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I'm buying new fans for my machine right now, and it seems that everyone prefers using 3-pin fans over 4-pin fans these days. If my motherboard has 4-pin fan connectors, do I need to use all 4 pins or can I plug a 3-pin adapter into the three critical pins? Should I buy an adapter or not?

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No you don't need adapter. Fourth pin is used for regulation of speed by PWM, but If not present MB regulates speed by voltage.

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3-pin fans will work just fine with 4-pin connectors. If you had 4-pin fans and 3-pin connectors on the motherboard your fans would still work but at full speed.

http://www.intel.com/support/motherboards/desktop/sb/cs-012074.htm

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    Are you sure about that full speed? There is still a voltage regulation from motherboard. Why that souldn't work? – week Dec 3 '12 at 2:56

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