Question How to plug in RGB headers if they aren't on motherboard


Mar 27, 2013
I have an Gigabyte GA-Z97N-Gaming. The cooler im using is thermaltake. It just so happens to have RGB features. There are no RGB headers. how do I connect that power to the mobo?

Thanks in advance and sorry if this is a foolish question
Mar 14, 2020
they should have a 3 or 4 pin female connector that can be connected to one of the USB headers on your motherboard. Otherwise, many LED kits just use a molex (4-pin) power connector that goes straight to your PSU, and the controls are external


NO, you can NOT connect the RGB connector from any standard lighting system to a USB port. Such a port may not provide enough power to do anything, and certainly can NOT provide any control of lights.

In your situation OP, you will need a separate controller module to power and control the RGB lights in your cooler. If you tell us exactly which cooler unit you have, we can help you find the correc type of controller unit.


Ah, that info leads us to the right place. I recommend this video review that explains a lot.


This cooler has an unusual design. It does have two cables from it. One ends in a standard 3-pin fan female connector, and so its speed can be controlled only if the mobo header is set to use the Voltage Control Mode (aka DC Mode). BUT see next paragraph.

The Addressable RGB system in this fan is unusual. The lights are controlled by the other cable, and it only has TWO wires with separate connectors on them - a Black one for Ground, and a Red one for the Digital Control Line signal. This fan gets power for the lights NOT from the mobo ARGB header, but from the same power lines as the fan motor. Thus, IF you reduce the voltage to the motor to get it to run slower, the ARGB lights reduce their brightness. That may limit what you can allow any automatic fan speed control system to do, since low fan speed may mean poor lights or none.

With NO input on the two-wire control line, the lights settle into one display mode. If you provide a control signal from a controller you can change the light displays. The basic design assumes you will use a mobo ARGB header for that, but you do not have one as you say. So you need an ARGB Controller. The simple one that Thermaltake has is normally supplied as part of a 3-fan pack of the Pure 12 ARGB fans. This is a MANUAL control box with three buttons you use to set display options. It plugs into a SATA power output from the PSU for power and has an output connector for the lighting cable of an ARGB fan, so that's where you could connect the two wires from your cooler unit. That means you'd need to route the wiring from this control box outside your case if you want to access it easily, and then you can change its display using the buttons. The problem, though, is that Thermaltake does not seem to list this item as a stand-alone unit they sell, so you might need to contact their Sales people and ask how to get one. Alternatively, you might find such an item specifically for ARGB lights from another supplier. For example, this system Controller&cm_re=ARGB_Controller-_-1W8-00JS-00007-_-Product

consissts of a controller box with two cables for connections, and a hand-held remote control box to set the display options. So no routing cables out of the case. You would need to check which two pins of its 3-pin output connector are to be used for the two wires from your cooler fan, and ensure that the third pin (the 5 VDC power supply) is insulated so it cannot short out to Ground.