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Anything wrong with daisy-chaining fan splitters?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm making final orders for a build I'm going to be putting together next week (log is here), and I'm trying to work out how many fan splitters/extenders I need to order. I have a quad 480 in PP on top, a push-only 360 in front, a push-only 360 on bottom, and a push-pull 560 also on bottom, and will be using an NZXT Grid to control all 22 fans. I'm not concerned about shorting out motherboard headers since the Grid is powered by the PSU, but I'm wondering if there's anything "wrong" with linking, say, a 2-fan splitter to a 3-fan splitter in order to allow me to control my entire 480 rad from two of the Grid headers.

Thanks.thumb.gif
Edited by Sorphius - 11/6/15 at 11:19am
post #2 of 10
Maximum combined wattage for that controller is 30 watts. Most 120mm fans are about 4.5w. Not only is that likely divided among all of the ports on the controller, but you will likely need at least a second one for that many fans. You do it, you're going to burn something up.
Edited by WizardontheJob - 11/6/15 at 10:52am
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post #3 of 10
Are those fans PWM? If splitters are PSU-powered, then wattage limitation per channel is irrelevant - which is possible with PWM fans. There's a limit to how many fans you can split PWM signal between, but it is very high.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Well what kind of setup would you suggest for something that would let me not just power multiple fans but also control their RPM? I don't mind running multiple hubs if I need to -- I'm just wondering what other people do/have done.
post #5 of 10
Get a bunch of PWM fans, and daisy-chain them as you like, power them directly from PSU, and control RPM via PWM from any header you like, e.g. from the motherboard - don't even need a separate controller for that. I control 24 fans this way, all from motherboard headers.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmpxchg8b View Post

Get a bunch of PWM fans, and daisy-chain them as you like, power them directly from PSU, and control RPM via PWM from any header you like, e.g. from the motherboard - don't even need a separate controller for that. I control 24 fans this way, all from motherboard headers.
Thats my problem, is that the fans I'm planning to use don't come in a PWM variety. If they did I'd just get a bunch of the 5-way MOLEX splitters and go to town. Does anybody know of a splitter or hub that would let me control 3-pin fans similarly"

Would connecting regular fans to a PWM hub/controller combo allow me to control RPM? I don't need the full spectrum of speeds... My cooling is so overkill that I don't think I'll ever need to crank them over 50% or so to get the delta I'm after.
post #7 of 10
The Grid probably will struggle to handle the fans, unless they only use about ~1.3W each. There simply is too much current with high speed fans. That said, there are power efficient fans (like the Gentle Typhoon).

Another option for you is to consider getting a higher current controller (Ex: Lamptron makes some that go up to 300W or more).


If you don't need exact fan control, then you could get a Lamptron Hummer:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811997014&cm_re=lamptron-_-11-997-014-_-Product

It's not too expensive and does 100W/channel with 5 channels. More than enough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sorphius View Post

Thats my problem, is that the fans I'm planning to use don't come in a PWM variety. If they did I'd just get a bunch of the 5-way MOLEX splitters and go to town. Does anybody know of a splitter or hub that would let me control 3-pin fans similarly"

Would connecting regular fans to a PWM hub/controller combo allow me to control RPM? I don't need the full spectrum of speeds... My cooling is so overkill that I don't think I'll ever need to crank them over 50% or so to get the delta I'm after.

Even with 22x PWM fans, PWM signal would only last up to about 8-16 fans because the PWM signal wouldn't be strong enough to hit the fan. You would need 2-3 PWMs.

Such a product does exist:
http://phanteks.com/PH-PWHUB.html

Yes you could use the PWM fan controller made by Phanteks, as it converts PWM signal to voltage control, although you may need up to 2-3 again because of the current draw. It would not give super exact control though (set to 0% for slow speed and anything above 0% gives a very dramatic increase in speed), so it doesn't give the kind of super exact control you are looking for, but it does give some control.

Some reading material:
http://www.overclock.net/t/1515073/phanteks-pwm-controller-results-with-gentle-typhoon-ap15/0_100
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post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
@crazyelf: Thanks for that. The Hummer would work, but I should have mentioned that if I wanted to sacrifice a 5.25" bay I'd just have gotten an Aquaero and called it a day. I'm specifically looking for something like the Grid, thermaltake Commander, etc that I can put out of sight behind the case divider.

I'll see about getting a few (it says it will support up to 10 fans) of them and seeing how they work out. It'll be nice not having to worry about the stupid CAM software, and I don't need precise control... Just a standard 500 or so rpm when idle and ramping up to 800-900 at load is perfect.
post #9 of 10
There is no problem with using multiple fan splitters combined together, as long as the total wattage does not exceed the controllers limitations. Low speed fans use very little power compared to high speed models. 1W per fan is certainly possible if you choose the right models. With the number of large rads you have listed low speed fans are absolutely the way to go.
Instead of multiple splitters I find the easiest and neatest way to go is using splitter boards, powered or unpowered, placed next to each rad so you can just run a single fan cable from the controller to the board. The unpowered boards work with 3 pin or 4 pin fans.
http://www.performance-pcs.com/modmytoys-4-pin-pwm-power-distribution-pcb-8-way-block.html
http://www.performance-pcs.com/modmytoys-4-pin-pwm-female-to-4-pin-female-extension-cable-black-24-sleeved.html
http://www.performance-pcs.com/silverstone-cpf04-1-to-8-pwm-fan-fub-black.html

For voltage controlled fans an Aquaero 5 LT will do the job and can be mounted just about anywhere. You could put the largest power draw rad, probably the quad 140, on the PWM header and use pwm fans on a powered PWM splitter for it so that the total power draw for the system is reduced. The Aquaero could easily power the 480 and 360 rads with good fan choice.

The 5Lt and air heatsink will do the job for well under $100 but if you could stretch it to a 6 pro you can just remove the front LCD panel and mount it anywhere just like the 5Lt. The 6 models will power all the fans with ease and less heat, or let you use all PWM models and not have to think about power draw levels.

The Corsair commander mini is another choice if you use all PWM fans but it doesn't have the same ability as the Aquaero.
A simple high wattage slider or dial controller is also a good way to go.
eg. http://www.performance-pcs.com/nzxt-sentry-mix-2-fan-controller.html#Specifications
Adjusting the fans is fast and easy compared to most digital controllers.
Edited by Jakusonfire - 11/6/15 at 9:46pm
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post #10 of 10
You need a file like this one to calculate power limit on the components.
ManagingCoolingPowerConsumption.xlsx 16k .xlsx file
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