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Y-Splitter cables. Are they a harm?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
On my gf's computer she has only 2 fan connectors (3 pin). I was thinking about getting a Y-splitter thats 1 - 4 (3pin) for the fans in her case so I dont have to use a molex power cable coming from the PSU. Is there any harm in using such a card with 4 fans attached to it? Also they are led fans, does this mean that the LED's will be dimmer since 4 are sharing the same power plug?
post #2 of 5
There should be no harm, and no dimming of the LEDs, provided the total current of all fans attached is below the rated limit of the board's fan headers.

For lower speed fans this would be rare, but multiple high performance fans on the same header could destroy all the fan headers on the board.

In general, you want to keep current draw to 1A or less on each header and probably 2A or less for all headers combined; a fair number of boards support more, but this is a safe rule of thumb. Look at the sticker on the back of your fans to see how much current they draw.
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post #3 of 5
The splitters themselves are harmless, What matters is the wattage of the fans you attach.

In total, they must be less than the maximum output of the particular motherboard header. Normally this is 1 amp @ 12v (12 Watts).

To attach 4 fans, they need to be less than 0.25 amps, or 3 Watts each.

I currently have 3 Noctua NF-F12s attached to my CPU Fan header with no issues. I fact, according to the specs I could have 20 of them.

The splitters put the fans in Parallel, so they each get the full voltage applied. The LEDs will work properly.
Edited by Wihglah - 3/24/14 at 11:35am
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
thanks for the info guys!
post #5 of 5
One thing about splitters is how the tach (RPM) wire is handled. A good splitter will have the tach wire only on one side.. not on both. Having it on both sides confuses the signal... and you won't get accurate RPM readings. On PWM splitters... having PWM on both sides is ok, even necessary.

Everything said above is dead on also... just don't exceed the mobo's power capability and you are good.
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