How To Connect Extra Fans To Your PC

Adding extra fans to your computer is a straightforward process, especially with most modern cases designed to support additional cooling. Before diving into the installation process, it’s beneficial to understand the basics of PC airflow optimization to ensure your new fans enhance your system’s cooling efficiency rather than hinder it.

Preparing to Install Extra Fans

Safety First

Before you begin, ensure your computer is powered off and unplugged. This precaution prevents any electrical accidents or damage to your components while you work.

Choosing the Right Fans

When selecting new fans, consider the following:

  • Size: Check your case for available fan slots and their sizes.
  • Quality: Opt for reliable brands known for longevity and quieter operation.
  • Pin Configuration: Fans typically come with three or four-pin connectors, with four-pin models supporting Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) for better speed control.
  • Noise Level: Larger fans tend to operate quieter at lower speeds, providing adequate airflow without significant noise.

Fan Connection Types

Connecting Fans to Your Motherboard

Motherboards typically have several fan headers, accommodating both 3-pin and 4-pin connectors. Here’s how to connect your fans:

  • 3-Pin Connectors: Include power, ground, and an RPM sensor.
  • 4-Pin Connectors: Include all 3-pin functions plus a PWM for advanced speed control.

Align the connector with the header on the motherboard, ensuring the clip and notch align correctly to avoid incorrect connections.

Pin NumberFunction / NameCommon Wire Colors
1Ground Wire (GND)Black
2Positive Power Wire (+12V)Yellow or Red (If the sensor wire (3) is yellow, then this one will always be red.)
3RPM Sensor (Sense)Yellow or Green
4PWM Speed Control (Control)Blue
Motherboard Fan Connector Pin-out

Using Molex Adapters for Direct Power Supply Connections

If your setup requires connecting fans directly to your power supply, use a Molex connector. This method bypasses motherboard control but provides constant fan operation at a fixed speed:

  • Connect the fan’s power connector to the Molex adapter.
  • Ensure the connection is secure and correctly aligned to avoid power issues.

Installing the Fans

Mount the fans in the designated slots within your case. Ensure they are oriented correctly: intake fans should pull air into the case, while exhaust fans should expel air out. This setup enhances the overall airflow and cooling efficiency of your system.

Configuring Fan Control

For advanced control over your fans:

  • BIOS Settings: Modern motherboards allow you to control fan speeds directly through BIOS, enabling you to set temperature thresholds and speed profiles.
  • Hardware Fan Controllers: For more granular control, consider installing a hardware fan controller. These devices fit into a drive bay and allow you to adjust fan speeds manually or automatically based on temperature readings.
  • Fan Control Using Software: Another option is to install a program like Fan Control to control all the fan speeds in the operating system instead of relying on BIOS settings.

Final Checks Before Powering On

Before reconnecting the power:

  • Double-check all connections for proper alignment and security.
  • Ensure there are no loose cables or wires that could interfere with fan blades or other moving parts.
  • Verify that all installed fans are free of obstructions and set to operate in the correct direction.


Adding extra fans to your PC is an effective way to enhance its cooling performance, especially crucial for high-performance gaming or extensive processing tasks. By selecting the right fans, connecting them properly, and configuring their control settings, you can significantly improve your system’s thermal management and ensure it runs at optimal temperatures. Always take your time to install carefully and check your work before powering up to achieve the best results.

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