How to Connect RGB Fans to the Motherboard?

Finally, you are going to build your gaming PC, or probably you are upgrading your PC, and now you are stuck on how to connect RGB fans to the motherboard. Well, you are not the first person who is struggling to find a complete and detailed guide on this topic. So you don’t need to worry at all as I have made a well-researched and easy-to-follow step-by-step guide for you. So let’s get started without wasting any further time.

Check the RGB Compatibility First

There are generally two types of RGB headers that you will find on a motherboard, viz4-pin RGB header and 3-pin RGB header, or they are also labeled as JRGB 1 or JRGB 2. Almost every motherboard nowadays comes with at least one RGB header, but it doesn’t need to support every type of RGB fan or LED strip. So it’s essential to check the compatibility of your RGB devices with your motherboard.

A bit about 4-pin and 3-pin RGB headers

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to connect your RGB fans to your motherboard, it’s important to note that there are typically two different types of RGB headers that you’ll find on a motherboard: 4-pin and 3-pin.

4-pin RGB headers are typically used for LED strips, as they provide more power to the LEDs than 3-pin RGB headers. You can still connect 3-pin RGB fans to a 4-pin header – you just won’t be able to control the fan’s speed via PWM.

3-pin RGB headers, on the other hand, are typically used for RGB fans. These headers provide power to the fan and the ability to control the fan’s speed via PWM.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s look at how actually to connect your RGB fans to your motherboard.

Can You Connect a 4-Pin Plug to a 3-Pin Header?

Yes, you can connect them together, but the RGB header should be 12V; the 5V headers are not supported in this way. And if you are going to merge 12V and 5V headers, then be cautious about the amperage, 12V headers take more current than 5V, and you can end up with a fried LED. It is suggested that you use a 4-pin to 3-pin adapter for this purpose.

In order to connect your RGB fan(s) to your motherboard, you will need either:

  1. An RGB lighting controller which connects to both a 4 -pin RGB header on your motherboard and the 3-pin or 4-pin fans. This is the recommended method as it gives you finer control over the lighting effects and colors.
  2. A 4-pin RGB header on your motherboard that is compatible with both 3-pin and 4-pin fans. Please note that not all 4-pin RGB headers are compatible with both 3-pin and 4-pin fans.
  3. A 12V RGB header on your motherboard that is compatible with both 3-pin and 4-pin fans. Please note that not all 12V RGB headers are compatible with both 3-pin and 4-pin fans.

Steps to follow for connecting RGB fans to the motherboard

Now you know how the RGB system works, it’s time to connect your RGB fans to the motherboard.

Step 1) Remove the screws from the fan and install them in the case

According to your setup, you will need to remove the screws holding the fan in place. It may be possible just to unscrew the fan from the backplate in some cases. Once the screws are removed, line up the fan so that it fits into the case and screw it in.

Step 2) Connecting the RGB header to the motherboard

The next step is to find the RGB header on the motherboard. This will usually be labeled as “RGB” or “LED.” In some cases, there may be multiple headers for different colors. If so, you’ll need to decide which one you want to use for the fans.

Once you’ve found the header, connect the cable from the fan to it. If the header is 12V, you can plug it indirectly. If the header is 5V, you will need to use a resistor to drop the voltage.

Step 3) Install the software

The last step is to install the software that will control the RGB lighting. This will vary depending on which manufacturer you’re using. In most cases, you can download the software from the manufacturer’s website.

Once the software is installed, you’ll be able to control the RGB lighting on your fans. You can change the color, model, and even create custom animations.

Can I connect RGB fans to a non-RGB motherboard?

Yes, you can. You will need an RGB fan controller or an RGB lighting hub. The advantage of using a controller or hub is that it gives you more control over the lighting effects and colors. If your motherboard does not have RGB headers, you can use a 12V RGB splitter cable to connect the fans to the power supply.

To connect RGB fans to a non-RGB motherboard, you will need:

  • RGB fan controller or RGB lighting hub
  • 12V RGB splitter cable (if your motherboard does not have RGB headers)
  1. Connect the 12V RGB splitter cable to the power supply. If your motherboard does not have RGB headers, you will need to use a 12V RGB splitter cable.
  2. Connect the RGB fan controller or hub to the 12V RGB splitter cable.
  3. Connect the RGB fans to the RGB controller or hub.
  4. Configure the lighting effects and colors using the controller or hub software. If your motherboard does not have built-in RGB control, you need to use the controller or hub software to create and manage lighting effects.

Verdict

Connecting an RGB fan to your motherboard is a simple process. You will need to purchase an RGB fan controller or an RGB header splitter. Most motherboards come with either one or two 4-pin RGB headers. If your motherboard does not have an RGB header, you can use a 3-pin addressable header. Thanks for reading.

Matt Hanson
Matt Hanson is a technology journalist and author at TechRadar. He is also working as an author on TechyDesktop. He loves to write about tech, computers, and PCs.