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[Purchase advice] 3 RGB fans to complement the H100i


Chimichanga
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Hey all! Hope you're having a good weekend.

 

Before buying wanted to post some last questions I have. Hope someone can help me out.

 

I recently installed the H100i Platinum in my Fractal Meshify C mini case.

Really happy with it. The AIO comes with 2 ML 120mm fans.

 

I want to expand on this with 3 additional RGB fans.

2 on the top and 1 in the back. All 120mm.

What is important for me is that I want to control the fan speed and RGB through iCue. I've grown accustomed to it, and really like it.

 

I've referenced the really amazing Stickie Thread from Zotty:

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

And the post from c-attack in this thread, which describes the differences between the types really well:

https://forum.corsair.com/v3/showthread.php?t=177553

 

Couple of questions:

 

I wanted to go with the 3-pack ML 120 fans. Because of uniformity. But I saw at a small extra charge there are the QL fans. What are the main differences? Is it worth choosing the QL over ML in my case?

 

I've attached a screenshot from Zotty's post which I think is exactly my situation. (I've got the 100i Platinum, example is with the H115i Platinum).

Which control node should I get to control the fans in iCue? Only the Lightning Node Core? Or is there a better way? I have a very compact build, so good space management is a plus.

Does this mean I don't need the Commander Pro?

 

In my country (NL) the Corsair Carbide 678C 6-Port PWM repeater sadly isn't for sale currenly.

https://tweakers.net/pricewatch/1551220/corsair-carbide-678c-6-port-pwm-repeater.html

Are there other ways I could solve this?

And would you guys recommend using 2 of them (as also shown in one of Zotty's example configurations) or 1 and a splitter?

 

Thanks so much in advance for the feedback replies. :biggrin:

 

Edit 1: I've did some quick research on ML vs QL. From what I found in a nutshell; QL for aesthetics over performance. ML for better performance and moderate bling / aesthetics. In my case I probably go for the ML, as I need to prioritise performance.

 

Edit 2: damn haha. I checked the availability, but the QL are far and far better available than the ML. So much, that I guess that means I'm going for the QL :) Can I (sort of) 'mix' these with the ML's in the front?

1990055455_Zotty-3RGBfansH115iPlatinum.thumb.png.fe68f573e565f92efc0df6b8e1b4ed26.png

Edited by Chimichanga
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If you want to control additional case fans from iCUE, you are going to need a fan controller. That piece is the Corsair Commander Pro, a 6 fan controller with 2 RGB channels (12 fans max). It is theoretically possible to run a powered PWM hub from one of the Platinum fan channels, but there may be some compromise on source control sources. The PWM hub does not have to be the spare part from the Corsair 678. Any externally powered PWM hub can work. It needs to have it's own SATA connection to offload the current from the AIO fan controller.

 

World Supply and Demand is a bit funny these days. ML-RGB seem to short here as well. Pretty drastic differences in appearance and the QL have considerably more lighting options. As far as performance goes, off a radiator it makes little difference unless you are trying to push air through a stack of drives or some really thick dust filter. Most people will appreciate the quiet QL and its lighting.

 

The catch is the QL is a 34 LED fan (acting like a dual sided 16 LED LL fan) and the ML is 4 LEDs. You don't want to mix these on the same lighting controller. It makes the lighting hard to manage. The good news is the Platinum already has a lighting controller. You simply leave the ML exactly as they are. You get a 3 pack of QL that has the Lighting Node Core with it. This is the lighting controller for them. Their fan motor wire goes to the PWM hub. The RGB wire does to the Node Core. In CUE each group will be separately addressable. That also means a lighting sequence will not go 1-2-3-4-5 through both groups of fans. The QL will got 1-2-3 and the Platinum ML will acti as their own 2 fan group. Since the ML aren't capable of the all the cool sequential effects the QL can do, this isn't much of a negative consequence.

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If you want to control additional case fans from iCUE, you are going to need a fan controller. That piece is the Corsair Commander Pro, a 6 fan controller with 2 RGB channels (12 fans max). It is theoretically possible to run a powered PWM hub from one of the Platinum fan channels, but there may be some compromise on source control sources. The PWM hub does not have to be the spare part from the Corsair 678. Any externally powered PWM hub can work. It needs to have it's own SATA connection to offload the current from the AIO fan controller.

 

World Supply and Demand is a bit funny these days. ML-RGB seem to short here as well. Pretty drastic differences in appearance and the QL have considerably more lighting options. As far as performance goes, off a radiator it makes little difference unless you are trying to push air through a stack of drives or some really thick dust filter. Most people will appreciate the quiet QL and its lighting.

 

The catch is the QL is a 34 LED fan (acting like a dual sided 16 LED LL fan) and the ML is 4 LEDs. You don't want to mix these on the same lighting controller. It makes the lighting hard to manage. The good news is the Platinum already has a lighting controller. You simply leave the ML exactly as they are. You get a 3 pack of QL that has the Lighting Node Core with it. This is the lighting controller for them. Their fan motor wire goes to the PWM hub. The RGB wire does to the Node Core. In CUE each group will be separately addressable. That also means a lighting sequence will not go 1-2-3-4-5 through both groups of fans. The QL will got 1-2-3 and the Platinum ML will acti as their own 2 fan group. Since the ML aren't capable of the all the cool sequential effects the QL can do, this isn't much of a negative consequence.

 

Nice! That's good to hear! I've already ordered the 3-pack QL's :biggrin:

So if I understand it correctly I additionally need a Commander Pro and a PWM hub. I connect the PWM controller and Lightning Node Core to the Commander Pro. Which lets me set everything up in iCue.

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So if I understand it correctly I additionally need a Commander Pro and a PWM hub.

 

No - one or the other. The Commander Pro is the official Corsair fan controller. It shows up as a separate device, has additional capabilities beyond a simple fan hub, and has 2 RGB channel for adding in fans/strips/Hydro X or other 3rd party 5v RGB stuff with special adapters.

 

That little trick with the fan channel on the Platinum + PWM hub is a work around. You are borrowing the PWM signal from the extra channel to get software control, then offloading all the fan current onto the PWM hub. You don't really need independent fan control for both of your radiator fans. This is taking advantage of that. For the hardware you have right now, this is all you need. The QL will come their own lighting controller (LNC) so you won't use the Commander's RGB channel. The Platinum also has it's own RGB controller and fan controller.

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Nice! That's good to hear! I've already ordered the 3-pack QL's :biggrin:

So if I understand it correctly I additionally need a Commander Pro and a PWM hub. I connect the PWM controller and Lightning Node Core to the Commander Pro. Which lets me set everything up in iCue.

 

The Commander Pro is a 6 port fan controller DC/PWM (3/4-pin). You don't need to buy an additional PWM controller for the number of fans you are using. You still need the Lighting Node Pro to control the fan's RGB functionality though.

 

Another option that I did a few days ago for an older machine that lacked enough PWM fan headers and was using a Corsair H80i V2 cooler was as follows: I wanted all fans to follow the fan curve with the water temperature as a source which were 3 x ML-120 Pro & 1 x ML-140 Pro - all PWM fans. I bought a SilverStone CPF04 1-to-8 PWM Fan Hub (pretty cheap option) and connected the fan cable header from the cooler (the one that carries the 4 pins, not the one that has 3 pins) to the control wire of the Silverstone hub. All fans were then connected to the fan ports on the Silverstone hub (powered by a SATA power cable) which allows the H80i V2 to control the speed of all fans.

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No - one or the other. The Commander Pro is the official Corsair fan controller. It shows up as a separate device, has additional capabilities beyond a simple fan hub, and has 2 RGB channel for adding in fans/strips/Hydro X or other 3rd party 5v RGB stuff with special adapters.

 

That little trick with the fan channel on the Platinum + PWM hub is a work around. You are borrowing the PWM signal from the extra channel to get software control, then offloading all the fan current onto the PWM hub. You don't really need independent fan control for both of your radiator fans. This is taking advantage of that. For the hardware you have right now, this is all you need. The QL will come their own lighting controller (LNC) so you won't use the Commander's RGB channel. The Platinum also has it's own RGB controller and fan controller.

Aah I see now. Sorry that I misunderstood.

I do have 3 x 4-pins fan headers (max 1amp) free on my motherboard. As I currently only have the CPU fan header in use (for the H100i).

 

If I connect the 3 fan control cables from the QL’s to these 3 headers.

And connect the RGB cables to the lightning controller (LNC).

Shouldn’t that work?

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Yes, the speed control and RGB control are 2 separate wires with no dependency on each other. They go different places. If you have enough MB headers, you can do use those. Control isn't always ideal. Too many of them are forced to CPU temp, which is a terrible option for most recent CPUs.

 

The Commander is one option to move them to CUE speed control. BlaiseP is perfectly describing the other option using the PWM hub that was referenced in Zotty's thread. I also have the Silverstone one and it works well.

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Thanks for the reply.

And that sounds like a smart and simple solution, Blaise!

The Silverstone sadly isn’t available in my country, but I’ve already searched for a better available pwm hub.

(Thermaltake Commander FP, €23)

With the only requirement like you’ve mentioned c-attack, that it is externally powered through sata.

 

I’m gonna mount and test them tonight firstly without a pwm hub.

And subsequently (when needed, probably) add in a pwm hub.

Edited by Chimichanga
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