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ML 120 and ML 140 fan upgrade question


MedicNJ
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I am upgrading to a Corsair h115i AIO cooler for my i7700k CPU. I have a Phanteks Pro M case, which has space for 3 120mm fans on the front of the case. I plan on getting 3 ML 120 RGB fans for this space used as intake. I also intend on mounting the 280mm AIO on top of the case, with the fans used as exhaust. I can also place a 140mm fan on the back of the case as exhaust. I want to use ML 140 RGB fans for the AIO and exhaust fans.

From what I have read, I need to purchase 3 3 pack of ML 120 RGB cans with the controller for the front fans, and the dual pack with controller and an additional fan for the exhaust fans. Am I correct in assuming I would need to use the included controller for the 120mm fans and the second included controller for the 140mm fans before plugging the fans into the lighting control module? Also, which fan headers should I plug the fans into on my Z270E motherboard?

Edited by MedicNJ
typo
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1 x 3 pack of ML120 RGB

1 x 2 pack of ML140 RGB

1 x ML140 RGB single

 

That will give you two Lighting Node Pro controllers (so you can interface with Link and control colors) and two RGB fan hubs (for the lighting power). You only need 1 of each, however most often the multipacks are of equivalent per fan cost as the singles, so there is no reason to pass on the free extra controllers. They also may be of use down the line if you expand or have a simple malfunction.

 

Corsair RGB fans each have two wires per fan. One is the traditional power/speed control wire that will go to the motherboard, H115i PRO pump controller, or any other fan controller you want to use. Absent any other control sources, your two radiator fans will go into the pump controller. All remaining fans will go to the motherboard for power.

 

The other wire is the lighting power wire. Those will all lead into a single 6 port hub that needs its own SATA power connection. You will need two SATA power lines, one for the H115i Pro and one for the lighting hub. You can mix and match sizes (120mm and 140mm) of the same fan type. You cannot mix other fan types together on the same lighting hub. So as mentioned above, the 1 hub will work for your 6 fans and this is a common configuration.

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Sorry for all of the questions. It looks like I will plug the fans onto the AIO into pump controller, which goes into the AIO pump header? The other fans need to each go into their own header? I also thought that I could not use 140mm and 120mm on the same controller. This is my first build with an AIO, and I want to get it right.
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From the lighting perspective, the fan size does not matter. The number of LEDs and the total current of the fans does. You absolutely can mix and match 120 and 140 on the same lighting hub. Running a 140 and 120 on the same power/speed line is less desirable and also unnecessary.

 

The two top exhaust 140mm fan will go into the H115i PRO controller. This will let Link and the pump change their speed based on coolant temperature, the most effective variable. The cooler itself will draw power from a SATA connection leading back to the PSU. There will be a sensor line you connect to the mainboard. I generally advise people to use CPU FAN for this. It really doesn't matter which header it goes on and all it does it let the board know something is there. No power along this line. However, nearly all boards have a CPU header trigger that will go off if something is not on CPU fan. This means you need something there and it is also useful. If your pump were to fail (usually these things happen at power on), you will get an instant BIOS error letting you know (CPU fan error). No booting up and finding out 5 minutes later when the machine powers off after crossing TJ Max. The other reason is the CPU fan (and OPT on Asus boards) don't have a lot of other uses. It makes for a bad case fan header. CPU and its copycat OPT can only be tied to CPU temp, have very short delays, and often run aggressively. This behavior was designed for air coolers. Putting the coolers non-power lead here solves several issues. The other thing is these AIO PUMP or W_PUMP headers on Asus boards do not have any special properties. It is just another CHA fan header with a new name and somewhat less functionality then when it was a CHA fan header. Most Asus boards will let you turn the AIO header back into a normal functioning CHA fan header, if you need it. The same cannot be said for the CPU/OPT.

 

Rear can go on CHA 1 or 2 (or any CHA fan header). The numbering is different on each board. You can run all three front 120mm fans off a simple 3 way PWM splitter. You should be able to get one online for about $5-6 USD. Those can go on any convenient CHA fan header. So, two CHA fan headers and the cooler on CPU fan. That's all you need for power. The lighting cables will require a bit more work and it does take some time to route them all.

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