Question Connecting Case Fan to Motherboard

derigueur

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So I've just bought some Silverstone AP182 fans to replace the Silverstone AP181 fans that I have. My AP181s were connected to my AS Rock Z77 Extreme 6 motherboard which have chassis fan connectors but the problem is, is that these new fans are meant to be much more powerful than the AP181. According to Silverstone's support they state ''However, you need to check if your motherboard's fan header can support enough power for the AP182 as it need 1.2A or 15.6W'

I don't know how to determine my motherboard's fan header power and I don't want to fry it. In addition I don't whether I should connect them to my PSU instead which is a Seasonic 80 Plus Platinum and if so how. Can anyone help me please?
 
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Paperdoc

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Sorry, you don't appear to have any ideal options. You are right, the manual for your mobo does not tell you the current limit of its fan headers. VERY probably they are max 1.0 A per header. Most headers are that way, except for a few that are specifically stated to provide up to 3.0 A. So it is NOT advisable to plug those new fans into the mobo headers.

You can plug them into 4-pin Molex power outputs from the PSU - those lines can supply many more amps from their 12 VDC source. BUT there is no way for you to control their speeds that way, nor will you be able to "see" their speeds since the fans' speed signal will never be sent to the mobo. To do that, you need little adapters that convert a 4-pin Molex output into a 3-pin fan output. Here is a 3-pack example

https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16812201036?Description=Molex fan adapter&cm_re=Molex_fan_adapter-_-12-201-036-_-Product

Note that these items have one male and one female Molex connector so the one from the mobo you "use" is "replaced" by another. And then your fan gets power from the third connector. You could "stack" these - plug one into a PSU output, the second into the "replacement" output from the first, and so on for thr third. That gets you three fan power outputs from one Molex PSU output.

I note that the Silverstone website says each fan has a little plate included with a manual speed control knob on it. In fact, each plate has an empty hole where you can mount a second control item. The plate mounts in a slot on the back of your PC where you are not using one of the PCIe slots. You would use one control device in the wires to EACH of your new fans. These are very simple little manually-operated variable resistors in the fan power line that allow you to reduce the fan speed to what you like. You do not get fan speed displayed, nor is there any automatic fan speed control system, but it does give you manual control if you wish. However, you may NOT want to reduce the fans' speeds, since your whole aim was to replace your old fans with higher-power units for more cooling.
 
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derigueur

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Thanks for your reply, looks like I've completely messed up and bought the wrong things then, I bought the AP182s because I needed to replace one of my AP181s and just decided to change all of the fans as I thought it would be better. Would it be better that I just buy another AP181 or can AP183s work for my rig and plugging into the motherboard?

My case is a Fortress FT02 and the AP183s aren't listed as a recommendation from Silverstone so I'm not sure if they can be used, although they are 180mm which the AP181s are. If you do recommend the AP183s it says they can't be manually controlled although I've seen that you can have a pwm fan controller, can you recommend a good one? Although if you think I don't really need to manually control them and should just use the motherboard, I'm okay with that.
 
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Paperdoc

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I think the AP183's are a good replacement choice for you. They actually can deliver at max speed more air flow (at slightly higher noise) than the 181's because they can run a a higher max speed. But in actual use IF you let your mobo's CHA_FAN1 header control their speeds according to actual cooling needs (as judged by the mobo temperature sensor), they probably will run at pretty much the same speed as your old one would to give you the same air flow and noise. The small improvement will be simply that you will have more top-end cooling capacity available IF you reach higher temperatures with heavy system loads.

The old 181's came with 3-position manual speed controls, although I don't know whether you used them. The 182's come with similar accessories. The 183's do NOT come with these, because they are intended for use with automatic fan speed control systems on your mobo. Now, the 183's are the new PWM design type and their speeds are controlled best by using that new system. Such a fan's speed CAN be controlled by the old system (Voltage Control Mode aka DC Mode) which simply reduces the voltage of the power supplied to the fan on its Pin #2, but that is not as good (from a technical perspective) as using the right Mode. And since the 183's do not include a manual control accessory, controlling their speeds manually is not entirely simple. Although you can buy manual fan speed control third-party modules that claim to offer control of PWM fans and do have 4-pin output ports, you need to be especially careful in evaluating their design. BOTH 3-pin and 4-pin fans can be speed controlled by the simple older Voltage Control Mode. So a great many manual fan speed control units use ONLY that older Mode despite what the port pin count is, and thus appear to be "universal" fan controllers.

Your mobo has three case ventilation fan CHA_FAN headers, but only the #1 one at the bottom front of the mobo is of the new 4-pin type that does use that PWM Mode of control that is ideal for those 183 model fans. Like other headers, that will have the 1.0 A max load limit. The specs of the model 183 fans say their max current use is 0.3 A per fan, so you CAN use up to three such fans connected to that single header if you use a simple SPLITTER. Here's an example of one with 3 outputs.

https://www.amazon.com/Splitter-Dayree-inches-Converter-Computer/dp/B07PLFB7TN/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=coboc+fan+splitter&qid=1586807065&sr=8-3

That happens to be a 2-pack of splitters. Note that each has one input connector and three arms with male outputs, and NO other types or connections.

IF you plan on more than three of these fans you cannot just do that by a Splitter. For a higher electrical load, you need to use a different type of device called a HUB. This device has one input "arm", two or more (often 4 to 8) outputs, PLUS a third "arm" type that MUST plug into a power output from your PSU. It gets all power for the fans from the PSU, thus avoiding the limit of the mobo header. But it does use the mobo header for the PWM signal it shares out to all fans. A Hub cannot be used with 3-pin fans, but is ideal for using several 4-pin fans controlled by a single mobo header that actually is using the new PWM Mode of control. An example Hub

https://www.amazon.com/SilverStone-Technology-Silverstone-Splitter-SST-CPF04-USA/dp/B07N3HP8S5/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Silverstone+fan+hub&qid=1586807841&sr=8-1

Whether you need a Splitter or a Hub depends on your count of these model 183 fans. Either way, note this item. Any fan header can deal with the speed signal coming back to it from only ONE fan. So any Splitter or Hub will only send back one of its fan's speed signals, and you will never "see" the speeds of the others. That does not matter really - the control system does NOT need to know the speed of all its fans to do its control job. When you use all the same fans together like this, they all will receive the same signals and do the same thing. But you must ensure that a fan IS connected to the output that does send back the speed signal. On a Splitter, that usually is the one output htat has all FOUR of its pins. On a Hub, one port will be identified as the only one that does this.
 
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derigueur

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I think the AP183's are a good replacement choice for you. They actually can deliver at max speed more air flow (at slightly higher noise) than the 181's because they can run a a higher max speed. But in actual use IF you let your mobo's CHA_FAN1 header control their speeds according to actual cooling needs (as judged by the mobo temperature sensor), they probably will run at pretty much the same speed as your old one would to give you the same air flow and noise. The small improvement will be simply that you will have more top-end cooling capacity available IF you reach higher temperatures with heavy system loads.

The old 181's came with 3-position manual speed controls, although I don't know whether you used them. The 182's come with similar accessories. The 183's do NOT come with these, because they are intended for use with automatic fan speed control systems on your mobo. Now, the 183's are the new PWM design type and their speeds are controlled best by using that new system. Such a fan's speed CAN be controlled by the old system (Voltage Control Mode aka DC Mode) which simply reduces the voltage of the power supplied to the fan on its Pin #2, but that is not as good (from a technical perspective) as using the right Mode. And since the 183's do not include a manual control accessory, controlling their speeds manually is not entirely simple. Although you can buy manual fan speed control third-party modules that claim to offer control of PWM fans and do have 4-pin output ports, you need to be especially careful in evaluating their design. BOTH 3-pin and 4-pin fans can be speed controlled by the simple older Voltage Control Mode. So a great many manual fan speed control units use ONLY that older Mode despite what the port pin count is, and thus appear to be "universal" fan controllers.

Your mobo has three case ventilation fan CHA_FAN headers, but only the #1 one at the bottom front of the mobo is of the new 4-pin type that does use that PWM Mode of control that is ideal for those 183 model fans. Like other headers, that will have the 1.0 A max load limit. The specs of the model 183 fans say their max current use is 0.3 A per fan, so you CAN use up to three such fans connected to that single header if you use a simple SPLITTER. Here's an example of one with 3 outputs.

https://www.amazon.com/Splitter-Dayree-inches-Converter-Computer/dp/B07PLFB7TN/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=coboc+fan+splitter&qid=1586807065&sr=8-3

That happens to be a 2-pack of splitters. Note that each has one input connector and three arms with male outputs, and NO other types or connections.

IF you plan on more than three of these fans you cannot just do that by a Splitter. For a higher electrical load, you need to use a different type of device called a HUB. This device has one input "arm", two or more (often 4 to 8) outputs, PLUS a third "arm" type that MUST plug into a power output from your PSU. It gets all power for the fans from the PSU, thus avoiding the limit of the mobo header. But it does use the mobo header for the PWM signal it shares out to all fans. A Hub cannot be used with 3-pin fans, but is ideal for using several 4-pin fans controlled by a single mobo header that actually is using the new PWM Mode of control. An example Hub

https://www.amazon.com/SilverStone-Technology-Silverstone-Splitter-SST-CPF04-USA/dp/B07N3HP8S5/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Silverstone+fan+hub&qid=1586807841&sr=8-1

Whether you need a Splitter or a Hub depends on your count of these model 183 fans. Either way, note this item. Any fan header can deal with the speed signal coming back to it from only ONE fan. So any Splitter or Hub will only send back one of its fan's speed signals, and you will never "see" the speeds of the others. That does not matter really - the control system does NOT need to know the speed of all its fans to do its control job. When you use all the same fans together like this, they all will receive the same signals and do the same thing. But you must ensure that a fan IS connected to the output that does send back the speed signal. On a Splitter, that usually is the one output htat has all FOUR of its pins. On a Hub, one port will be identified as the only one that does this.
Thank you so much for your response PaperDoc, I had actually figured out that the AP183's would be better in the end using a PWM splitter before I saw your reply. Nevertheless, the extra information in regards to using a hub if I want to connect additional fans has been very informative and helpful, thank you so much for providing this.
 

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