Question Cooler master ML360R AIO, splitter 3 to 1 with different number of pins

Sep 1, 2019
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Hi,

this AIO has 3 fans which I wanted to connect to the AIOFAN Header on the MOBO using the 3 to 1 splitter included that cam with the AIO.

Now, this splitter has two connectors with 4 pin and one with 3 pin...why? can i still use it?

The fans have 4 pins.

2)

Also i want to connect X2 200 fans (with 3 pin) and X1 140 fan (with 4 pin) to the same port (CHFAN1) on the MOBO using a splitter with 4 pin....is it ok?
 
Hi,

this AIO has 3 fans which I wanted to connect to the AIOFAN Header on the MOBO using the 3 to 1 splitter included that cam with the AIO.

Now, this splitter has two connectors with 4 pin and one with 3 pin...why? can i still use it?

The fans have 4 pins.

2)

Also i want to connect X2 200 fans (with 3 pin) and X1 140 fan (with 4 pin) to the same port (CHFAN1) on the MOBO using a splitter with 4 pin....is it ok?
3 and 4 pins are interchangeable, both work in 3 and 4 pin headers.
 
First question, yes, use that Splitter for the three rad fans. In fact if you check you will find that of the three male outputs, only ONE has all 4 of its pins. Any mobo header can deal with the speed signal (a series of 2 pulses per revolution) coming back to it from ONE fan - any more pulse trains causes enormous confusion, wrong data, and error. To avoid that, any decent Splitter will send back the pulse signal from only ONE of its fans and ignore the others - their speed will never be "seen" anywhere. The simple way to do this is to omit Pin #3 on most of the output connectors, including that pin on only one. This does NOT affect the ability to control fan speeds.

You can use a 4-pin Splitter to connect both 3- and 4-pin fans together to a single mobo header. HOWEVER, the ONLY way for a header to control the speed of a 3-pin fan is if it uses the older Voltage Control Mode (aka DC Mode), and this Mode CAN control a 4-pin fan also. So to make this work you need to go into BIOS Setup for that particular fan header and set its configuration to use DC Mode or Voltage Mode, and NOT use PWM Mode. If you do not have that setting available for that mobo header, you may not be able to control the speed of the 3-pin fans.
 
Sep 1, 2019
29
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30
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First question, yes, use that Splitter for the three rad fans. In fact if you check you will find that of the three male outputs, only ONE has all 4 of its pins. Any mobo header can deal with the speed signal (a series of 2 pulses per revolution) coming back to it from ONE fan - any more pulse trains causes enormous confusion, wrong data, and error. To avoid that, any decent Splitter will send back the pulse signal from only ONE of its fans and ignore the others - their speed will never be "seen" anywhere. The simple way to do this is to omit Pin #3 on most of the output connectors, including that pin on only one. This does NOT affect the ability to control fan speeds.

You can use a 4-pin Splitter to connect both 3- and 4-pin fans together to a single mobo header. HOWEVER, the ONLY way for a header to control the speed of a 3-pin fan is if it uses the older Voltage Control Mode (aka DC Mode), and this Mode CAN control a 4-pin fan also. So to make this work you need to go into BIOS Setup for that particular fan header and set its configuration to use DC Mode or Voltage Mode, and NOT use PWM Mode. If you do not have that setting available for that mobo header, you may not be able to control the speed of the 3-pin fans.
Clear explenation, thank you!
 
Sep 1, 2019
29
0
30
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First question, yes, use that Splitter for the three rad fans. In fact if you check you will find that of the three male outputs, only ONE has all 4 of its pins. Any mobo header can deal with the speed signal (a series of 2 pulses per revolution) coming back to it from ONE fan - any more pulse trains causes enormous confusion, wrong data, and error. To avoid that, any decent Splitter will send back the pulse signal from only ONE of its fans and ignore the others - their speed will never be "seen" anywhere. The simple way to do this is to omit Pin #3 on most of the output connectors, including that pin on only one. This does NOT affect the ability to control fan speeds.

You can use a 4-pin Splitter to connect both 3- and 4-pin fans together to a single mobo header. HOWEVER, the ONLY way for a header to control the speed of a 3-pin fan is if it uses the older Voltage Control Mode (aka DC Mode), and this Mode CAN control a 4-pin fan also. So to make this work you need to go into BIOS Setup for that particular fan header and set its configuration to use DC Mode or Voltage Mode, and NOT use PWM Mode. If you do not have that setting available for that mobo header, you may not be able to control the speed of the 3-pin fans.
Hi,

Could you just double check it is all correct?

View: https://imgur.com/a/lVwMzTW


CPU FAN: the 3 holes connector is plugged into the CPU FAN Header (4 pin, only 3 used)

CHA_FAN1: the fan has a 4 holes connector and it is connected to the 4 pin header on the mobo.

AIO_PUMP: the 3 fans are connected to the port using a 3-way splitter (x2 3pin and x1 4pin), as you said, that's normal and how it should be.

CHA_FAN2: I am using the same type of splitter mentioned above. one cable is unused as i am connecting only 2 fans.
the fans have both a connector with 3 holes (not 4), so the situation is slightly different than the case above...

the first fan is connected to the 4 pin header of the splitter (3 in, one free)
the second one is connected to the 3pin header, but actually ony 2 pin go into the connector and the last one is free (see picture).

Is it all ok?
 
The AIO system installation manual does not make this item clear in its drawings, but you need to interchange the Pump and Rad Fan connections to your mobo headers, and then check that the mobo fan ports have their MODE settings configured correctly in each case, as follows:
  1. CPU_FAN header should be used to power and control the RAD FANS via the Splitter. The header needs to be set to use PWM Mode, since these all are 4-pin fans. This header will use the temp sensor inside the CPU chip to guide its fans, and control of cooling the CPU will be done by changing the rad fans' speeds. This header also will monitor the speed signal from one of those rad fans for failure.
  2. The PUMP cable should be plugged into the AIO_PUMP header, which often is set only to provide full +12 VDC power to that pump at all times so it always runs full speed. Just to be sure, set this header to PWM Mode also, even though the pump motor connector is a 3-pin type. This uses a quirk of the PWM system design to ensure that the pump always receives the full +12 VDC power supply it needs. This header also will monitor the speed signal of this important component for failure.
  3. The CHA_FAN1 header should be set to PWM Mode since its fan is 4-pin. IF there is a choice available, ensure that the temperature sensor it uses for guidance is the one on the motherboard, not the one inside the CPU chip.
  4. The CHA_FAN2 header should be using the older DC Mode (aka Voltage Control Mode) since it is controlling 3-pin fans. It also should use the motherboard temp sensor.
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Herald
Don't get pins and wires and connectors confused. That's easy enough to do.

A pwm fan has 4pin, 4wire. 12v, ground, speed sensor and pwm signal.

A pwm 4 pin connection splitter has 1 lead with 4 wires/pins and a 4pin connection, and 1-3 leads with 3 wires, 3pins in a 4pin connection. These will be 12v, ground, blank, pwm signal. It's done this way so that only 1 fan is sending a speed signal back to the motherboard, which then controls all the fans via the same pwm signal from the header.

A DC fan has 3pins, 3wires. 12v, ground, speed sensor. It can be used in a 4pin header as DC fans are voltage controlled, so the 12v power line will vary from 5v or 7v upto 12v and doesn't require the 4th (pwm) signal wire. But the same applies, 1 full lead with speed sensor and the sub leads will only use 12v, ground.

Because of the differences, you can't mix pwm and DC fans on the same splitter/header and expect full control of all fans, since pwm require 12v to function correctly.

Also, don't confuse the 4pin RGB connectors with the 4pin fan connectors, they are different and require a different splitter, if that header is available on the motherboard. But each fan will have both RGB and fan leads.
 
Sep 1, 2019
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The AIO system installation manual does not make this item clear in its drawings, but you need to interchange the Pump and Rad Fan connections to your mobo headers, and then check that the mobo fan ports have their MODE settings configured correctly in each case, as follows:
  1. CPU_FAN header should be used to power and control the RAD FANS via the Splitter. The header needs to be set to use PWM Mode, since these all are 4-pin fans. This header will use the temp sensor inside the CPU chip to guide its fans, and control of cooling the CPU will be done by changing the rad fans' speeds. This header also will monitor the speed signal from one of those rad fans for failure.
  2. The PUMP cable should be plugged into the AIO_PUMP header, which often is set only to provide full +12 VDC power to that pump at all times so it always runs full speed. Just to be sure, set this header to PWM Mode also, even though the pump motor connector is a 3-pin type. This uses a quirk of the PWM system design to ensure that the pump always receives the full +12 VDC power supply it needs. This header also will monitor the speed signal of this important component for failure.
  3. The CHA_FAN1 header should be set to PWM Mode since its fan is 4-pin. IF there is a choice available, ensure that the temperature sensor it uses for guidance is the one on the motherboard, not the one inside the CPU chip.
  4. The CHA_FAN2 header should be using the older DC Mode (aka Voltage Control Mode) since it is controlling 3-pin fans. It also should use the motherboard temp sensor.
Ok so, in short, i need to switch the cables between CPU_FAN/AIO_PUMP headers and then change the settings in the bios as you suggested....sorry, English is not my main language, so I want to make sure I understood 100% correctly.

4. Last question: if i would like to connect 2 additional ARGB 200mm fans (there is space on the top of the case to create a push/pull configuration: 3fans+radiator/case grid separator/x2 200 fans/cover of the case):

View: https://imgur.com/a/2dgR3l7


Should i connect them to CPU_OPT or to CHA_FANS2 using the last free cable of the splitter (using an additional 2to1 cable)?


Fan1 and 2 ---(2to1 cable)---->3rd free cable of the splitter------>CHA_FAN2 Header

in this way there would be X4 200mm fans connected to one header...would it be too much?

CPU_OPT has 4 pin and the fans have a 3pin female connector
I read on the manual that CPU_OPT/CPU_FAN are controlled together
 
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Karadjgne

Titan
Herald
You can't mount a 120mm wide radiator to 200mm fans. So if you wanted push/pull on the rad, you'd need a total of 6x fans, which is best done from a single header to a powered hub. This puts all 6x fans spinning at the same rate so the draw/output from one series doesn't out perform the other.

You can make a fan spin by blowing air into its blades. That's a given. So if the lower fans are pushing 55cfm at 1000rpm and the upper series are pulling 45cfm at 800rpm, you'll have a problem as the uppers will be trying to spin at a higher rpm, being pushed by the lowers. It's not ideal at all and causes pre-mature wear an tear on the motor.

So uppers and lowers should be identical fans, all spinning in concert from the same source, a powered hub.

There's also not much, if any, benefit to push/pull now. You might see 2°C difference or so on a torture test, fans have gotton more effective from years ago. You basically not do much but add wiring hassle and noise.

You could do this if you mount the rad underneath the case frame, and the 200's on top of the frame under the plastic housing where the mount is seperate, and the 200's not mounted with the rad, but that again creates its own set of issues and no real benefit.
 
Sep 1, 2019
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You can't mount a 120mm wide radiator to 200mm fans. So if you wanted push/pull on the rad, you'd need a total of 6x fans, which is best done from a single header to a powered hub. This puts all 6x fans spinning at the same rate so the draw/output from one series doesn't out perform the other.

You can make a fan spin by blowing air into its blades. That's a given. So if the lower fans are pushing 55cfm at 1000rpm and the upper series are pulling 45cfm at 800rpm, you'll have a problem as the uppers will be trying to spin at a higher rpm, being pushed by the lowers. It's not ideal at all and causes pre-mature wear an tear on the motor.

So uppers and lowers should be identical fans, all spinning in concert from the same source, a powered hub.

There's also not much, if any, benefit to push/pull now. You might see 2°C difference or so on a torture test, fans have gotton more effective from years ago. You basically not do much but add wiring hassle and noise.

You could do this if you mount the rad underneath the case frame, and the 200's on top of the frame under the plastic housing where the mount is seperate, and the 200's not mounted with the rad, but that again creates its own set of issues and no real benefit.
Hi,

maybe I wasn't clear, sorry...but the 200mm fans won't be attached to the radiator directly (which would be impossible anyway, of course), but they will be located in the "chamber" area above the internal of the case, side view:

-------Top "glass"case cover
X200 fans
------- metal case grid
radiator (inside the case)
x3 120 fans (attached to the radiator)

the air flow pushed by the x3 120 fans, will really affect the 2 bigger fans? the flow will have to go through the radiator and the metal grid first and then the 2 big fans will just push the air in the same direction.

Also, if i connect the 3 fan to the CPU_FAN (as suggested by @Paperdoc) and the 2 200 fans to CPU_OPT, the speed will be the same (as both header are controlled together, for what i can read on the MOBO manual).

P.S.: i am not adding these 2 extra fans to improve the air flow...but just for aesthetic. (the top will look consistent with the front of the case, same type of fans).
 
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Karadjgne

Titan
Herald
I do believe the cpu-rad fans are 4pin PWM. That means you can't mix them, afaik, with fans on the cpu_opt that are 3pin, since the controlling source is the same, the cpu. You'd end up with no control over the 3pin fans as the pwm on the cpu_fan header will take priority.
 
I disagree with a detail of Karadjgne's last post above. The METHOD a fan header uses to control its fan's speed -that is, the header MODE setting - is separate from the control strategy or PROFILE. So IF the headers offer these ooptions, you certainly can have one header (CPU_FAN, for example) use the Standard Profile and the CPU internal temp sensor to control its fan(s) using the PWM Mode, and have another header (CPU_OPT, for example) do almost the same thing with the single exception that is uses DC Mode rather than PWM Mode to accomplish fan speed control.

My larger question, though, is what you really are trying to accomplish this way. I have not seen a case with enough space in the top to mount a Radiator with 3 x 120 mm fans (360 mm Rad) PLUS two 200 mm fans next to them. And I understand you did not intend to put the 200 mm units on the rad. So I am left to conclude that you plan NOT to mount the radiator and its three fans in the opening of the case top designed for that. Instead, you plan to mount that rad/fan system somehow further down inside the case so that it blows air upwards INSIDE the case. Then the two 200 mm units actuallly mounted on the inside of the top in that opening would suck up that rad warm discharge air and blow it out - that's the "PULL" label meaning, I'm guessing. If that is your intent, I do not understand why a complex system of five fans is better than the original system of 3 fans on a rad already mounted at the top and blowing directly out of the case. If we can clarify that, we can advise better how the connections can work.
 
Sep 1, 2019
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I disagree with a detail of Karadjgne's last post above. The METHOD a fan header uses to control its fan's speed -that is, the header MODE setting - is separate from the control strategy or PROFILE. So IF the headers offer these ooptions, you certainly can have one header (CPU_FAN, for example) use the Standard Profile and the CPU internal temp sensor to control its fan(s) using the PWM Mode, and have another header (CPU_OPT, for example) do almost the same thing with the single exception that is uses DC Mode rather than PWM Mode to accomplish fan speed control.

My larger question, though, is what you really are trying to accomplish this way. I have not seen a case with enough space in the top to mount a Radiator with 3 x 120 mm fans (360 mm Rad) PLUS two 200 mm fans next to them. And I understand you did not intend to put the 200 mm units on the rad. So I am left to conclude that you plan NOT to mount the radiator and its three fans in the opening of the case top designed for that. Instead, you plan to mount that rad/fan system somehow further down inside the case so that it blows air upwards INSIDE the case. Then the two 200 mm units actuallly mounted on the inside of the top in that opening would suck up that rad warm discharge air and blow it out - that's the "PULL" label meaning, I'm guessing. If that is your intent, I do not understand why a complex system of five fans is better than the original system of 3 fans on a rad already mounted at the top and blowing directly out of the case. If we can clarify that, we can advise better how the connections can work.
thank you for your reply...

I will try to explain the position of the components with some pictures (they are not images of my actual PC but, it doesn't matter, it's the same case):

the radiator with the X3 120fans is installed inside the case, attached to the metal grid of the case (as seen in many vids/images online):

View: https://imgur.com/a/dHBkLDf


but this case (H500M) as also an extra space above the internal area (separated by the metal grid mentioned above) where I can fit the extra X2 200 fans

View: https://imgur.com/a/lwzfyZW

it is like a sandwich lol:
glass top panel cover
x2 200 fans (attached to the grid)
metal grid
radiator (attached on the other side of the grid, inside the case)
x3 fans (attached to the radiator)

so the air will go into the x3 fans, move through the radiator and the grid and then pulled out by the x2 fans...

I repeat, my primary intent is not to improve the air flow, reduce temperature even more, etc...but it is just aestetic...

instead to leave this top area empty, i prefer to install these 2 200 fans so that give a better look to the case.

PS: At first, I tried to install the x3 120 fans above the grid and the radiator under it (using a pull configuration)...it would have worked just fine (there are videos online), but i didn't like how it looked (i think it will look better if the top fans and the front fans are the same size)

Hope it is all clear....

Said this and following your suggestions...the fans will be connected as follow:

CPU_FAN (x3 radiator fans...4pin)
CPU_OPT (x2 200 top fans...3pin)
AIO_PUMP (CPU pump fan)
CHA_FAN1 (x1 rear fan...4pin)
CHA_FAN2 (x2 200 front fans...3pin)

let me know if it is all ok...
 
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OK, that will work. Your plan for where to connect them all is good. Just verify these header settings in BIOS Setup.
  1. CPU_FAN and CPU_OPT both set to use the CPU internal temp sensor (may already be set this way with no option to change), Standard Profile.
  2. CPU_FAN use PWM Mode; CPU_OPT use DC Mode (Voltage Control Mode) for 3-pin fan.
  3. AIO_Pump to use PWM Mode.
  4. CHA_FAN1 and CHA_FAN2 use Motherboard temp sensor and Standard Profile.
5, CHA_FAN1 use PWM Mode; CHA_FAN2 use DC Mode for 3-pin fans.
 
Sep 1, 2019
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OK, that will work. Your plan for where to connect them all is good. Just verify these header settings in BIOS Setup.
  1. CPU_FAN and CPU_OPT both set to use the CPU internal temp sensor (may already be set this way with no option to change), Standard Profile.
  2. CPU_FAN use PWM Mode; CPU_OPT use DC Mode (Voltage Control Mode) for 3-pin fan.
  3. AIO_Pump to use PWM Mode.
  4. CHA_FAN1 and CHA_FAN2 use Motherboard temp sensor and Standard Profile.
5, CHA_FAN1 use PWM Mode; CHA_FAN2 use DC Mode for 3-pin fans.
Ok, i will make sure to select all these settings (in the BIOS?)....thank you for your help! :)
 
You probably don't need this idea, but in the past I've rigged a simple way to hold to connectors together. I just used a long twist tie, and looped it around the cable behind one connector, then did the same with the other end around the cable of the other connector. If you twist tie is long enough, run a second arm back to the first cable, but on the opposite side so the tension forces balance. This prevents their shaking apart over time by accident.
 

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