How I use the fan connector on my water-cooled GPU and Afterburner to run 2 radiator fans and a case fan.
Why do it?
My case is limited to 2 x 240 rads. I wanted to maximize my cooling, especially in low CPU / high GPU situations. This hack is not for everyone. If you have acres of fan-covered rad space, or if Speedfan works for your motherboard, you don't need for this.*** Disclaimer: This is my hack and it worked well for me. I assume and accept no responsibility whatsoever for the consequences to you, your computer or your world if you attempt this on your own card. ***
What I used:
An Evercool Fan cable Adapter for PWM fans: http://www.microcenter.com/product/471084/Fan_Cable_Adapter_Supports_5_PWM_Fans
EKWB T6 waterblock
A 2-pin-mini cable adapter
Some short lengths of thin wire to ring out wire assignments
3 PWM type fans for case and radiator.
My card is the MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X.
The MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X PCB with stock air cooler removed.
Photos of other GPU PCBs can be found HERE
This is what the original cooler's wiring harness looked like.
Using a wire harness stripped from a cheap PWM fan, I connected different wire combinations from a PWM connection on teh motherboard to the GPU's original heatsink/air cooler assembly to determine the pinout.
Took an Evercool Fan cable Adapter for PWM fans
and added a 2-pin mini connector pigtail off the PWM and Tach wires. I carved off the mini connector's guides so it would fit into the connector on the PCB.
My waterblock, EK TF6.
I plugged the fan cable adapter into 3 PWM fans, a molex power connector for power and the PCB for PWM and Tach.
This method should work with any MSI 1080 card that uses the same PCB or MSI 1070 that fits the same TF6 waterblock.
So the hack should work on the Seahawk EK X card, BUT you'll need a power drill with 13mm bit to drill through the acetyl cover to access to the PCB fan connector.
My Afterburner-controlled fans are Corsair ml-120s and they idle quietly when Afterburner is not enabled.
They are fully controlled by the Afterburner Fan Speed controls when Afterburner is running.
I have much better cooling than before and a much quieter computer overall because all fans ramp down at idle once the CPU and GPU hit their target idle temps.
It would have been easier to just use a 4-pin normal to 4-pin mini connector and just remove the power and ground wires. If I'd had one, I'd have done that. But this was a late-night proof of concept experiment, so I went with what I had on hand...
Fan curves differ among BIOSs. It seems each GTX 1080 BIOS is custom tailored to the stock cooler / fan combo. You'll need to customize a fan curve to your liking, especially on the MSI cards where the stock cooler doesn't kick in before 60C. On water, you don't want your GPU to even reach 60C.
For more info, check out more on OCN: * * Ways to Better Cooling; Airflow, Cooler & Fan Data..*