How to Connect Multiple Case Fans?

PC gamers put together the best components they can find in the market for their PC, good ventilation through their Case while giving it a cool look, and adding some lighting is exactly what some of the best top-level case fans do.

But sometimes, you might want to add more fans than your motherboard has sockets for, and so you may be wondering how to connect multiple fans to your Case?

Don’t you worry because we’ve got you covered with this problem in this article so you can have that aesthetic look while having great ventilation to keep your PC cool and running at its best?

There are usually only a limited amount of fan headers on motherboards. Sometimes the number of fan headers is far less than the number of CPU fans on your chassis. For that, let’s first look at what fan headers are on your motherboard.

Why are Case Fans so important?

Using PC case fans to ensure your computer receives adequate cooling isn’t rocket science, but it may be challenging. Sure, you could go for “maximum power” by fitting as many fans into and onto the casing as possible, but that’s far from perfect. 

To adequately air cool your computer, you must have sufficient case fans to push and draw air into and out of the Case. Every fan has a cubic feet per minute (CFM) rating, which indicates how much air it pushes each minute.

The more air a fan moves, the higher the CFM. More case fans equal more overall CFM and more air moving through your PC.

Use fewer or quieter fans to keep your computer from becoming overly noisy. Just be aware of the noise levels since some higher power fans may make more noise than others. Furthermore, unless you love RGB lighting on their Case, the primary feature of your case fans should not be flashing multicolor lights.

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What is Fan Header?

In the most basic words, Fan Headers are terminals on your motherboard into which you hook your numerous PC cooling fans, and your motherboard uses these headers to control and monitor your computer’s fans.

A motherboard fan header is a three or four-pin connector on the motherboard. The fan will have a single set of cables (bundled together) that will connect to the motherboard’s fan header. The fan connector on the motherboard is a Molex KK connector. 

Technically, SYSFAN and CPU FAN are the same connection, but SYSFAN connects PC case fans, while CPU FAN connects the fan linked to the CPU heat sink. When referring to these connections, motherboard manuals usually use the words “SYSFAN” and “CPU FAN.”

Don’t worry if you’ve never handled these connections before; they’re simple to use and almost hard to connect wrong. 

The only difficult part will be getting your hands into the tight spaces to screw your fans down so you can get them in the most optimal positions.

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Should you buy a few large fans or multiple small ones?

It is determined by whether you require greater airflow or higher static pressure, as well as the amount of noise you can stand and your budget. If you have an air CPU cooler, crowded components, or want the finest air cooling possible, purchasing extra smaller (ideally 120 mm) fans is best. 

Just bear in mind that this will increase the amount of noise in your project and will necessitate a greater chunk of your money.

How to connect multiple case fans to a single header?

If you wish to add more fans to your motherboard, you may use a Y splitter to connect several fans to a single fan header or a Fan Hub, which requires a separate power supply. However, be aware that most headers are restricted regarding the amount of electricity they can transmit. 

A fan header is normally rated at 1 amp. When adding together the ratings of all of your fans connected to a single fan header, you should not cross the 1 Ampere level for safety and performance reasons.

A PC Fan Hub is another option to link many fans to your motherboard without worrying about power usage. The advantage of PC Fan Hubs is that they are not restricted to the 1 Ampere rating of the motherboard fan headers. Using the 15 pin SATA power cords, they take power directly from the Power Supply Unit.

The Y-Splitter is quite simple to set up. The female end of the splitter is connected to the motherboard’s fan header. The fans are connected to the male ends of the splitter. Splitter costs differ depending on the Y-Splitter arrangement (2-way, 3-way, 4-way, and so on). The price increases as the number of ends increases. However, in general, they are inexpensive.

It is also quite simple to set up the Fan Hub. One SATA power connection from the PSU is required, as is one 3/4 pin connection from the motherboard header to the Fan hub. The Fan Hub’s female end connects to the motherboard, which then branches into multiple male headers to which you may connect Fans.

A Fan Hub can normally connect up to ten fans, either 3 or 4 pins PWM or DC fans. The PC Fan Hubs are nearly as cheap as the fan splitters; however, they need an additional power supply connection. As a result, ensure you have a spare SATA cable on hand.

The Fan Hubs may be placed within the casing. Most come with sticky tape or a magnet to stick them to the Case. More costly options include a built-in RGB controller, which RGB fans may consider.

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Proper Fan Positioning

Air flows through a fan in one direction and out the other. A fan may be used as either an intake or an exhaust by shifting the direction it is positioned.

You should also pay attention to where the fans are placed. The air should be able to flow freely through the casing. In general, you want the case fans in front of the Case to pull at the air, while the fans in the back should blow it out. 

If your Case includes top vents, they should be used as exhaust fans since hot air rises. Intake should be done with side-mounted fans, which do not have air filters. To avoid dust problems, you can make your filters.

In concerns of dust, you want to keep your computer as dust-free as possible. Otherwise, all the ventilation in the world won’t do anything to keep your components cool. To decrease dust in the Case, make sure that the air entering it first goes through a filter. 

You diminish airflow and cooling power by leaving filters unclean or dusty. Many cases come with detachable filters that can be cleaned with a fast rinse. Just be sure to clean the filters once in a while.

How to connect multiple Case Fans?

Determining the number of fan headers of your motherboard

By physically inspecting your motherboard or reading the instruction manual that comes with your motherboard, you can determine the number and kind of Fan headers your motherboard has. 

According to what your motherboard says, if you need to add more case fans than the number of fan headers on your motherboard, you may require a splitter or fan hub to help you with connecting all of your case fans.

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For the type of fans you get, make sure whether they are DC or PWM fans, as the former requires a three-pin header, whereas the latter requires a four-pin header. Making this sure will help you buy a PC Fan Hub or a Y-Splitter for your fans.

DC fans have three pins. These have limited control over speed. Low-power CPU fans are frequently DC fans. Fans using PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) need four pins. They offer improved speed control and are excellent at reducing noise.


Overview

There are two main techniques to add extra fans to the motherboard, which we discussed previously.

If this does not work for you, there is a third option for adding fans to your PC that does not require your motherboard. Essentially, three pins to Molex adapters may connect directly to the Power Supply Unit, bypassing the motherboard. This approach, however, does not provide you control over the fans and does not allow you to monitor them. 

Planning your PC’s cooling strategy is important for keeping all of its components cool and operating properly. It will enable you to prevent excessive hardware throttling and optimize the potential performance of your PC.

When building your PC, keep the ideas stated above in mind when configuring your cooling system. RGB case fans may look great but keep your environment in mind; you wouldn’t want an RGB lit-up PC in a formal environment. Otherwise, you can wind up with a computer that looks like a toaster oven. 

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