What is an ARGB Header on Motherboard?

This post may contain affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission. Read our full disclaimer here. Our opinions are our own.

Additionally, we are proud to not use any AI within our content. Our content is 100% for nerds, by nerds.

An ARGB header is a common motherboard header that features 5-volt 3-pin addressable RGB lighting. Motherboards that have ARGB headers are able to individually control RGB lighting elements present in the system.

When it comes to ARGB vs RGB, there are substantial differences. Addressable RGB lighting is becoming more and more common on modern motherboards. You can use a lot of unique effects, and patterns to create an awesome RGB LED setup for your desk.

However, it can be confusing when trying to plug in all of your specific header wires. There can be negative consequences for plugging 3-pin or 4-pin connections into the wrong headers.

Today I’ll be answering the question what is an ARGB header, and how you can use ARGB to elevate your gaming system.

What is an ARGB Header?

ARGB or addressable RGB headers are used on a motherboard to plug in different LED lighting devices. ARGB enabled devices can include, RGB lighting strips, neon lights, or even RGB case fans.

There are hundreds of different applications that you can use, and when used properly can provide awesome lighting effects for your system.

ARGB headers use a 5V 3-pin connection. This differs from a standard 12V 4-pin RGB header. It is important that you verify that your device also uses a 3-pin female connector.

What Does an ARGB Header Look Like?


An ARGB header has a total of 4 white blocks with 1 missing. It will have a total of 3 pins. As you can see in the picture that the standard RGB header has all 4 pins in the white blocks, while the ARGB is missing 1 pin.

Most motherboards will have the ARGB header labeled with “+5V D ADD_GEN_2_1“, or “+5V ARGB_HEADER1“. You can also refer to your specific motherboard’s installation manual for confirmation.

If you aren’t extremely familiar with PC building, then I would highly recommend referring to your motherboard’s manual to avoid any short circuits.

Can You Use ARGB on RGB Header?

You cannot use an ARGB device on an RGB header. They are not compatible with each other and this will cause a short circuit in your device.

It is very important to remember that these headers are not backwards compatible. You might be able to use a converter, however without one do not use ARGB on an RGB header.

Can You Use RGB on an ARGB Header?

You cannot use an RGB device on an ARGB header. They are not compatible with each other and you may cause a short circuit.

How Do You Know If Your Fan is ARGB or RGB?

You can tell whether your fan is ARGB or RGB based on the number of pins on the connection. An addressable RGB (ARGB) fan will have 3-pins on it’s connector, while a non-addressable RGB (RGB) fan will have 4-pins on it’s connector.


There are a lot of different types of RGB fans out on the market, and typically the best ones will have ARGB lighting. With these fans you will be able to individually control the LED’s on the fans to your liking. You will see the “rainbow” effect commonly used with ARGB fans.

Additionally, one other way to tell if you have an ARGB or RGB fan is if there is a single color or not. An RGB fan will only be able to use 1 single color for all of the LED’s on the fan (read more about addressable vs non-addressable RGB lighting).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *