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3 pin PWM fans

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm thinking about adding two PWM fans to my system, one using the CPU PWM header and one using a PWM header on my fan controller. Both of these headers are 4 pins (I may decide to control both PWM fans with the fan controller).

Can anyone tell me why this particular fan is PWM but only has 3 pins?

http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX30342%28ME%29.aspx

I know PWM headers are 4 pins and the pinout is (PWM, Tac, 12V, GND). How can this PWM fan have only 3 pins?

The reason I'm asking about this particular fan is that it's available locally (the only PWM fan I can locate locally so far), it's in stock, it's at a store where I have to pick up a cooler later this week, it has good air flow and should be PWM controllable.

Someone mentioned on another website that some board manufacturers were PWMing the 12V line on the CPU FAN headers. I'm using an ASUS P5QL-EM main board but it doesn't mention anything about 3 pin PWM fans.

If this main board could use the PWM pin to ground during the low pulses then I suppose PWM would only need (PWM, Tac, 12V) but I was under the impression that the PWM pulse is just a signal and would be inappropriate for sinking the 12V line during the low portion of the pulse.headscratch.gif

Will these fans work in a four pin PWM header AND be PWM controlled?
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post #2 of 10
The fan connector is 4-pin PWM not 3. The adapter provided is 3-pin to 4-pin molex.

http://www.koolertek.com/computer-parts/pc/Scythe-Slip-Stream-PWM-High-Speed-120mm-Fan-SY1225SL12H-P-184p2455.htm
post #3 of 10
It has 3 pins so you can monitor RPM but you can only control fans with 4 pins
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post #4 of 10
I have a Slip Stream PWM. It has a 4-pin PWM femal plug. All Scythe fans come with a 3-pin male socket that allows the fan to get power from Molex and still report rpm's to the mb with a single wire in a 3-pin female plug.

HTH.
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post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
I am still confused.

I still don't understand how this is supposed to plug into a 4 pin PWM fan header. Even if the 3 pin to 4 pin adapter works as you say it does, what plugs into the 4 pin PWM fan header?

I can see actual 4 pin PWM Cooler Master and Sythe 120mm fans that work as per the 4 pin PWM spec. It would be nice to use an adapter to draw the 12V from the power supply via a molex adapter, but you still need to have a connector left over to plug into the 4 pin PWM fan controller header.

These Slipstream fans (model SY1225SL12H-P) are not (as far as I know) self controlling thermal activated fans, so they will need to have a PWM signal to control their speed.

Are you saying that this "3 pin to 4 pin molex adapter" is just used to rout 12V from the supply to the fan, but still has a control connector going to the 4pin PWM header? I have seen a picture of this adapter here:

http://www.scythe-usa.com/product/acc/076/sy1225sl12LMP_detail.html

But it sure doesn't look like it will plug into an actual 4 pin PWM header. And, the small 3 pin connector in the picture is a male, which would only plug into the fan, not the male PWM connector on the fan controller (or motherboard). To tell you the truth, any picture of this adapter I've seen makes it look like only two pins of that three pin connector are being used. Doesn't make much sense to me.

On that very same page it says "fan can work by using a PWM enabled motherboards", but nowhere in the picture does it show anything that looks like it could plug into a motherboard PWM header.

Would anyone have a diagram of how one of these fans (Sythe SY1225SL12H-P) would connect to a 4 pin motherboard PWM CPU FAN header?
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post #6 of 10
Sorry if I wasn't clear with my earlier post. The fan connector is 4-pin PWM. You do not need the adapter if you are connecting it to the matching PWM header on your MB.

Slip-Stream-120-PWM-High-RPM-ViewTop1_01.jpg

The adapter is useful only if you don't have a PWM header available.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Yep, looks like the same one. You have answered my question and I'm a happy camper. I'll pick a couple up.

It looks to me like there's some confusion in the specifications and description. The fan Specifications says "Connector: 3-pin (4 pin Molex Adapter included)", but your picture is clearly showing model SY1225SL12H-P with 4 pins.

Nice picture btw, I could clearly make out the correct model number.

I wonder why the descriptions for this model all say 3-pin? It looks to me like someone at Sythe is copying and pasting some of the specifications and getting it wrong for some fan models. In fact, you can look up a 120mm PWM fan on their site and it STILL says 3-pin. Their description should say 4-pin, and "4-pin PWM to 4-pin Molex adapter included".
Very careless.

Thanks for the help, you hit the nail on the head.
Edited by Mergatroid - 1/23/11 at 8:39pm
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post #8 of 10
Maybe this will help clear up things. Your original link is for a SY1225SL12H-P fan. Note the "-P" is for PWM. Yes, the picture in my post is correct and the info provided by Scythe is also correct (sort of) excluding the SY1225SL12H-P, which is PWM. All the other models listed are 3-pin fans.
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by gymenii;12119389 
Maybe this will help clear up things. Your original link is for a SY1225SL12H-P fan. Note the "-P" is for PWM. Yes, the picture in my post is correct and the info provided by Scythe is also correct (sort of) excluding the SY1225SL12H-P, which is PWM. All the other models listed are 3-pin fans.

All the other models are 3-pin fans except for the SY1225SL12M-P, which is also PWM. It's this latter fan that comes with the Mugen 2.

Just to pick a solitary nit.
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post #10 of 10
No problem. Your right, thanks.
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