Three-pin CPU fan connector pinout

June 14th, 2006

"I bought a cooling fan (Scythe SSF 21E) to use as a cooling fan on a non-PC application. It came with a THREE WIRE connection (?) and I need to power it from a 12v adapter from 110v, how do I hook it up? Is there a unique connection strategy for PC cooling fans? I have tried many combinations of two wire connections to no avail. Am I missing something?"

CPU fan connectors have three wires - the 12V power, a ground and a tacho signal wire that's used to measure the fan speed.  The fan speed tacho is not needed to power the fan.

Here's a pinout - pay close attention to the keying on the top of the connector - use this to orient it correctly.

CPU fan pinout - labeled

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