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H100i Platinum SE and Commander Pro Setup


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I'm building my first PC, and I'm having some issues figuring out how I need to set up my fans. I'll start first by describing the relevant Corsair parts. I have:

 

Commander Pro

Lighting Node Core

H100i RGB Platinum SE 240mm

220T RGB Airflow

2 White LL120 Fans (included with CPU cooler, installed on the top)

1 White QL 120 Fan (installed on the back)

3 Black SP120 Fans (included with the case, installed on the front)

 

Because of RAM clearance issues, I had to do a front-mounted radiator instead of on the top as I'd prefer. I attached the radiator to fan 2 and 3 of the 3 SP120 fans that were included with the case instead of being able to use the provided LL120s. I'm having issues with figuring out where to attach the power for those fans. Right now, I have all 6 attached to the Commander Pro and Lighting Node in the proper order.

I'm curious if I should connect the fans cooling the radiator to the H100i or to the Commander Pro. I understand that I usually should attach them straight to the H100i and then to the CPU_Fan and CPU_Opt headers on the motherboard but I also read that since the SP120 fans have 3-pin DC cables, that I shouldn't do that. Looking for clarification on that and what that configuration means for what I have to control. I've never used iCUE before.

Next, if I do connect my fans to the H100i, what order do I connect the remaining fans into the Commander Pro? Would I put the bottom, front-most SP120 fan that sits below the radiator in slot number one, and skip slots 2 and 3 and resume in slots 4,5, & 6 or simply slots 1-4? Obviously, I keep all 6 RGB cables attached to the Lighting Node in the same order.

 

I understand that this questions has been asked in multiple different forms, but it's been difficult trying to decipher and apply it my build.

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I understand that I usually should attach them straight to the H100i and then to the CPU_Fan and CPU_Opt headers on the motherboard but I also read that since the SP120 fans have 3-pin DC cables, that I shouldn't do that.

 

Correct. If you were to connect them to the AIO controller, they would run at max all the time. Using the internal AIO fan controller is preferable as it always can access the coolant temp used for fan control. This means the fans will do what is necessary whether or not the software is running. The risk is minimal unless you are a non-Windows OS user or load up this machine for long batch runs of something and leave it unattended. You will be able to make a proper cooling curve using H100i temp for the two radiator fans in CUE. Performance Tab +. Graph appears below. Use the three shape tools in the upper right corner as a starting point. Change Sensor to "H100i Temp". That will also be a good sensor choice for your other case fans. GPU temp is also another logical choice for those.

 

Commander Pro fan order on the PWM/DC fan control side is irrelevant. It only matters that you remember which fan is which.

 

On the RGB Lighting Hub or Lighting Node Core RGB wire side, it does matter. This is also where things are going to get complicated. CUE uses a single base unit to construct its lighting patterns. Your SP-Pro fans on the front are base 8 LEDs, so when you tell it you have SP-Pro x 5, it creates patterns in 8-8-8-8-8 for a total of 40. Your issue is you have three different fan LED counts. SP-Pro = 8, LL=16, QL=34 (as a double sided 16). This leaves you in a bit of mess. I see two options:

 

1) Tell it you have LL fans x 6. This will make the first two SP-Pro "1 LL", SP#3 is half of the next, then the fans follow from there. They will all be half on one UI fan and half on another. It might be easier to run the fans in reverse from the back starting with the QL-LL-LL-Sp-Sp-Sp. That way the Ql to LL stretch will all match the UI fan display making it easier to keep track of where the LEDs go. Then the SPs finish it off.

 

2) Leave the LL on the Platinum controller. That puts them in a separate group. Tell CUE SP-Pro x 6. This is going to leave some of the QL back ring not illuminated, but I think it will be on the IO shield side and not visible. I don't particularly like this option, but it is viable. You could also tell CUE strips x 6 to generate 60 LEDs that will cover the entire field. Lighting Node Core group and AIO group are separate lighting zones for either.

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Correct. If you were to connect them to the AIO controller, they would run at max all the time. Using the internal AIO fan controller is preferable as it always can access the coolant temp used for fan control. This means the fans will do what is necessary whether or not the software is running. The risk is minimal unless you are a non-Windows OS user or load up this machine for long batch runs of something and leave it unattended.

 

Would you recommend splurging and getting a three-pack of the White LL120 fans? I'm still waiting on my CPU and GPU to get back in stock before I can finish the build anyways. But that would solve issues with power connections since they are 4-pin PWM fans and will have hands-off monitoring with the H100i so that I don't have fans running at full speed all the time and less tinkering with fan curves in iCue. That would also fix some aesthetics and Lighting Node issues where I would have 5 LL120s and 1 QL120. Do you think that would be better if I'm willing to spend the money?

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There is most definitely a visual distinction between the ML-elite and the frosted ring LL/QL. Might depend on how much time you spend staring at the front of the case. It mostly solves the lighting problem, however the 1 QL at the back is still a minor problem. Because they have so many LEDs (34), it makes them really hard to work into combinations with other fans. The normal setting would be LL x 6, but that would leave the rear half of the QL off. You are then forced into using QL x 4 to get enough lights, but then the LL starting acting like opposite sides of a QL (synchronized pairs). Visually I like adding more LL, but it does not solve all the management issues.

 

Also - and this may drive you nuts - the QL and LL have different color temperatures. The LL is notably frosty. It is much less apparent on the white LLs that reflect a lot of light, but if you are color purist this will come up. I am running 6 QL and 3 LL now, but on separate controllers. I need to tweak the color on the LLs on the side to make them match what more neutral QL displays. I don't really mind for the three and they are in their own space. For a single rear fan, that might grind on my nerves a bit more.

Edited by c-attack
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