Question Connecting Multiple Fans with RGB

Jun 12, 2019
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I am going to be getting two CoolerMaster MasterFan Pro 120 RGB fans and I believe the case fan is also RGB, CoolerMaster MasterBox Q300. How do I connect the RGB so that I can control every fan? The mobo I will use is the ASRock B450M Pro4-F.

Basically, I'm unsure how I connect multiple RGB fans into the motherboard socket. I know the motherboard has one connector for the RGB but how do I connect 2 possibly 3?

Cheers
 

cin19

Titan
Moderator
Your MB has one 12V 4-pin RGB header + one 5V 3-pin RGB header. If you buy the CM MasterFan Pro 120 RGB fan, you will need the 12V 4-pin header, and I don't check your case's fan specifications, so I don't know they have the 4-pin or 3-pin RGB connector.

If all use the 4-pin 12V RGB, you will need the splitter, something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Splitter-Compatibility-Radiators/dp/B0719QY63M/ref=asc_df_B0719QY63M/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=309707619534&hvpos=1o4&hvnetw=g&hvrand=11034961822439761850&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9007284&hvtargid=pla-437362576250&psc=1
And you will need the 4-Pin male adapter plug connectors too. Like this: https://www.ebay.com/i/372495359337?chn=ps

And according the MB manual page 51, the RGB header can support up to 3A, so three fans should draw less than 3 Amp power. That means you are fine to use the splitter.
 
Jun 12, 2019
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Your MB has one 12V 4-pin RGB header + one 5V 3-pin RGB header. If you buy the CM MasterFan Pro 120 RGB fan, you will need the 12V 4-pin header, and I don't check your case's fan specifications, so I don't know they have the 4-pin or 3-pin RGB connector.

If all use the 4-pin 12V RGB, you will need the splitter, something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Splitter-Compatibility-Radiators/dp/B0719QY63M/ref=asc_df_B0719QY63M/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=309707619534&hvpos=1o4&hvnetw=g&hvrand=11034961822439761850&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9007284&hvtargid=pla-437362576250&psc=1
And you will need the 4-Pin male adapter plug connectors too. Like this: https://www.ebay.com/i/372495359337?chn=ps

And according the MB manual page 51, the RGB header can support up to 3A, so three fans should draw less than 3 Amp power. That means you are fine to use the splitter.
Im fine with connecting all the fans up to the motherboard, I am just unsure how I control the RGB. Isn't there a separate connector which is for RGB? How do I connect multiple into the single connector?
 
Jun 12, 2019
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No. Because the CM fan uses the regular 4-pin, buy this, if all your fans have the 4-pin : https://www.scan.co.uk/products/akasa-50cm-rgb-led-splitter-cable-4x-devices-via-cable-to-1-connector
So how do I control the RGB via the ASRock software? Don't I have to connect something to the Addressable LED Header?
Edit: Will I have to use the header 'ADDR_LED1' to use ARGB or will a normal fan header, e.g. 'CHA_FAN1' to control RGB, but don't I need to use 'RGB_HEADER1' to control RGB/ARGB?
 
Last edited:
Jun 13, 2019
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I am going to be getting two CoolerMaster MasterFan Pro 120 RGB fans and I believe the case fan is also RGB, CoolerMaster MasterBox Q300. How do I connect the RGB so that I can control every fan? The mobo I will use is the ASRock B450M Pro4-F.

Basically, I'm unsure how I connect multiple RGB fans into the motherboard socket. I know the motherboard has one connector for the RGB but how do I connect 2 possibly 3?

Cheers
buy an
I am going to be getting two CoolerMaster MasterFan Pro 120 RGB fans and I believe the case fan is also RGB, CoolerMaster MasterBox Q300. How do I connect the RGB so that I can control every fan? The mobo I will use is the ASRock B450M Pro4-F.

Basically, I'm unsure how I connect multiple RGB fans into the motherboard socket. I know the motherboard has one connector for the RGB but how do I connect 2 possibly 3?

Cheers
dude just buy a rgb fan hub that way u can control ur lighting nd all the stuff
 

cin19

Titan
Moderator
Don't I have to connect something to the Addressable LED Header?
Check your case fans to see how many pin the connector has, because the addressable (3-pin 5V) and the non-addressable (4-pin 12V) are not compatible. In other word you can't mix them, otherwise you will kill the MB. As long as you connect the RGB cable + the power cable into the MB the fan_header, you can use the asrock RGB software to control the fans.
 
Both the MasterFan Pro 120 RGB units contain the plain RGB (4-pin, 12 VDC system) type of lights. For the case there are two models with a similar name. It appears the Masterbox Q300M has NO RGB fans included, but the Q300P has TWO 120 mm RGB fans pre-mounted in the front, plus a third non-RGB 120 mm fan in the rear. So let's assume you are getting that P model. Then you will have FOUR RGB fans to connect to lighting power and control. I suggest you get this RGB Splitter 2-pack

https://www.newegg.com/p/1W7-005X-00067?Description=RGB Splitter&cm_re=RGB_Splitter-_-9SIACJF8XR5147-_-Product

NOTE that this is the 4-pin model you need for your lights - do NOT order the 3-pin version of this. Each Splitter has four output arms and comes with gender-changing adapters to convert its female outputs to male, which you will need.

Your mobo has one header each of the plain RGB (4-pin) and the ADDR RGB (3-pin) type. In its manual see p. 7-8. At bottom rear of the mobo, item 21 is the plain RGB header with 4 pins that you need to use. See your manual p. 51. NOTE that there is a pin marked for the 12 VDC line on the header, and LOOK for a mark like that on the connectors on the input and output ends of your Splitter, and on the connector on each fan's lighting cable. Make SURE to match these up for each connection you make.

You will also need to install from the CD of utilities that comes with the mobo the software utility ASRock Polychrome SYNC. (See manual p. 41 for general instructions. If the utility is not on the CD, you may have to download from the ASRock website.) When you use this you can control your lights. The mobo header provides both power and control of the displays.
 
Actually that line includes six models, two each in the Taichi, Master and Fatality groups. ALL of them have one each of BOTH types of headers - plain RGB and Addressable RGB. So from the mobo's standpoint, you can buy RGB components from either or even both types. Of course, if you buy some of each type, the units must be connected to their matching mobo headers.

RGB Fans as a class really are TWO devices in one package. There is a fan with a motor and its cable to connect to a mobo CHA_FAN or SYS_FAN header for power and speed control. Separately there is a second cable for the LED's built into the frame, and that connects to a mobo plain RGB or ADDR RGB header, depending on which type of RGB system is in the frame. When you connect those to the mobo header, then you also must load onto your system the mobo maker's software utility that powers and controls displays through the header. In the case of ASRock, that is called their Polychrome RGB utility. Now, those two statements assume that you want to power AND control both the fans motors and the RGB lights from the appropriate mobo headers, and not from third-party control systems.

You CAN get third-party controller boxes or Hubs to do that power-and-control job for your RGB devices and some of them may create different displays that your mobo's software does not. But for the most part, those boxes are useful if your mobo does NOT have any header on it compatible with your RGB lighting system.

What does cause some worry is that a mobo (like yours) has only ONE header of the correct type, but you have several RGB devices (e.g., three RGB fans). But you don't really need a Hub to solve that. A FEW RGB fans come with extra connectors on their cables so you can daisy-chain them. But more commonly you just need to buy an RGB Splitter. It is similar in concept to a Fan (motor) Splitter, but different for use with RGB light systems. You can get them with 3 or more outlets from a single input from a single header. Most plain RGB or ARGB headers can supply up to 3A total current - check your mobo manual for exact limits on max current and length of a light string, if you have one. Usually that will handle 3 to 5 RGB Fans' lighting units, so no problem.

If you have a LOT of RGB devices that will demand more current, then you may need to get into third-party Controller / Hub units that can do that. Even among those you may have some choice. Many allow you to use EITHER their own control box or software tool, OR to connect a cable from your mobo's RGB header (of the right type) to their control box so the mobo software's controls for displays are relayed through the extra box.

Bottom line, unless you are planning something very complex or huge, you can buy almost any RGB fan you like because your mobo has BOTH typed of RGB header for you to use. Just take a close look at the specs or the photos of the connectors for the RGB lighting parts of the fans, to see if they are the same as the headers on your mobo. If in doubt, post back here with specific models, or contact the fan maker's Sales or Tech Support people and ask whether their units have the connectors commonly used now for plain RGB (4-pin, 12 VDC system) or ADDR RGB (3-pin, 5VDC system), or would you need some kind of adapter.
 
Jul 10, 2019
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Actually that line includes six models, two each in the Taichi, Master and Fatality groups. ALL of them have one each of BOTH types of headers - plain RGB and Addressable RGB. So from the mobo's standpoint, you can buy RGB components from either or even both types. Of course, if you buy some of each type, the units must be connected to their matching mobo headers.

RGB Fans as a class really are TWO devices in one package. There is a fan with a motor and its cable to connect to a mobo CHA_FAN or SYS_FAN header for power and speed control. Separately there is a second cable for the LED's built into the frame, and that connects to a mobo plain RGB or ADDR RGB header, depending on which type of RGB system is in the frame. When you connect those to the mobo header, then you also must load onto your system the mobo maker's software utility that powers and controls displays through the header. In the case of ASRock, that is called their Polychrome RGB utility. Now, those two statements assume that you want to power AND control both the fans motors and the RGB lights from the appropriate mobo headers, and not from third-party control systems.

You CAN get third-party controller boxes or Hubs to do that power-and-control job for your RGB devices and some of them may create different displays that your mobo's software does not. But for the most part, those boxes are useful if your mobo does NOT have any header on it compatible with your RGB lighting system.

What does cause some worry is that a mobo (like yours) has only ONE header of the correct type, but you have several RGB devices (e.g., three RGB fans). But you don't really need a Hub to solve that. A FEW RGB fans come with extra connectors on their cables so you can daisy-chain them. But more commonly you just need to buy an RGB Splitter. It is similar in concept to a Fan (motor) Splitter, but different for use with RGB light systems. You can get them with 3 or more outlets from a single input from a single header. Most plain RGB or ARGB headers can supply up to 3A total current - check your mobo manual for exact limits on max current and length of a light string, if you have one. Usually that will handle 3 to 5 RGB Fans' lighting units, so no problem.

If you have a LOT of RGB devices that will demand more current, then you may need to get into third-party Controller / Hub units that can do that. Even among those you may have some choice. Many allow you to use EITHER their own control box or software tool, OR to connect a cable from your mobo's RGB header (of the right type) to their control box so the mobo software's controls for displays are relayed through the extra box.

Bottom line, unless you are planning something very complex or huge, you can buy almost any RGB fan you like because your mobo has BOTH typed of RGB header for you to use. Just take a close look at the specs or the photos of the connectors for the RGB lighting parts of the fans, to see if they are the same as the headers on your mobo. If in doubt, post back here with specific models, or contact the fan maker's Sales or Tech Support people and ask whether their units have the connectors commonly used now for plain RGB (4-pin, 12 VDC system) or ADDR RGB (3-pin, 5VDC system), or would you need some kind of adapter.
Wow, thank you. This is great background. I'm learning, so this is super helpful!

CURRENT STATE:
I have the x470 Master SLI/ac.
  • Connector #17 is the only one labeled as RBG specifically. It's called (RGB_LED1) on the mobo; "RGB LED Header" in the manual. It has 4 pins on white mini blocks. (Nothing plugged there).
  • Connector #10 (AMD LED Fan USB header (USB_5) and #11 (AMD Fan LED Header (AMD_FAN_LED1). Both 4-pin males, and nothing plugged on either.
  • Also has #20 (Addressable LED header (ADDR_LED1) which has pin-pin-blank-pin. Nothing plugged there. The fan 3-pin females would not fit here due to the sequencing of the pins.
On a recommendation, I purchased a 3-pack of upHere fans (120mm High Airflow Quiet Edition White LED Case Fan). These fans spin white internally (not on the rims). They have 3-pin female connectors and large 4-pin female connectors (I believe they are for daisy-chaining. They don't fit anything on the mobo). However, currently I have the 3-pin connections plugged into #12 (CHA_FAN1/WP), #19 (CHA_FAN2/WP), and #21 (CHA_FAN3/WP). When I turn-on/reset the machine, all 3 fans light-up white nicely for a brief second, but then go dark. The fans continue to spin just fine. Just no lighting.

So...trying to understand if there a difference between LED and RGB. With these fans labeled as LED, am I even dealing with an RGB situation? ?The fact the fans themselves work is consistent with your explanation above (functionality being plugged into CHA_FAN connections). To get the lighting to stay, I'm missing something.
 
Good. With those details I can help you get it all working, I think.

First, yes, there is a difference between LED Fans and RGB Fans. LED Fans were the first type that contained lighting devices in the fan. They have only one colour of LED in each fan and these are simply connected in parallel with the fan's motor power so that the LED's light up whenever the fan is running. This is the type you have. RGB Fans came later and now have two different types dominating the market - plain RGB and Addressable RGB. In those, each fan has several LED's of three different colours (Red, Green, Blue) in the frame. These are powered and controlled separately from the motor, so they have their own cable and connect to their own mobo header. Each colour can be turned on or off (plus brightness control) so that mixes of two or more LED colours can produce many colour shades, and changing the pattern over time is possible. You do not have these, so the RGB headers on your mobo at not a part of this discussion.

Your fans have two connectors on their wires. The smaller one is about 3/8" wide with three holes (female connector) - this is a 3-pin fan system. The pins are for Ground, + VDC power, and fan speed signal. Fan speed is controlled by varying the voltage on Pin #2 from 12 VDC max (full speed) down to about 5 VDC min - any lower and the fan may stall. Additionally there is a second connector about 3/4" wide with space for 4 pins (male connector), but only two are present. This is a 4-pin Molex male connector with pins for the Ground and +12 VDC lines, but no Speed signal line. IF you cannot connect a fan to a mobo header, you can plug it instead into a Molex female power output connector directly from the PSU to get full power so the fan runs full speed all the time. But you NEVER connect both the Molex and the smaller 3-pin female plugs - use only ONE of those. In your case, do as you have done - connect each fan to a mobo CHA_FAN header, and ignore the Molex on each fan.

Now look in your manual on p. 88 for how to adjust details of each of the THREE CHA_FAN headers you are using. These fans require speed control by changing their Voltage, and that control should be based on the temperature sensor built into the motherboard (not the one inside the CPU chip) since they are all case ventilation fans. So for EACH of these headers, set them:
  1. CHA_FANn / WPump switch set to CHA_FANn
  2. CHA_FANn Control Mode to DC Mode
  3. CHA_FANn Setting to the "normal" or "standard" or "automatic", whatever it is called (see below)
  4. CHA_FANn Temp Source to Motherboard
When you have made these adjustments to all three CHA_FAN headers, use Esc to return to the Setup Main Menu, then the F10 key to get to the Exit menu. There choose to SAVE and EXIT, and your system will save the settings and reboot.

When it reboots, watch your three fans carefully as they start up. The normal sequence is that they all will start up at full speed at first, then slow down after 5-10 sec when the system determines that it is cool and does not need full fan speeds. Now, because the LED's in each fan are getting the same Voltage as the fan motor, when the fans are set to run slow the LED's may dim. In fact, if the Voltage to the fan motor is really low, the LED's may just fail to light up. Your description above sounds like that. So IF you find that the fans are running slow but with NO lights on, you can try another adjustment. One option for each CHA_FANn Setting is to use your own custom "curve" of fan speed versus sensor temperature, instead of the "normal" pre-set curve. Using this option you can tell the system to make the SLOWEST fan speed at low temp a bit faster so that the fan is sent a higher minimum voltage when you have a cool system. This will feed that same slightly higher Voltage to the LED's. Adjust this setting until you can get the LED's to stay lit even at the slowest fan speeds.
 
Jul 10, 2019
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FASCINATING. So not sure which manual you are referring. Page 88 in the mobo manual provided is in German :)tongueclosed:). But I went into the UEFI and found the health panel where the fan settings are. The only switches that weren't already set as described above was the Control Mode - so I changed all those to "DC Mode" and saved the settings. Upon restart... same result.

I did also see in the UEFI a place where it showed the fan hrtz, should I manually increase those slightly?
 
The manual I got was available from here

https://www.asrock.com/MB/AMD/X470 Master SLIac/index.asp#Manual

I chose the User Manual ... English ... Global option.

Sorry, I realize on reviewing that the choice for "Chassis Fan n Setting" that you should use is "Customize" to allow you to adjust the lowest temperature point to a higher fan speed.

I don't see any item in the manual for "fan hrtz", but I doubt that is pertinent. I suspect that means fan Hertz, but cannot be sure. When using the PWM Mode, the control signal sent out on Pin #4 is the PWM signal. It is somewhat like a square wave in which the signal is either fully on or fully off. But whereas a square wave is on for exactly 50% of the time always, a PWM signal varies the "time on" percentage to change the average "on" state and thus change the motor speed. This signal typically is around 20 to 25 kHz, but a small change it it should not really alter its performance. HOWEVER, that applies only to the PWM signal used by a FOUR-pin PWM-type fan. You have 3-pin fans and are setting the header to use the other signal system, DC Mode, so the PWM signal frequency should have no impact at all on what you are doing.
 
Jul 10, 2019
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I could spend all day learning about all this now. So you are saying to go back into UEFI and i should see a setting that needs changed to "Customize" right? I will take a look at that today. I'm not giving up. I like the way these fans look when they are on. I prefer them over the RGB-style. (and they are cheaper!).
 
Jul 10, 2019
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When I go into the customization settings, it says... Temp1 50, Duty 65; 60/70; 70/70; 75/75; and then 80, Critical duty 80. Should I bring the Temp1 settings up?
 

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