The motherboard is an essential PC component that holds many other computer elements such as processor, graphics card, RAM, etc. A substantial layer of non-conductive material, usually hard plastic, serves as the motherboard’s basis. It connects to hard drives, disc drives, and front panel ports, and it features sockets for the CPU, RAM, and expansion cards. Some fans are attached to the motherboard to take the hot air away from the computer and maintain optimal temperature. These are necessary to maintain the right temperature.
The fans also aid in lowering dust accumulation inside the case by more regularly moving the air. Suppose you recently replaced the motherboard on your computer and are now wondering how to connect fans on motherboard. If yes, then you’re in the right spot. We’ll walk you through the procedure step-by-step in this tutorial. We will explain the whole method of connecting fans to the motherboard and everything you must know. We have also presented some precautions and quick tips to ensure proper connections. Let’s read!
What do you need to connect fans to the motherboard?
You will need the following to connect your fans to your motherboard:
Suitable fan connections on the motherboard.
Note: Mostly, 3-pin and 4-pin connectors are on the motherboard to accommodate respective fans. A 3-pin connection contains three wires: ground, power, and tachometer. Molex connections are simple to identify. A 4-pin has the same wires as the 3-pin but with an additional fourth wire to control the fan’s speed.
Suitable fans, 3-pin or 4-pin, that you want to connect with the motherboard.
A screwdriver to disassemble and assemble the PC components.
Note: Suppose there is not a suitable connector on the motherboard. In such a case, you would need an adapter to properly connect the fan to the motherboard. Adapters are available for the most popular fan types, including 3-pin, 4-pin, and Molex. You can generally locate the correct adapter by checking your fan’s model number or specs online.
How to connect fans on motherboard?
In this article section, we will check an in-detail method to connect fans to the motherboard. But before, I suggest you read the previous section and ensure all the factors are discussed. If you have done so, let’s explore the mother!
- Step 1: The first step is to determine the number of fans you need according to your PC’s requirements. This also depends upon the number of fan headers available on your motherboard.
Note: Most motherboards feature two connections or more depending on usage and other factors. One is used to house the CPU fan, while the other will accommodate the case fan. But some high-end motherboards may support six fans or more. A three- or four-pin connection is typically attached to the end of a PC fan’s cable as a motherboard fan connector. There is no secret other than aligning the connector’s notch with the header. The connector has no lock to hold it closed, making it simple to remove by tugging.
- Step 2: I have talked about this step in the previous section. I repeat, check the number of fan headers available on your motherboard.
Note: you can check the number of headers by visually analyzing your motherboard or by checking from the brand’s official website. This information is crucial since you would need a 3-pin or 4-pin fan connector splitter if your motherboard doesn’t have enough fan headers.
- Step 3: The next step is to prepare the fan, motherboard, and the required components to connect the fans to the motherboard.
- Step 4: Remove the back of the fan by unscrewing the four screws on the back. There should be a small connector near the screw. This is the 3-pin connector. Unplug it and set it aside.
- Step 5: Now, locate the CPU_FAN header on your motherboard. It will be near the CPU and have a few small pins sticking out. This is where we will plug in our fan connector.
- Step 6: Now, it’s time to install the fans on the motherboard. The 3-pin fan connector has three square holes in it. Plug the fan into the 4-pin header on the motherboard. The fourth pin on 4-pin PWM fans is blank in a 3-pin configuration.
Note: Press the connection firmly until it locks into place. But don’t push it too hard since it may damage the pins.
Note: You can repeat the above steps to connect multiple fans. There is o difference but ensure to check the pins count and fan headers.
- Step 7: Connect the power cables from the fan to the motherboard. Start by getting your 4-pin fan connector and plugging it into the power header on the motherboard. This connector should have 4 square holes and 4 wires; 2 for power and 2 for controlling speed.
Note: If your fan is a standard consumer model, it will usually have a 3/4-pin fan header, which you can plug into the 4-pin connector on the motherboard.
Note: When connecting a 3-pin fan, don’t worry if there are more pins than ports on the header. You can still plug them in. Just make sure that you align the colors correctly. The yellow wire should be plugged into pin one, and then count down until all three wires are connected correctly. That’s it! You’ve successfully installed a 3-pin fan onto your motherboard!
- Step 8: After plugging in your fan, secure the fan with screws using the screwdriver. Attach the fan to the back of the case near your GPU and CPU cooler. Avoid overtightening the screw. Instead, use thermal paste between your fan and the back panel of your case to help dissipate heat more effectively.
Note: Many case fans come with mounting screws, so grab those. If yours does not have screws, you can use the same type of screws you used for mounting the motherboard.
- Step 9: Close the PC casing and connect your speaker, data, and power supply cords.
- Step 10: After everything is done, it’s time to test the connected fans. For this, switch on your computer > enter BIOS mode > select CPU Fan > Enable under Fan Control > save your modifications, then quit BIOS.
How to test CPU fans after installation?
Once your fan is installed, it’s time to check if it works.
- Step 1: To do this, you will need to start your computer and make sure the fan runs when it starts up.
- Step 2: If everything looks good, access the BIOS menu of your motherboard > select CPU Fan > Enable under Fan Control > save your modifications, then quit BIOS.
- Step 3: Adjust the fan speed at which the fan operates.
Note: If your fan is a 4-pin PWM model with 4 square holes and 4 wires, you can use software like SpeedFan or HWMonitor to monitor and control the speed of your fan. You can also use these programs if you connect a 3-pin fan to the SYS FAN 1 header on your motherboard, as they will still work together. Remember that if both types of fans are used on one system, they must have the exact notches for connection.
This post is about connecting CPU fans to your motherboard at home and saving some money. For your information, a 3-pin fan connector and a 4-pin PWM fan connector is bigger. Some fans may only have 3 wires placed into a 4 pin connector on the back. No matter which fan header is used, the fan will function properly. Install screws into the motherboard standoffs if you haven’t done so already. Plus, it’s an excellent way to get familiar with the inner workings of your computer. You must check step by step method given in this post to get proper help.