[SOLVED] 3 pin fans to 4 pin Mobo

Mar 24, 2021
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Hello everyone, this might be a bit of a dumb question but I am building my very first gaming computer so please bear with me. I ordered 3 RGB fans from Amazon and now that I have them, I have no idea what to do since they come with a 3 pin connector but my motherboard has only one 4 pin header. I’m using the ASUS Prime 320 and the fans are MIG brand.
How can I make this work? Or are they just not compatible at all?
 
Mar 24, 2021
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That's ARGB lighting. That's not a fan connector. It's a decent sized connector almost like a molex connector and has 2pins side by side, then a blank, then the 3rd pin by itself. Honestly a 4pin connector but only 3 pins usable.

You can't use that on your motherboard. Your motherboard lacks that kind of header. A Jrainbow ARGB header.

If you want rgb/argb lighted fans, you need to find the type that is USB controlled hub. It's your only option. You do not have RGB or ARGB capability otherwise. Fans yes, lights no.
I will try the usb controller that you mentioned. Thank for your help!!
 

Karadjgne

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Ok. Start with How many cables are on those fans. If true RGB, they'll have 2 wires. One for the RGB lighting, and one for the fan. If just one 3pin cable, those are fake RGB, they are just LED fans with multiple colors you cannot change.

The difference is important because it determines several things.

For a Fan, 3pin and 4pin use the same header. 3pin is analog, controlled by voltage, so you get a range of usually 40% to 100% fan speeds. 4pin is digital, controlled by a signal, and always stays at 12v, the signal changes the speed. But the motherboard header is the same (12v/gnd/tach/signal). A 3 pin only has use of the first 3.

But that's just the fans. If it's fake RGB/LED type fans, they use the same voltage as the fan, just the 1 cable, so as voltage decreases, and the fans slow down, so does the brightness.

RGB and ARGB (addressable RGB) do NOT use the same lighting header. RGB is analog and uses 3 ground wires to change the resistance inside the circuit for each color. ARGB is digital, uses 5v instead of the fans 12v, and uses a JRainbow 4pin header, (5v constant/GND/blank/signal). They look somewhat alike on the motherboard, but are most definitely not the same. Trying to force 12v RGB through a 5v ARGB fan has consequences.

So a 3pin/4pin Fan connector is the same thing, an RGB/ARGB Lighting connector is Not.

As is, I'm pretty sure the A320 does not have RGB/ARGB headers, so the only thing that'll work is Fan headers and the fake RGB/LED single wire fans. They will dim as fan speeds slow down.
 
Last edited:
Mar 24, 2021
4
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Ok. Start with How many cables are on those fans. If true RGB, they'll have 2 wires. One for the RGB lighting, and one for the fan. If just one 3pin cable, those are fake RGB, they are just LED fans with multiple colors you cannot change.

The difference is important because it determines several things.

For a Fan, 3pin and 4pin use the same header. 3pin is analog, controlled by voltage, so you get a range of usually 40% to 100% fan speeds. 4pin is digital, controlled by a signal, and always stays at 12v, the signal changes the speed. But the motherboard header is the same (12v/gnd/tach/signal). A 3 pin only has use of the first 3.

But that's just the fans. If it's fake RGB/LED type fans, they use the same voltage as the fan, just the 1 cable, so as voltage decreases, and the fans slow down, so does the brightness.

RGB and ARGB (addressable RGB) do NOT use the same lighting header. RGB is analog and uses 3 ground wires to change the resistance inside the circuit for each color. ARGB is digital, uses 5v instead of the fans 12v, and uses a JRainbow 4pin header, (5v constant/GND/blank/signal). They look somewhat alike on the motherboard, but are most definitely not the same. Trying to force 12v RGB through a 5v ARGB fan has consequences.

So a 3pin/4pin Fan connector is the same thing, an RGB/ARGB Lighting connector is Not.

As is, I'm pretty sure the A320 does not have RGB/ARGB headers, so the only thing that'll work is Fan headers and the fake RGB/LED single wire fans. They will dim as fan speeds slow down.
That’s my fault, I should have said that the fans themselves are connected to a hub which has a three pin connector that is supposed to be connected to the mobo header.
 

Karadjgne

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Fans or lights. Those are generally 2 different things and rarely use the same hub. Most often it's either a lighting hub for ARGB fans that has a Sata power from psu and either a data cable to USB or a cable to motherboard jrainbow header.

For fans, almost the same. Except it's a cable that goes to a fan header.

The confusion is which are used. How many cables does each fan actually have, 1 or 2, and what is connected to the hub.

3pin doesn't say much if it's the 3pin to ARGB, if it's the 3pin to fan. You need to be more specific. Include pictures if you need to
 
Mar 24, 2021
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So it’s actually the hub that came with the fans that I’m trying to plug into the Motherboard. Imagine a four pin connector that has one of the four pin holes plugged so it can’t be connected to the mobo header. I think I will just get a different set of fans.
Thanks for the help
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Ambassador
That's ARGB lighting. That's not a fan connector. It's a decent sized connector almost like a molex connector and has 2pins side by side, then a blank, then the 3rd pin by itself. Honestly a 4pin connector but only 3 pins usable.

You can't use that on your motherboard. Your motherboard lacks that kind of header. A Jrainbow ARGB header.

If you want rgb/argb lighted fans, you need to find the type that is USB controlled hub. It's your only option. You do not have RGB or ARGB capability otherwise. Fans yes, lights no.
 
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