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I have two 120mm fans in the front of my machine and I'd like to connect them as chassis fans, but I'd like them to share the same 4 pin connector on my motherboard so that they both scale up and down simultaneously. Is there a way to do this? Do I need a given adapter? Both fans are 3 pins, but I have 4 pin and Molex adapters for them. How can I make this happen?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

You can totally do this.

There are 4-pin fan splitters like this one and 3-pin splitters like this one, that will let you power multiple fans off of one motherboard header. I'm using similar splitters (three-way instead of two-way) on a few of my systems at home.

I'm not sure if it's the case with the linked 4-pin splitter, but most of them only provide the fourth pin to one of the split connectors, as providing it to all of the fans would easily confuse the motherboard's ability to detect and control speed.

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Beware that there is a risk of current overload when using fans connected in (electrical) parallel circuit. There are a lot of goofy connectors/cables/adapters on the market that are for a very specific application and not general-purpose (e.g. VGA to HDMI cables, or cables that exceed max specification length). Just because you found a cable that seems to fit your situation, that does not mean that the problem has been solved. – sawdust Dec 3 '12 at 0:31
Indeed, and some motherboards are going to be more tolerant of driving multiple fans off of a single header than others. YMMV, offer void where prohibited, do not taunt happy fun ball, etc. – Charles Dec 3 '12 at 0:54

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