Do Case Fans Connect To A Motherboard or Power Supply?

Do Case Fans Connect To A Motherboard or Power Supply? |

If you are confused about do case fans connect to a motherboard or power supply? Then the answer is both options are valid to use when connecting a case fan. A motherboard with a fan header can be directly connected to a case fan. But if your motherboard lacks a fan header, the power supply is the best option. 

Some high-end power supplies come with built-in fan controllers. It is the most expensive option, but it’s also convenient. However, not all power supplies have this feature, so it’s something to consider when choosing a PSU for your custom PC.

Do Case Fans Connect To A Motherboard or Power Supply?

You can connect the case fan with both either the motherboard or power supply. The most common way is to connect the fan’s power cable directly to the motherboard’s header. This method is convenient because it doesn’t require any additional hardware. 

Always try to connect the case fans with your motherboard. It’s a more compatible option than the power supply. Connecting to the motherboard is a safer and more reliable option. Additionally, if you want complete control over fan speed and colors in RGB fans, it is a great option.

How to Connect Case Fans to PSU?

There are two ways to connect case fans to your PSU. One is through the controller, and the second is through a Molex power cable to a 4-pin fan converter. These are the best and most reliable ways to connect your case fans with PSU. Here’s how you can do it:

Things you need:

  • A Controller or a fan converter.
  • A screwdriver (To remove the case).
  • Case Fans.

Connecting Case Fan Through Controller:

This method of connecting the case fan is convenient and safer to use. Other methods, including soldering the wires directly to the PCB, are risky and may damage your motherboard permanently. You will need an RGB or simple fan controller for this purpose. 

  • First of all, remove all power sources from your computer and remove the body cover to expose the power cables. 
  • Connect the double-ended 4-pin connector with the power cable of your power supply.
  • Similarly, connect the other end of the 4-pin connector to the RGB controller.
  • Now connect the fan cable with the RGB controller carefully. Turn on your PC to see if the fans are working or not. 

Though your fans are not RGB, the RGB controller will provide a sufficient current required to run the fans. 

Connecting Case Fan Through Fan Converter:

The second convenient method is through using a Molex converter. These converts help to convert the extra power cable of the power supply into a 4-pin fan connector. Here are the steps you can follow to connect: 

  • Connect the Molex to 4-pin converting wire with your power supply. 
  • Now connect the other end od of the 4-pin converter to the fan. 
  • Turn on your computer to make sure the fan is running. 

Do Case Fans Connect To A Motherboard or Power Supply? |

Is The Fan Power Connected To The Motherboard?

Yes, fan power is directly connected to the motherboard. The motherboard has a 4-pin or 3-pin connector for the CPU and Case fans. These headers are located near the CPU socket in most motherboards. Most gaming PC include these multiple fan headers, while others only have a single header. 

These headers are typically labeled as CPU_FAN, SYS_FAN, or CHASSIS_FAN headers on the motherboard. These headers depend on the fan type. The fans may be 3-pin 5v (ARGB) or 4-pin 12v (RGB/Case fan). 

Fan power connected directly to the motherboard has many advantages, including complete control over fans. A data transferring pin in the motherboard’s header facilitates the user to control the fan. In addition, you can use software like Open RGB or SpeedFan to control these fans.

Do Case Fans Connect To A Motherboard or Power Supply? |

What To Do If My Motherboard Doesn’t Support Case Fan?

If your motherboard doesn’t have a case fan connector, you can still use a case fan by connecting it directly to the power supply. However, most case fans are 12V, so you’ll need to connect it to a 12V rail on the power supply. These 12v cables are called Molex connectors. 

When there is no case fan connector on your motherboard, you can draw power from an extra USB hub. There is USB male to 3 or 4 pin case fan adapters. You can use one of them. Just plug the USB into the port and plug the other end into the fan cable. Some motherboards have a USB hub inside the case.

Can Case Fans Be Plugged Into Any Motherboard Headers?

No, you can’t plug a case fan into any motherboard header. Each motherboard header is designed for a specific device, and case fans usually require a unique 3-pin (5v) or 4-pin (12v) header that can provide them with the necessary power and controls.

Each motherboard header has a different power. As fans also require a specific power. That’s why it is impossible to use any case fan in any motherboard header.

Check your motherboard manual to see which headers are compatible with case fans. Several headers like 8-pin extended USB headers, speaker headers, or power headers can not be used as fan headers. So, you can’t use any other header for fans. 

What Is Best For RGB Case Fan Motherboard or Power Supply?

In the case of RGB fans, connection through the motherboard is the best option. If you want complete control over the lightning and speed of your RGB fans, then you should connect them to the motherboard. You can use software to change lighting, effect color, and speed. 

If you connect them with a power supply, they won’t be able to display any colors or control the fan speed. There will be only one static color, and that is white. However, some LED case fans only require current to display lights. It is because LED lights are static. 

How Do I Know If Fans Are Compatible With My Motherboard Or PSU?

The easiest way to find out is to consult your motherboard or PSU user manual. It will list the specific requirements for fans, including voltage, power consumption, and connector type. You’ll need to purchase a specifically designed fan for your motherboard or PSU to ensure compatibility.

Another option is to use an online compatibility website, such as the one provided by Cooler Master. Many manufacturers provide a complete online guide for their users. Just write your motherboard’s model in google and try to find out the best match between the case fan and PSU. 

How To Connect Multiple Case Fans To Motherboard or Power Supply?

If you’re looking to add more cooling to your PC, you might be wondering how to connect multiple case fans. Depending on your motherboard or power supply, there are several methods including fan splitters, fan controllers, and PCI power connectors. 

Fan Controllers

The easiest way to connect multiple case fans is to use a fan controller. It is a device that allows you to control the speed of your fans and usually has multiple ports for connecting multiple fans. You can find fan controllers that connect via USB or mount directly onto your motherboard.

PCI Power Connector

If your motherboard doesn’t have any spare fan headers or you don’t want to use a controller, you can connect your fans directly to your power supply. Most power supplies have multiple PCIe power connectors, which you can use to connect multiple case fans.

Modern power supplies use a 4-pin or 8-pin power connector directly coming out from your power supply to provide power to the case fans. In addition, most modern motherboards have a 4-pin CPU fan header, which can also be used to power a case fan.

Y-Shaped Fan Splitters

Another option is to use a Y-shaped fan splitter. It is a cable that has one male connector and two female connectors. You can plug the male connector into your fan header and plug two fans into the female connectors. It will allow you to connect two fans to a single header.

Fan Splitter Hub

A fan splitter hub is a device that allows you to connect multiple case fans to a single motherboard header or power supply connector. There are two main types of fan splitter hubs: those that connect via USB and those that mount directly onto your motherboard.

USB fan splitter hubs are the more convenient option, as they can be plugged in and used without any installation required. They typically have multiple ports for connecting multiple fans, and some even come with a controller for adjusting the fan speed.

No matter which method you choose, make sure that you don’t exceed the maximum wattage rating for your fan headers. If you do, you could damage your motherboard or power supply.

Do Case Fans Connect To A Motherboard or Power Supply? |


So, these were some of the best methods to connect your case fan with PSU or motherboard. You can use any of the methods above methods according to your convenience. Also, ensure that you don’t connect too many fans as it might damage your power supply unit. Please let us know which method you found the most convenient in the comment section below. 

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