RGB fans are perfect for cooling your hardware while customizing from millions of colors if you want a more creative PC setup. They install somewhat differently than regular fans because of their RGB component and may require certain supplies. However, learning how to connect RGB fans to the motherboard is easy!
Before installing RGB fans to the motherboard, shut down the computer and ground yourself with an unpainted metal object. Next, insert the RGB and motor fan connectors to the corresponding motherboard header sockets. Finally, screw the RGB fans on the front or rear of the case with screws and put back the computer case.
Tips Before Connecting RGB Fans
Before connecting RGB fans to your motherboard, follow these tips to avoid damaging any hardware:
- Turn off your computer before installing fans, and keep the power off until finished.
- Place your RGB fans away from heat sources, such as heaters.
- Keep your RGB fans away from the impeller.
- Use the included mounts when connecting your RGB fans to the motherboard.
- Keep your computer case dust-free before working.
How to Connect RGB Fans to Motherboard
Gaming PCs typically need three fans, but the amount you can install depends on computer case and fan sizes. Before connecting RGB fans, check whether your fans are 3-pin or 4-pin fans, as they install differently. You can also use different tools to install RGB fans without headers.
Connecting 3-Pin RGB Fans
3-pin RGB fans, or DC (direct current) fans, are voltage-controlled, but their adjustable speed is not as automatic and accurate. As a result, they cost less and make more noise. Regardless, 3-pin RGB fans connect to 3-pin and 4-pin headers without issue.
To connect 3-pin RGB fans to the motherboard, follow these simple steps:
1. Shut Down the Computer
Before working on hardware, hold the power button for about ten seconds to turn off the computer. Next, use an anti-static wrist strap to ground yourself and prevent electrostatic discharge from damaging your components. Alternatively, hold a metal object while handling computer parts.
2. Read the Instructions
Some RGB fans require specific instructions, so always read the attached manual before installing. Even if you have experience, skimming the manual ensures you do not miss any critical or safety tips.
3. Insert the Fan Connectors
Take out the RGB fans and their mounts. Two cables should connect to your RGB fan: a small one controlling the fan motor and a wide one controlling the RGB lights.
After removing the computer case, locate the RGB marks on your motherboard. Attach the RGB fan connector to the JRGB or RGB_Header motherboard socket and the motor fan connector to the SYS_FAN or CHA_FAN socket. Press the connectors tightly in the socket until they are firmly in place.
4. Install the RGB Fans
After securing the connectors, place the fans on the front or rear side of the case. Carefully install the RGB fans with screws. You can use an RGB Converter if you want to convert a 3-pin RGB fan to a 4-pin. Once everything is secure, put back the computer case and enjoy your new RGB fans!
Connecting 4-Pin RGB Fans
4-pin RGB fans, or PWM (pulse width modulation) fans, achieve higher RPMs than 3-pin fans with less noise. They are ideal for high-wattage or overclocked PC setups. A 4-pin RGB fan can also attach to a 3-pin connector, but it will only run at full speed.
1. Turn Off the Computer
Before starting, shut down the computer by pressing the power button for about ten seconds. To avoid shorting your hardware, ground yourself by wearing an anti-static wrist strap. Or, you can hold a metal object while installing the fans.
2. Read the Instructions
Always read the manual before installing RGB fans to avoid damaging your fans or any other hardware. Manufacturers also use different software to control the fans, so their instructions make changing the fan colors or speed easy.
3. Attach the Fan Connectors
After removing the computer case, locate the RGB marks on your motherboard. Then, carefully place the RGB and motor fan connector to the correct motherboard headers. Press the connector pins deeply until they are firmly connected.
You can also connect a 4-pin RGB fan connector into a 3-pin header, but the fan speed may not be adjustable.
4. Install the RGB Fans
After connecting the fans to the header, place the RGB fans on the front or rear side of the case. Screw them in until tightly installed. Finally, put back the computer case and start using your new RGB fans!
Connecting RGB Fans Without Headers
You can easily connect RGB fans without headers, but they will work as regular fans without the RGB component installed. However, you can still get RGB lighting by plugging in an RGB controller with dual connectors and power cables.
To connect RGB fans to the motherboard without headers, follow these simple steps:
- Shut down the computer and ground yourself by touching an unpainted metal piece.
- Open the computer case.
- Attach the 4-pin dual connector into the RGB fan’s slot cable.
- Connect the slotted cable to the RGB fan controller.
- Locate the power input slot of the RGB fan controller and connect the power cable to the SATA cable of the power supply unit.
Buying RGB Fans and Compatible Motherboards
High-quality motherboards typically include two RGB headers supplied with 12V of power each. However, installing many RGB fans requires a unique header to avoid overloading the 12V connections. So, use a fan splitter cable to connect many RGB fans into a header while providing enough power via a Molex connector.
Regardless, not all motherboards include RGB fan headers, so check the attached manual or manufacturer website if they are compatible with RGB fans.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do RGB Fans Need RGB Headers?
RGB fans do not require RGB headers to work, but they will usually lose their RGB lighting. However, you can use RGB fan controllers and software to change fan colors and speeds.
Where Do RGB Fans Plug Into Motherboard?
RGB fans plug into the motherboard through an RGB connector to an RGB header and a 3-pin or 4-pin fan connector to a fan header. The motherboard headers are typically named JRGB 1, JRGB 2, RGB_Header1, and RGB_Header2.
Can I Connect 6 RGB Fans to Motherboard?
You can connect 6 RGB fans to the motherboard using 2-way or 3-way splitters, but you will only see the RPM for a single fan. If the motherboard header cannot supply enough power to the fans, use a fan hub with a separate power supply.
Do RGB Fans Need a Controller?
RGB fans do not typically need a controller if they connect to the RGB header of the motherboard. However, not all motherboards support RGB fans, and many fans require an RGB fan controller from the same manufacturer.
Whether you use a 3-pin or 4-pin RGB fan, both can connect to a 3-pin header. Installing them is not too different from regular fans – you only need to attach an additional RGB fan connector to an RGB header of the motherboard. However, not all motherboards include RGB headers, and some RGB fans require specific RGB fan controllers.
If you enjoyed learning how to connect RGB fans to motherboard, you could learn how to fix CPU fan errors!