How to connect RGB fans to motherboard

By: Steve Smith

Updated Today

By: Steve Smith

Updated Today

How To Connect RGB Fans To Motherboard

Although connecting RGB fans to your motherboard may seem simple, this process is not without risks. The instructions are designed for those who lack any knowledge of circuitry and hardware. If you decide against reading the article thoroughly before starting, what could go wrong? Just imagine a scenario where something goes amiss.

How to Connect RGB Fans to Motherboard Using Simple Steps

Before you get started with connecting your fan, there are a few things to consider. You will need the correct type of connectors and wire length for installation purposes, so make sure you have them on hand before starting. The general connection process is as follows: First, take off any rubber or plastic coating from wires (if necessary), then strip ½ inch insulation away from each end by cutting it back in short strokes using side-cutters. Now twist together both ends of the copper cable, wrap electrical tape around the twisted area about 3x times width-wise, and place heat shrink tubing over the top, tightly sealing the final result into one bundle, ensuring that they don’t overlap at all. This should be done before plugging anything in.

Some Considerations When Installing RGB Fans to Motherboard

RGB fans are a great way to make your PC stand out. However, you must know how they work before setting one up in an unsafe manner.

We will give tips for safely connecting RGB fans to the motherboard without any risk of electric shocks or damage from faulty connections.

  • If you’re an RGB enthusiast, then don’t forget to keep those colorful fans and parts away from hot temps. If possible, it’s best if the computer components are kept somewhere else that doesn’t get too warm.
  • The RGB fans you buy should come with mounting screws that will help attach them to your motherboard.
  • Keep your RGB fans and mounts away from any fluid.
  • Attach your RGB fans to the motherboard inside the computer case. Then you can use them.
  • Keep your RGB fans away from the impeller.

Steps To Connect RGB Fans To Motherboard

RGB fans are a versatile way to customize your PC. You can change the color of each fan and have them connected in different ways that best fit with your motherboard. Suppose there is no header on the motherboard for an RGB fan cable. In that case, it will need to be installed another way–either by using two Molex connectors or three 3-pin headers and one four-pin connector at appropriate spacing depending on what type of connection this particular brand offers.

Many RGB fans are available, so they should work well together as long as their connections match up correctly. When looking into these cables, there are quite a few options out there, from whether they come preloaded.

Connecting 3-Pin RGB Fans

Connecting 3-Pin RGB Fans

The 3-Pin RGB fans are also called DC (direct current) fans. These RGB (red, green, and blue) colored LED lights on the fan blades may seem like a fun party decoration, but they serve an essential purpose in our cooling process. They’re controlled by the voltage, making them more straightforward and cheaper than other coolers that rely more heavily on software controls. Fans like this produce more noise when operating because the method of connecting three pins is applicable only if you have four wires at your connector to plug it into power with.

3 Pin Connector in 4 Pin Headers

Note that this specific type of fan can be connected with either a 3-Pin header or 4-Pin motherboard connector. It will still function the same in both cases. Before we get started, though, don’t forget about your power button-turn it off first before proceeding any further.

Follow the steps for 3-pin RGB fans installation.

  • Separate the case.
  • It is essential to read the instructions that come with your product. It doesn’t matter if you are a new or experienced user. You should not avoid the manual.
  • Usually, the manufacturers label the slots/ports with what they are. You can find out what RGB mark is on them by looking over there.
  • Connect the RGB fan connector to the top of your computer (where the fan headers are). This will connect to your motherboard.
  • Press the pieces together in the right way so that they are connected.

The connections are made, so it’s time to place the RGB fans. The front or rear side of a case is best for your needs, and take care to pack them properly.

Connecting 4-Pin RGB Fans

Connecting 4-Pin RGB Fans

The 4-Pin RGB fans are also called Pulse-width modulation (PWM) fans. Such fans are more powerful and can produce higher RPMs, making them perfect for high wattage systems or overclocked computers. These PWM devices feature a four-wire configuration with connectors that can only connect in series, so you cannot plug them into an outlet as quickly as other types of fan plugs – this might sound like more trouble than it’s worth. Still, these superiorly engineered units don’t make any noise while running, meaning you won’t hear anything except your computer.

If you connect a 4-pin fan to a 3-pin header on your motherboard, it will run at full speed.

Follow the steps for 4-Pin RGB fans installation.

4 Pin RGB Connector
  • Separate the case.
  • When you buy something that needs a manual, read the instruction. If you are new, or if you have experience, always read the instructions.
  • The manufacturer usually labels the slots/ports. You will be able to find the RGB mark there.
  • Now insert the connector for the 4-pin RGB fans into the fan header on your motherboard.
  • Press the sides of the pieces together so that they will stay connected.
4 Pin Header

You’ve got a new RGB fan and want to customize it. You can either have the lights on the back of your case or in front so that you can always see them.

Connecting RGB fans to motherboard without headers

If you’re looking for an alternative way to connect your RGB fans without headers, then look no further than this DIY tutorial. You’ll need a fan controller that comes with dual connectors and power cables to make the connection work flawlessly.

The method of connecting RGB fans to the motherboard without a header is quite different from the two methods we’ve already discussed so far. For such connections, one will need their four-pin dual connector and a power cable that should be compatible with both the fan controller and computer’s PSU (power supply unit).

Follow the steps to connect RGB fans to the motherboard without headers.

Connect RGB Fans Without Header
  • Open the case.
  • Bring a 4-Pin dual connector when you have a motherboard that doesn’t have a header.
  • Now, insert the 4-Pin dual connector to the RGB fan’s pin slot cable.
  • After that, connect the slotted cable to the RGB fan’s controller. Take one end of the slotted cable and put it in the other end of the RGB fan’s controller.
  • The other end of the controller has a slot for power. It needs that as it is plugged into the power cable.
  • You can see that the power cable has a plug on one end to connect to a power supply. The end that goes into the power supply provides power for the fan.

Now, the wire is connected to the fan. Make sure that you close the case.

Benefits of RGB Fans

RGB fans are an essential PC component that can help you cool your CPU. You may not know this, but RGB is a color code for most PCs’ red, green, and blue wires connecting to light fixtures within or outside the computer casing. With such robust control over their lighting effects, these lights allow people who don’t have access to graphics card controls (because they’re using an integrated graphics card)  the ability to change colors on their computers with ease.


Where do RGB fans plug into the motherboard?

If you want to connect RGB fans to your motherboard, you will need an RGB Y-Cable. Use RGB 4-Pin connector to an RGB header and 4-pin fan connector to a fan header on the motherboard.

Does my motherboard support RGB fans?

The motherboard does not have any RGB headers. You can use those fans; however, you will not be able to control the light effects in any way. A Cooler Master RGB controller would be a solution here.

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

The RGB kit is compatible with any motherboard that supports standard 4pin fan headers. These fans can then be connected to the controller for operation without the lights.

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Steve Smith MoboNinja
Steve Smith

Steve is MoboNinja’s Editor in chief. He was raised with a quest for the gaming craze. That’s why he describes himself as a dedicated programmer and gamer.