Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    7

    Fans, fans, all types of fans.

    Why do some fans have 3 pin connector and some have 4? Can all fans be controlled by the mainboard, which can control and monitor the speed of the fan? Are all fans controlled by the heat? I'm a little confused on fans because there are literally thousands of different ones to get and all have different connections and specs. The mainboard I have is the Asus Sabertooth X79. Has like 6 fan headers that can take a 3 pin or 4 pin connection. Which is better?

  2. #2
    Member grumperfish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    South Florida
    Posts
    2,336
    4-pin fans are PWM fans, so they can be controlled by a motherboard's 4-pin socket. 3-pin fans have positive, negative, and sensor wires so you can hook them up to a motherboard socket or a fan controller (or directly to the power supply with a molex adapter).

    The ones that are controlled by heat (IE: 4-pin fans hooked to a motherboard's CPU header) are controlled by the board itself, speeding up or slowing down the fan going by the board's temperature sensor(s).

    Whichever is "better" depends on your usage. If you want a fan controlled by the motherboard for a 4-pin header, you'd want a PWM fan. If you want something with more power (38-mm thick San Ace, Panoflo, or Delta), you'd need a fan controller as the board's headers won't output enough power. For most standard 120mm x 25mm fans you'd just get whichever one you need between PWM and non-PWM/standard for your board headers. So just use whichever you want really.
    Desktop: i7 2600K @ 4.6ghz w/ TR HR-02 + SD 120x38mm // Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3P // MSI R9 280X 3GB
    16GB G-Skill RipjawsX 1600mhz // Samsung 830 256GB // 6TB // Thermaltake Armor // Corsair TX750
    Server: Q6600 G0 // EP35-DS3R // 4GB DDR2 // 4850 512MB // 840Pro 128GB // 4.25TB // Corsair TX650
    Laptop: Latitude D630 // C2M T7300 // 4GB DDR2 // X3100 // Samsung 830 128GB
    Smoothwall: P4 2.4C // 1GB DDR // AOpen MX4GVR // 20GB // Corsair CX430
    I like HEAT

  3. #3
    mjw21a's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Australia, Brisbane
    Posts
    5,198
    I've a preference for PWM fans. I love things like 260CFM Sanyo Denki San Ace fans which two lots of connectors. 1x connector for PWM speed control and a molex to hook into the PSU for more power. This allows you to run the fan at very low/near silent speeds yet ramp up for whenever more airflow is requred.

    PWM rocks!
    CPU & HSF: AMD FX-8120 & Noctua NH-D14
    Mobo: Asus M5A97-EVO
    RAM: 16GB (4Gx4) DDR3 2133 G.Skill RipjawZ F3-17000CL11Q-16GBZL
    Storage: 1x 120GB OCZ Vertex II SSD, 1x 250GB Samsung 830 SSD, 1x 1.5TB Samsung Silencer Series HDD
    GFX: 4GB Gigabyte ATI R9 270X OC Edition + Yamakasi Catleap Q270 SE 27" IPS LED LCD
    Audio: Asus Xonar DX, Senheiser CX270 earbuds + UltraDisk 4016 Condenser Lavelier Microphone
    Case & Lighting: Silverstone Temjin TJ04-E w/ Side Window + Red CCFL's
    PSU: 550W Antec EarthWatts Platinum
    My rig piccies & links

    "Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly succeed, and are right." H.L. MENCKEN

  4. #4
    New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    7
    Thanks very much. After reading and more reading I'm beginning to like the 4 pin fans since my mainboard has 6 of them and all can be monitored/controlled by the program that came with it. Thanks!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •