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Using the H60 with a Zalman ZM-MFC3 Fan Speed Controller


Freway01

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I have three 3-pin 120mm case fans and the one 120mm PWM fan for the H60. Before getting the ZM-MFC3, the case sounded like a jet taking off, including the 120mm PWM fan because they pretty much ran at 100% all of the time.

 

All of the 3-pin fans a Enermax UCMA12 fans that have a max db rating of 17. The CPU temps at idle are at 17c so I want to quite down the noise. Figured the ZM-MFC3 would allow me to control the fan speeds reducing the noise but it hasn't helped me control the H60 fan which seems to be the noisiest of the group.

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I’m trying to use the Zalman ZM-MFC3 to control all of my case fans (two 3-pin 120mm, one 3-pin 80mm, & one 4-pin 120mm PWM fan). The PWM fan is the fan that came with the Corsair H60 cooler and would normally connect to the 4-pin CPU connector on the mother board.

 

Based on the ZM-MFC3 instructions, I’ve connected the 120mm H60 PWM fan to the PMW port on the ZM-MFC3 and the H60’s pump 3-pin plug to fan1 plug on the MB per the H60 instructions.

 

My current configurations has the ZM-MFC3’s ‘Y’ cables white connector connected to one of my 120mm 3-pin fans (black connecter isn’t used), the 3-pin cable is connected to the other 3-pin 120mm fan, and the 3-pin plug on the ‘C3’ cable is connected to the 3-pin 80mm fan and the 4-pin plug on the ‘C3’ cable is plugged into the 4-pin CPU fan connector on the MB. This is different because the ZM-MFC3 instructions show that the 3-pin CPU fan cooler should be plugged into the ‘C3’ 3-pin plug but this wasn’t doable because the CPU cooler fan is the 4-pin PWM fan that is part of the H60 cooling system.

 

Looking for the best setup to utilize the ZM-MFC3 and control the noise coming from case while keeping the temperatures in the case down. Here is the list of equipment in my case:

 

MSI 780a-G54 FX motherboard

AMD FX 6100 CPU

2-250GB HDD’s

MSI 8400 Fan less video card

2-Enermax UC-MA12 120mm case fans

1-Enermax UC-8EB 80mm case fan

Corsair H60 CPU cooling system (includes one 120mm PWM fan)

 

What would be the best cabling configuration for my setup? Would it be better to swap my 4-pin 120mm PWM fan that is used for the H60 with a 3-pin 120mm fan and use the 4-pin 120mm PWM fan as an exhaust or intake fan? Should I move the H60’s pump power plug to an available power plug from my power supple?

 

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

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I see, and another case of a PWM fan not working correctly on an AMD board. This is related to the three pin fans used on some if not all of AMD's stock CPU cooler.

 

The first thing to do is check the fan control settings for the CPU in your BIOS. I'm not using an AMD board currently, but the usual suggestion is the CPU fan controller should be changed from "Voltage" mode to PWM mode, if those are the names used in the BIOS. It is weird IMO if AMD boards don't have a simple PWM setting for the CPU coolers fan, which is standard on Intel-based boards, and the only option really, and has been that way for many years.

 

One very important thing that you mentioned, is connecting the H60's pump to a steady, unvarying 12V source. A mother boards PWR Fan header is usually one that will provide that. A direct connection to the PCs power supply is another good, and likely the best, method of supplying power to the pump. The only issue with that is the three pin to molex adapter needed for the connection does not allow the pump speed to be monitored. But a few adapters do have an extra wire and fan connector to provide pump speed monitoring, which is the type I use.

 

Personally, I would try to get the H60's PWM fan automatic speed control working, and use your manual speed controller for the case fans. Most mother boards allow some automatic control of three pin fans, which is another option you could use.

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I ordered a quieter 120mm PWM fan that I'm going to replace the stock Corsair fan with. I'll plug that fan into the 4-pin CPU plug on the motherboard and plug the H60 pump power plug into one of the PS fan plugs. All of the other case fans will remain on the ZM-MFC3 so I can control the fans.

 

Should get the fan tonight but due to my schedule, won't be able to install it and make the changes till the weekend.

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