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4 pin fan connector

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I have two computer fans, both 4 pin; one uses the normal connector
4 pin fan connector.jpg

while the other uses a similar connector, but with both tabs toward the outside. These are both found in the same computer, which is strange, the normal connector on the CPU fan, the other connector on the case fan.

Can I just swap the pins when replacing the case fan?
 
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4 pins does not mean 4 wires.

How many wires?

Are the voltages the same?
 
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Four wires in the same order (black, yellow, green, blue); both 12V fans
 
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Don't swap anything, that would be a bad day for you and the fan. The reason some 4 pin fan connectors are keyed that way is so you can plug a 4 pin PWM fan into a 3 pin header and know what goes where.

If its a 4 pin PWM connector it should be pinned out to work with any standard motherobard fan header (I've never seen one that wasn't). If it was some other kind of fan connector then you might need to swap things around.
 
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Both are 4 pin, 4 wire fans (same color coding); both go in 4 pin headers

I'm asking here, exactly because I don't want a bad day for me, the fan or the mother board.
 
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Sounds like one, (the latter) is a proprietary design, dell, hp etc...what did the mb and fan come out of?
 
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Yep, HP

But why the standard connector for the CPU fan and another for the case fan?
 
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If you look at your image above, there are not just the two tabs to ensure the connector is inserted correctly, but the 4 pin holes are off-center. If you orient the two connectors so the 4-pin holes are in the same position, if the 4 wires are still in the same order, it probably will work fine.

As to why one has the tabs and the other doesn't, I can only guess it is because one costs $.001 less than the other.

If me, I would probably hook them up directly to my spare PSU instead of a motherboard, to make sure they work.
 
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Both are 4 pin, 4 wire fans (same color coding); both go in 4 pin headers
Yes, but the connector in your image is designed to be connected to a 3 pin header as well. Thats why its keyed that way.
Then I'm guessing its from one of the big fan manufactures like Nidec, Delta ect?

If so there should be a model number you can look up on Digikey or Mouser and get the spec sheet and see what each pin out / wire is if you want to be double sure.
 
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I suggest to not do anything with those. 3-pin is voltage controlled and 4-pin is pwm.
 
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My discussion is only about 4 pin fans, no 3 pin fans involved.
 
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I found a site with a diagram of the 4-pin connector I am talking about
Protostack Workspace Project - Part 3, The Cooling System - Protostack
notice how the tabs are at the far edges.

View attachment 252937
That may mean the fan isn't meant to connected to a 3 pin header or may not mean anything at all they just used a different connector. Either way this is none issue, the 4th PWM wire is extra, it would still function as a fan if you plugged it into 3 pin header.
 
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Hi,
The hold or guides on the outside of the port
This a is a high voltage/ rpm fan I believe and totally different
There should be special port for high rpm fans like this if not, I would not use it on a regular fan port.
 
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That may mean the fan isn't meant to connected to a 3 pin header or may not mean anything at all they just used a different connector. Either way this is none issue, the 4th PWM wire is extra, it would still function as a fan if you plugged it into 3 pin header.

Both headers under discussion are 4 pin


This a is a high voltage/ rpm fan I believe and totally different
There should be special port for high rpm fans like this if not, I would not use it on a regular fan port.

That makes sense as the CPU fan may be high power and would not plug into the port for the case fan.
 
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Much of this discussion makes little sense.

OP stated that the CPU fan has a connector with normal notches and that both fans were 12V. Unfortunately the current draw was not mentioned. It's the case fan with the proprietary connector.

And there's irrelevant conversation about 3-pin fans which aren't present in this situation.

Now there's talk about the CPU fan being as special "high power" or "high voltage/rpm" fan. That makes little sense. If it were a special proprietary part, that is the one whose header should be keyed differently so one doesn't plug in a normal fan.

I'm going to guess that the CPU fan is pretty ordinary and runs at ordinary speeds. A 3000 rpm fan is going to be LOUD at maximum speed.

So how fast does the CPU fan run under load?
 
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I was thinking the other way round
  • high powered fan headers would have the 'close tab' connector and
and
  • low powered fan headers the 'far tab' connector
so the low powered header is never over-loaded.


Probably over-thinking this and the real answer is a lot simpler.
 
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Both headers under discussion are 4 pin




That makes sense as the CPU fan may be high power and would not plug into the port for the case fan.
Hi,
Yeah the different connector is the best clue it's not to be confused with normal pwm fan.

But if you have a board you don't care about do the port change and see what happens
Best the fan won't work at all/ not enough power from the normal fan port
Worst you'd have to let us know :laugh:
 
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A lot of assumptions are being made here. Wire colour combinations for fans are not standard (at least across industrial fan manufacturers and, especially, variants custom designed for HP and Dell servers) and assuming a 4-pin fan is PWM isn't a good assumption either.
I have an old Delta AFB1212HHE, MacIntosh 6Z18A06R, 120x38mm fan. It's a 4-pin fan but it's not PWM controlled. Instead it's voltage controlled through the 4th pin: "the 4th wire isn't limited to 0-5V as it can go to 12V at which point the fan is running at its full power". If you give the fan less than +12V on the 4th pin it spins at less than full speed.
I've also had an industrial fan that had the standard 3-pin connector and colored wiring (i.e. red, black, yellow). But when I plugged it in the fan fried. Apparently, the yellow pin was for +12V not an open collector RPM sense pin.
 
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Even my old 12V only power supply (pre 12VO) has an 80mm 4-wire fan controlled by the mother board and I'm also wondering about maybe replacing that one day.

Maybe I should learn to chill out and just stop worrying.
 
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In just researching case and CPU fans, I see that most are 12V, most have similar maximum RPMs. So I don't think it is a power capacity issue for the headers. I think any significant differences are only about monitoring and speed controlling. If the CPU fan seizes and reports 0 RPM, you my want the BIOS to immediately shut down the computer (or even refuse to start). If a case fan seizes, it is not necessary to shut down the computer.

Maybe I should learn to chill out and just stop worrying.
Ha ha! Ban pun!
 
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Hi,
Could be just a proprietary plug that wouldn't come off as easily as a regular fan port would.
 
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In just researching case and CPU fans, I see that most are 12V, most have similar maximum RPMs. So I don't think it is a power capacity issue for the headers.

An 8.4W fan (Yate Loon D14BH-12) is not going to have similar maximum speed as a 0.72W fan (Silent Wings 3 140mm),
but you might still be right that power is not an issue for the headers.
 
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An 8.4W fan (Yate Loon D14BH-12) is not going to have similar maximum speed to a 0.72W fan (Silent Wings 3 140mm),
:( Two isolated examples that don't necessarily represent the norm or the masses do not make moot an entire valid point. I specifically said "most", not "all".
 
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