Question about fans and airflow

Rabmac

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Hi,

I am currently building a small NAS/gaming PC. As I want to reduce power consumption and footprint I have went for a small case (Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced) and mini-ITX board (Gigabyte GA-A75N-USB3).

This case has 2 fans and option to add a 3rd and the board has 2 fan connectors.

The 4 pin connector - added fan from heatsink
The 3 pin connector - added front 120mm fan

I now have an 80mm side panel fan that is not connected to mobo and option to add a 3rd 120mm fan to cool the HDDs.

I was wondering if someone could help answer these questions:

1. Is there a way to connect the side panel 80mm fan so I can control it? If not how do I connect a 3 pin to 4 pin molex? The only downside is I don't have any available front bays as there was only 1 which is being used for a DVD/RW.

2. Is it worthwhile adding the 3rd fan to cool the hard drives and if so what would you recommend? (120x25mm fan)

You can see pictures and spec of the case here: http://www.coolermaster.com/case/mini-itx/elite-120-advanced/

Thanks
 

juanrdp

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Those concepts are just the opposite.

On a gamming pc you will want high power consumption components that generate a lot of heat that is just the opposite you will want on a NAS.

You are not reducing the power consuption going into a small factor, you are really increasing the cost and even slightly the power consumption because you will need a more powerfull cooling to keep the same temperatures that on a normal factor case.

I you will want yo use a gamming pc as NAS you will need some thing that would do:
- Put a very powerfull cooling solution for CPU that allow you to go for very low rpm's when not gamming for small noise, those cooling usually need big factor cases (ej Noctua's NH-D15s)
- Get a PSU with variable speed fan that go to to pasive on low charges.
- Forget 8cm fans, they are noisy, go 12+cm ones with voltage or PWM regulation if Mb alow it or get a fan controler, you have external fan controllers like NZXT Sentry LXE Fan Controller.
- Get a GPU that also aims for almost 0rpm when not gamming.

Edit: Just add a small thing:
- I personally would go for intel CPU, you get a lot more performance per wat
 

Rabmac

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Sorry I should have been clearer. The PC will not be used as a NAS and gaming PC at same time. It is really just a little project that I am doing , where I tried to build a NAS (not including cost of HDDs) or gaming PC for under £100.

If I am going to keep this PC it will be used as a NAS but if I decide to sell I may sell it as a gaming PC as I don't want to sell the 4TB drives I intend to put in this machine.

As this is a budget project I bought the case second hand and luckily it came with a motherboard and CPU (still to test if they are working), this is the reason it has AMD and not Intel.

Unfortunately I cannot change the 80mm fan to a larger one as it won't fit the side panel of the case.

Anyway are you able to suggest a cheap external fan controller (remember I am on a tight budget) or will I just hook it upto the PSU and deal with the noise?

Also, do I need the extra fan for cooling the HDD or should I just make do with 2 and see if the temp is OK without it for now?
 

juanrdp

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Sorry i only used the one i put, the NZXT Sentry LXE (I still use it on my current build becuase i have more fans that the number that my MB allow me to control) but it was not really cheap years ago and it seems its even more expensive now.

But you must put a Fan Resistor Cable to lower the fan rpms its a low more cheaper and as you will not need to use the rig as a NAS and as a gamming Pc at the same time it would be work ok.



I would stick with the fewer fans as posible and test temperatures of the hds, you could allways add fans latter if you see you need them.

 

juanrdp

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Not sure about it as i never use one before but if you read the comments:

"It is doing the job, but the fans aren't automatically controlled by the motherboard any more. This means that they will be spinning at maximum speed if you connect them to this connector "

A 3 pin connector use one of the pins to monitor the rpm's i dont known how this works on a Y connector, if it only monitor one fan rpms or none, some MBs if detect that the fan is non spinning put's all available voltage into the fan to get it start spinning, then you could loose the MB fan regulation and it will spin allways at max rpm.

Even if it monitor properly one fan rpm you will be using the fan port to power double power compsumtion, i would double check first the max power available in the Mb pin for example 1A(12W) and check if its enought to power two fans.

I would consider safer just to power them by molex with a Fan Resistor Cable to lower the rpms

 

Rabmac

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Once again, thanks for trying to help me with this issue.

After reading your last post I realised I had to go back to the drawing board as I really want the fans to be controlled by the motherboard. Luckily, I think I may have found a solution to this problem and it would require that I replace the existing 80mm x 15mm fan with another fan.

This fan looks like it may do the trick: http://www.amazon.co.uk/ARCTIC-F8-PWM-PST-CO/dp/B007YLUC7O/ref=sr_1_4?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1452780799&sr=1-4

Reading the comments I came across this one: "Yes, it comes with both a Dual Four Pin connector and a Single Wire Two Pin connector. The best way to connect this System Fan enabling variable system controlled speed is to remove the CPU Fan's connector from its Mother Board socket, connect this System Fan's Dual Four Pin connector to the socket where the CPU Fan was connected and again connect the CPU Fan's connector to the rear of this System Fan's connector (Dual Four Pin connector). Then connect the Single Wire Two Pin connector to the actual System Fan socket on the Mother Board. This System Fan will then function to it's best ability as it will speed up and slow down according to the CPU Fan speed.
I hope this helps and makes sense."

I think I know what they are talking about in relation to the 4 pin connector but I am unsure what they are talking about in regards the single wire, 2 pin connector and was wondering if someone could explain this for me.

The manual for my motherboard can be found here: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:WqLdpZWFB7YJ:download.gigabyte.eu/FileList/Manual/mb_manual_ga-a75n-usb3_e.pdf+&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk
 

Rabmac

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That is indeed a nifty device but unfortunately this machine is on a really tight budget, I think I have £7 left of the budget. I think I am a little OCD when I set myself a target I don't deviate from it.

The target was a NAS for under £100. So far I have got:

case+mobo+cpu+dvdrw = £26 used ( I have really lucked out as the case contained a good mobo and will see what the CPU is when I get it working)
PSU = £38 new
2TB HDD = £29 used
GPU = free
4GB RAM = free
 

Rabmac

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Am I right in saying that this splitter has 1 male 4 pin (goes to mobo), 1 female 4 pin (insert heatsink fan) & 1 female 3 pin (insert fan)?

Once everything connected the temperature will be regulated by the temp sensor on heatsink?
 

Chayan4400

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Yes. The 3 pin port is missing the RPM sensor. The RPM displayed will be that of the fan plugged into the 4 pin port. Both fans will be controlled according to how hot the CPU. You may have to set this in the BIOS, but most motherboards generally have this as the default setting. If you use this with your CPU fan, be sure to plug it into the CPU fan header on the motherboard.
 

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