Replacing 4 pin CPU cooler stock fan with 3 pin fan


Jun 7, 2008
My Xigmatek S-1283 works great on my Q6600 but I find it a bit loud.. can I replace it with my Scythe S-Flex E fan? It's a bit slower but quieter.. but the latter also has only 3 pins and had a 3 - 4 pin convertor.

Can I use this? Will using a 3 pin fan as the 4 pin CPU fan do damage when the mobo tries to control the speed/ RPM of the fan?

Any other suggestions for a 120 mm fan to replace the stock Xigmatek fan? Noise level is most important but don't want to fry my chip either.. right now, I'm running 5 hours of Prime 95 at 44 C at stock voltage and freq (2.4 GHz).


Mar 11, 2009
This is old but if I found it, others might, too.

You guys are dumb.

The four-pin header will be notched so that an older or cheaper (and most definitely compatible) 3-pin connector can only go on one way. There is no risk in hooking up the three pin fan to this four-pin header unless you cram it on there backwards or something.

The fourth pin- as anyone posting a technical reply to this question should know before telling someone how to set their cpu fan up like an idiot- is the blue CONTROL wire, for pulse-width modulation (pin 3>green is the SENSOR wire for RPMs).

Plug the 3-wire fan in and the motherboard should do the rest. You *MIGHT* have to go into BIOS and tell the system that the CPU fan is DC, not PWM.

BTW, the first thing you should do when getting a middle-of-the-road heatsink-fan combo is put a better fan on it, IMPO.