Plugging in case fans is a problem for both PC builders and those that buy their computers off the shelf. It is not clear where the case fans can be plugged, and no one wants to take the risk of damaging their equipment by plugging the fans in the wrong slot.
There may be many reasons why you may want to plug in case fans to your PC. It could be that you are building a PC and want to ensure there is proper airflow in your unit. It could also be that your PC is suffering from thermal throttling and you want to provide it with that extra bit of cooling power.
If you are wondering where to plug in case fans, we here at DiamondLobby have put together this guide as a complete tutorial. We first take a look at all the areas where it is possible for you to plug in case fans. Then, we explore why you may want to have additional case fans on your desktop.
However, it is important to note that case fans are not the only solution to an overheating PC. It is entirely possible that even after installing additional fans, your PC’s performance does not significantly improve. Of course, there are other ways to reduce the heat generated by your PC, such as cleaning your graphics card.
As such, make sure that you do not spend more money than you have to by first asking yourself how many case fans you need.
The Two Places Where You Can Plug in Case Fans
As the heading suggests, there are two different places where you can plug in case fans. The first is the power supply, which is the simplest solution. However, it also has a few drawbacks. The second option is to plug the case fans into the motherboard. Let’s take a look at both options.
Plug in Case Fans on Your Power Supply
The most convenient method of plugging in your case fans is to attach them to the power supply. In order to do this, your motherboard will need to have Molex connectors. Molex connectors have four pins and can be used to provide power to additional peripherals in your build.
However, you will also need 3-pin to Molex adapters for your fans. You will attach the fan to the adapter, and then connect the adapter to the Molex connectors on the PSU. Many fans come with these adapters in the box. In some cases, however, you may need to purchase the adapters separately.
Just remember that certain PSU models do not come with Molex connectors. If you have a modular PSU, then you should be able to attach Molex connectors to your PSU. If your PSU does not come with any Molex connectors, then you have no choice but to connect the fans to the motherboard.
It is also important to remember that when you attach your fans to the PSU directly, you will not be able to control their speed in any way. The fans will always run at full speed, which may lead to a lot of noise if you have more than 2 case fans in your build. Of course, if you do not see a reason to control the speed of your fans, then this should not be a problem.
Plug in Case Fans on Your Motherboard
The biggest advantage of plugging in case fans on your motherboard is the fact that you can easily control their speed. This can be done both through the BIOS and through specific applications that you can download.
In order to plug in your fans on your motherboard, you need to find the two fan headers. These will be labeled SYS_FAN (System Fan) and CHA_FAN (Chassis Fan). You may also be able to find other headers if you have a high-end motherboard that supports additional fans.
This is the drawback of installing fans on your motherboard. There is a limit on the number of fans you can plug in. Of course, you can plug in the additional fans on the power supply. Also, there are workarounds that can be used to plug in the additional fans directly on the motherboard.
However, the workarounds come with their own risks. There are multiple methods of installing case fans to motherboard, and you should pick the one that best suits you.
Why You Should Have Additional Case Fans
It can be difficult to recommend the exact number of case fans that you should have on your PC. This is because adding case fans to your build becomes redundant after a certain point. That said, there are certain scenarios where it would be beneficial for you to have more than the two case fans that are considered the standard for most PCs.
Here are a few instances when you should consider additional case fans:
- You are going to overclock your PC. Overclocking almost always leads to higher temperatures, and it wouldn’t hurt having extra case fans to dissipate some of the heat.
- You have a really high-end system that you plan to push to the limit. When components require more power, they also generate more heat. Having extra case fans is sometimes necessary unless you have a very capable cooling system.
- You will be using your computer in a warm room.
In summation, you can plug in case fans on both the motherboard and the PSU. Both of them come with their own positives and negatives, and where you end up plugging them in is entirely up to you.
If you have trouble keeping your PC cool, there are a lot of measures that can help keep your PC cool when gaming.