Question Where do I plug VDG cable in my motherboard

Sep 21, 2021
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Hi, I've got a thermaltake 3.0 cpu cooler that I want to install into my PC, the manual says to connect the VDG cable into the port but I am not sure that my motherboard has it. My motherboard is the gigabyte z270x - please recommend what to do if there is no VDG port on the motherboard.
 
Hi Kanima (y)and Welcome to the Forum :)


VDG connectors are only used by Gigabyte on some of their boards for controlling RGB and control is via a hub, it's their version of a normal 3 pin RGB connector. Surely the hub has a normal 3 pin connector as well? If not, you can get adapter cables for VDG -> Normal 3 pin.
 
Last edited:
Sep 21, 2021
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Hi Kanima (y)and Welcome to the Forum :)


VDG connectors are only used by Gigabyte on some of their boards for controlling RGB and control is via a hub, it's their version of a normal 3 pin RGB connector. Surely the hub has a normal 3 pin connector as well? If not, you can get adapter cables for VDG -> Normal 3 pin.
Thank you for your reply!!
Is the VDG used for syncing the RGB fans to the motherboard?
Also, would something like this do the job? If yes, where would I plug it into the motherboard? (sorry I am new to this)
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/5V-3PIN-RGB-VDG-FAN-Conversion-Line-Cable-Connector-Kit-for-GIGABYTE-Motherboard-/202857104467
 
Well we all are new to this technology.
As far as I understand it you need a dedicated RGB header and I could not find reference to one in your MB manual.
Although relatively inexpensive, I think what you reference from EBAY may work.
I don't have your MB so cant be 100% sure. You should clarify with Gigabyte support just what works with your MB.
 
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Sep 21, 2021
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Seems like I can use an ARGB controller which allows me to control the RGB, and I can just plug the fans into the motherboard fan headers. My next question is (sorry) whether to plug additional fans into the motherboard fan headers via a hub or directly into the psu.
 
Motherboard fan headers come in 4 pin PWN and 3pin.

The 4 pin header allows fan control via your Bios fan curve setting whereas you need a hub controller for 3pin DC control. Some Motherboards now have dc control in Bios or thru the Power switch.

You can plug a 3pin into a 4pin connection.

Most headers will take up to 1 amp so two fans can run of the one header.

You can connect a fan/fans direct to the PSU using a Molex cable connection.
 
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Paperdoc

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Ignore that stuff about 3-pin and 4-pin fan headers and PWM and DC control. All of that relates to the fan MOTORS. What you asked about - the VDG Cable - is for the LIGHTS in the fan frames. And unfortunately, confusion is normal here!

Fans containing lights in their frames come with TWO separate cables normally - one for the motor only, and a second for the lights only. There are two types of fan motors, and they often are identified as either 3-pin (older) or 4-pin (newer PWM design). Among lighting systems, there also are two dominant types: plain RGB (uses connectors with 4 holes and pins) and Addressable RGB (or ADDR RGB or ARGB or digital RGB), which use connectors with THREE pins - looks like the 4-pin system, but with one pin missing. Well, most ARGB connectors look like that BUT a less common one is for exactly the connector you have marked VDG. That adapter cable you linked to on eBay converts from one type of VDG connector with 3 holes to the more common (3-1) type.

For the LIGHTS, besides the difference in connector holes there is a huge difference in the voltage supply used and in the methods of display control - that is, the types of signals each system uses. The result is you can NOT mix lights of one design with lights or controllers of the other type, And UNFORTUNATELY, you have that problem. The lights in the fans you have with a VDG connector are the ARGB type, BUT the only lighting header on your mobo is the OTHER type - plain RGB - with FOUR pins - see your mobo manual, p. 15, item 7. (Actually, that header also can be used with a rare five-pin type.) So there is NO header on your mobo to provide power and control to the lights in your fan frames.

You can run those fans just fine with NO lights if you simply do not plug the 3-hole VDG connectors in anywhere, and only plug in the fan motor connectors to fan headers. If you want lights, you need either different fans with plain RGB lights in them, or a third-party ARGB lighting controller.
 
Reactions: kanima28
Sep 21, 2021
8
0
10
0
Ignore that stuff about 3-pin and 4-pin fan headers and PWM and DC control. All of that relates to the fan MOTORS. What you asked about - the VDG Cable - is for the LIGHTS in the fan frames. And unfortunately, confusion is normal here!

Fans containing lights in their frames come with TWO separate cables normally - one for the motor only, and a second for the lights only. There are two types of fan motors, and they often are identified as either 3-pin (older) or 4-pin (newer PWM design). Among lighting systems, there also are two dominant types: plain RGB (uses connectors with 4 holes and pins) and Addressable RGB (or ADDR RGB or ARGB or digital RGB), which use connectors with THREE pins - looks like the 4-pin system, but with one pin missing. Well, most ARGB connectors look like that BUT a less common one is for exactly the connector you have marked VDG. That adapter cable you linked to on eBay converts from one type of VDG connector with 3 holes to the more common (3-1) type.

For the LIGHTS, besides the difference in connector holes there is a huge difference in the voltage supply used and in the methods of display control - that is, the types of signals each system uses. The result is you can NOT mix lights of one design with lights or controllers of the other type, And UNFORTUNATELY, you have that problem. The lights in the fans you have with a VDG connector are the ARGB type, BUT the only lighting header on your mobo is the OTHER type - plain RGB - with FOUR pins - see your mobo manual, p. 15, item 7. (Actually, that header also can be used with a rare five-pin type.) So there is NO header on your mobo to provide power and control to the lights in your fan frames.

You can run those fans just fine with NO lights if you simply do not plug the 3-hole VDG connectors in anywhere, and only plug in the fan motor connectors to fan headers. If you want lights, you need either different fans with plain RGB lights in them, or a third-party ARGB lighting controller.
Yep this makes sense thank you!! The fans came with an argb controller which I am using. Think there are adpators on amazon which convert the led_c 5 pin port that I have to 5V 3 pin ports that I can use to connect the fans to eventually
 

Paperdoc

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NO! You must NOT connect any cable between your ARGB controller and the mobo LED_C header. That header supplies 12 VDC power to its lights, but the ARGB system is designed for a 5 VDC supply. Making a connection between that header and your Controller may burn out the Controller and ruin it!

There are a FEW ARGB controllers that are designed to accept the plain RGB system signals and do SOME of the display controls, but most cannot do that. Tell us the exact maker and model of ARGB Controller you are using so we can advise further.
 

Paperdoc

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Yes, that will work. It has a way to connect to your case's front RESET switch for manual control, but do not try that. Do connect its 4-hole female input cable to the five-pin mobo header, In doing that NOTE carefully that the cable connector AND the mobo header will have marks on them to indicate the contacts on ONE end are for the 12 VDC line. These MUST be lined up when you plug in. Then, of course, connect a cable from the adapter to your Thermaltake Controller, and the SATA power cable from the adapter. The adapter does the necessary job of converting the plain RGB signal system into signals safe and suitable for the ARGB system.

The Thermaltake Controller I expect has buttons on it to allow manual control, as well as a port for input from an ARGB system. Read its instructions carefully. Usually such systems by default use their own buttons for control of the display. But one operation - often, holding down the pattern control button - will tell it to turn over control to the signal coming in from the external ARGB system. When that is done, then you must be running the RGB control utility that was supplied with your mobo, so control is by keyboard entries in that software.

A full ARGB system is capable of much more complex displays that can be done by plain RGB. As a result, an ARGB system cab replicate the displays of plain RGB. When you make these connections, the only signals sent to your lights are those for a plain RGB system, so you can only get displays typical of that type of system. You will not get moving multi-colour bands and rainbows from your lights this way. You CAN get some of those more complex display patterns by returning to having the Thermaltake controller do all the work.
 
Sep 21, 2021
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Yes, that will work. It has a way to connect to your case's front RESET switch for manual control, but do not try that. Do connect its 4-hole female input cable to the five-pin mobo header, In doing that NOTE carefully that the cable connector AND the mobo header will have marks on them to indicate the contacts on ONE end are for the 12 VDC line. These MUST be lined up when you plug in. Then, of course, connect a cable from the adapter to your Thermaltake Controller, and the SATA power cable from the adapter. The adapter does the necessary job of converting the plain RGB signal system into signals safe and suitable for the ARGB system.

The Thermaltake Controller I expect has buttons on it to allow manual control, as well as a port for input from an ARGB system. Read its instructions carefully. Usually such systems by default use their own buttons for control of the display. But one operation - often, holding down the pattern control button - will tell it to turn over control to the signal coming in from the external ARGB system. When that is done, then you must be running the RGB control utility that was supplied with your mobo, so control is by keyboard entries in that software.

A full ARGB system is capable of much more complex displays that can be done by plain RGB. As a result, an ARGB system cab replicate the displays of plain RGB. When you make these connections, the only signals sent to your lights are those for a plain RGB system, so you can only get displays typical of that type of system. You will not get moving multi-colour bands and rainbows from your lights this way. You CAN get some of those more complex display patterns by returning to having the Thermaltake controller do all the work.
Thank you for your help!!!
Yep so just connect it to the Led_c port on the motherboard and line it up correctly?
 

Paperdoc

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Well almost. I just realized there's another issue. You wrote of the VDG connector on your Thermaltake cooler system. It's a female connector (with 3 evenly-spaced holes) that plugs into a male header on a mobo, which you don't have. The EZ-DIY FAB Converter you linked to solves the signal type problem, BUT its output port is the OTHER type of 3-pin ARGB header more widely used. That one looks like it had 4 pins, but one is missing. the spacing does NOT match what you spoke of in the VDG connector.

HOWEVER, looking at the manual for the Thermaltake Water 3.0 120 ARGB Sync cooler system, it show that it comes with TWO cables to connect to a mobo header - items E and F in the manual illustrations. Item F is the one with a VDG connector on its end for use when your mobo has that type. BUT you can use instead Item E for the connection to your EZ-DIY Converter's port type.
 
Reactions: kanima28
Sep 21, 2021
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Well almost. I just realized there's another issue. You wrote of the VDG connector on your Thermaltake cooler system. It's a female connector (with 3 evenly-spaced holes) that plugs into a male header on a mobo, which you don't have. The EZ-DIY FAB Converter you linked to solves the signal type problem, BUT its output port is the OTHER type of 3-pin ARGB header more widely used. That one looks like it had 4 pins, but one is missing. the spacing does NOT match what you spoke of in the VDG connector.

HOWEVER, looking at the manual for the Thermaltake Water 3.0 120 ARGB Sync cooler system, it show that it comes with TWO cables to connect to a mobo header - items E and F in the manual illustrations. Item F is the one with a VDG connector on its end for use when your mobo has that type. BUT you can use instead Item E for the connection to your EZ-DIY Converter's port type.
Ohh I see, so does that would get rid of the manual controller that I am currently using? And I would use cable E to connect the RGB wires to the EZ-DIY converter's port?
 

Paperdoc

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Yes, that would work. It will affect your display choices, though.

IF you use the manual control box's buttons you can select different types of ARGB displays, the rate of changes of the displays, etc. If you then choose to tell that box to turn over control to the mobo lighting system - that is, from the plain RGB header via the EX-DIY converter - then all control of the lights comes instead from the mobo using the utility provided with it. However, that system can ONLY call for displays that a plain RGB system can do. It cannot call for some of the fancier displays that ARGB can do. I would assume that the manual box CAN call for those fancier displays if you use it buttons. As I said, I expect the instructions for the manual box tell you how to switch from box control to mobo control and back.

If you do NOT use the manual box, and only connect the output of the EZ-DIY Converter directly to your lights, then you can get only the plain RGB displays possible from that mobo system. That will certainly work. I suggest your connect the manual box into your system first and experiment to see what displays you get from what control sources, and how convenient each is. Then you can decide whether to remove the manual box if you don't realy want to use it.
 
Sep 21, 2021
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Yes, that would work. It will affect your display choices, though.

IF you use the manual control box's buttons you can select different types of ARGB displays, the rate of changes of the displays, etc. If you then choose to tell that box to turn over control to the mobo lighting system - that is, from the plain RGB header via the EX-DIY converter - then all control of the lights comes instead from the mobo using the utility provided with it. However, that system can ONLY call for displays that a plain RGB system can do. It cannot call for some of the fancier displays that ARGB can do. I would assume that the manual box CAN call for those fancier displays if you use it buttons. As I said, I expect the instructions for the manual box tell you how to switch from box control to mobo control and back.

If you do NOT use the manual box, and only connect the output of the EZ-DIY Converter directly to your lights, then you can get only the plain RGB displays possible from that mobo system. That will certainly work. I suggest your connect the manual box into your system first and experiment to see what displays you get from what control sources, and how convenient each is. Then you can decide whether to remove the manual box if you don't realy want to use it.
Easy thank you so much for your help. I'll try it out once the controller comes and update what happens!!
 

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