If you’re having trouble keeping your computer fans cool you might want to consider getting a PC fan splitter. You can find Y-shaped and four-head models for your case and you can also choose between PWM and DC power for your fans. This article will also explain the differences between 480mm and 240mm aio fans. And if you’re not sure which type to choose you can read on for more information.
Y-shaped vs. 4 head pc fan splitter
If you’re considering purchasing a PC fan splitter you will want to know which type works best for your computer. A Y-shaped PC fan splitter has a single connector at each end that connects to the fans you want to split. This means you can plug in up to 4 fans. Unless you’re running a multi-fan system you can’t connect more than two fans to a single fan splitter but if you’re concerned about the noise level of one fan you’ll probably want to opt for a Y-shaped PC fan splitter.
Both types of PC fan splitters work by converting power from the power cable to multiple fans. While Y-shaped splitters typically have more than two fan connections four-head models have more than four connectors. The Y-shaped PC fan splitter connects to two three or four fans. It can be attached directly to the power cable or the motherboard pins.
The main difference between a Y-shaped PC fan splitter and a four-head unit is the way they distribute voltage. A Y-shaped fan splitter will prevent the fans from causing a loud noise and will evenly distribute the voltage to all of the fans in your PC. You will find that the 4 head PC fan splitter will have a 4-pin output while the Y-shaped one has a female end that connects to the motherboard fan header.
DC vs. PWM fan splitter
If you’re shopping for a fan splitter for your PC you’ll probably want to know the difference between a DC and a PWM one. PWM fans use pulse width or pulse duration modulation to control fan speed and voltage. Typically DC fans have three wires – power ground and tachometric signals – whereas PWM fans have four wires and a PWM signal. To install a PWM fan splitter your motherboard will need a 4-pin header and the software to interpret the digital signal.
The tach signal from a DC fan splitter is always square-wave in nature while a PWM fan splitter will only have a tach signal if the power is applied to the fan. This technique can cause inaccurate readings however so it’s recommended that you use a PWM fan splitter if you need to monitor fan speed. However if you don’t use a fan splitter you can try a DC fan instead.
The price of a PWM fan splitter varies based on the number of splitters and the configuration (Y or Z). The cost scales with the number of fans to be connected. Most of the multi-fan cable pwm splitters have molex or sata connections but the Akasa Sata powered model does not have sleeving and doesn’t look as nice.
240mm vs. 480mm aio fan splitter
When comparing 240mm vs. 480mm AIOs remember that 240mm will provide sufficient airflow for the CPU in your system while the larger 280mm fan will produce slightly more noise. The difference in price-to-performance is minimal. For the most part 240mm AIOs will perform as well as 280mm fans at lower RPMs but you’ll need to consider how much noise you’d like to be hearing.
When choosing between 240mm and 280mm AIO fans consider the size of the cooling components and the size of the casings that they’ll fit in. 240mm AIOs feature 350mm-long tubing whereas 280mm AIOs feature 400mm-long tubing. The length of the tubing will play a factor in case compatibility. While both are suitable for ATX cases 280mm AIOs will not fit in a micro-ATX case.
While 480mm AIO fans are more efficient the difference in noise is very slight. 240mm AIO fans are quieter and have more clearance than 480mm fans. This makes them better for low-cost systems. A 480mm AIO can fit in a 240mm AIO fan splitter but a 480mm radiator is still too big.