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Configuring H100i GTX w/ Asus Z97-Pro


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Hi guys,


Here's the TLDR: Asus Z97-Pro w/ an H100i GTX. What's the proper configuration (both in terms of physical connections & software running) to have "proper" control of the cooler and the case fans?


The long-winded details of my experience:


I had a first generation H100i installed in my system (Asus Z97-Pro w/ latest BIOS & Intel 4790K) for the last 2 years. Took a decent bit of troubleshooting initially, but got things working. Overall, I had it configured as follows:

- Pump connected to SATA for power

- Pump connected via the USB cable to an internal header on the mobo

- Radiator fans connected directly to the CPU_FAN and CPU_OPT headers on the motherboard

- Other case fans connected to headers on the mobo

- Corsair Link (v2.3) only used when I wanted to change the pump LED color

- All other times, running AI Suite 3 to control all the fan speeds


However, this past week I RMA'ed the H100i, and received an H100i GTX as a replacement. Initially, I was surprised/excited that I got the GTX instead. But that feeling quickly left. After spending a couple hours removing the old H100i, and fitting in the new one since all my old placements and cable routing wouldn't work, the real fun started. I should state that I connected the H100i GTX according to the manual (H100i GTX connected to the CPU_FAN and internal USB header, radiator fans connected to the H100i GTX splitter).


When I first booted the system up, the Z97 wasn't getting to the BIOS, giving me error code 55. Playing around with the memory sticks, I was able to get past this.


Then, when the BIOS started loading, it repeatedly failed to recognize that the H100i GTX was connected to the CPU_FAN header, and warned that no CPU fan was installed. After a few reboots and pulling ands re-inserting the plug, I moved the pump connector to the CPU_OPT header. Here, the BIOS finally recognized that something was connected, and reported a fan speed around 830 rpm. However, trying to boot into the OS, I then got some secureboot error.


Can't remember next couple things I did, but end result was I moved the pump connector back to the CPU_FAN, but disconnected the USB cable from the H100i GTX. This allowed the BIOS to now recognize something was connected (again running around 830rpm), and the OS tried booting.


Lots of fun now: OS was giving me various issues and different bluescreens when trying to boot. Sometimes it was that it couldn't find the kernel, sometimes it was driver issues, other times it would screen and memdump before I could even read the error. Pulled the memory sticks out, and went down to a single DRAM module, and that allowed me to finally have a stable OS (fun to be had later testing the memory further, and possibly getting an RMA done on that...).


Once I logged in, I checked AI Suite. It recognized a new fan was installed, and prompted my to run the profiler again. I did that and for the CPU fan it no longer gave me the option to adjust the fan curve. Honestly, can't remember if it was even reporting the "fan" rpm. Loaded up CPUID HWMonitor, and it reported a CPU_FAN speed still around 830 rpm, and a core-temp in the low 30C.


Started up Prime95, and let it run for a while. CPU temperatures rose slowly but steadily, but the reported CPU_FAN speed, as well as the actual fan speeds barely moved. After 10-15 minutes, CPU temperatures were in the 60s, but the reported RPM was only around 1050.


Decided to give Corsair Link another shot, since I hadn't played with it for a couple major versions now. Uninstalled the old version, as well as the USB and Link "drivers" that were listed. Shut the system down, re-attached the USB header to the pump (luckily the BIOS kept reporting the CPU_FAN was connected now), and installed the latest version (v4.3.0.154).


Upon loading it, Corsair Link was reporting both my radiator fans and pump RPMs. I was able to set my pump LED color, and control both the pump RPM as well as the rad fan RPMs.


I also found that Corsair Link was reporting the the rpm of 4 case fans, as well as the GPU fan RPM. However, I was not able to use Corsair Link to control any of the case fans. Using AI Suite, and each of my case fans up and down, I was able to match up 3 of my 4 case fans. Interestingly enough, if I had AI Suite stop any of the fans, Corsair Link wouldn't recognize that, and instead would continue to display the fans last reported RPM.


However, I couldn't seem to get a match up on the 4 case fan between AI Suite and Link. No matter how I adjusted the last fan in AI Suite, Corsair link reported the same RPM for it (around 930). So I'm left to wonder: is Link picking up some mysterious 5th fan and not detecting the one that's installed, or is it just not able to properly report on it?


As well, I'm also left in a situation where I don't know if I have my system properly configured to control things. I read in the H100i HQ that you shouldn't have both AI Suite and Corsair Link running as they'll conflict with each other. However, if I don't, I'm not going to get full control of either my case fans or the H100i GTX pump & fans. As well, what's the deal with this 4th fan that I can't seem to match up?


Anyone have some advice for me? It was "nice" that Corsair upgraded my watercooler as part of this RMA, but dealing with all this is really making me wonder if it's worth it and that maybe I should just go back to air cooling.


Also, as a side note: it really sucks that the GTX lost the secondary connector to allow connecting my HX750i without having either a Link Commander or using up another USB header/external port. Wasn't really using it before since I wasn't actually running Link, but the option was there and is now lost.

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That is a hell lot of stuff to read :bigeyes:


With the error code 55, I'd assume you overtightened the cooler which slightly bent some pins that are related to DDR3. That's sorted I guess.


What I would personally do, is unplug all case fans, and have only the AIO cooler (pump SATA power and pump fan header) but also the fans of the cooler. Make sure you follow the manual step by step.


Uninstall all kinds of software that controls things like fans (AI suite, Corsair Link etc). Use CCleaner to remove anything that might be leftover, and reinstall just Corsair Link.


Restart PC couple of times. Make sure all updates are installed.


I am not sure how ASUS board and BIOS works, but personally I have set-up case fans within BIOS and left them as they are. After a while I bought fan controller, but that's not the case.

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You likely will run into future problems with control while running both AI Suite and Link at the same time. The mis-match of fans is one aspect of this, however you will never be able to control case fans with Link nor the radiator fans from FanXpert when the fans are powered from the pump block.


You more or less have two options: 1) Remove AI Suite completely and run only Link. Settle for BIOS only case fan control. 2) Move the radiator fans to the motherboard for power and control. Set Link not to run on start-up, but don't uninstall. This should preserve your ability to launch the application, change LED color, and then quit without hampering AI Suite.


For new higher tier Z170 boards with built in fan delay controls in the BIOS, the choice is a little more difficult. However, for Z97 I would recommend option 2. The ability to control the fans from coolant temperature instead of CPU temp makes for a smoother, less dynamic set of fans. However, if the trade-off is a loss of control of all the others, it doesn't make sense. You would also not see data from the PSU, but you may already be accustomed to this. The only disadvantage to controlling the fans from your board is they will change speed a little more often than needed. This can be mitigated through the FanXpert spin up/down delay controls, however some people have found these no longer respond when the control is CPU temp. Regardless, this may be the best set-up for you and there are other ways to deal with it.


You can put the two radiator fans on CPU & OPT, however the only option will be CPU temp control. That is fine to start, but if the fans are overly jumpy another variable like VRM temp may work better. Move the H100i v2/GTX lead to any other CHA_FAN header. It doesn't matter which, but you still need to set that header to Full Speed/100%/PWM or disabled in the BIOS and every single time you run the FanXpert tuning, check that "fan" immediately to make sure it hasn't reduced the pump speed. That motherboard header will still power the pump. You can also do this in the reverse, with H100i GTX/v2 lead on CPU_FAN and the radiator fans on another CHA header (NOT OPT). I switch back and forth all the time for various reasons. There are some minor differences. The CPU fan header when set to Full Speed/Disabled will be immune from AI Suite control, including the master fan controls (Turbo, Silent, etc). This is convenient if you often forget to check it or run fan tuning often. The opposing benefit is most Asus boards do a better job of controlling PWM fan spin-up on boot or wake when they are on CPU/OPT. Don't know why. Some native and invisible board protocol, but when using 2000+ RPM fans it can be nice not to have them max out every time you wake from sleep.

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Thanks for the info C-attack.


Quick update on my RAM/Windows booting. Booting/running with a single stick has shown no issues for the last 36 hours. Ran both sticks through Memtest86+ (one at a time) last night. The one stick showed errors within 40 minutes. The other ran overnight (9+ hours) without errors. So I've put an RMA request in with crucial.


As for fan connections: the board has the 2 CPU headers, plus 4 chassis fan headers. Case also has 4 chassis fans. It's unfortunate that they moved the pump power an external/sata source to fan header. I'm thinking I'll follow your advice of putting the pump on one of the chassis headers and disabling it, and then I'll put 2 of the front chassis fans off of that. The chassis fans are pretty good running at full tilt, so that wont hurt too much.


Then the rad fans I'll toss on the CPU headers.

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I am not sure if I understand you correctly, but you may not be able to smoothly use the H100i GTX pump fan connectors as a 'pass-through' for another set of case fans. If the fans you connect to the pump are PWM, they will follow the latent default fan curve based on the water temperature inside the system. The unit will do this even without Link. If you connect a pair of DC fans to it, they may run at 100% from the PWM signal provided, although it is also possible they may behave in strange ways, with stalling or unexpected changes in speed. You seem to have a lot of other fan control options available and I would not choose this set-up without a good reason. It also puts more strain on the unit itself and while a blown controller in the GTX is unlikely, why add to the risk chances?


You can use a molex to 3/4 pin adapter to provide 12v to the unit straight from the PSU and free up a fan header. You would loose any motherboard sensor monitoring of pump speed, however I can't be sure the Asus board will correctly interpret the speed anyway. A lot of these models will show some other value in the BIOS and can only be read correctly through Link. I have run this way as well as another way to isolate the unit from AI Suite controls. If you see a sudden change in idle and load CPU temperatures, you may then want to investigate the unit to see if the pump is running, but I don't see that as a major drawback unless you tend to obsess a little over your readings.

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