What are Motherboard Fan Connectors and How to Connect Them?

A small connector having three to four pins can do magical work for your PC. I am talking about the fan connectors on the motherboard. A bundle of cords is coming from fan and gathering at a point into a connector. In the front head of the connector, you’ll find three or four pins, allowing you to connect it to the motherboard. If you wonder, what are motherboard fan connectors? This article is for you only. 

The type of connector and count of cords control the speed of voltage. Sometimes the fan moves at varying speeds, and this connector helps the machine maintain it. There is a big power supply family of a PC, and the fan connector is an essential member of it. The main job of a fan connector is to supply power to the fans by getting it from the PSU with the help of multiple cables. 

What is Motherboard Fan Connector?

A motherboard fan connector is a central point of multiple cords where you get three to four pins face that helps you connect the fan on the motherboard. All the cables go parallel and combine with three pin fan connector or 4 pin connectors. When you get a motherboard fan pinout, you get to check out the pins physically and can count them.

However, if you want to learn what motherboard fan connectors are and their functionality, you have landed on the right information page. So, let’s check out the details below.

PC Fan Connector Types

There can be multiple things I can talk about when it comes to types of motherboard fan connectors, but here I’ll get you a cover for the most crucial and most valuable ones.

Usually, modern devices come with 4 pin fan connector on motherboard and 3 pin fan connectors. Moreover, a chassis fan connector differs slightly from the three and four pins. Let’s dive into the facts below.

1) 3-Pin Motherboard Fan Connector

The most commonly used fan connector on the motherboard is a 3 pin connector, where all the cables are gathered at a point, and the other side of this point/connector has the physical existence of pins. And these pins help you connect the fan to the motherboard. So, you get a 3-pin connector that you can also click to the 4-pin connector. The chances of incorrect connectivity are almost zero. 

2) 4-Pin Motherboard Fan Connector

The other most popular one and users love to use it, is the 4-pin motherboard fan connector. In it, you get four pins, allowing you to plug them into the relevant connector. A 4 pin fan connector on motherboard helps you control the voltage as the fan’s speed requires. A four-pin connector will enable you to control the increased voltage compared to three pin connector.

How Do Motherboard Fan Connectors Work?

If I talk about the three-pin connector first, it carries three wires, including red, yellow, and black. Red is responsible for maintaining power, black is the ground, and yellow provides you with an accurate reading of the fan’s speed. On the other hand, four on the connector come with a PWM feature that ideally helps you manage the pace in extreme conditions.

Wherever you want to set the fan’s speed, it delivers the power accordingly. I hope you got the answer to what are motherboard fan connectors. And now I’ll tell you how to connect case fans to power supply. But before we look into it, meanwhile, you can give a read to the How to Check Graphics Card Compatibility

How to Connect Fans to Motherboard?

All you need to do is to pair up the connector with the header on the mother of carefully. As we know, there are three pins and four-pin fan connectors, and you need to attach them thoroughly and gently press them carefully. You’ll find that the connector match with the header is good to enjoy the fan on board.

Moreover, if you wonder how to connect extra fans to the motherboard, there is a Y splitter that goes with your goal perfectly. It allows you to click multiple fans on a single header on the motherboard. So, it is how to connect fans to motherboard or extra fans on board. 

Number of Fans A Motherboard Offers

Usually, motherboards offer dual chassis fan headers, and these days with the help of splitters, you can get multiple fans on board. Usually, you get around two fans backup, but that is to the splitters, which have made getting more fans on board easier. 

Where to Plug in Fan Controller on Motherboard?

You have to plug the fans into the controller, and that controller goes with the PSU directly. You have two options to do so, whether you pack it with PSU or with the motherboard. There will be a 3 to 4 pins connector, and you need to attach it with this fan controller to get the device on board for better cooling purposes.

What Does a Fan Header Look Like?

It is like a central point where you get help connecting fans on the motherboard. You can check these terminals on your board, and by using them carefully, you can get the maximum number of fans in the control room to complete the task. Moreover, I will also tell you how to install case fans PC. All you need to do is to get a Molex connector, and you are good to connect with the PSU. The three or four pins header can help you in the process.

I hope you got the answer to what are motherboard fan connectors. These terminals allow you to connect multiple fans on board. By using a splitter, you can increase the count of fans quickly. There is no rocket science in its installation. All you need to do is to gather the different cables to a connector and attach the same in the relevant head to the motherboard. It is how motherboard fan connector gets ready for the show.
Where to plug in fans on motherboard?

There is an end of PC wires; find that one and attach the pins or four pins connector with these cables. You need to find the header on the motherboard and connect it over there. You can attach it without any advanced knowledge; all you need to do is do the process carefully.

Can I Plug a 3 Pin fan into a 4 Pin?

Yes, you can. In this case, the fourth pin will remain useless and out of function. There is a PWM feature to get you control of the speed of the fans. And it is super helpful with four-pin connectors. It delivers the amount of power that is needed at the required rate. It also helps you decrease the noise of the fans. However, you can easily plug 3 pin fan into a 4 pin connector.


Hi, I am Robert. I made myself expert in all PC components. I tested and taken reviews from users, specially Gamers to make a reliable buying guide and best product descriptions. It will help to find compatible parts and save your money on PC custom build.

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