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  #1  
Old 11-22-2017, 09:22 PM
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Default Corsair Link Devices & SATA Power Requirements

I have a question for the Corsair hardware engineering guys ...
The Corsair Link controller devices like Commander Pro, Lighting Node Pro and RGB Fan hubs use a SATA connector. The SATA power standard specifies 3.3V, 5V and 12V on different pins. However, there are Molex to SATA adapters/changes that work but don't include the 3.3V power as it's not available via Molex. That typically works because not a lot of devices use the 3.3V power.
My question: do the Corsair Link devices mentioned above require/need/use the 3.3V lines in the SATA standard? Can they be used to the Molex to SATA adapters or would that cause issues with the device?
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Old 11-23-2017, 05:07 AM
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I guess you could try, it very probably won't harm the device.

The 12V rail is used for fans, probably. The 5V rail is used for LEDs (I have a voltage drop when I turn on my LEDs). But since 3.3V could only be used internally, if the unit won't turn up the 3.3V is used.
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Old 11-24-2017, 03:19 PM
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Pretty sure it does not use the 3.3 VDC rail. Not 100% sure. If I was at my rig I would test it. If you still need to know, I will try it with a Molex- Sata adapter that is 12 VDC and 5 VDC only and see if it works.
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Old 11-27-2017, 01:49 PM
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Let me check on this with our hardware guys and get back to you. I wouldn't expect the 3.3V rail to be used for anything, but you never know.
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Old 11-27-2017, 04:37 PM
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Just checked with engineering, the 3.3V line is used to power the Commander PRO's MCU.
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Old 11-27-2017, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corsair Dustin View Post
Just checked with engineering, the 3.3V line is used to power the Commander PRO's MCU.
MCU? Marvel Cinematic Universe?
And ... this makes me wonder ... there was a guy with multiple bad Commander Pros ... was he using a power adapter? I don't think anyone asked that question. What would happen if the C-Pro's MCU didn't get power?
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Old 11-27-2017, 09:56 PM
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So ...
I'm still not sure what the MCU is but I decided to try it out. I mean, what's the worst that could happen, right?
As it happens, I actually have a couple of Molex-To-SATA adapters in my system. So I swapped the Commander Pro (plugged in to a real SATA power adapter) with one of those.
And ... nothing happened. I mean, really, nothing. It appeared to work just fine. I had temp readings, fan readings, lights ... it seemed, at first, quick blush, to be working.
The only thing odd was the 3.3v reading from the CPro. And by "odd" ... it wasn't reading 0v but 0.18v.
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Old 11-28-2017, 04:28 AM
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MCU = https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microcontroller
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Old 11-28-2017, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technobeard View Post
Yeah, I did guess at that but didn't want to assume ... and I was also being a little silly and giving Corsair Dustin a hard time.
So what would be the expected behavior if the MCU wasn't getting 3.3v? Because it seemed just fine to me in the brief time that I had it powered via a Molex-to-SATA adapter. Granted, I did not extensively test it but I didn't expect it to even show up in Link, much less report temps and fan speeds and control lighting.
Note that this really is more of a curiosity thing for me ...
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Old 11-28-2017, 01:32 PM
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I'm checking with engineering to find out, but in the meantime I would not advise running it off of that adapter. ;)
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Old 11-28-2017, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corsair Dustin View Post
I'm checking with engineering to find out, but in the meantime I would not advise running it off of that adapter. ;)
Oh, I swapped it back to a "real" SATA adapter. I just tried it real quick to see what would happen. But it does have me wondering if this is gonna be like "make sure that the fan speed is set to 100%" is with the coolers ... make sure that the C-Pro is plugged in to a real SATA power adapter with a 3.3v rail and not one from a molex-to-SATA adapter.
And the sooner molex dies, the better.
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Old 11-29-2017, 02:41 PM
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That I can't say. I did check again with engineering; parts of the MCU run off the 3.3V rail, but the USB hub also runs off of it.
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