Noctua PWM vs FLX vs ULN fans in Fractal Design R4

I'l be putting Gigabyte's H97-D3H mobo in this case. It has 3 fan headers + extra CPU_OPT header for water cooling. And R4 has fan controller which supports up to 3 fans.
My questions are:
1) Will the fan controller occupy one of those headers? How many fans could I put in this case?
2) What kind of fans do I need to buy? If I understand this correctly, PWM should support various speeds, so they are to be connected directly to the MoBo, right? And what about controller?
10 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about noctua pwm flx uln fans fractal design
  1. The case has a 3 fan controller. It is just a switch to select low, med and high. This does not have anything to do with the boards controllers. It seems to be made for 3 pin fans, with some cutting a 4 pin PWM fan would work.

    The case has space for 7 fans I think. 2 up top, 1 in the back, 1 on the bottom, 1 on the side and 2 on the front. Not that you need to use all fan positions.

    The board seems to be PWM ready meaning PWM fans would be controllable with the board(the CPU opt should also control a fan without issues.).

    FLX just means a 3 pin fan with resistor adapters to fix the fan at a lower speed. LNA and ULNA are these adapters.
  2. Prices for all modifications are the same. Seems like FLX and ULN modifications differ only in max RPM.
    So it's safer to buy 3 pin FLX/ULN for connecting to fan controller? I'll connect couple of PWMs to directly MoBo, too.
  3. Best answer
    If you buy the FLX/ULN and connect them to the controller, do not use the LNA or ULNA(the adapters look like a short fan extension with a resistor inline.) adapters because the fans will stall at low speeds.

    Remember that with manual fan control you will have to adjust when you want the extra cooling.

    Maybe using slower fans in the front and have the board control a top and back fan. The bottom fan and side may not be needed. I have the R2 version of that case(first one they released) and just have one side rear and top(other top hold covered).
  4. Seems like a good fan positioning to me. Thanks, nukemaster.
  5. I just want to let you know that all my fans are controlled by the board. It is my preference that the board deal with keeping things cool instead of manually setting it up. I have a 6 fan controller that I do not even use any more(did not even use it for a year, sure was a waste of money[because I no longer use it] :) ).
  6. Well, I won't be making push-pull setup with Noctua U14S, so with unoccupied CPU_OPT it's theoretically possible to install 4 PWM fans in aforementioned positions, right?
  7. In theory yes.

    I had a look at your manual and noticed something strange.

    Normal PWM fans have a pinout like the cpu header, the others look to be voltage controlled

    While its a pain, It may be advisable to contact gigabyte about this to be 100% sure your fan setup will work because Asus has done similar and it looked exactly the same in the menu except VCC listed as 5V. It still worked, but is not actually PWM control. The cpu header is PWM for sure.
  8. I'm also looking at Asus H97-Pro. In their manual (section they state chassis headers have PWM pins.


    So they may be not “true” PWM headers?

    Update: it's strange because in H97 Pro Gamer manual those pins are labeled “+5V”
  9. I would trust the manual.

    When the last pin is "5v" most times this would mean the fan is voltage controlled.

    PWM fans are speed controlled via this pin(rapid high/low state) so it should not be a solid voltage(5v solid is generally full speed, but changes are they use the standard voltage based controlling.).
  10. I'll probably go with Asus H97-Pro, their fan control software seems to be much better than Gigabyte's.
    Thanks for the thorough explanation, nukemaster.
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