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Question RGB Fans Working but not lighting up

Jun 23, 2004
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I am building a budget gaming pc for my son and I'm having issues getting the case fans to light up. The fans are spinning so I know they are getting power. Here are the relevant components:

Montech Air X ARBG Case - has an LED Switch on top and a controller inside that all of the fans and lights plug into
Asrock B450M-HDV

Just for full disclosure I don't have a HD or memory installed yet. I would think the lights would light up without these components since the fans are spinning but disclosing just in case.

The controller on the inside of the case came preconnected so I connected the controller to the PSU and there are two connectors for the lights. There is one three pin connector labeled VDG In and one four pin connector. I tried hooking these to the 3 pin and 4 pin connectors on the mobo but still no lights. My mobo does not have an RGB connector. My question is can I get the lights to at least come in even if they wont change color with this mobo? If so where do I connect them. Ill post some pics. Thanks
20210122_163846.jpg20210122_163915.jpg20210122_163836.jpg
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
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My question is can I get the lights to at least come in even if they wont change color with this mobo? If so where do I connect them. Ill post some pics. Thanks
you need a plug from the controller to the motherboard a RGB header.

Then you would use whatever software your motherboard uses to control the RGB.
I believe for ASRock its RGB PolySync

But the RGB Lights must also be compatible with the board software.
 
Jun 23, 2004
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you need a plug from the controller to the motherboard a RGB header.

Then you would use whatever software your motherboard uses to control the RGB.
I believe for ASRock its RGB PolySync

But the RGB Lights must also be compatible with the board software.
My motherboard doesn't have a rgb header. That's why I am wondering if there is a work around to get the lights working.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
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Sep 28, 2005
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not unless you want to buy a separate controller which can cost anywhere from 30-60 dollars.
 

Paperdoc

Golden Member
Aug 17, 2006
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Yes, you can get this to work. Look at the photo of the controller board. ARGB fans really are two devices in one unit- a motor for the fan, and a set of lights in the frame. Each has its own separate cable to provide power and control from different sources. That controller board centralizes this for the case fans, and provides ways to input signals for those functions from the mobo headers.

On the left of the board there are two ports. The lower one labelled G (blank) D 5V is for input of an ARGB control signal set from the mobo header IF you have one, and for that you use the cable in your third photo. Since you do not have one of those on your mobo, you can ignore that completely. The port above that, and the four across the top, are the output ports for the lighting cables from each fan.

Across the bottom edge are five 4-pin ports that are the outputs to the MOTOR cables from each fan.

On the right-hand edge are two four-pin ports and a 2-pin one. The top port labelled 12V Gnd Gnd 5V is the power input from the PSU. The lower 4-pin labelled Gnd O-In Gnd P-IN is likely the input for a PWM speed control signal from a mobo fan header. For that I expect that the 4-hole connector with only two wires in your first photo is already connected to this control board Port. See your mobo manual p. 6-7, and connect that to the CHA_FAN1/WP port (item 20) to the rear of mid-board. Do not use the 3-pin fan header called CHA_FAN2 at bottom centre, (item 15) - that header does NOT provide the PWM signal your board requires. Below that the 2-pin port undoubtedly is connected to the pushbutton lighting control on the top front of your case.

That control board gets power for all your fan motors and their lights from the PSU connection. It gets a fan speed control signal from the CHA_FAN1/WP header and shares it out to all the fan motors on the lower-edge ports. With no connection to a mobo ARGB header, the board allows you to change the light displays by the pushbutton on top. NOTE the instructions in the case manual and on its web page

Change lighting mode : Press Led button for 1s

Motherboard control : Press Led button for 3s.
(After the motherboard's software detected the fans)


Turn on / Turn off the light : Press Led button for 6s

So if no lights are on, try the long press first to turn them on. If that still gets nothing, try the 3-second push to switch from mobo control (which you don't have) to pushbutton control.

For your fans, at first you will have no speed control for them. AFTER you get your mobo fully equipped so it can boot up, the mobo fan header will supply the PWM signal to control fan speeds. In this respect, see mobo manual p, 68. This is a section of BIOS Setup for configuring your fan headers. Choose the CHA_FAN1/WP header that you are using. Set Control Mode to PWM, set CHA_FAN1 setting to Standard, CHA_FAN1 Temp Source to Motherboard (MB), and CHA_FAN1/WPUMP switch to CHA_FAN1. When done, use ESC to return to Main Menu (p. 46) and choose EXIT from the top menu to get to the Exit Menu (p. 73). There choose Save Changes and Exit to save your settings and reboot.

This will set your mobo to send out signals to control the speeds of your case fans automatically as your workload and measured temperatures change via a PWM signal from the CHA_FAN1 header to the case's control board, using its pre-programmed settings. One item to note: the BIOS will not show you any fan speeds, because that signal cable from the header to the control board does NOT appear to have a wire to carry any fan speed signal back to the mobo. This has NO impact on ability to control the fan speeds.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
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Sep 28, 2005
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i think you missed the point where he stated he has no motherboard RGB header.
 

Paperdoc

Golden Member
Aug 17, 2006
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My second paragraph points out the lack of an ARGB header. The 5th and 6th paragraphs containing the web page quote specifically speak to how to achieve control without that mobo signal input.
 
Jun 23, 2004
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Thank you for the very detailed info. I just took a look at amazon and I can return the mobo pretty easily. Would you have a recommendation for an ARGB compatible mobo for the ryzen 3600? I would like to stay at $100 or less.
 

Paperdoc

Golden Member
Aug 17, 2006
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I do not know a lot about mobo choices, so you might want suggestions from someone more knowledgeable. My simplistic search started from finding a board as similar as possible to what you already had chosen: ASRock product for AM4 socket CPU's with Promontory B450 mobo chipset, priced under $100, with ARGB mobo header. So far I found on Amazon at a price similar to yours the ASRock B450 Pro board with these DIFFERENCES that might be important, I don't know:
Video Outputs: yours has HDMI, DVI-D and D-Sub; Pro has Display Port in place of DVI-D
Form Factor: yours is micro-ATX, Pro is ATX (larger)
PCIe 3.0 X16 slots: yours has 1, Pro has 2
PCIe 2.0 X1 slots: yours has 1, Pro has 4
M2.. sockets for NVMe SSD's: Yours has 1, Pro has 2. On the Pro, there is some overlap between the M2 sockets and some SATA ports and the PCIe4 slot, so a little care is needed in locating added items.
Printer ports: Pro lacks the LPT1 port for a parallel printer.
Fan Headers: Pro has 3 CHA_FAN headers vs. 1 on yours
CPU power: Yours has 4-pin, Pro has 8-pin to allow more power for heavier CPU IF your PSU has this output
USB ports: Yours has USB2 and USB 3.2 Gen1 ports, Pro has those plus additional USB3.2 Gen2 ports.
ARGB: yours has none, Pro has 1 plain RGB and 1 ARGB header and includes ASRock Polychrome Sync software utility.

A small point to check. Your plan here is to get a mobo with an ARGB header to provide to your Case's fan hub the required control signals for your ARGB fan lights. That normally is done with a cable from that Hub to your mobo header, and you included in your Photo 3 a pic of the connector on one end of that cable. I note it contains three evenly-spaced holes. That style mobo header is less common now, still used by a few mobo makers, but not by ASRock. The much more common connector now uses a wider (4-1) layout: space for 4 pins / holes, but space #3 is blocked off. Look at the manual for the Pro board, on p. 32. Now look at the cable in your case from that hub board to the mobo ARGB header. In addition to that connector in your Photo 3, is there another connector as I described on the same cable? Or, is there a different cable to feed the Hub from a mobo header with the (4-1) pin layout? If not, you will need to rig a small custom change in connectors.
 
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