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[SOLVED] Which non-RGB fans to buy with a compatible fan hub?

May 1, 2020
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Hey all,

I am looking to replace my fans on my current build as they are acting up a bit (constantly changing colours). I am looking for non-RGB fans and ideally a setup of 4x120mm fans however my issue is that I have a mATX motherboard so I assume I'd need a fan hub to connect the fans as I only have one chassis fan slot according to the mobo pin definitions. My motherboard is a Asus Prime H310-R R2.0 mATX.

Just wondering, what fan hub can I get that would support 4 non RGB fans? Also what fans should I purchase (I am looking for decent quality).

My full specs are as follows:

CPU: Intel i5-9400F
Motherboard: Asus Prime H310-R R2.0 mATX
Ram: 16GB DDR4 2400MHz
SSD/HDD: Seagate 240gb SSD / Western Digital 1TB
GPU: Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2060 OC 6gb DDR6
PSU: CiT 600W Bronze Rated 80+
Chassis: CiT Raider RGB
Fans: Game Max Raider Dual-Ring 16 LED 120mm Rainbow RGB Fan 5pin (4x) with Fan Hub (also Game Max I assume)
OS: Windows 10 Home - 64 Bit.

Thanks!
 

Paperdoc

Glorious
Ambassador
Yes, the 4-pin Splitters work just fine with 3-pin fans. But your last post asks for a different route.

And YES, that is one of only two Hubs on the market that can work for you. It is special because it converts the 4-pin PWM control system signals into a 3-pin Voltage Control Mode set of signals required for 3-pin fans. Like all other Hubs, it requires that it receive from a 4-pin fan header the PWM Mode set of control signals, which is exactly what your mobo header does.

No other Hubs can do that job. Well, almost. Recently Phanteks has replaced that unit with an even more capable one called their Universal Fan Controller. It expands by providing both 3-pin ports for older fans, and 4-pin ports for the new PWM fans. Further, it can automatically adjust itself to accept input from a fan header that is using EITHER of the two fan control Modes.

If your plan for now is to use only 3-pin fans with that mobo, the simpler PWM Hub will do that job perfectly. In fact, becasue of backwards compatibility design factors for the new 4-pin fans, you CAN connect any 4-pin fan to a port of this Hub and it will work even though the signals it receives are of the older Voltage Control Mode. There is only one small "trick" to that. The port holes on the PWM Hub are not wide enouigh to get a 4-pin fan connector onto the port pins. But the Hub comes with two small Splitters so you can fit two fans onto one port. Use one of those to reach out of the Hub to your 4-pin fan connector. So for the near future, that PWM Hub will do what you need. If you get into complicated circumstances with mixed fan and header types, or if you actually cannot find the older PWM Hub to buy, the newer Universal Fan Hub will also work well.
 
May 1, 2020
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If I don't need the fan hub, Not too sure what else I could install with only one chassis fan header? CPU header is already used. Ideally I can support 3 or 4 fans if possible. Thanks!
 

Paperdoc

Glorious
Ambassador
Noctua makes great fans with a reputation of high air flow, low noise, and long life. It happens they do NOT make any with lights in them. They are sold widely so you should be able to get the model you want. Try this master listing of their fan products, and skip down to the 120 mm size.

https://noctua.at/en/products/fan

For case ventilation fans with PWM design, look among the first two major groups and check the last column for the pin spec. Also pay attention to the names in the wide first column which will include the PWM phrase and may indicate a non-standard 5 V power spec. You want the normal 12 V fans. Some models are noted "ULN" for low noise, but you can see they all have lower max speeds and max air flows. Also note their air flows are in m³/hr, not CFM. for example, 100 m³/hr is 58.86 CFM, or use this converter

https://www.convertunits.com/from/cubic+m/hr/to/cfm

The first major group is their newer line with a 2-tone brown colour scheme. The second is their slightly older (and lower price) Redux line in 2-tone grey. In the Product Name first column, click on any name to jump to a complete detail page for that unit. For case ventilation you do not need high pressure rating (in mm h20, second-last column), but you do want high air flow and prefer to get that with less noise (dBA). The max speed is not so important.

When you get to the detailed specs for each fan, you will find they typically run 0.15 to 0.20 A, so you can easily run four of these (0.8 A or less) from one mobo header using a simple SPLITTER system, not needing a HUB. The easiest is a "Stack" of three common 2-output Splitters. You plug two of them into the output arms of the third, and the result is four outputs from one input.

Noctua often includes with their fans little devices they call Low Noise Adapters. They are small units you can insert into the connector of each fan. All they are is a resistor to reduce the voltage the fan receives, thus reducing its speed and noise. These really are useful ONLY if you can NOT use mobo headers and are forced to conenct to the PSU directly for a fixed full 12 VDC power supply. When you connect your fans to a mobo header executing automatic fan speed control, they only interfere and limit your high-airflow capability, so do NOT use them.

In that master table, the last groups include their Industrial PPC line and a few other special products. Most of these are VERY high-performance fans providing high air flow and higher noise, etc. Few people need those, and probably not you.
 
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May 1, 2020
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Hey @hang-the-9, thanks! Unfortunately the fans seem to not have an option to unplug the RGB. If I unplug the fan then it simply turns off which isn't ideal. I don't see separate RGB pins but rather just a 6 pin connection for each fan to the hub.

@Paperdoc, thanks so much! Will look at Noctua! I was looking at getting a SATA to Molex adapter for the fans and then a molex to 3 pin splitter so I can hook up the fans directly to the PSU. Would there be a downside to that besides not having the automatic fan control from the motherboard? Regarding the splitter cable, would this work?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Splitter-Computer-Converter-Sleeved-Braided-Black/dp/B01N1Z3FYD/

And then I connect one to the chassis header and chain the others so I can plug in 3-4 fans?

I am also looking at:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Corsair-AF120-Air-Noise-Cooling/dp/B07KGYG8N7/

Are these any good? I have read some good reviews online regarding them and they are single RGB so ideally I don't have changing colour issues. I think the problem lies not with the fans in this case but with the bad RGB controller but I am probably going to just replace them all as it's easier at this point.

Appreciate the help, thanks!
 

Paperdoc

Glorious
Ambassador
1. If you connect your fans directly to a PSU output, you miss out on 3 features (plus a 2 consequences) versus using the mobo headers and allowing them to do their automatic fan speed control thing.
(a) The fans only get a constant 12 VDC power supply, so they always run full speed. This gives you more than adequate cooling almost always, which is a very minor issue. It does mean those fans will always generate their max noise, and will shorten their lifetime a small amount.
(b) The fans' speeds are never reported anywhere, so you never can see them, if that is of interest to you. Actually, the system (including the mobo control system) does NOT need to know fan speeds to do speed control. Also, see below about reading speeds with a Splitter.
(c) Mobo headers also monitor the fan speed signal for fan FAILURE, The PSU cannot do that, and neither can the mobo when the fan is NOT connected to the mobo header.

By the way. any mobo fan header can deal with the speed signal returned to it from only ONE fan. So all Splitters ensure that the speed of only ONE of their fans is returned, and the other(s) are ignored completely, never to be seen anywhere. This has no impact on speed control, but it does mean that the ones with no speed measurement also cannot be monitored for failure, so YOU need to check from time to time that all the fans still are working. On many current Splitters, the way that is achieved is simple - Pin #3 of the male output connectors is present in only ONE output arm, and missing in the other. When you create a "stack" as I suggested, only one of the four fans will return its speed through them.

2. Yes, those Splitters you linked to are exactly what you need, At 26 cm length, the arms will help you reach all the fan positions.

3. As I said, the Noctua fans all have max current consumptions of 0.20 A or less, so four of them total 0.8 A or less, entirely OK on a single header. The three-pack of Corsair AF120 LED (White) fans are different in a couple of ways, one of them VERY important to your situation. They are of the 3-pin design, so their speed can be controlled ONLY by a mobo header using the older Voltage Control Mode (aka DC Mode). The manual of your mobo says its only header does NOT do that - it uses only the newer 4-pin PWM Mode. A 3-pin fan connected to that can only run full speed all the time. That is the same as connecting them directly to a PSU output. As far a current load max goes, they are OK. These are the first type of lighted fan on the market, called LED Fans. Their LED's are of one colour only and never change their colour, display pattern or brightness becasue the LED's are simply conneted in parallel with the motor. They have no separate lighting control cable. Those LED's increase the total load on the only electrical cable, but these fans have a spec of max 0.30 A per fan. Thus THREE of them come to 0.9 A and that's OK, but it does not allow you to use FOUR from one header. You were trying to replace four fans. One additional small difference. The Corsair units max air flow is 52 CFM per fan. The Noctua 120mm PWM fans can deliver between 90 and 105 m³/hr, or 53 to 62 CFM, depending on model. Of course the 3-versus-four fan count has nearing on that, too.
 
Reactions: Vortex_uk
May 1, 2020
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Hey @Paperdoc, thanks so much. I really do appreciate all the help and you have helped a ton!

Regarding number one, that makes sense. Is it a big deal if I have the fans running at 100%?

I have ordered the splitters as per point 2, thanks!

I am likely going to order the corsair fans for now. Would I be able to use a 4 pin to 3 pin splitter (as per the cable above) and connect 3 fans to the mobo and 1 fan to the PSU via a 4 pin molex to 3 pin adapter?

Is it bad to run the fans at 100%? I do not really mind regarding the noise but just wondering about the motherboard and fan shelf life? Ideally I can run these new fans for 2 years and then upgrade in the future and look at a better motherboard.

I really do appreciate the help, thanks!
 
Last edited:

Paperdoc

Glorious
Ambassador
Yes, the 4-pin Splitters work just fine with 3-pin fans. But your last post asks for a different route.

And YES, that is one of only two Hubs on the market that can work for you. It is special because it converts the 4-pin PWM control system signals into a 3-pin Voltage Control Mode set of signals required for 3-pin fans. Like all other Hubs, it requires that it receive from a 4-pin fan header the PWM Mode set of control signals, which is exactly what your mobo header does.

No other Hubs can do that job. Well, almost. Recently Phanteks has replaced that unit with an even more capable one called their Universal Fan Controller. It expands by providing both 3-pin ports for older fans, and 4-pin ports for the new PWM fans. Further, it can automatically adjust itself to accept input from a fan header that is using EITHER of the two fan control Modes.

If your plan for now is to use only 3-pin fans with that mobo, the simpler PWM Hub will do that job perfectly. In fact, becasue of backwards compatibility design factors for the new 4-pin fans, you CAN connect any 4-pin fan to a port of this Hub and it will work even though the signals it receives are of the older Voltage Control Mode. There is only one small "trick" to that. The port holes on the PWM Hub are not wide enouigh to get a 4-pin fan connector onto the port pins. But the Hub comes with two small Splitters so you can fit two fans onto one port. Use one of those to reach out of the Hub to your 4-pin fan connector. So for the near future, that PWM Hub will do what you need. If you get into complicated circumstances with mixed fan and header types, or if you actually cannot find the older PWM Hub to buy, the newer Universal Fan Hub will also work well.
 
May 1, 2020
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Thanks @Paperdoc , I've ordered the Corsair AF 120 fans and the Phantek hub and will install them once they arrive in the next week or so.

Really appreciate the help, thanks!
 

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