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Need advice on Corsair fans


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Hi all,


First time building my own gaming PC.


I messed up and bought x9 QL120mm fans for my build (Lian Li PC-011 Dynamic case) before I realized that the QL120s aren't static pressure fans, therefore not meant to cool a radiator. I would like to keep the QL120s for the case however.


With that being said, I think i'm going to go with the ML120 pro fans and put them on my Kraken NZXT Z73 AiO.


My main question is this...will the (3) ML120 pros and (6) QL120s work with a single commander pro and lighting node?


Are the ML120 pros going to work well for the AiO?


Thanks so much! I'm sorry if these are dumb questions, but i'm brand new and still have alot to learn and I am still having trouble understanding how to connect all the fans to everything.


*btw my mobo is a Asus ROG Maximus XII Hero*

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QL are not an ideal radiator fan, but with a 360mm radiator it likely makes little difference. The more fan surface area you have, the less dependent you are on fan characteristics. The opposite is true for someone trying to make a 120mm radiator work on a large power CPU. However, if you are looking to scrape another 2C back, the ML fans are more effective on a radiator.


You will be able to use the X73's fan controller for speed on the MLs. You will still need to run the lighting back through a Corsair controller. You are going to have a couple of different options for this.


In the QL multi-packs (120x3) you will get a Lighting Node "Core". This is a small box acts as lighting power supply and also as a controller/software interface. Each Core can take up to 6 fans. You want to separate different fans types.


So option 1 is: 6 QL on Core #1, 3 ML on Core #2. Core devices connect back to the system via USB 2 (or both passthroughs on the Commander).


Option 2: In the ML multi-pack you will get a lighting Node Pro + Lighting hub. This is the same as Core device, but in two pieces and also offering 2 channels (2 x 6 fans).Here you will leave the Node Pro (controller) alone, but take the RGB Lighting Hub connect the 3 ML to it, and the hub to the Commander in RGB channel 1. The Commander replaces the Node Pro. 6 QL still go on the Core.


My preference is for #2. Having two Core devices connected will cause them to flip flop in order. Doing it this way saves you one device (-1 Core in the system) at the expense of a very small RGB Lighting Hub. It also forces the fans on the Core to go first for programming sequences (global lighting effects) and the fans on the Commander go second. Furthermore, it leaves you an extra lighting channel (RGB #2) on the Commander if you decide to add strips or something else later.



See also: https://forum.corsair.com/v3/showthread.php?t=173880

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Wow thank you so much! I understand now!


I've been reading stuff all day trying to understand different fans and how to hook them up. You made this 100% easier to understand and I appreciate that.


I had a stroke a few years back and being my first time building a gaming PC myself plus my memory retention issues from the stroke, nothing was making sense. I read the RGB FAQ a dozen times lol.


Also, on a different forum someone said the exact same thing as you about the static not being as big of a deal on a rad like the one i'm going to be using.


When I was researching static fans I noticed the non rgb ones like the stock AER P and corsairs ML120 Pro performed better than the ML120 Pro RGB, but the RGB MLs are still static, so i'm going to opt for those since it'll match the theme, and just use 3 QLs on bottom and 3 QLs on the side with 3 MLs for the rad.


Option 2 also sounds ideal and very well explained. I very much appreciate the help!

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The non-RGB ML Pro fans have a peak higher static pressure value than the ML-RGB simply because they have a higher maximum speed. Static pressure as it relates to fans is the amount of negative pressure it takes to bring a fan from Speed X to 0 rpm. The "X value" quoted in fan specs is always the maximum speed and very few manufacturers actually make P-Q curve available to see what it would be at lesser speeds. This makes that number very RPM dependent. A tiny little 40x40mm fan that spins at 6000 rpm will have a very impressive max static pressure, but it would make a terrible radiator fan. Ultimately what matters is the amount of air pushed through the radiator. Typically static pressure gives you some indication of the fan's ability against resistance, but you have to compare at like RPM or do a rough equalization of the RPM. It is not something where 0.2 mm H20 makes a difference.


Specifically for the ML Pro and ML-RGB fans, the frames and blades are identical. The difference is the RGB is limited to 1600 rpm and the non-RGB 2400 rpm. As such, when both fans are running 1200, they both produce the same amount of air and are identical in performance. With a 360mm radiator, you are never going to need to run more than 1600 rpm. It would just be loud with minimal gain in coolant temperature reduction.

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