How to Connect Fans to Motherboard? A Detailed Guide

With the power supply and motherboard already placed firmly in their proper location, you can get those fans working. Nowadays, the majority of the computer cases already come with several pre-installed fans – commonly one that is placed in front to deliver cold air and the other one at the rear part to send off the hot air. However, learning how to connect fans to the motherboard can be helpful if you wish to have a PC that operates cool and appease.

With many computer cases nowadays, putting additional fans is simple enough for many people. Cases commonly more than sufficient fan mount locations so people will not have to worry about the possibility of their computer getting overheat.

How to Connect Extra Fans to Motherboard?

Fans are designed to drive air in only one direction. Hence, their accurate placement is important in making an efficient airflow inside the case. Sometimes you will see arrows in the fans instructing you about the direction of the air. Otherwise, the air will surge out from the side where you can find the spokes. If you are not certain, you must refer to the fan’s instructions.

After learning where to place the extra fans, you have to screw them in. Just consider the fact that you will eventually need to detach the fans in the future to clean them so make sure that you do not overdo your tightening. To help improve the airflow, it can be beneficial to use more exhaust fans rather than having intake fans, since this can help pull in more volume of air from other gaps and holes in the case aside from the performance of the intake fan.

After securing the fans, you will have to connect them to the motherboard. The majority of the fans will either have 3 or 4-pin connectors. You should check for the appropriate headers on the motherboard. The instruction manual of the motherboard should display a diagram about their placements, however, what you are primarily checking out for is the labels of SYS_FAN, PWR_FAN, and CHA_FAN.

If you happened to purchase a lot of fans for the number of the headers on the motherboard, then you may consider getting a fan extension card. However, you have to ensure that the motherboard has the EXT_FAN header. It does not become an issue, whichever fan is connected to where. Normally, it is just a concern of attaching it to the nearest header available. Just see to it that you do not attach a fan connector to the CPU-FAN header.

Related: Best Motherboards for Ryzen 7 3700x

Where Do I Plug Case Fan into Motherboard?

Plug the case fans into the nearest fan header in the motherboard to prevent excess cables from hanging around. If you have to, utilize cable ties to prevent fan cables from being cluttered.

The motherboard can also have a power fan header. However, it is not suggested that you use it since it is essentially designed to keep track of the power supply fans. However, technically, if you need to, you can utilize the power fan for your case fan without issues, although it does not include the ability to shift the speeds of the fan.

Plugging the case fan straight into the PSU will not give you control of the fan speed. The fan is also noted to be always running at maximum speed. There are times that you will need to plug the fan into the PSU and that is if the motherboard does not have sufficient fan headers for the entire fans.

Are All Fans Compatible with All Motherboards?

The latest fans come in either 3-pin or 4-pin PWM. When it comes to their compatibility with all motherboards, it would be good to note that modern motherboards possess any number of 4-pin headers where both 3-pin and 4-pin fans can be plugged in. Thus, all modern fans are compatible with all modern motherboards.

How to Connect RGB Fans to Motherboard?

There are several considerations to make before going through the connection procedure. Also, relying on the situations, you may have to use a particular approach when installing. To ensure safe structuring, you have to follow the given tips to eliminate risks:

  • See to it that you secure the RGB fans as well as the given components in a safe place. Make sure that they are kept distant from hot surfaces or areas with high temperatures.
  • Consider keeping the RGB fans far from the impeller.
  • See to it that you use the provided mounts of the bought RGB fans when attaching them to the motherboard.
  • Use the RGB fans in the PC after connecting them to your motherboard.
  • Consider keeping the RGB fans and the provided mounts far from any liquid.

Several types of RGB fans could suit the motherboard. Each type can connect distinctly to the motherboard. Fundamentally, the connector types can either have 3 pins or 4 pins to connect to the motherboard.

If your connector has 3 cables, you can install a 3-pin RGB fan. You cannot connect a 4-pin RGB fan to a 3-cable connector. Read the manual guide and perform what is instructed. On the other hand, connecting 4-pin RGB fans to your motherboard is quite simple if you execute the correct methods. Tuck in the fan connector to the header of the motherboard. You do not have to secure any tool to make it fit into. You just have to tuck in the dual 4-pin RGB fan connector inside the header of the motherboard to guarantee maximum RPM.

Related: Reviews of the Motherboard For i7-7700K

Bottom Line

Fans have an important role in the performance of the PC. They make sure that the system does not get overheated. Thus, making sure that the PC performs in its utmost quality. This is the reason why it is recommended that you learn how to connect fans to the motherboard. Additional fans that are connected wrongly, or that are positioned in the wrong spot of the computer case may draw away from the comprehensive cooling method of the system.


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1 thought on “How to Connect Fans to Motherboard? A Detailed Guide”

  1. Useful thanks Aiden. Fitting a memory cooling fan later today and trying to work out where to plug it into as the nearest available ‘system’ pins are on the other side of the board. Might have to do some cable juggling behind the mobo!


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