More than a month ago, I received All-in-One Liquid cooler from SilverStone, and in the package, a small PWM fan hub was popped up. So, today I am taking a look at the SilverStone CPF04 1-8 PWM Fan hub with model SST-CPF-04 in complete black. It’s a 12V fan hub, equipped with speed detection sensor which allows the speed control on a fan. It comes with a 3M dual lock for mounting purpose. with dimension 54mm (W) x 19mm (H) x 40mm (D) it stand as one of the smallest fan hub in the market, while almost weightless. The device has true 8x 4pin PWM connector for hardware enthusiasts, who required more than just few stock in cooling category.
PWM 4pin connector x 1 to motherboard
SATA power cable x 1 to PSU
PWM 4pin header x 8, compatible with 3pin cable*
Length PWM cable 500mm, SATA power cable 300mm
54mm (W) x 19mm (H) x 40mm (D)
2.13″ (W) x 0.75″ (H) x 1.57″ (D)
* Only header on glossy side support speed detection.
* Fan will not start unless SATA power cable is connected. Speed detection and PWM speed control are functional only when motherboard is connected.
* Speed control function is unavailable for 3 pin fans.
A plastic coating packing with a card inside having details, pictures and features printed on it.
Inside, I have black Fan hub itself along with the dual lockers. Thinking what this dual locker would be for? Well, there is definitely not a rocket science involved in it, but explaining it in the next section.
Build and Design
The CPF04 is a small built fan hub, designed to handle the number of cooling fans inside or outside the case; 1-8 fan connectors with one glossy PWM control. The exterior body is plain plastic, while the SilverStone Logo is on top. Dual lockers that comes in the package is for mounting purpose, undoubtedly, makes the life much easier. Now you can mount this fan hub anywhere in the case, like a sticky bomb.
A 3M dual lock allows to mount the fan hub anywhere inside the case. You can mount the Device by using dual lock anywhere in the case.
In addition, the Fan hub got two connectors, SATA as a power, while the 2 pin PWM offers the speed control function. So for optimal and desirable working, both connectors should be connected to their respective fences. The PWM cable has a good length of 500mm and SATA power cable is 300mm long.
The interior, on the other end, has one capacitor unit of 2200uf size using 16V, located at the middle. All the 4 pin PWM are facing vertically outside, allowing users to connect the fan on hub’s 4 pin is far better than those with facing top. Fan hub got total of 8 PWM headers, being 4 PWM headers on each side, so in that way, one can populate headers with 4 fans each side.
Main Design Features
- Very small and compact to be placed anywhere in the case
- It’s all plastic and weightless
- The 4 pin PWM vertical design is secure and easy to use.
- The dual locker offers a mounting feature
- SATA for Power and PWM for software reporting
How It Works:
The hub has a SATA power and a PWM connector that means, it takes power from power supply by using SATA and report fan speed on software via PWM on the motherboard. Here, fans will run at absolute speed when only SATA is connected, while the speed regulation on glossy header will only be functional when the hub’s PWM is connected to the motherboard. For the purpose, both connectors needs to be connected to the designated ports. So, It’s a simple plug-and-play device.
Furthermore, the CPF04’s act as one device for motherboard, instead of 8 Ports individually. For instance, if you have 1400 RPM fan connected on glossy header and 1000 RPM on non-glossy then software will take the glossy port (1400 RPM) as fan hub and the speed control will work equally for all. If you increase speed of glossy header by 50% then all other fans also get 50% increment. Here, it don’t give control for individual fans. The practical test will be discussed in later part of this article.
The dual lock function here is, to facilitate user to mount the device any where inside the case. As you can see in the picture, the device is being mounted at the back of PC case, and PWM is being reaching to motherboard without any issues.
Now, why you need a CPF-04 fan hub?
Well, to be honest, this fan hub exhibiting effectiveness when it comes to numbers, and a very impressive end product; it allowed me to connect and maneuver 8 fans on the hub at the same time by covering single fan header. Wait, I haven’t said it control fans individually, as it is simply not possible to make it work like that. so it only gives single control on fan hub. This might not attract the common PC builders and casual PC planners who mostly look for only sufficient fans; utmost 3 radiators and 4-5 case. They definitely could do without being using fan hub.
Though for Modders and high end PC builders, this hub is a gold. In situations where the Rig required more than 6 case fans, CPF-04 comes in extremely handy that not only eliminates the motherboard’s limitation, but also gives an additional control feature on a fan speed.
Beside the necessity, COPF-04 is being a high quality fan hub delivering true PWM on all the 4 pin headers. Unlike the cheap fan hubs floating on the market, CPF04 offers the most needed PWM control. Usually we see 4 active pins on a PWM connector, but in this case, the PWM connector has only 2 pins (the remaining 2 pins are disabled to avoid mixed signals) this is how it designed. Not to mention the Speed-Detection function, allows to control fan speed, given true PWM on the motherboard.
And yes, it also supports 3 pin fan on a 4 pin header, so feel free to connect 3 pin fans on 4 pin PWM units. That being said, 3 pin fan and AIO pump cannot be controlled with CPF-04, as its Speed-Detection function only support true 4 pin PWM.
Indeed, I wanted to test this fan hub, too. Among many 120mm and 140mm, I picked only PWM fans for testing.
- 2x SilverStone APA1425L – 140mm rate at 1000 RPM
- 3x Enermax VEGAS – 120mm rate at 1400 RPM
- 2x Reeven EUROS – 120mm rated at 1200 RPM
- 1x Raijintek Slim fan – 140mm rated at 1300 RPM
I used ASUS Maximus VI HERO for testing CPF04. It has 3x CHA_FAN headers, 1x CPU_FAN and 1x Optional CPU_FAN. Before we operate the fan hub, I made sure CPF04 is being connected to PSU via SATA and to motherboard’s CHA_FAN via PWM to have a speed reporting on software.
Performance and Observation
While I was testing this device, I found all fans were running, but very soon I noticed some unusual/unwanted behavior in respect of device functionality. There are a couple of issues I experienced.
The other one is, SilverStone APA1425L – 140mm fan is having issues with CPF-04 fan hub. It has interfered with the control which resulted in recede in speed of other fans being connected to fan hub. On the other hand, I replaced SilverStone fans with another brand and everything was working normal; nothing has been interfering. Which also gave me a good feeling. However, the most concerning point here is, the SilverStone fan is problematic on SilverStone device, is rather a strange phenomenon being developed.
Well, After examining the above issues, I communicated back to SilverStone’s media representative, and reported these issues. Now I am waiting for their response.
Price and Availability
The reported issue aside, CPF-04 is retailing at $14.44 US Dollar on Amazon.com with being 8x 4 PWM headers and speed detection features on top, It’s simply a steal because at this price, I don’t see any other fan hub offering up to 8 PWM units. I’d say SilverStone CPF04 stand at a much reasonable price than competitors. I’d definitely recommends CPF04 for case fans. It’s available on Newegg.com and Amazon.com.
Update 1: I just received an email from SilverStone, and they told me that this phenomenon is being looked by their experts and doing further digging to find out the cause of this issue; it won’t take long to finalize the actual cause. Once I get more information, I’ll update this article. So keep in touch for more updates.