least single 5inch bay ones), including those suggested above. I've finally found the Scythe Kaze Server (KS01), which has auto, semi auto and manual with dials. It's only 4 channels so I'll only run the rad fans from it. The other fans I'll run from the Fractal Design 3 fan controller which came with the case (I totally forgot I had it!).

The cool thing about the scythe is that semi auto lets you set a minimum speed at which it normally runs, and you choose a heat threshold at which it ramps to 12V. The full auto keeps the fans OFF until your choice of threshold. Each channel with RPM speed for semi, and thresholds for temperatures is completely independent of each other. You can set each channel on semi, auto or manual independently.

So I'll keep 2 rad fans on pull on semi at low speed with a high threshold, and 2 on push on auto (off) with a lower threshold so they should stagger on as needed.
post #6 of 8
Make sure that it does not work like the Lamptron as I have explained above. You want it to ramp up as the temperature increases, not just jump to 100% when the threshold is reached. This is a very annoying way for it to operate, as the fans will pulse up and down when the temp gets close to the threshold. Not a great way to run.
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post #7 of 8
Get a lamptron. If i rememer most of them will handle two fan on each channel. I have 8 fans on a 4 channel lamtron and have been running like that for almost 7 months now. Fans are medium speed yates
post #8 of 8
Dont connect all 4 to your fan header. Thats asking for trouble!
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