Computer Fans & RGB: 14 Vital Things You Should Know

I didn’t know enough about computer fans until I bought some RGB fans which have the ability to sync with your motherboard so they match your computer case lighting. But, as you can tell, there are a lot of questions to be answered.

Therefore, I made this article to answer all those questions plus some other basic tips to help out! Let’s begin!

Key Takeaways

  • RGB fans are more expensive than non-RGB fans due to the extra materials used in production and the high demand. You may need a controller or hub if you are connecting multiple fans.
  • It is important to check the motherboard’s RGB header output to avoid any malfunctions.
  • RGB splitters are used to connect multiple RGB fans or strips to one RGB header, but it is important to check the power output and not to use too many LEDs.
  • RGB RAM modules are powered through the DIMM slots and controlled by software and do not impact performance.

Does using RGB increase or decrease FPS?

RGB has no effect on your computer’s performance. It does not increase or decrease your framerates unless you use an enormous amount of light on a specific component, which can theoretically increase its temperature.

The only thing it improves is the appearance of your PC by making it look more aesthetically pleasing.

There has been at least one case of an overheating SSD. That happened because 75 RGB LEDs were incorrectly attached to it. In fact, that was a failed design by a very popular and trustworthy company (HyperX).

Therefore, RGB can in theory decrease the performance of an SSD, and possibly the same can happen to a RAM. However, this is a very extreme case and it will most likely never happen again. As you know, RGB lights generate very little heat.

In the past, there was a tweet by PCMR that suggested that specific RGB colors have different effects but that was obviously a joke.

Why are RGB fans so expensive?

RGB fans are much more expensive than their non-RGB counterparts since the manufacturers need extra materials to produce them. If the price of materials is high, the product price also gets higher.

Although, the thing that has significantly increased their price over the years is their high demand.

Not all RGB fans are expensive! It highly depends on the cost of materials used in production. Aerocool RGB fans are an excellent option for gamers who want to build a gaming setup on a budget. The starting price of RGB fans is close to $5 and it can go all the way up to $100.

RGB fans will cost about 30% more than normal fans. That percentage may increase even further if you compare high-end fans. Most expensive RGB fans will have extra light modes and colors. That’s where the price increase comes from.

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Are they worth it?

RGB fans are not worth it since they are used as cosmetics and cost more. However, they can be worth it if you have some extra budget.

Their biggest perk is that they give you the ability to personalize your system and make it look more aesthetically pleasing.

Do RGB fans need a SATA Connector to work?

The fans themselves don’t use a SATA connector, however, if you choose to use multiple fans and synchronize them, you’ll need an RGB fan HUB which uses the SATA interface to connect to the motherboard. 

  • It is possible to connect A-RGB fans to non-RGB motherboards by using an A-RGB Controller. For more information, click here!
  • You can buy a Fan Hub for as low as $10 with the more expensive ones costing up to $100. Most RGB fan hubs are magnetic so they are really helpful when it comes to cable management.

Do RGB fans need a controller?

In some cases, yes. It generally depends on the motherboard having an RGB header. If it does, then you don’t have to buy a controller to use an RGB fan. You will obviously need a controller and a hub if you want to connect more fans than the RGB headers on your motherboard.

  • A controller has additional power to run several RGB fans.
  • Do not install more RGB fans than the motherboard supports. Read the manual to find the exact output of your RGB header. Generally, don’t connect more than 5 RGB fans on one header to avoid flickering or malfunctioning.
  • You can’t use any regular remote RGB controller (like the Chinese ones that you buy on Amazon) unless it’s supported by your RGB controller (primarily for Addressable RGB Controllers).

Why do RGB fans have 2 cables?

Every single RGB fan comes with at least 2 cables. The first cable which is used for the Motor of the fan is a “female” connector with either 3 or 4 holes in it. The second cable is used for the RGB, it’s much wider and ends on a 4-pin or 3-pin connector.

Some fans may come with both a 4-pin and a 3-pin “female” connector which you can plug onto the headers that control the motor of your fan.

The 4-pin should be plugged in the slot with PWM Mode on while the 3-pin connects to any other fan header ( e.g. SYS_FAN). Don’t connect both of them! One of them will do just fine!

Down below, there are instructions on how to connect the fans to the motherboard.

How do I connect RGB fans to the motherboard?

Motherboard manufacturers often mark the spots where you plug in your RGB fans.

The RGB part of the fan connects to the “RGB_header” while the motor of the fan should be plugged into the 4-pin or 3-pin headers that are usually labeled with names such as “Fan_Header”, “Add_Header” and more.

I can already guess that you are so confused and you are afraid of connecting RGB fans to the wrong header. No problem whatsoever! Let’s take a look at the images down below!

The RGB Header will most likely be called “RGB_HEADER”. If you have more than one they will most likely have numbers next to them.

As for the headers of the motor of your fan. They will most likely be called “SYS_FAN” and a number next to them. You can check your motherboard’s manual to figure out the names.

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If your motherboard supports Addressable RGB, the name of the header will be “ADD_HEADER”.


Don’t connect your RGB onto any “JRGB_Header” as its output is 12V and not 5V. This will most definitely fry your fans.

Do RGB fans need drivers?

No, RGB fans are always plug-and-play. You will only need to install software to customize their lighting.

The only time you might have to uninstall and reinstall their drivers is if they start experiencing flickering. In most RGB controller boxes you get control of the RGB lights and the fan motor control is done separately.

Some of the more expensive manufacturers will offer you an application to control both.

What do RGB splitters do?

RGB splitters are commonly used to connect multiple RGB fans or strips into one RGB header. They are capable of connecting with the standard 4-pin RGB header and 5-pin RGBW header without the need for an adapter.

However, don’t use too many LEDs as you may have power issues.

  • You cannot connect as many LED devices as you want because your splitter cable has a connector withstanding voltage. For example, if you have a 1-to-3 RGB splitter, avoid connecting other splitters on top of the splitter.
  • Make sure that your RGB header can provide the necessary power to operate every fan, light strip, or whatever you wanna use. 
  • If you use a controller and a HUB, please don’t try to connect multiple splitters into it unless it can support them. If you do so, you run the risk of experiencing flickering or your lighting won’t operate at all.

RGB RAM modules

How are they powered?

RGB RAMs are powered through their DIMM slots so you don’t have to invest in buying a separate power source.

Just make sure that your motherboard is able to handle the RGB.

How can I control the RGB on the RAM?

RAM modules have pins connecting them to the SMBus(I2C Protocol) which helps the BIOS detect the presence of the memory and then configure the XMP/AMP profiles.

They also have a microcontroller that’s I2C addressable and is used to control the RGB part of the RAM.

The RGB in these RAMs is almost always controlled by software that you can easily install on your computer. If you are an amateur, you don’t have to worry about all the technical stuff that’s been mentioned above. RGB doesn’t impact the performance of your RAM. It’s just there for visuals.

Do RGB lights increase the overall heat?

No, RGB lights use about 0.25 Watts per LED so you can use tons of them at the same time and they will barely create any heat. This is the main reason why most gaming setups are able to utilize so many of them.

You can use RGB fans on your GPU, CPU, or any other component without running the risk of overheating. If you enclose many RGB lights in a tube or any other small space, they will slightly create more heat(nothing to worry about just don’t use too many lights at once).

Can RGB Lights Make Black Light?

No, RGB refers to colors made of Red, Green, and Blue that are in the visible spectrum. Blacklight is not visible to people, and therefore, it can’t be produced through the RGB.

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You can try and make an ultraviolet deep purple color that just looks similar to black light, even though, it does not work the same way. Don’t expect to find things that are not visible to the human eye.

The UV light energy emitted by an actual black light lamp is invisible. Don’t look into a black light lamp for too long even if you think that its “brightness” is low. The actual light energy that hits your eyes is way higher and can be harmful.

Does RGB consume more power?

No, RGB lights use the same electricity as other lighting devices when they display one color since they all run on one LED. However, by turning on the other colored LEDs, the electricity you use will slightly increase.

In general, the most intensive color is white because you use all the LEDs at full power.

RGB lights are known to be cost-efficient since they use LED Technology. No matter how many you use, you’ll rarely see any noticeable difference in your bills. (Unless you use more than 1000 for some reason!)

Why are my RGB Fans Flickering?

RGB fans are mainly flickering when having a driver issue which can be fixed by uninstalling and reinstalling the Bus Controller driver.

Other Possible Reasons
  1. The fans not getting enough power so you’ll have to check on your power supply and adjust the voltages and fan speed in the motherboard’s fan controller.
  2. You might have connected too many in the ARGB header on your motherboard. Before installing your fans, make sure you read your motherboard’s manual to find out the maximum amount of fans that the header can support. Have in mind that you also need the power to operate the fans, don’t calculate only based on the lighting.

You can uninstall and reinstall the Bus Controller driver by simply going into your Device Manager. As a general rule, avoid connecting more than 5 RGB fans onto an RGB header. 

Can I Use RGB Fans Without RGB Header?

Yes, they will definitely work even without an RGB header but only as simple fans. The RGB part of them won’t be enabled. In that case, you’ll have to purchase an ARGB controller and a HUB to connect and synchronize them.

You can install A-RGB fans on non-RGB motherboards with a separate controller. That essentially works because your controller connects to your PSU and gives the necessary power to operate the RGB part of the fans.

However, there is a limit to how many RGB fans you can connect to your controller. Cooler Master, Corsair, and Be Quiet have some excellent options for RGB fans (with the fan controller included). For more details on their installation, check out this article!

Final Thoughts

If you are building your own computer and want to skip the RGB bling, then perhaps you don’t need RGB fans. But if you want to show off that sweet RGB lighting, get yourself some fans, or just like the look, then I would say go for them.

I hope this article was helpful to you. If you have any extra questions, leave them in the comments section and I will try to answer them. Have a peaceful day!

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Lampros Koukis
Lampros Koukis

I am Lampros, co-founder of I am passionate about gaming, technology, and computers. I have been involved in that industry for about 15 years. I have been a tech writer for the last 5 years so I am bringing to you guys the expertise and knowledge I have gathered through the years.

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