PC keeps shorting out RGB fans and LED strips?

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PCHF Member
PCHF Member
Jan 15, 2021
Hi everyone, I'm struggling to install RGB fans/LED strips in my PC. I have an older motherboard, and it doesn't have an RGB header, so I figured I could try using RGB fans and LED strips with a controller. However, every time I try different methods/products, the LEDs seem to short, and then they die completely. I'm really at a loss as to what I'm doing wrong.

For reference, here are my specs:

  • i7-4790K
  • ASRock Fatal1ty Z97
  • EVGA 750W Supernova G2 (previous) | Corsair RM850X (new)
I tried four different things, which I'll go over:

  1. First, I tried 4pin (non-addressable) RGB strips with a splitter. I connected them via the CoolerMaster RGB controller, which I inserted in the USB port on my mobo. I tried to run the lights, and they didn't turn on at all and the CoolerMaster software didn't detect it. The Speclux RGB (non-addressable) LED strips I used were 100% working when I tested them in my girlfriend's computer who has a newer motherboard with an RGB header.
  2. Thinking the Coolermaster software was at fault, I tried 3-pin Speclux ARGB LED strips. I used them with the provided Speclux hub, connected them to my PC via SATA. The LEDs flickered and then shorted. They died completely. These LEDs also worked in my girlfriend's newer computer before I tested them on mine.
  3. I then purchased ARGB Apevia Twilight fans. I connected them via molex to the accompanying Apevia ARGB hub. I connected 3 fans, turned on the PC. The fans spinned, but the LEDs shorted AGAIN. Half the lights turned on, and then they flickered and died.
PS: I thought I had a bad PSU, so I bought a new one (Corsair 850W). After connecting a non-dead Apevia fan, the LEDs still didn't work. Also, I tested the Molex connection coming off the EVGA G2 and it read 12V and 3.3V.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!


Forum Regular
Support Team
Oct 8, 2017
Yeppoon, QLD, Australia.
sorry - the only RGB thing on my rig is the NZXT water cooler for the CPU.
and that's all controlled from the NZXT software and has everything internal, just needed a USB header for the radiator fan and SATA connector for the water pump.

when the LED's short out, do they just not turn on or do they actually blow?
that is, when they don't work on yours, do they then still work on your girlfriends PC?
and just to ask the dumb question - you do have the polarity right? (just thought it worth asking)


PCHF Administrator
Support Team
Sep 9, 2016
Fancy lights are not my thing either but the CM info in the attachment below explains why that device does not work, a MB has to have a dedicated 3 or 4 pin RGB header and the USB port on the CM controller is for updating the devices firmware and not as a means of powering the device.


  • CM RGB cont.jpg
    CM RGB cont.jpg
    160.2 KB · Views: 3
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