Question I’m lost... I have a 3 pin on the motherboard and connector w/out the controller but with it, I can’t plug it in anywhere...

Apr 18, 2020
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I have the Cooler MasterCase H500, with two 200mm fans in the front. These have RGB but I’ve searched to where to plug them in and I haven’t found a single straight answer. Without the included box controller, it has 3 pins and could plug into the 3 pin headers. Although one of the fans couldn’t reach to the second header. Therefore I must use the controller. But it has 2 pins then a blocked pin then a full one. There is no where I can see to plug this in. What do I do? Thanks
 
I have the Cooler MasterCase H500, with two 200mm fans in the front. These have RGB but I’ve searched to where to plug them in and I haven’t found a single straight answer. Without the included box controller, it has 3 pins and could plug into the 3 pin headers. Although one of the fans couldn’t reach to the second header. Therefore I must use the controller. But it has 2 pins then a blocked pin then a full one. There is no where I can see to plug this in. What do I do? Thanks
"2 pins then a blocked pin then a full one" means it's made for ARGB (5v, 3pin) not for RGB (12v, 4pin) . not interchangeable.
 
Reactions: FarmMan247
Apr 18, 2020
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"2 pins then a blocked pin then a full one" means it's made for ARGB (5v, 3pin) not for RGB (12v, 4pin) . not interchangeable.
So your saying I must plug it into the 12v? A YouTuber responded to my question on his video and said that I would just plug it into the 12v left to right, leaving the farthest right pin not plugged in. Is this correct?
 
So your saying I must plug it into the 12v? A YouTuber responded to my question on his video and said that I would just plug it into the 12v left to right, leaving the farthest right pin not plugged in. Is this correct?
No, it's not right. It's not only about voltage but the way RGB and ARGB works, analog against digital control.
What he said is true only for for fan's motor, 3 pin is for voltage speed control and 4 pin for PWM control but pins are in same order, fourth one being for PWM.
 
Reactions: bencos2018
Apr 18, 2020
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No, it's not right. It's not only about voltage but the way RGB and ARGB works, analog against digital control.
What he said is true only for for fan's motor, 3 pin is for voltage speed control and 4 pin for PWM control but pins are in same order, fourth one being for PWM.
So what do you suggest that I do? Because it won’t fit onto the 3 pin and the 4 pin you said won’t work.
 
Apr 18, 2020
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Can't do much with lights for fans if MB doesn't have ARGB header. Only way is to get an ARGB controller.
The included controller comes with two ends: one with 3 pins and one with 4 pins that has one blocked. The 3 pin one is labelled gigabyte (which is what I have) the other one is labelled a bunch of other brands. Could I plug the 4 pin with one blocked onto the MB with the same? Or is that completely different power and such? Just gotta make sure.. because I really don’t want to spend any more money.. also could I just not have PWM if that wouldn’t work?
 

Paperdoc

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You are confused and stressed because the same phrases - "3-pin" and "4-pin" - are being used widely for two VERY different and unrelated systems. BUT it happens both systems ARE present in your fans! Fans like those you have contain TWO different devices - a fan with motor, and some lighting LED's in the frame. And unfortunately, each type of device comes in two "flavours".

Fans may be either 3-pin or 4-pin, which refers to the number of wires (and connector pins / holes) on the cable from the fan motor. The older 3-pin fan design connector is about 8 mm wide (5/16") with three holes and two ridges running down one side. It plugs into a mobo SYS_FAN or CHA_FAN male (with pins) header. On that header there is a small plastic tongue sticking up beside the first three pins so that, when you plug in, the ridges fit around the tongue. It only plugs in one way. The newer 4-pin fan type has a very similar connector that is a bit wider to add a fourth hole outside of the ridges. Today almost all of the male fan headers on a mobo are done with 4 pins for this fan type, but the system was designed for partial backwards compatibility. So you CAN plug any female 3-pin OR 4-pin fan connector into any 3-pin OR 4-pin mobo male fan header. Thereafter the issue to be addressed is how that mobo BIOS uses those headers to control the speed of the fan, depending on the fan motor type. We'll leave that for later.

NOW, the LIGHTING parts - the LED's in the fan frame - also come in two dominant forms these days. The simpler is called just plain RGB and uses a female connector on the end of its cable much wider than any fan connector, with four holes. Not surpisongly the mobo male header for this system has four pins in a staight line. This system supplies a common 12 VDC power line and three separate Ground lines, one for each of the three basic LED colours in the lights. The more complex system is called Addressable RGB or ADDR RGB or ARGB. Its cable-end connector has three holes (like the 4-hole one, with one hole blocked off, just as you describe) and that must fit onto a mobo ARGB header with only THREE pjns. You must NOT connect the cable for one of these to a mobo header with 4 pins. I know, that would be tough to do because it's designed to prevent that, but some people try. If you do that, you will burn out your LED's! This system supplies common +5 VDC and Ground power lines plus a digital signal Control Line that carries instruction data along the light strip. Both power supply and control methods are quite different between these two lighting systems and they cannot be mixed in one circuit.

Your front 200 mm case fans each will have TWO cables from them - one for the fan motor ending in a smaller connector, and one for the lights with a wider connector. Apparently the case comes with its own ARGB controller module that can give you some control of the lights using a front panel button. But IF your mobo has a 3-pin ARGB header, that can do a much better job of this. So the case also includes an ARGB Splitter - that cable with two input (female) ends, and three male outputs. The two inputs are solely intended to allow you to use it with either of two possible mobo header designs - early in this game, different makers had not standardized on header design. So you use ONE of those inputs to plug into your mobo's 3-pin ARGB header, skip the other input, and use the three male outputs to connect the LIGHTING cables from each ARGB fan. If that leaves you with exposed male pins on an unused output, just put some tape over them. This way you do NOT connect the fans' ARGB cables to the controller module built into the case.

The fan motor cables from each fan go to mobo SYS_FAN or CHA_FAN headers, and they MIGHT need a little attention to ensure they are using the connect MODE of controlling the fan speeds. So, tell us two things:
On the 200 mm fans, how many wires and holes are in the fan motor leads - 3 or 4?
What is the maker and exact model number of your mobo? With that we can look up its manual and advise on the connection details and setting the fan motor header parameters in BIOS Setup.
 

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