My old heatsink fan broke and I'm trying to reconnect its plugs to a new fan. My Dell CPU fan has some custom Dell plug. I snipped the old fan's wire in half and kept the plug on the end of it. I want to connect it to the Dell fan wire to the plug.

The motherboard is a P5Q-e, the stock Core 2 Duo fan was .20A and the dell is .70A. Is that going to matter?

The wire from the fan has four wires, the wire with the plug has four wires. They share three, of the four colors: red, black, and blue. Dell's fourth wire is white, while the plug's fourth wire is yellow.

Is it safe to assume that I just connect the yellow and the white plug together and match the rest up?

I don't want to take any risk of damaging anything. It runs fine passively without a fan, but I have speedstep on, so I would like to use this fan and just fasten it to the heatsink with some twist ties and paperclips and call it a day.

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  • Most common Dell fans use 5 pin 4 wire PWM: Black=Ground Red=12v White=RPM Blue=PWM So says the web. Many people who changed to a different fan on the dells the computer would not boot, till they put the dell fan back. because their dell was expecting a specific RPM and might have a specific Sence or divisor or whaever for the fan they use. The Power specs no problem, but a delta is usually very high rpm. So this is just a note , if you dont get boot, it is just that the dell doesnt think the fan is working (or fast enough) – Psycogeek Oct 2 '11 at 23:50

It's a Dell component, it's not intended to neatly work with any non-Dell system. You are better off purchasing a new one.

Here's further reasoning:

Dell manufacturers every component for their systems (that are not PCI style riser cards and that are not drives, CPU or RAM) to be specific to their systems.

The wiring is often non-standard, the PSU mounts and connectors are often non-standard, and they are intended to make it difficult for you to purchase non-Dell components and install them into your system. This ensures that Dell continues to make a profit.

Sidenote: Yes, that does suck. In the future, don't purchase Dell and support them. However, for the needs of 90% of the population (statistics, that field where all numbers are approximately made up) this is a viable solution, because customers want fixes that work and not fixes that save more money in the short term.


Additionally, the manual for that board says that the five headers support 1A - 7A of fan at +12V so as far as amperage you should be fine. That's on page 2.34 (number 8) of the latest English manual for that board from their website.

  • So you're saying that if I do what I have outlined above the fan will not work? It's a Delta fan model EFC0912BF. – user647345 Oct 2 '11 at 23:29
  • What I'm saying is that it's not likely to work. I'm not saying it won't work. I'm also arguing against "just stripping the wires and mating them up" because it's designed not to work in your system. – jcolebrand Oct 2 '11 at 23:41
  • 2
    After doing some research and learning how 4-pin PWM fans work I have went on and did it. I have connected white and yellow wires, which seem to be the 'control wire' used to vary the speed of the fan. Everything works, even mobo's fan speed control. – user647345 Oct 3 '11 at 2:00
  • 1
    Jcolebrand, honestly, you sound like someone who never even built a computer before. What the hell are you talking about half the time? CPU fans or any computer fan is 12v. And what are you talking about "five headers support"? Who's talking about 5-pin fans? I just don't understand where you're coming from, it all seems to be like point-whoring and not knowing what you're talking about. I'm done, thanks for your help. – user647345 Oct 3 '11 at 2:13
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    "I don't think you know what you're talking about" this is where you would be wrong, you are trying to use a special PWM fan on a standard motherboard connector, even if you get the correct wires to the correct pins it will sound like a jet airplane and run at full speed, which is incredibly fast on that type of fan, good luck. – Moab Oct 3 '11 at 3:24

I have recently managed to fit a arctic cooling f8 pwm 80mm fan in my dell 760 sff.

This is how I did it.

  • I cut the dell plug off left about 2" of wire,
  • I connected the following wires from the new fan to the dell plug:
    • Yellow to red 12 volt supply
    • Green to yellow sensor
    • Blue to Blue PWM
    • Black to black earth ground

The wires on the dell plug are:

  • Red 12 volt
  • Yellow sensor
  • Blue PWM
  • Black earth ground

The wires on the fan are:

  • Yellow 12 volt
  • Green sensor
  • Blue PWM
  • Black earth ground

It works great and is quieter and you get no beep codes, also I removed the hard drive fan and simply spliced the yellow sensor cable from the hard drive fan to the cpu fan yellow cable plugged the hard drive fan plug back into the m/b no errors or beeps nice quiet pc which still runs cool.

My next project is fit a 2.5 hard drive in between the cd rom re-writer so the m/b has plenty of cooling.

Hope my info as helped out.

  • Welcome to SuperUser Paul, properly formatted answers are easier to follow. – Vlastimil Ovčáčík Dec 4 '15 at 9:24

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