October 17, 2021

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CPU Fan Vs. CPU Opt

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Your Computer CPU has multiple fans in it. These fans offer a cooling effect to the CPU to ensure your computer runs smoothly without overheating. CPU coolers also prevent any unfortunate accident resulting from overheating and related damages. If you open the CPU, you will see that it has two heads-” CPU_FAN” and “CPU-OPT” on the motherboard.

So, what are these two headers? How are they different? Here, you can find all the CPU fan and CPU Opt details alongside their detailed user guide. So, let’s read on to know more!

What Is a CPU Fan?

The command” CPU_FAN” stands for the header of the CPU Fan. So, what is a CPU Fan? It is a small fan or cooler connected to the motherboard. The CPU Fan keeps the motherboard, the Bios, and other complicated circuits cool and maintains the CPU thermals.

The word “CPU_FAN” also has a different meaning. It is the primary header used by the motherboard and other software like HWMonitor, NZXT CAM, etc., to control the speed of the fan and ensure your CPU does not suffer from overheating. One should always connect the CPU cooling fans to this heart. Otherwise, the fan will not work. It will also not allow you to boot your system safely.

The “CPU_FAN” allows the CPU to continue to function by adjusting the fan speed. If any fan is not connected to it, your device will shut down immediately. The same also happens if one of the fans is not working despite being connected to this header. This header comes with four pins to offer better voltage and fan speed according to the CPU temperature.

What Is CPU Opt?

In some devices, more than one CPU cooling fan is required due to workload. In such cases, only a single header is not enough to connect the coolers. It can also be helpful if you intend to use an AIO/Liquid cooling system besides the primary cooling system.

If you have multiple CPU cooling fans, you need to check out “CPU_OPT.” It is an additional header to connect the other fan. The phrase” OPT” stands for “Optional.” So that means the fan connected to this header is the optional cooling fan.

Hence, your CPU does not need a fan connected to this header for working normally. That means, even if this header is empty, your device will run smoothly. But, CPU-Opt can give your warnings if your device is overheated. Like the CPU_FAN, CPU_OPT also has a 4-pin structure.

Hence, it is also able to adjust the fan speed according to CPU temperature. If you need to use multiple fans to cool down your CPU unit, the best way is to use both these headers. Using both CPU_FAN and CPU_OPT allows you to maintain the good condition of your CPU. It also ensures your device gets effective cooling during busy working hours.

What’s The Difference Between CPU Fan And CPU Opt?

Both of these are headers and connectors for CPU cooling fans. So, what is the difference?

Well, there are two differences-

Firstly, the CPU_FAN header is a primary header. Therefore, if it is not functional, your device will not boot. Instead, it will remain shut down. On the other hand, The CPU_OPT is an optional header. Hence, your device will continue to function even if you do not install an additional fan in your CPU.

Secondly, The CPU_FAN header can detect if a primary fan is working properly. It will warn you and will shut down the system itself to prevent damage. On the contrary, the CPU_OPT header can only warn you about any damage to your device.

How To Use CPU Fan And CPU Opt?

Using both these headers is simple. You should always input the primary CPU cooling units in the CPU_FAN header. It should be reserved for the primary cooling unit to ensure better safety. You can also use it to install a CPU heatsink or CPU radiator.

If you need multiple coolers or fans to regulate the temperature of your device, you need the CPU_OPT header. If you have only one secondary fan, you can use a direct connecting cable. If you have multiple secondary fans, you can use cable splitters to split and connect all the fans through the CPU_OPT header.

You can also connect the water-cooling pumps to the heater.  In case you intend to use a Fan hub, the best choice is the CPU OPT header.

What Are CHA_FAN & SYS_FAN Headers?

CHA_FAN or Chassis fan header is a header where you can plug in the chassis fan. The chassis fan is a fan connected to the outer box of the PC case. It can be mounted externally or internally. This pin connector goes towards the case fan from the motherboard. The CHA_FAN can be of 3-pin or 4-pin style. The 3-pin style is standard, while the 4-pin connector offers better speed and cooling.

The SYS-FAN header is designed for system fans. These fans run depending on the temperatures of the motherboard. Additionally, the SYS_FAN header allows the system fans to run at a fixed rate.

The SYS FAN connects the system fan located inside the CPU and helps the fan channel cool airflow inside while throwing the hot air outside. If you use a high-end graphics card, try to use both a chassis fan and a system fan. These two will ensure your device remains cool and will also channel the airflow properly.

Conclusion – How To Use The CPU_FAN & CPU_OPT Headers

CPU_FAN headers are for connecting the primary cooling unit of the CPU. It ensures the device does not become overheated. In addition, you can use the cable splitters to connect the primary cooler or radiator to ensure your device runs properly.

On the other hand, you can mount the secondary radiator or CPU cooling fan on the CPU_Opt header.

These two headers have different purposes. Hence, you should be careful about which fan or cooling you need to mount in a particular header. Besides that, you can also use other headers if necessary.

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