Question Where do I plug an aio pump power cable on my motherboard

May 22, 2020
42
7
45
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Hey there,

I have a Kraken x63 AIO and I plugged mine into a CPU_Fan header and it works fine for me. Though, I do have a different motherboard than you.

What is your AIO? Have you checked what your AIO manufacturer's directions and what they want you to plug it into?

Also, here are some links to other sources if you'd like to visit them
https://www.quora.com/Whats-the-difference-between-CPU-FAN-socket-CPU-OPT-socket-and-a-SYS-FAN-socket-on-motherboard
https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/where-to-connect-aio-pump.3380005/
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Generally you would use the CPU_FAN header for the pump, and you would set it to 100% speed regardless of temperature. Full time 100% operation for the pump. But it depends really on what cooler you have because these days many coolers do their own thing and do not all share the same recommendations for where to connect various things at. If you don't have a model where the fans are controlled separately and must also be connected to that header, then another configuration might be necessary. Also depends on if it is a board where the CPU_OPT is a simple duplication of the settings of the CPU_FAN header, or whether the CPU_OPT is independently controllable.

What is your cooler model?
 
Reactions: CountMike
May 22, 2020
42
7
45
2
Generally you would use the CPU_FAN header for the pump, and you would set it to 100% speed regardless of temperature. Full time 100% operation for the pump. But it depends really on what cooler you have because these days many coolers do their own thing and do not all share the same recommendations for where to connect various things at. If you don't have a model where the fans are controlled separately and must also be connected to that header, then another configuration might be necessary. Also depends on if it is a board where the CPU_OPT is a simple duplication of the settings of the CPU_FAN header, or whether the CPU_OPT is independently controllable.

What is your cooler model?
Is it necessary/required for the AIO to be set to 100% speed in BIOS? I have mine on "Performance Mode" with a pump curve on NZXT cam.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Pump should be 100% speed, even at idle.

Fans are a different story, which is why it is important to know what model you have because, for example, many of the Corsair coolers have the fans connected to the specific connectors on the pump, with the pump connected to a dedicated power connector as well as the CPU fan header for the RPM signal.

It's not mandatory that you do it that way, but it IS highly recommended. Not doing so usually results in either a cooler that ramps the fans up and down much more frequently or has a much higher idle base temperature. Since the pump is usually much quieter than fast moving fans, it's usually preferable to allow the pump to perform as much of the cooling as possible and only demand higher speed fan operation when necessary.
 
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memmeeyee

Commendable
Nov 16, 2017
90
2
1,545
2
Generally you would use the CPU_FAN header for the pump, and you would set it to 100% speed regardless of temperature. Full time 100% operation for the pump. But it depends really on what cooler you have because these days many coolers do their own thing and do not all share the same recommendations for where to connect various things at. If you don't have a model where the fans are controlled separately and must also be connected to that header, then another configuration might be necessary. Also depends on if it is a board where the CPU_OPT is a simple duplication of the settings of the CPU_FAN header, or whether the CPU_OPT is independently controllable.

What is your cooler model?
Cooler is Corsair H55 CW-9060010-WW, 3 pin pump power and 3 pin radiator fan. But I have done a lot of research regarding where the appropriate place to plug in the pump's power some have and the answer isn't clear at all. People say cpu_fan, cpu_opt, aio_pump, and even suggesting getting a molex adapter to plug directly into the PSU? So I had to resort to asking where i should plug it for my exact motherboard. Im just looking where i could plug it in to get the best performance from the pump. Also another question, will this case https://www.amazon.com/CORSAIR-Carbide-SPEC-Omega-Mid-Tower-Tempered/dp/B017XPPB1M/ref=sr_1_21?dchild=1&keywords=corsair+spec04&qid=1590296496&s=electronics&sr=1-21&th=1 fit the kraken x42.
 
Last edited:

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Looks like the CPU_FAN and CPU_OPT headers on that board are individually controllable. I would connect your pump to the CPU_OPT header and configure that header in the BIOS for full speed at all temperatures.

I would connect the radiator fan to the CPU_FAN header and configure that header for the custom curve that is desirable to you, which might take some trial and error to find the sweet spot between noise levels and performance, or simply choose the preset fan profile that you prefer. Since the CPU and CPU OPT headers automatically configure for DC or PWM operation, unlike the chassis fan headers which you have to manually assign either DC or PWM, you do not need to worry about that part for the pump or radiator fan. Be sure to align the keyway on the pump and fan connectors with the key on the CPU_FAN and CPU_OPT fan headers since these are three pin connections and the headers are four pin.
 

Mr.Spock

Prominent
Dec 8, 2019
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The AIO pump can be used on either SYS or CPU-OPT headers in your case (since you have both) - the speed should be near 100%. Really the Radiator fan should be on the CPU header to take advantage of PWM (CPU-OPT also in your case).

generally the sys headers are DC control (primary), some have PWM optional - so either one is fine for pump operation and some pumps still have the 3-pin header anyway.


Motherboard:https://www.asus.com/us/Motherboards/H170-PRO-GAMING/

What i know is that i have a cpu_fan and cpu_opt 4 pin headers.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
The AIO pump can be used on either SYS or CPU-OPT headers in your case (since you have both) - the speed should be near 100%. Really the Radiator fan should be on the CPU header to take advantage of PWM (CPU-OPT also in your case).

generally the sys headers are DC control (primary), some have PWM optional - so either one is fine for pump operation and some pumps still have the 3-pin header anyway.

There are NO "sys" headers on this board. There are ONLY CPU and chassis (CHA) headers. The radiator fan AND pump cannot "take advantage of PWM" since they are three pin fan and pump connectors, and are not capable of being used with PWM.

Let's make sure we know what we are actually talking about, before we start talking. BA removed for inaccuracy.
 

Mr.Spock

Prominent
Dec 8, 2019
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should be pretty obvious SYS and CHA headers mean the same thing - system or chassis (still = case fan), talk about splitting hairs

There are NO "sys" headers on this board. There are ONLY CPU and chassis (CHA) headers. The radiator fan AND pump cannot "take advantage of PWM" since they are three pin fan and pump connectors, and are not capable of being used with PWM.

Let's make sure we know what we are actually talking about, before we start talking. BA removed for inaccuracy.
There are NO "sys" headers on this board. There are ONLY CPU and chassis (CHA) headers. The radiator fan AND pump cannot "take advantage of PWM" since they are three pin fan and pump connectors, and are not capable of being used with PWM.

Let's make sure we know what we are actually talking about, before we start talking. BA removed for inaccuracy.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Sys and Cha are NOT always the same thing. In fact, typically Sys headers have been full 12v uncontrolled headers traditionally. CHA or "chassis" headers have almost universally always been variable speed controlled via preset or manual curve. There are some now, yes, that are loosely using the terminolgy interchangeably, but it's a poor decision when it has not traditionally been that way.

It's not splitting hairs, it's getting the details down correctly. In this line of work, the details can mean the difference between "Oooh, nice" and "Gawd @#$)(U#$!!!!! mother#$O)*#$" LOL.
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Ambassador
Corsair directions state the pump power goes to cpu_fan and the rad fan goes to any sys/cha header. This is done because the life expectancy of the pump is less than that of the fan. The cpu has a built in low rpm warning tied to the cpu_fan header, so the theory is when the pump eventually fails, the cpu gives warning then shuts down to prevent damage. Traditionally the cpu_fan header is dedicated pwm, so has a constant 12v regardless of speed settings, making the pump run 100% full time, as it was designed to do.

Having the fan on the sys/cha header means tieing the fan to case temps, so very little control. Modern motherboards can change that to reflect cpu temps to that header, but that wasn't the case when the H55 was released.

The other way to install it is the reverse. Pump to sys/cha header and in bios set that header for 100% duty cycle, disable qfan or other setting. Put the fan on cpu_fan header for direct temp control. With a 3pin fan, that means No control unless the cpu_fan header can be directed to a DC mode.

Neither install is wrong, neither is right, both are acceptable and valid, depending on the ability of the bios/motherboard/headers. The only difference being one is factory approved, the other isn't. That can change with some motherboards having dedicated AIO_PUMP headers etc, as the directions for mounting an H55 haven't been updated since release, but are basic enough to cover Any motherboard setup.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
And the third way, potentially viable on almost ALL modern motherboards that are at least a mid tiered model, is putting the pump on the CPU_FAN header for 100% operation (But I agree, ANY fan header tuned to full on operation is fine for this) and radiator fans to separately controlled/tuned/profiled CPU_OPT that also uses the CPU thermal diode rather than the system or chipset thermal sensors. Also, on most newer boards from the last two or three generations, that are even moderately well equipped, almost every fan header gives you the option to CHOOSE which thermal input you want to use to control that header. Choices are generally CPU, motherboard/system, VRM, chipset or GPU. In this case you could potentially use pretty much ANY header for ANY use you want, provided you make sure to also set the correct temperature source.

For his board, I think I verified that the CPU and CPU OPT are independently controlled and so either of those headers should work fine for both the pump or the radiator fans, as outlined by both me and you.
 

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