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Question ML360 AIO: can i skip the rgb altogether?

Apr 22, 2020
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I'm having issues with POST so I just want to redo some things quickly. Can I install an ML360 AIO just by plugging in the AIO and the radiator fans and ignoring everything else entirely? Thank you!
 

Paperdoc

Glorious
Ambassador
Yes, All of today's fans with plain RGB or ADDR RGB lights in their frames have two separate cables - one solely for the fan motor that connects to a mobo fan header, and a second solely for the lights that plugs into a different mobo header (IF your mobo has it). You do NOT need to connect the lighting cable to anything for the fan to work.

Of course, for the CPU cooling to work you will need to plug a cable from the PUMP into the CPU_FAN header, and then use the supplied 3-output fan motor Splitter to connect all the rad fans to a single mobo fan header. Nut you do not need to do anything with the sevaeal parts to connect the lighting cables to optional places

Tell us which maker and model number for your mobo, and we can advise the best mobo header for the rad fans.
 
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Apr 22, 2020
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Paperdoc, I actually ran into this very issue this morning with my bios and was going to post a new topic. Unfortunately I'm away from my pc at the moment. I just want to say thank you so much for holding my hand through this process and I just wish someone else would jump in so you dont have to do all the work for me. Thank you!
I will update this thread with the relevant header information.
 
Apr 22, 2020
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Ok so relevant technical info (pictures below)​

Motherboard: asus tuf gaming x570 plus no wifi
Cooling setup:
  • ML360 AIO installed in front as intake (case does not fit radiator on top)
  • 120mm exhaust fan in back
Headers:
  • AIO is plugged into AIO header, not CPU Fan header
  • 3 Radiator fans are plugged into 2 regular fan headers using 1 y splitter for two of them
    • As an aside, my AIO didnt come with a 3 way fan splitter, it came with a fan/RGB controller that I'm just not ready to learn. I'm using a y splitter from a fan I'm not using.
  • Exhaust fan is plugged into last remaining regular fan header
  • CPU fan and CPU opt fan headere are available
State of system:
  • All fans including GPU fans are spinning. I think I feel movement in the AIO pump but I have no idea.
  • After POST, the motherboard gives me a CPU fan error and wont let me into BIOS unless I press ctrl alt del (mobo manual says this method to be used only if there's some problem)
  • In BIOS I can see that there is no CPU fan (as expected) but all other cooling devices including the AIO pump are reporting some information.
So the two questions that arise out of this are:
  1. How do I fix this issue? Does the AIO pump have to be plugged somehow into both the AIO and CPU fan headers?
  2. I am crazy about cooling. I'm terrified that this system I overpaid for will burn out, especially with an AIO I don't trust I installed right and with a case that doesn't support ideal placement. To that end, can/should I install additional fans on top as intake fans for straight cool air or a mix of intake/exhaust to cool incoming radiator air and remove cpu hot air?
As always, thank you!

Photos





For reference, here is the fan diagram from the manual:

 
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Paperdoc

Glorious
Ambassador
Mobo fan headers each have three main functions: (a) supply power to the fan motor; (b) control the fan's speed - usually 4 options, with automatic control as default based on a relevant temperature sensor; (c) detection of FAILURE of the fan - may be triggered by NO fan speed signal, or by a speed less than some alarm limit.

With those mobo headers and your equipment, I suggest these connections.

Plug the PUMP unit into the AIO_PUMP header. This header will always supply the pump with full 12 VDC power so it can run full speed as designed. Presumably it also will monitor it for no pump speed signal indicating failure. In an AIO system, the most critical component to monitor for failure is the pump.

Plug the three rad fans into the CPU_FAN header. This is the only header that uses as its guide the temperature inside the CPU chip, which is the only reasonable guide for cooling that chip. On most mobos, this header gets special attention on the question of failure of its fan, because the CPU chip is so critical and so expensive if it does NOT get cooled. The fact you have nothing plugged in there now is exactly why it will not let you boot up normally - it believes that the cooling device you have for your CPU is NOT working and will not let you risk overheating it. Now, since your system did not come with a three-output Splitter for those fans and you have only a 2-output one lying around, you need another. If you can get one easily, get a Splitter with three outputs. But you may find it easier and quicker to get TWO of those common 2-output Splitters. Then make a "stack" by plugging two of them into the outputs of the third, That gets you four outputs from a single mobo header. Connect that to your CPU_FAN header, and connect your three rad fans to its outputs.
Now, just a note to remind you. Any mobo header can deal with the speed signal of only ONE fan coming back to it. So when you use a Splitter, it will return to the host header only ONE of its fans' speeds while the others are ignored. This has NO impact on ability to control speed, but it does impact Failure detection - the header cannot detect a bad speed signal it never gets! So in such a case it is up to you to check from time to time to ensure that all three of those rad fans are working. And here's a further note because of this if you use my "stack" concept. The most common way for a Splitter to do this is NOT to have Pin #3 on any output that is NOT sending its speed back. So look at your 2-output Splitters, and the one output that has all FOUR of its pins CAN send back the fan's signal. Identify which if the two outputs of the first Splitter that is. Then on the second Splitter that you plug into that output, identify the one that DOES have all four. Just make sure that, of the four outputs of your "stack", the second-level one with its four pins DOES have one fan plugged into it so that that signal WILL get back to the CPU_FAN header and keep it happy.

Finally, we're down to your exhaust fan. It can go to a mobo CHA_FAN header, since it will use for its guidance the temp sensor on the mobo, indicative of general case heat and cooling needs.

With what you have I suspect you will have enough cooling. The CPU in particular should be well cooled by that system. If you feel that the case itself and some mobo components might need more cooling, you could add one more exhasut fan - I'd guess you could mount one ot two at the top. Connect that to a CHA_FAN header also. In the fan configuration screens (see your manual p. 3-7), configure all the case fans the same. One small detail: I believe all your fans (rad and case) are of the 4-pin design, so set all your fan headers to use PWM Mode (top right of the configuration screen for each).
 
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Karadjgne

Titan
Ambassador
In bios, where you see the cpu fan controls, disable the low rpm warning. That's the only holdup. The cpu has a safety feature where if it detects there's nothing in cpu_fan, it thinks there's nothing cooling it, so will refuse to boot or instantly shut down. It's a self protection mechanism. By disabling the low rpm warning, you bypass that, so no need to populate that header.

If you have no ability to do that, you can move the AIO to cpu_fan. The pump is Sata powered. That header is more designed for the simple AIO's, where there's just a pump wire and fan. It enables the pump to run as it should and still control the fans via cpu temp. It's not a necessary header population.
 
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Apr 22, 2020
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Paperdoc: Thank you very much. This is great. For some reason I thought a fan header could only power two fans at most. My last question is, since the radiator is in intaking semi heated air, could the top fan closest to the radiator be an intake fan to "cool" the incoming air?

As always, thank you for all of your help. If this posts and I can get an OS working please dont be dismayed if I post another cooling question I'm already thinking of. THANK YOU!
 
Apr 22, 2020
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In bios, where you see the cpu fan controls, disable the low rpm warning. That's the only holdup. The cpu has a safety feature where if it detects there's nothing in cpu_fan, it thinks there's nothing cooling it, so will refuse to boot or instantly shut down. It's a self protection mechanism. By disabling the low rpm warning, you bypass that, so no need to populate that header.

If you have no ability to do that, you can move the AIO to cpu_fan. The pump is Sata powered. That header is more designed for the simple AIO's, where there's just a pump wire and fan. It enables the pump to run as it should and still control the fans via cpu temp. It's not a necessary header population.
Thank you!
 
Apr 22, 2020
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Thanks to everyone! Computer posted and I made it to BIOS. Now i have to deal with a dead ram stick but that's a separate issue. Thanks!
 

Paperdoc

Glorious
Ambassador
When using a Splitter for several fans on a header, the limit is that MOST mobo fan headers can output no more than 1.0 A total to all its load. The header's last stage really is a small DC amplifier with a load limit. There are a few mobos that have included one header with a 3.0 A limit for use with high-power cooling systems (not just fans). And I've even seen one mobo manual that specified only 0.5 A from its headers, but that was rare.

To do the calculations you need to get the fan specs for the max current the fan will pull at full speed, and most fan makers include that on their website data. For the new plain RGB and ADDR RGB fans that have LED's in their frames, you need to look closely. These units have two devices in one piece - the fan motor, and the lights - fed by separate cables connecting to separate mobo headers, each with their own limits. So you need to find the current max for the MOTOR only in this case. Be careful about an older design called LED Fans that have only one cable, and normally only one colour that never changes. In that design, the LED's are merely connected in parallel with the motor and add to the current load. With that background, most modern fans consume from 0.07 to 0.30 A max; many LED fans can consume 0.30 to 0.50 A max. So a current RGB fan's motor only will almost always be less than 0.25 A max, and you could connect up to four of them to a single normal header.

There is another type of device for a similar use, a HUB. That device gets all power for its fans from the PSU directly, avoiding the 1.0 A limit of a header. It does require the PWM signal from the host header to share to its fans, but that signal is not easily overloaded in that function. However, this type of device can only be used with 4-pin PWM fans, and with a header that actually IS using the newer PWM Mode of control. OP, you are not using that type of device, but I will caution all about what I consider a big error in this field. Many makers use the two terms SPLITTER and HUB interchangeably, seemingly based on the appearance of a central location for fan cables. I distinguish them based on electrical design and function. So I say a SPLITTER merely connects its fans in parallel to the header and all of its fans' power comes from the header. A HUB uses an additional connection directly to a power output (SATA or 4-pin Molex) from the PSU to get power for its fans and does not draw any motor power from the host header.

Regarding the front intake fans on the rad, you will find when you get it all going that the temerature of the incoming air AFTER the rad (being sent through the case) is only a very few degrees warmer than the room air. The AIO systems are designed to remove all the CPU heat without having to get the rad (and its cooling air) hot. So do not worry about providing extra cool air. If you are adding one or two fans, make them exhausts to enhance the air flow rate, rather than trying for cooler air temperature. Another related consideration: when installing two fans close beside each other, never make then blow in opposite directions - you get air flow in a "short circuit" that actually does not improve case air flow and cooling.
 
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Apr 22, 2020
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I was wondering if there would be a short circuit effect. Seriously thanks for all of your help my computer appears to be running with no problems. My noctua fans that didnt attach to the front did attach to the rear and top so now all of my fans including my rad fans are all 4 pin PWM. I will probably buy one of the more sophisticated fan controllers sometime soon.

Apart from taking apart and mounting an AIO onto the gpu or doing a custom loop, are there any other cooling solutions I can throw onto this? I know it's not necessary or practical but this is sort of a hobby I want to pursue more than anything else. I absolutely hate my case so my next purchase will probably be a full size Phanteks case that can accommodate more stuff.

Feel free to ignore my incessant questions you have already given me a fully function pc.
 
Apr 22, 2020
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In bios, where you see the cpu fan controls, disable the low rpm warning. That's the only holdup. The cpu has a safety feature where if it detects there's nothing in cpu_fan, it thinks there's nothing cooling it, so will refuse to boot or instantly shut down. It's a self protection mechanism. By disabling the low rpm warning, you bypass that, so no need to populate that header.

If you have no ability to do that, you can move the AIO to cpu_fan. The pump is Sata powered. That header is more designed for the simple AIO's, where there's just a pump wire and fan. It enables the pump to run as it should and still control the fans via cpu temp. It's not a necessary header population.
Wait. My pump isn't sata powered. Did I do something wrong? It's only connected to the fans and to the AIO pump header.

Edit: I didnt use the controller, I thought that was for RGB control and for controlling the fans if I didnt have enough fan headers. <Mod Edit> did I break something...

Editorial note: this has been a really stressful project.
 
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Karadjgne

Titan
Ambassador
Lol. No. There's 2 kinds of aios. The simple and complex. Rgb has nothing to do with either fan or pump power or operation, it's a totally seperate in discrete circuit.

Simple aios get power from the fan header to run the pump, fans get powered from a seperate fan header. The pump has only 1 wire attached.

Complex aios get power from Sata. Fans can be either attached to the pump head or seperate. There'll be a USB connection and a fan header connection. Almost all will use software like iCue or Cam to regulate fan/pump speeds and give other info via the usb. The fan header connection is only to bypass the cpu rpm warning and provide the bios with pump speeds. The pump head has a minimum of 2 wires, but can have upto 6 or 7 attached. Normally for a 2fan aio, you'll see usb, cpu_fan, Sata and 1 or 2 fan connection.

You have a simple aio. The only connectors you'll actually use are the 3pin from the pump to any fan/pump header and the 3way splitter from the fans plugs into cpu_fan header. That's all you need for the aio. Every other connector has to do with the RGB and is totally unnecessary for aio operation.
 
Apr 22, 2020
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Lol. No. There's 2 kinds of aios. The simple and complex. Rgb has nothing to do with either fan or pump power or operation, it's a totally seperate in discrete circuit.

Simple aios get power from the fan header to run the pump, fans get powered from a seperate fan header. The pump has only 1 wire attached.

Complex aios get power from Sata. Fans can be either attached to the pump head or seperate. There'll be a USB connection and a fan header connection. Almost all will use software like iCue or Cam to regulate fan/pump speeds and give other info via the usb. The fan header connection is only to bypass the cpu rpm warning and provide the bios with pump speeds. The pump head has a minimum of 2 wires, but can have upto 6 or 7 attached. Normally for a 2fan aio, you'll see usb, cpu_fan, Sata and 1 or 2 fan connection.

You have a simple aio. The only connectors you'll actually use are the 3pin from the pump to any fan/pump header and the 3way splitter from the fans plugs into cpu_fan header. That's all you need for the aio. Every other connector has to do with the RGB and is totally unnecessary for aio operation.
Got it. Cool whats an example of a complex aio?
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Ambassador
Nzxt Kraken X72, Asus Ryo 360 etc. They have fans that connect to the pump head, which is Sata powered, has usb at the pump head to mobo or the Corsair H150i Pro RGB which has all that plus all the RGB wiring. Excellent AIO's, the nzxt Kraken series is the cooler to beat and some do and many dont but 6yr warranty says Alot. I had my kraken X61 and it performed flawlessly for over 6 years until the day the bearings went out on the fans. Uber quiet operation, it's quieter than my Cryorig R1 which is only 2 decibels louder than a Noctua NH-D15.

The only issue I have with the complex (especially rgb versions) is the wiring. Take something simple and it soon becomes a wiring nightmare in the center of the mobo. The simple aios are far easier to route if you have the headers for them. If you have mITX or older mATX boards with just 2 headers, simple aios can create logistical issues with case fan operations...
 
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Apr 22, 2020
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Nzxt Kraken X72, Asus Ryo 360 etc. They have fans that connect to the pump head, which is Sata powered, has usb at the pump head to mobo or the Corsair H150i Pro RGB which has all that plus all the RGB wiring. Excellent AIO's, the nzxt Kraken series is the cooler to beat and some do and many dont but 6yr warranty says Alot. I had my kraken X61 and it performed flawlessly for over 6 years until the day the bearings went out on the fans. Uber quiet operation, it's quieter than my Cryorig R1 which is only 2 decibels louder than a Noctua NH-D15.

The only issue I have with the complex (especially rgb versions) is the wiring. Take something simple and it soon becomes a wiring nightmare in the center of the mobo. The simple aios are far easier to route if you have the headers for them. If you have mITX or older mATX boards with just 2 headers, simple aios can create logistical issues with case fan operations...
Thanks. If there's a way to install two AIOs I'll add the kraken next.
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Ambassador
Heh, there is. Stick one on the gpu. But for that, the Asetek pump designs (the hockey-puck looking ones) are needed. The Krakens use Asetek pumps. Some of the Corsair, like the H55 do also. As does Fractal Design.
 
Apr 22, 2020
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Heh, there is. Stick one on the gpu. But for that, the Asetek pump designs (the hockey-puck looking ones) are needed. The Krakens use Asetek pumps. Some of the Corsair, like the H55 do also. As does Fractal Design.
That requires taking apart the gpu right? I'm not ready for that...
 

Karadjgne

Titan
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Lol, good. But yes, requires removal of the heatsink. Most gpus will do better under liquid cooling, it's more effective as even a thin H55 120mm AIO has much higher surface area and a much greater airflow than most gpus with their slot height limits and tiny fans. Noise is the other benefit, a 120mm AIO can run fans far slower than the upto 4000 rpm of those tiny fans, and with fans higher speed is proportional to higher noise.

Liquid and air each have benefits and drawbacks, for both cpu and/or gpu. It's just a matter of what you want vs pc limitations as to which works better for you personally.
 
Apr 22, 2020
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Lol, good. But yes, requires removal of the heatsink. Most gpus will do better under liquid cooling, it's more effective as even a thin H55 120mm AIO has much higher surface area and a much greater airflow than most gpus with their slot height limits and tiny fans. Noise is the other benefit, a 120mm AIO can run fans far slower than the upto 4000 rpm of those tiny fans, and with fans higher speed is proportional to higher noise.

Liquid and air each have benefits and drawbacks, for both cpu and/or gpu. It's just a matter of what you want vs pc limitations as to which works better for you personally.
Thanks for your help.
 

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