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Building parts list - do I have everything (enough fan headers?)


Pixel Hunter
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I'm putting together the parts list for my first PC build in about 10-12 years! What started as a $500 budget rig for WoW has morphed into an RGB laden mid-range spectacle! Anyway, I want to make sure I have all the parts I need on my list, and more importantly, that they work together.

 

I'm planning on an MSI Z390-A PRO motherboard, which the specs list 1x CPU fan connector, 1x water pump connector, and 5x system fan connectors (all 4-pin). This will be in a Fractal Designs Meshify C case with an i5 9600K.

 

For cooling, I want to use:

1x iCUE H100i RGB PRO 240mm

6x LL120 RGB 120mm fans (purchasing at least 1x 3-fan pack w/ Lighting Node Pro)

- 3x mounted to the front of the case

- 2x replacing the ML fans on the H100i

- 1x mounted to the back of the case

 

The 2x fans from the case and the 2x fans from the H100i will be unused.

 

Initially I thought I was going to be forced to buy an additional iCUE Commander Pro to handle all the fans. (My initial motherboard choice had fewer 4-pin connectors.) But I want to avoid bloating the already inflated cost of my build if I can.

 

Do I need anything else besides the H100i, the 3-pack of LL120s that come with the Node Pro, and three extra fans? Will the H100i plug into the CPU Fan and/or Water Pump header(s)? And then the remaining 4 fans into the 4 of the 5 available fan headers? Would wire management be easier with an inexpensive fan hub? Or do I really need to spend another $75+ on a Commander Pro?

 

Thanks in advance!

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You have enough headers. The three front fans also could share a 3 way PWM spliter if needed as there is no reason to have independent control for them. The advantage of the Commander Pro is you can alter fan speed in real time from the desktop versus having to dive into the BIOS to make small changes.
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You have enough headers. The three front fans also could share a 3 way PWM spliter if needed as there is no reason to have independent control for them. The advantage of the Commander Pro is you can alter fan speed in real time from the desktop versus having to dive into the BIOS to make small changes.

 

I thought you had to be careful when splitting a header across several fans. You need to stay under the 1v the header provides. I see the LLs draw .3v for the fan, and additional voltage for the lights (unless the LED voltage comes from the separate light connector.

 

So unless I have the Commander, the iCUE software has no control over fan speeds?

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Yes, the current limits are as you stated. I've been running 3 LL on a splitter for quite some time. Some fans are under-rated for their current consumption. I think the LL is done with a strong measure of caution. It was meant to be an option and of course you could do 2 + 1 on a 2 way splitter for the front three.

 

iCUE cannot seize control of the BIOS or the motherboard headers. So all those on the SYS fan headers will MSI BIOS controlled. The two fans on the H100i Pro fan controller will be iCUE controlled. Those you can adjust anytime from the desktop.

 

In your proposed set-up, the Commander Pro would replace the Lighting Node Pro in the system. It is both fan controller and LNP. However, even if you decide to do this it is likely better to get the triple pack with LNP vs buying singles. The singles don't seem to discount often. The triple packs do. Also, the other thing in the bundle is the RGB Lighting Hub that physically supplies the lighting power and connects to the LNP/C-Pro. That is $10 on its own and hard to find. The inconvenience usually makes up for any nominal difference in per fan cost calculations.

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