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  • PWM fan question

    PWM 4 pin fans, what's the main benefit of these these days, is it for when used on CPU coolers ?

    because more and more i'm finding BIOS's like those on the latest asus boards are handling fan control really well, and whilst i have always tried to use PWM fans were possible, i'm wondering now if regular 3 pin will do.

    The latest board i'll be playing with is the Asus Maximus VII Gene and that has all PWN capable 4 pin sockets, and in the BIOS the Q-Fan control etc has a 3 pin mode.

    Also, makers are getting really bad at informing the max draw we can place on a boards fan headers, the one i mentioned above sets a 1amp limit on the CPU fan socket, but doesn't mention the others, and there's only 3 of them so i will be using a couple of splitters, although there is some odd CPU_OPT fan socket, dunno what that's for unless it's for AIO water coolers or push/pull configs, might make use of that.

    "Finally, we will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary"
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  • #2
    To me it is useful, CPU loads goes from 10% to 100% and quite hot so I would say it is worth it if you want quite then that performance when you need it.

    As for 3 pin control never heard of it, but wouldn't a 4pin be more usable? As in backwards compatible?
    Last edited by Jackster; 05-09-14, 12:19.

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    • #3
      yeah, but not always available in the configuration you might want, LED and frame transparency etc etc

      i'm not a great fan of LED fans, i think they are pointless, and most of the high end fan makers only pander to LED versions because they do sell, the best fans, in my opinion do not waste their time with LEDs you want lighting, by a lighting strip kit !
      But for this build i am slightly hands tied so to speak.

      "Finally, we will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary"
      - EPIC EULA M$ !...... thanks, but no thanks! - GWX Control Panel

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      • #4
        I'm a fan of bequiets fans and their pwm fans were, not sure if they still are, quite rare and costly.
        Starting to wire my fans straight to the PSU with a voltage reducer however until I get a fan controller.
        Intel i5 3570k - ASRock Z77E-ITX - Corsair H100i - Exceleram 8GB 1600MHz - 2x Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB SSD - Samsung 840EVO 1TB SSD - Asus 960 Strix - Silverstone 500W SFX-L - NCASE M1 - Dell U2414H
        Lenovo Yoga 11S - Intel i3 3229Y - 128GB SSD - Intel HD4000 - 11.6" IPS Screen

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        • #5
          But the LEDs make you PC go faster!



          Really PWMs are rare? Hmm

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Jackster View Post
            But the LEDs make you PC go faster!



            Really PWMs are rare? Hmm
            Well not many stocked be quiet all together let alone the pwm versions, I think a reason they weren't is people said they were quite enough at 12v not to need them.
            Intel i5 3570k - ASRock Z77E-ITX - Corsair H100i - Exceleram 8GB 1600MHz - 2x Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB SSD - Samsung 840EVO 1TB SSD - Asus 960 Strix - Silverstone 500W SFX-L - NCASE M1 - Dell U2414H
            Lenovo Yoga 11S - Intel i3 3229Y - 128GB SSD - Intel HD4000 - 11.6" IPS Screen

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            • #7
              yeah i have a couple of the 92mm pwm ones here, they are quite nice, dunno when or in what i'll use them lol, but they have their own little funky mounting posts that seem to remove a lot of the vibration transfer you might get from normal framed fans

              "Finally, we will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary"
              - EPIC EULA M$ !...... thanks, but no thanks! - GWX Control Panel

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              • #8
                PWM is used on both CPU coolers, GPU fans, and case fans. The benefit from this is that the fan runs at a slower speed when the temperatures are lower, and ramp up according to a predetermined profile (which can be altered).

                The 3 pin fan mode basically turns a 3 pin fan into a similar thing by changing its voltage, a lower voltage equates to lower RPM, and vice versa. PWM works by telling the motor to turn on and off, extremely fast, which reduces or increases its RPM depending on the signal rate, rather than reducing/raising voltages.
                ASUS Crosshair VI Hero | AMD Ryzen R7 1700 @ 3.95 GHz | be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 | G.SKILL TridentZ RGB 2x8GB @ 3333 MHz C14 | ASUS ROG STRIX GTX 1080 OC | Samsung SM951 256GB NVMe + 2x Samsung 850 EVO 250GB in RAID0 | EVGA SuperNOVA G3 850w | be quiet! Pure Base 600 Tempered Glass | CM Masterkeys Pro L | Logitech G502 | Logitech G920 | ASUS ZenBook UX305F

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                • #9
                  PWM doesn't have problems with start up voltage i think.
                  Thermaltake Element s - Q6600 @ 3.6ghz @ 1.48V - Corsair H50 - 6GB RAM - GTX260 192Core @ 729/1458/1224 - ATI 3450 - Biostar Tpower I45 - Corsair Force 60GB SSD - Samsung f3 500GB apps - Xigmatek 700W NRP-PC702 - 3x 17inch screens - windows 7 64bit

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                  • #10
                    ^ correct, because the fan is run at 12v the entire time whilst the PWM signal tells it to run faster/slower by pulsing faster/slower, hence the term Pulse Width Modulation (PWM).
                    ASUS Crosshair VI Hero | AMD Ryzen R7 1700 @ 3.95 GHz | be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 | G.SKILL TridentZ RGB 2x8GB @ 3333 MHz C14 | ASUS ROG STRIX GTX 1080 OC | Samsung SM951 256GB NVMe + 2x Samsung 850 EVO 250GB in RAID0 | EVGA SuperNOVA G3 850w | be quiet! Pure Base 600 Tempered Glass | CM Masterkeys Pro L | Logitech G502 | Logitech G920 | ASUS ZenBook UX305F

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                    • #11
                      hmmm, so for LED fans, i'm best feeding power from somewhere else if i can, that's good to know

                      "Finally, we will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary"
                      - EPIC EULA M$ !...... thanks, but no thanks! - GWX Control Panel

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                      • #12
                        Are they 3pin or 4pin?
                        ASUS Crosshair VI Hero | AMD Ryzen R7 1700 @ 3.95 GHz | be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 | G.SKILL TridentZ RGB 2x8GB @ 3333 MHz C14 | ASUS ROG STRIX GTX 1080 OC | Samsung SM951 256GB NVMe + 2x Samsung 850 EVO 250GB in RAID0 | EVGA SuperNOVA G3 850w | be quiet! Pure Base 600 Tempered Glass | CM Masterkeys Pro L | Logitech G502 | Logitech G920 | ASUS ZenBook UX305F

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                        • #13
                          4 are 3 pin, one is 4 pin and i have a second pwn fan non led to use

                          just havent worked out the configuration yet.


                          need to look closely at how the BIOS control works, and the controls and which fan headers are linked by said controls

                          case will have 2 front 120's LEDs 3 pins
                          one rear 120 LED 3 pin

                          CPU cooler is PWM

                          then i will have one 120 in the side, with LED and 4 pin PWM version


                          that leaves me with a bottom intake should i want, and a top extract which can be a 140 pwn non-led or a 4th of the 3 pin white 120's with LED


                          Plan is to try and shoot for positive pressure and have the hot air forced out the venting at the back and top where it is open and unfiltered


                          smack in the middle of the case is a Gigabyte GTX 770 windforce 3x GPU and the CPU cooler is a Raijintek Themis pointed at the rear extract fan

                          got to keep air flowing over the board, and away from the GPU because the main SSD is an m.2 drive located between the PCIe 16x slots
                          Last edited by Gunslinger; 05-09-14, 20:02.

                          "Finally, we will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary"
                          - EPIC EULA M$ !...... thanks, but no thanks! - GWX Control Panel

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                          • #14
                            So many fans. It'll light up the room!
                            ASUS Crosshair VI Hero | AMD Ryzen R7 1700 @ 3.95 GHz | be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 | G.SKILL TridentZ RGB 2x8GB @ 3333 MHz C14 | ASUS ROG STRIX GTX 1080 OC | Samsung SM951 256GB NVMe + 2x Samsung 850 EVO 250GB in RAID0 | EVGA SuperNOVA G3 850w | be quiet! Pure Base 600 Tempered Glass | CM Masterkeys Pro L | Logitech G502 | Logitech G920 | ASUS ZenBook UX305F

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