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PWM Fans Help

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I am looking for some help with the PWM fans I have hooked up in my water cooled system. I am not sure if this question belongs here or in the water cooling forum because I am only concerned about the fans/pump and more specifically PWM signals.

When I built my system I took into account that my my motherboard (P8Z77-V DELUXE) has 4-pin internal chassis fan headers and the manual said that these output PWM signals. So I bought 7 Noiseblockers PLPS PWM controlled fans. This was apparently a big mistake on my part as only the CPU and CPU_OPT fan headers actually output PWM signals. The chassis fan headers are not PWM and run the fans/pump at 100% regardless of what I set them to in the BIOS/Fan X-Pert software. I have been running the system off a couple splitters that have external power connectors that go directly into the power supply and another connector for the PWM signal which are currently connected to the CPU fan header. This solution is not ideal since the entire system kicks up (fans and water pump to 100%) when ever the CPU has a random spike. I would like to base the fan and pump speed off the water temp in the loop.

My questions are:
  • If I get a fan controller such as the Aquaero will the headers on there be able to control my fans? It has a couple ports for 12v PWM however I do not know if these are compatible with my PLPS fans. Also 1 of the fan headers on the Aquaero is 4 pin, will this be compatible with my PWM pump?
  • After reading around a lot I have seen a few people mention that PWM fans can still be controlled by voltage, is this true? Is it good to run PWM fans lower than 12 volts?
  • I will certainly be buying 12v fans next time. I am wondering if I can salvage this situation or if I should just go out and buy PL-2 fans and cut my losses. Maybe attempt to sell the PLPS fans.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 5
Aquaero 5 has one pwm channel that can be used for fans and pumps, on new Aquaero 6 devices all four fan channels are PWM capable. Aquaero 5 LT is the cheapest option if you connect pump & fans to that one PWM channel using a splitter cable or you could connect pump to PWM channel and control fans by voltage on the remaining three channels.
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post #3 of 5
You can control PWM fans with standard 3-wire voltage controllers; that's why the key on the PWM fan connectors also fits the 3-pin headers. They're still 12v DC motors that also work (more slowly) at lower voltages.

PWM speed control is generally more efficient than voltage control; voltage control using potentiometers (knobs, sliders, etc.) works by dissipating heat to drop voltage. PWM, on the other hand, uses a very fast duty cycle of alternating +12v, 0v voltages to regulate the speed. PC PWM fans do this at around 25khz, IIRC, so you're essentially turning the fan on or off thousands of times per second.
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post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mm67 View Post

Aquaero 5 has one pwm channel that can be used for fans and pumps, on new Aquaero 6 devices all four fan channels are PWM capable. Aquaero 5 LT is the cheapest option if you connect pump & fans to that one PWM channel using a splitter cable or you could connect pump to PWM channel and control fans by voltage on the remaining three channels.

I have looked for the Aquaero 6 but can only see it on AquaComputers own site which I cannot get shipped here to Canada. Though it certainly is nice that they added 4 pin PWM to all the fan headers! You know of any sites that have the Aquaero 6 in stock for North America?
Quote:
Originally Posted by jvolkman View Post

You can control PWM fans with standard 3-wire voltage controllers; that's why the key on the PWM fan connectors also fits the 3-pin headers. They're still 12v DC motors that also work (more slowly) at lower voltages.

PWM speed control is generally more efficient than voltage control; voltage control using potentiometers (knobs, sliders, etc.) works by dissipating heat to drop voltage. PWM, on the other hand, uses a very fast duty cycle of alternating +12v, 0v voltages to regulate the speed. PC PWM fans do this at around 25khz, IIRC, so you're essentially turning the fan on or off thousands of times per second.

So on the Aquaero 5 I can connect my pump to the one 4 pin header then all my fans to the 3 pins and everything should work?

Thank you both for these responses! Seems like I am always learning new things about fans.biggrin.gif
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post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by shakurass View Post

I have looked for the Aquaero 6 but can only see it on AquaComputers own site which I cannot get shipped here to Canada. Though it certainly is nice that they added 4 pin PWM to all the fan headers! You know of any sites that have the Aquaero 6 in stock for North America?
So on the Aquaero 5 I can connect my pump to the one 4 pin header then all my fans to the 3 pins and everything should work?

Thank you both for these responses! Seems like I am always learning new things about fans.biggrin.gif

I don't think that anybody has Aquaero 6's in stock yet, if I remember correctly they should start selling those at end of this month. And yes, you can connect fans and pump to Aquaero 5 exactly like that.
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