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BBQ'd/fried fan

Level 7
I have a Corsair H110i GT CPU cooler and my plan was to remove the corsair link cable (#7 on the image) since i never use the software and find it very buggy, and it doesn't work when i boot into Linux. Even if i install the software to check the pump speeds it seems like it only works a short while, after a reboot or two it won't report any details about the pump (showing 0 rpm). But if i remove the software, reboot, install the software, then it is working again.

I have marked up in this image below how everything was connected originally (and more or less how it is connected now).

1. CHA_FAN1 > Y-split > 2 x 120mm 3-pin fans (original for Obsidian 900D)
2. CHA_FAN2 > Akasa PWM split 1 to 5 (with molex for power) > 3 x NF-F12 iPPC 2000 PWM
3. CHA_FAN3 > 1 x Noctua NF-A14 iPPC 2000 pwm
4. CHA_FAN4 > 1 x 120mm 3-pin fan (original for Obsidian 900D)
5. CPU_FAN > Akasa PWM split 1 to 5 (with molex for power) > 4 x NF-A14 iPPC 3000 PWM
6. CPU_OPT > Nothing connected
7. Corsair Link USB Cable > Connected between pump and USB13 header on MB

So i removed the Corsair link cable (number 7) from the pump and the USB header, removed the fan connected to CHA_FAN4, moved what was on CPU_FAN and put it on CHA_FAN4, connected the H110i GT pump to CPU_FAN so that i can still monitor it.

Powered on the computer and heard the worrying crackling sounds of electronics being fried, the computer instantly shut off by itself but was automatically turned on by itself just a second or two later and this time it seemed to boot okay, and i went into BIOS to adjust the fan settings (CHA_FAN4 was set to DC mode and all 4 fans connected to it where running at max and was very loud). Just as i got into the BIOS i could smell burnt electronics so i powered everything off as fast as i could.

Checked the motherboard to see if i could see any visual damages but i couldn't. Reconnected everything the way i had it originally and powered on the computer without any issues.

Then i noticed that the fan connected to CHA_FAN3 wasn't spinning. Shut the computer off, connected one of the original fans that came with the cooler, powered the computer on and it was working.

I removed the fan that was originally connected to the CHA_FAN3 header and noticed that the smell of burnt electronics came from that fan.

The motherboard and everything else seems to be just fine, its only the fan that was damaged. But i can't figure out what, how or why it happened. I never touched or changed anything related to CHA_FAN3. Only changes i made was with CPU_FAN, CHA_FAN4 and the corsair link cable.

Are all fan headers on a MB somehow connected/related to eachother and can a fan connected to one header affect something connected to another fan header? Or was it a pure coincidence that the fan was fried just when i made these changes?

If anyone have any ideas/clues/suggestions to what happened i would gladly hear it so i can avoid similar problems in the future, especially since this build is a work in progress (lots to fill with 900D).

Level 12
Hi Adamantis, and Welcome to ROG.

Great to hear the crackling sound and burnt smell was the result of only a fan dying.

The thought that comes to my mind is that the fan wire had been pulled hard enough at the fan when changing things around on mobo, that the tach sense wire came into contact with the power supply wire or PWM wire within the fan itself or somewhere along the length of the fan 4wire harness. The fan 4wire harness insulation could have previously been compromised during manufacture or during the original assembly of your PC, and the movement/bumping of the fan wire during latest changes to other components resulted in a couple of wires shorting together.

Or the fan just decided to have a BBQ.:rolleyes:

Level 7
Thank you Ntwlf,

I had used cable ties to secure the fan cable of the fan that got fried (not like the one showing in the photo). It was relatively secure with the cable ties, but not enough so it would pull or strain the cable. I can't recall that i actually ever touched that cable when i did the other changes, at most i might have nudged or touched it slightly when removing the Corsair Link cable.

So in the end it seems like it was a pure coincidence that it got fried just when i made those changes.

Seems like i am having really bad luck lately when it comes to Noctua fans. I have several in my media server/htpc and love Noctua in general, but in this build i have been using their industrial fans and have had to replace two 140mm 3000 rpm fans before and now this fried fan that was 2000 rpm.

Level 14
The dead fan was a NH-A14 iPPC 2000PWM on CHA_FAN3 ... but was CHA_FAN3 configured (in BIOS) for VDC or PWM control at the time?

The fan headers on my ROG mobo have disappointed, I seriously doubt they can sustain the advertised 1A/12W per header. At least not when configured for PWM. Methinks whatever little ROG chip controls the mobo VRMs doesn't have any juice left for the fans after powering everything else.

A little off-topic - how would describe the overall sound output of your NH-A14 iPPC 3000PWM fans? Just curious.
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Level 7
Yes, the dead fan was NH-A14 iPPC 2000PWM on CHA_FAN3. It was set up as PWM in bios, it had been connected for about a month before it was fried.

The shop where i bought it didn't have any 2000 in stock when i returned it, but i got another NH-A14 iPPC 3000PWM instead (they have same price on both models).

When it comes to the sound i don't think they are bad at all, quite silent actually. If i compare with the stock fans that came with H110i GT they are 2000 rpm with a sound level of 43dB, the Noctua 3000 pwm is only 2dB below. The stock fans for the cooler sound much more "aggressive" while Noctua's fans have a more soft/gentle and pleasant sound to them (if fan sound can be described as pleasant).

Installed the new fan i got yesterday (along with new PSU and re-organized all cabling), and put it on the Akasa PWM split along with the 4 other NH-A14 iPPC 3000PWM fans that i have on the radiator for the cpu cooler, so that is 5 of those fans in total. In AI Suite 3 i have those fans set up as:
30c = 10%
60c = 50%
75c = 100%

At idle they spin at around 530-580 rpm and you don't hear them unless you actually try to listen to them. The sound from the cpu pump sounds more and i have that set to performance mode so it goes at max, that is only a very very soft "whining" sound and barely audible. They stay quiet during gaming (my temps are around 40-45c while gaming) but you can hear them spin up slightly when games are loading between scenes, then my temps go up to around 55-65c depending on game, plus that is usually only a very brief moment.

If they spin at 2000 rpm i think the sound level would be equal to NH-A14 iPPC 2000PWM at 2000 rpm which is around 31dB. I never have to use the fans at full capacity though, but i like that they have the possibility for it just in case. And don't think i have seen any other fans with the same capabilities for either airflow or static pressure.