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Old August 3, 2010, 08:12 AM
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Default 120mm fan questions

I'm going to buy a 120mm fan or two to go with my HDD but I'm not sure whether it matters if it's 3-pin or 4-pin.

Can anyone explain what the difference is besides the pins on the mobo? I guess some motherboards are getting 4-pin now? The mobo I bought is used, a P5Q, and it looks as though it only has 3-pin on the mobo. So, I should just get 3-pin fans then? I guess you can use an adapter that allows the 3-pin to change to 4-pin (molex using PSU???)? But, then I'd need to order adapters? I doubt these are very available locally.

Also, if I went for 3-pin fans, does it mean the fan will run full speed or what?

I was going to choose a Gelid but then should I choose a version that is 3-pin? I googled this but this topic doesn't seem to come very often. It sounds like the 4-pin variety is somewhat more popular?

I would rather control the fans through the hardware. I guess you can buy a separate fan controller for that? If the fan speed can be controlled throught the BIOS, that's okay, too. I guess I prefer not to use software if it's 'Windows only.' I know the Tri-Cools have fan controllers as well as other fans. But, these are usually expensive. I'm just buying a fan to fill the leftover spaces for them.

Is it better to get quieter fans for the intake? The case is an Antec 300 and I believe there's already a Tri-cool fan in the exhaust and a 140mm fan in the top? The fans I have now is a SilenX (oops! 'might want to replace that?),a Scythe S-Flex (will be used for the cpu) and a Yate Loon which will be used for the intake?

There's one more spot for a 120mm fan and the one on the case panel might be the SilenX unless it's too crappy. :) I also read that the P5Q mobo only has 3 spots for fans, 3-pin for 2 chassis fans and 1 3-pin for the PWR fan. Isn't the PWR 3-pin reserved for a video card? My P35 is set up this way, I think. How does one have more than 3 fans in their system????
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Old August 3, 2010, 08:14 AM
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3 pin fans have a ground, power and rpm sensor.

4 pin fans have the same as above but added a 4th for pwm control which allows the bios of the motherboard on a proper 4 pin to allow the fan speed to be automatically adjusted.

If you have 3 pin fans yes they'll run full speed all the time unless you get a fan controller.
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Old August 3, 2010, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enaberif View Post
3 pin fans have a ground, power and rpm sensor.

4 pin fans have the same as above but added a 4th for pwm control which allows the bios of the motherboard on a proper 4 pin to allow the fan speed to be automatically adjusted.

If you have 3 pin fans yes they'll run full speed all the time unless you get a fan controller.
Hey, thanks for the quick reply! So, if I buy a 4-pin fan, I will need to order an adapter and then a 4-pin molex connector from the PSU will supply the power?

The Gelids at 1000rpm/37cfm/20 or so db is out of stock so the only Silents available right now are the ones that may be much louder? The 3-pin version is the temp. control one. I guess I'm undecided of what to do. :)

I don't think the P5Q has a 4-pin on the mobo for fans so I guess the 4-pin pwm control doesn't even apply? Sounds like easiest option is 3-pin fans and let them run at full speed (whatever it is) and get a fan controller now or later?
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Old August 3, 2010, 08:25 AM
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No you can plug a 4 pin onto a 3pin header the 4th pin will just hang off.
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Old August 3, 2010, 08:35 AM
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Yeah? Any recommendations then? I noticed that a Gelid fan speed controller (3-pin) can be PM'd for around $2 so I thought maybe PM for the TC Silent 12 and then get the fan controller. It's a bit of extra stuff in my case, though. The TC Gelids have that extra cable and the fan controller has to go in your case apparently. Can this be done in an Antec 300 without too much trouble? I read the cabling in those cases requires a lot of 'personal attention.'

Edit:
P.S. How do I get all 4 fans (1 exhaust, 2 instake and 1 on the side panel - for video card) running with only THREE 3-pin motherboard connectors (2 chassis and 1 PWR)?

Last edited by technix; August 3, 2010 at 08:43 AM.
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Old August 3, 2010, 09:08 AM
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What are good 120mm fans for intake? I have one Yate Loon to use... would it be good for that spot? I'm looking for at least one more...
??????
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