Tech Update

How to Connect Fans to Your Motherboard

Fans are necessary to any gaming build. They add a characteristic look to your system and also help in air circulation through your case. Air circulation is necessary to ensure optimal airflow, which in turn helps to keep your air-cooled components at ideal temperatures.

We know that motherboards supply all of our PC components with signals and power. Thus, figuring out how to connect your fans to your motherboard is of paramount importance if you want to use them as intended. With a plethora of ports available on motherboards, it can get tricky to figure out which header has been built for connecting case fans. We will help you with that question in this article.

How to Connect Fans to a Motherboard?

Connecting fans to a motherboard are easy. Motherboard makers use only one port for connecting all fans and water pumps. This port is called a 4-pin PWM header. It can be distinctly identified by the presence of 4 pins and a plastic ridge towards any one of its sides. We will attach an image for easier reference.

A 4-pin PWM header

Fan connectors come with a groove that slides into the ridge. Thus, there is only one way in which you can connect fans to your motherboard. If you try to insert it in the wrong direction, you will have to brute force your way through which will end up breaking the plastic tab on the header.

Fans come with either a 3-pin connector or a 4-pin connector, 4-pin connectors come with Pulse Width Modulation (PWM), a tech that enables you to control fan speeds from within motherboard software.

A 4-pin PWM connector

3-pin fans lack the PWM control feature. They only come with voltage control. This design is mostly found in cheap case fans and water pumps.

A 3-pin fan connector

We hope this guide helped you figure out how to connect fans to a computer motherboard. In case of doubt, leave a comment below and get the discussion started.

Arka
Extreme PC enthusiast. He splits his time between PC and console hardware, gaming, and making cool PC-related videos over on YouTube.

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