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Dumb Questions for RGB equipment with Older Hardware


Doublenew
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Apologies if these questions are dumb, feel free to laugh if you believe they are.

 

Just some pretext: I am a networking and cyber security student with some programming, I am just starting to enter gaming in any serious sense, and with everything going on, I am unable to buy a new gaming system besides the one I cobbled together with parts I had (see parts list), as well as an old dual Xeon beast I use for virtualization. I fully intend to build a new computer once the current global situation is behind us and prices have settled, so here are my questions:

 

1: do I have any options to have RGB fans controlled by iCUE in my computer now? The MB has no RGB headers, it appears that the 'commander' lines of products are designed to accomplish just this, but I want to make sure I completely understand their purpose before purchasing.

 

2: On the K95 keyboard (I just ordered on sale, it's not here yet), is there a way that I can set lighting effects on some keys, but then just static colour on others (say, Reactive for the primary typing keys, and light blue or coded on the macros).

 

3: If I get a second keyboard from Corsair (to use different switches for gaming vs typing), is there any way that I can just drop my profile onto the second keyboard so I don't have to set the lighting and everything again?

 

4: Where do I find the prebuilt profiles I hear some whispers about? Are they only available from within iCUE once I already have a compatible keyboard installed, or do I have to go elsewhere.

 

Thanks for answering my questions if you elect to do that instead of laughing, sorry to the mods if this is in the incorrect section.

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1) Yes. MB RGB headers are not part of the Corsair system. Each RGB fan requires a RGB controller and Lighting power source. Some of these are combined into one physical device (Core devices) and some exist as 2 seperate pieces but with 2 channels of RGB available (Commander Pro/Lighting Node Pro + RGB Lighting hub). The trick is make sure you buy a multi-pack (2x140 or 3x120) of whatever fan you are interested in. That will have the necessary components. Those can be bought separately, but it's not usually a better deal to do so. See here for more: https://forum.corsair.com/v3/showthread.php?t=173880

 

2) Absolutely. Each and every key can to whatever you need. I am sure there is a software limit for the total number of effects, but if any one has ever reached it, they didn't share. Regardless, each key or section of keys can be set with their own effects.

 

3) Yes, it will automatically adopt the existing lighting where they keys match up. If you have a keyboard with extra keys the other does not have, you will need to address that once, but the KB lighting is remembered for each device. However, this is a double edged sword. Linking the profile lighting also means the functionality is linked as well. They do not operate independently. F4 on one triggers F4 on the other. You also will be unable to design separate lighting for the two keyboards.

 

4) There are a few people out there who write profiles, but the current complexity of the system is fairly prohibitive for sharing with random people. Each lighting design is device specific, so if I am programming a lighting sequence for 6 QL fans, it's only going to work for 6 QL fans. Those that make proper public profiles have to program for every device. It is a terrible about of work. You can poke around and see what others are doing and KBs are the most likely to work, whether they were designed for yours or not because of the largely similar layout. In the end, you will want to do your own stuff.

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Alright, thanks for answering. I may not be ordering more of the RGB equipment for a little bit at least, but it sounds like I'll be able to move it to my new computer once I update it, especially since I intend to keep the case with some visual modification. Good to see that Corsair doesn't try to make you upgrade hardware that's working fine, although that doesn't seem to be a race they have a horse in, considering they don't sell MBs.

 

That's good to know about question 2; I generally do like a more muted scheme of just white or light blue, I just wanted to know if that was an option afforded to me in case I wanted to let my hair down a bit. Kind of weird that they don't separate by the keyboard model, but oh well, like you said, a double edged sword of convenience vs customizability/power of the utility.

 

And huh, that's a bit weird that Corsair advertises that as a somewhat core functionality of the ecosystem, although I was moreso curious than dependent on it.

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Let me clarify #3. I originally read that as you wanted to use two keyboards simultaneously. I suspect that was an error and your intent is interchangeably. That is no problem. I have 10 different ones. If I design Profile X with specific lighting and actions, it will apply automatically when I swap out K95 XT for K70 Mk.2 or any other. The extra keys are ignored for K70 or it requires a one time correction going the other way. This is extremely easy and requires little adjustment for programming. Once set, it remembers each keyboard. Of course you can have hundreds of different lighting profiles and move between them easily.
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Ah, ok, that makes a bit more sense, sorry if I wasn't clear enough. I got the k95 xt too; I probably won't use the stream deck at ALL, but decided to go with it since it was only $10 more than the k70 I was looking at. Considering I'm rocking a $20 keyboard I bought 5 years ago, I imagine a keyboard MSRPing 10 times that will be a major upgrade.

 

But now to clarify, on the computer side I can have as many profiles I want, with whatever macros and lighting I want, and I can store up to 5 of those on the keyboard, and use those or one from the keyboard, but if I select one from the computer it overrides which one I have currently selected. Just so I have the system fully figured out.

 

Are fan/mouse profiles mixed in, or are the categories separated unless I want it to span my entire setup?

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There are two operational states for CUE devices. One when the CUE software is running (software mode) and the other when it is not (hardware mode). When in software mode, you have a massive amount of flexibility and near endless options and layers. When the software is not running, then whatever the device can do must be physically saved to it. Not all devices have onboard memory. Those that do not usually drop into some fixed rainbow pattern. Those that do will display one of the saved lighting patterns. Hardware lighting and actions have special areas in the software where they are applied.

 

The K95 XT has 5 different lighting/action profiles that can be saved to the device and a dedicated profile button to cycle between them. However, storage space and the MCU on the keyboard then become the limiting factors. There are rules for HW lighting and actions. For the KBs, it is either one preset lighting effect or up to 5 custom waves, ripples, solid colors, etc. Not of mix of the two. One or the other. However, this really just becomes your boot up lighting pattern unless you are using a non-Windows OS environment. You highest level of functionality will be with the software running. Hardware level Macros are more complicated to explain, but just keep in mind the KB must be capable of executing whatever you ask it to do - by itself. So you can't program an app launch from HW mode because there is no connectivity between KB and OS without the software.

 

When in software mode, you can make select groups of profiles and loop between them with a dedicated key (mouse or KB). All Corsair devices exist on the same software profile and can be independently set. This means you also must set each device for each profile. The time saver there is to "copy" your base profile with all the macros and other common elements, then change names, lighting, picture, etc.

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Alright, thanks for explaining. Linux is my primary OS, so I'll mostly be using hardware mode when I do anything but gaming (I have Windows installed on my second SSD specifically for gaming). I'll probably train myself to slowly move towards Windows if I'm gaming more, just kind of sucks that I can't control it natively in Linux, though I know I'm in the minority of Corsairs userbase. I know there's some open source tools for it, though I'm sure discussion of it isn't allowed on a Corsair owned forum.

 

Thanks for answering my questions man, I know explaining an ecosystem to a noob can be a bit taxing

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