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Query regarding Commander Core + LED Hubs


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Hello all,

 

I was seeking some guidance regarding a setup of the iCUE Commander Core with RGB LED Hubs.

 

I am in the process of preparing a new build and intend to run 10 fans total.

  • 6x LL120
  • 3x ML RGB 120
  • 1x LL140

 

The AIO cooler is the iCUE H150i Elite Capellix and I wish to use the included Commander Core as the primary means of controlling the setup.

However, I uderstand that the Commander Core can support up to 6 RGB connections and 6 Power PWM connections.

I have seen some people planning setups where they are using 2-way PWM splitter cables on the Commander Core, in threads such as this and this.

However, I would be a bit apprehensive to do so, so as not to overcook the power draw going through the Commander Core. Hence, I would intend to connect 6 fans to the Commander Core and the remaining 4 to the Motherboard fan power.

 

But, regarding the RGB control - I would wish all 10 fans to ideally be linked to the Commander Core and hence I thought that perhaps a setup such as in the image below would work.

 

I would connect 4 fans directly to the Commander Core RGB headers.

The remaining 6 I would connect to the Commander Core via a RGB LED Hub (which has it's own SATA power input).

 

My question is

  1. Would this be an acceptable and functional setup, can the Commander Core accept a RGB LED Hub in one of its RGB headers?
  2. If so I understand that the 6 fans on this RGB LED Hub would all potentially simply have the same RGB and not be individually addressable?
  3. How careful would I need to be about overdrawing power from the Commander Core? Have any of you guys successfully had PWM splitters from a Commander Core stable in your setups?

 

BhK1RQ5.png

 

My alternative plan would be to use a Lighting Node Pro and LED hub (bundled with the LL120 3 pack) via another internal USB connection for the 4 remaining fans that would not fit into the Commander Core - But I would prefer to avoid this if possible, so an not to use up the 2 internal USB motherboard connections.

 

I would be grateful for any advice you could offer.

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You can't run other power devices (RGB Hub) from the Commander Core. It's not like the Commander Pro and is a stand-alone unit with no external RGB channels. They would need to be in two groups with two controllers.

 

For fan speed control, this can be made to work but you are going to want to use an externally powered PWM repeater hub for a bank of three (or more) to take some current load off the Com Core. 10 fans is pushing it for a device that is essential for the AIO to work properly.

 

Is this for the O11 XL? Or something else? That last 140mm is throwing me.

Edited by c-attack
lost the apostrophe
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You can run other power devices (RGB Hub) from the Commander Core. It's not like the Commander Pro and is a stand-alone unit with no external RGB channels. They would need to be in two groups with two controllers.

 

Thankyou, but I may be misunderstanding your reply. You say the Commander Core can run other power devices such as an RGB LED hub, yes?

But you also say I would need 2 controllers?

 

Is this for the O11 XL? Or something else? That last 140mm is throwing me.

 

Yes, thats right. Appologies, re-used a previous image. That should have been a 120 not a 140.

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No, I lost the 't somehow in that. The Commander Core does not have ports for RGB channels for additional controllers, strips, Hydro X, etc. I've seen 3rd party adapters that can handle a multiples off a single fan connector, but at 10 you are way beyond that. You will need 2 controllers and 2 groups of fans.

 

OK, if still in the XL I think the solution isn't so bad. 1) Consider using the QL instead of the LL. Depending on where you are, they basically sell for the same price. You will get a lot of visual on the side cut of the QL in the XL on the top and bottom rows. The QL has more native effects than the LL and has a slightly more neutral white. 2) This also helps in a secondary way. The QL will come with a Lighting Node Core (LNP + RGB Hub in one package). This connects back via USB 2 and not a RGB channel. This means you can still use the Commander Core and the LN Core with no special tricks needed. For the LL, you would need to add the Lighting Node Pro that comes in the multi-pack of LL. This really is no different than running the Node Core, but it is two pieces and the QL is a more interesting fan.

 

Were you thinking about the H150 Elite in the side wall panel? This effectively becomes the same set-up I have with QLx3 top and bottom and the 3 ML in the side. What I've found is that I prefer to use the side wall fans in concert with the MB, pump, RAM lighting, and the then the 6 QL are a more direct visual pattern. It ends up working fairly well and the "penalty" of having two lighting groups is minimal.

 

The wild card is the 7th fan for the rear exhaust, something I don't need for a full water build. 7th fans are always hard. You could plug it into the Commander Core directly, but with some consequence. It will change the behavior of the ML-Elite (8 LEDs) to make them act like a LL/QL. I am not sure how that works out and it's an odd pairing. The other options is to get a 3rd party splitter for one RGB port, effectively duplicating 1 fan. The rear fan and another would be synchronized. Not an issue for static patterns, but most of the fun stuff is moving. The final option is two make sure you get 2 multi-packs of LL or QL so you have 2 RGB hubs or 2 LN Cores. Run the top as a group of 4 and the bottom as a group of 3. That would give you three distinct lighting zones for the three panels.

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Thankyou for the update.

Ah I see, You can't run hubs from the Commander Core.

Understood.

 

In which case I would have to go with the alternative setup using 2 controllers, and hence using up both USB 2.0 connectors on the motherboard.

 

I have adjusted the diagram, would this be a resonable and functional setup now would you think?

 

VrfljTB.png

 

I am asuming it would be OK to have some of the fans with their RGB connected to the Node Pro/Hub while their PWM power comes from the Commander Core?

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This also helps in a secondary way. The QL will come with a Lighting Node Core (LNP + RGB Hub in one package). This connects back via USB 2 and not a RGB channel. This means you can still use the Commander Core and the LN Core with no special tricks needed. For the LL, you would need to add the Lighting Node Pro that comes in the multi-pack of LL. This really is no different than running the Node Core, but it is two pieces and the QL is a more interesting fan.

 

I see, very informative. Thankyou.

The LL fans I already had from a prior build I was intending to re-use them. Certainly the QL series are very nice, but I was hoping to avoid the extra cost of replacing all the LLs with QLs.

 

Were you thinking about the H150 Elite in the side wall panel? This effectively becomes the same set-up I have with QLx3 top and bottom and the 3 ML in the side. What I've found is that I prefer to use the side wall fans in concert with the MB, pump, RAM lighting, and the then the 6 QL are a more direct visual pattern. It ends up working fairly well and the "penalty" of having two lighting groups is minimal.

 

Yes, precisley. It seems we have set on virtually the same idea, hehe.

 

The wild card is the 7th fan for the rear exhaust, something I don't need for a full water build. 7th fans are always hard. You could plug it into the Commander Core directly, but with some consequence. It will change the behavior of the ML-Elite (8 LEDs) to make them act like a LL/QL. I am not sure how that works out and it's an odd pairing. The other options is to get a 3rd party splitter for one RGB port, effectively duplicating 1 fan. The rear fan and another would be synchronized. Not an issue for static patterns, but most of the fun stuff is moving. The final option is two make sure you get 2 multi-packs of LL or QL so you have 2 RGB hubs or 2 LN Cores. Run the top as a group of 4 and the bottom as a group of 3. That would give you three distinct lighting zones for the three panels.

 

Many thanks. Yes, that final fan seemd to be the tricky one to place into the setup. I was planning on using the ML RGB fans that were bundled with the AIO cooler as I understood them to be the best for radiator cooling, with the LL and QL having a lower static pressure.

 

If indeed I connect the MLs and the single rear LL to the Commander Core I will have to see what happens to their behaviour.

However I may have a way around this limitation, as I in-fact have another RGB Led Hub available which could be run from the Lighting Node Pro - Channel 2. It seems a bit much just to have one fan in that whole channel, but it does allow for the 10th fan to be separately addressable and avoids the use of any splitters.

As in the re-done diagram below.

 

MpyyQwp.png

Edited by Sparser
Added digram
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OK, if you already have the LL then discussion vs the QL is a moot point. All this does is change the 2nd controller to a LNP and not the LN Core. That may also have a current or future advantage. Unlike the LNCore, the LNP is a 2 channel device. You still have the option of doing 3 RGB channels - (Com Core #1 for side/rad fans, LNP #1 for top/rear LL, LNP #2 for bottom 3 LL. I've found that often I will run two instances of "infinity, pong, gate" or any of the other moving patterns. It takes some time to go through 6 QL/LL and I like the dual top/bottom patterns.

 

The other option is do a 6 + 1 split between LL with the one in the one channel, as you mentioned. I also did this for a brief time while testing the rear fan. I had an adapter to make it run from one of the MB D-RGB headers and left it there, rather than add another channel to my already crowded build. Long term, I think the 4 + 3 or the 6 + 1 is the better choice, especially since you have the channel available.

 

You can use the MB to power the extra fans. You can put a few of them on dual PWM splitters. I run 6 of my radiator fans from this. You could put top 3 + rear on it and it then plugs into the Com Core PWM using 1 slot, passing the same speed signal to all of them. No real reason to be running any of the 3x120 panel section fans at different speeds from their neighbors.

 

The new 8 LED ML-Elite fans are good on the radiator and I think you will like them regardless. The new SP/ML-Elite get some cool new effects, just like the QL fans.

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The other option is do a 6 + 1 split between LL with the one in the one channel, as you mentioned. I also did this for a brief time while testing the rear fan. I had an adapter to make it run from one of the MB D-RGB headers and left it there, rather than add another channel to my already crowded build. Long term, I think the 4 + 3 or the 6 + 1 is the better choice, especially since you have the channel available.

 

Yes, that does seem like the best option, and I suppose the 6+1 does allow for future expandibility (not that there's much scope for it unless I have a secondary radiator for a full liquid colling custom loop at some point or establish a push / pull radiator setup, not that I am planning to do so).

 

You can put a few of them on dual PWM splitters. I run 6 of my radiator fans from this. You could put top 3 + rear on it and it then plugs into the Com Core PWM using 1 slot, passing the same speed signal to all of them. No real reason to be running any of the 3x120 panel section fans at different speeds from their neighbors.

 

Thats a great succgestion. I would prefer if possible to have more fans run through the iCUE suite rather than from the Motherboard and therefore secondary control functions. But as long as the iCUE control is there for the radiator fans, that is the more important element. The case fans for general airflow and cooling and far less control sensitive and critical.

 

The new 8 LED ML-Elite fans are good on the radiator and I think you will like them regardless. The new SP/ML-Elite get some cool new effects, just like the QL fans.

 

They do look good, and the advantage we have with the O11 Dynamic XL Case, is that these radiator fans are "face on" on that side panel beside the motherboard, so the full RGB effect is nicley displayed, mroeso than the top and boom fans.

 

Many thanks again for the advice. It is extremely useful and has certainly clarified my setup.

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After sleeping on it I have been persuaded by your QL vs LL points.

With a planned bottom panel air intake, the LL fans would need to be reverse mounted and hence the majority of the RGB effects would be obscured to a degree.

A limitation overcome by the double side LEDs on the QL series.

 

So I decided, at least for the time being, to place a set of 3 QL fans in the bottom panel, so as not to lose anything.

 

Perhaps I will slowly migrate to all QL series fans over time.......

 

Using the 2nd channel of the Lighting Node Pro and the second RGB LED Hub I have split the 3 groups of fans into the 3 different channels available so the different fan types are.

 

  • iCUE COMMANDER CORE - 3x ML RGB 120 ELITE
  • Lightning Node Pro: Channel 1 - 4x LL120
  • Lightning Node Pro: Channel 2 - 3x QL120

 

(If one day I change the final remaining LL fans to QL then the 3 top and 3 bottom can all run off the same RGB LED Hub).

 

NJ9pjnu.png

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There's definately a noticable difference as you say.

The LL series look great when viewed 'face on' for sure. But any mounting needing a pull - Like you have in the radiator at the bottom, if you had LLs in there I imagine the effect would be greatly diminished.

QLs are definately best for that.

 

Many thanks for the pics - That's a very nice setup.

 

I was mainly thinking of a white or light colour for the most part when not using any effects. I think they do look good in the black O11 D XL case.

I've seen a few builds with the white case / other white cases and I find that it can be overly bright, compared to a black case where you have a more subtle lighting and it doesn't reflect around the inside of the case too much.

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Just be aware the white color emitted from the LL will be slightly cooler than the QL. I suspect the ML-Elite is more neutral as well. The LL was always a bit icy with white with the frosted ring adding more blue tint. You can try and even it out by removing blue from the white balance for the LL set.
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