Motherboard (CPU) 3 Pin Fan Connector

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3 Pin Fan connector used on the ATX Motherboard.

3 pin fan connector 3 PIN IDC FEMALE at the fan and 3 PIN IDC MALE header at the motherboard.

Pin Name Color
1 GND black
2 +12VDC or +5VDC red
3 Tachometric Signal yellow


  • Not all fans or motherboards control or power the fan assemblies the same way.
  • Fans may be either 5 Volt DC or 12 Volt DC fans.
  • Colors may change.
  • Chassis and CPU fans may use either 3-pin or 4-pin power connectors. 3-pin connectors are usually used for the smaller chassis fans with lower power consumption. 4-pin connectors are usually used by CPU fans with higher power consumption. Fans and on-board fan headers are backwards compatible. Proper fan connector placement is shown in the figures below:
    • Fan has a 3-pin power connector; desktop board has a 4-pin fan header: Image:Connector_mbfanpwm_3to4pin.png Note: when using a 3-pin power connector with a 4-pin fan header, the fan will always be on; there is no fan control.
    • Fan has a 4-pin power connector; desktop board has a 3-pin fan header: Image:Connector_mbfanpwm_4to3pin.png


Category:Motherboards Connectors


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