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Guidance on new build appreciated!


Thaerr
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Although I'm not new to building PC's, I've only built one recently. The game has changed considerably since my early PC building days, and this build that I'm doing now is going to be quite the endeavor for me, and I want to do it right. As is most often the case, my greatest concerns are in how to wire the numerous fans (both power and RGB). 

Relevant hardware:

011 D XL

QL120 x 10

Z73 AIO

Strimer plus (both mb & gpu)

Commander Pro x 2

Lighting Node Core x 3 (comes with 3 pack)

 

I'm looking to set up the AIO on top in push/pull format, with the 3 stock fans and 3 of the QL's. Then, of course, QL's all the way around (3 on side, 3 on bottom, 1 in back). 

I'm also led to believe that I can run the Strimer Plus cables' RGB through the Corsair system to be able to control it through Corsair software. 

 

I've been searching far and wide for a wiring diagram that would match what I'm looking to do. I realize that 2 Commander Pros are probably not necessarily, but that ship has sailed. I have them in hand, and I'm not inclined to return them, so I'll roll with what I've got. 
 

Question 1 - Since I'll have 6 fans on the AIO, I'll want them all linked together, so I can set the fan speed for all 6 together, rather than having to set each one individually. Can this be done in the Corsair software? Or will I need to add one my controller (possibly in place of one Commander Pro) in order to control all of those AIO fans at once? I have not yet worked with ICUE, so I'm completely unfamiliar with how flexible and intuitive it is.

Question 2 - I really want to diagram and pre-trouble shoot the wiring config, and I see a LOT of awesome diagrams on here, and I'm very curious as to how I might be able to create my own diagrams. Is there a relatively easy to use software option that is commonly known by everyone except me?

Question 3 - Does anyone have any advice/guidance that you might offer someone who is relatively new to the whole RGB game? I did build a system for my son last year, that turned out quite awesome, but working with a 13 fan setup is quite a jump forward in complexity.

 

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I think you will probably have an issue fitting push pull on top with most motherboards. That’s 25+30+25 for 80mm in total. I know I can’t fit a 54+25 in that case. The maximum before you start running into RAM and VRM heat sink issues is somewhere around 75mm. If you really want push pull on the CPU AIO, the side (MB wall) is the place. A 30mm radiator and 25mm fan will fit perfectly in the back while the other fan set goes inside the case. This is also likely be a better location for temps. Even at idle the side is going to be 2-3C cooler that the top ambient air. At load with gpu waste being sucked into the top there will be much larger differences. Side intake is most likely your best performing location, however if you are set on using it top, just do the single layer of fans. Debatable as to whether push pull is worthwhile on a cpu only 360mm radiator. Even with a high core count processor your average loads are going to be under 150W. That’s not much to handle and little gain to be had with more airflow. 
 

The best way to handle fan control for push pull on the radiator (or any other group) is to get a PWM repeater hub. This takes one control signal from the Commander Pro, power from SATA, and all fans run the same speed. So that can be 6 on the hub using 1 PWM header. That leaves 5 for the remaining 7 fans or 2 PWM splitters. This is how I manage 12 fans when in use, but officially more than 6 or PWM splitters is not supported. CUE control for the fans is easy and each header can run its own fan curve. However, you’ll be running the various banks of three all at the same speed. 
 

There are a lot of diagrams floating around for this case and others. I am not sure how it factors in on time efficiency to create it, but the essentials are this. All devices need power (SATA). All devices need to communicate with the software (usb 2). There are no shortcuts for either. Commander Prob USB ports are pass through only. They are not device to device connections and may not be usable at all on AMD motherboards. Many users need a powered usb hub to accommodate anything more than 1-2 devices. 
 

A Commander Pro will do fan speed control and RGB control for two channels. That can be fans, but you need a RGB lighting hub adapter for that from older fan kits. Also, the Strimmers are going to need an RGB channel and the C-Pro is the best choice for that. Fan PWM wires will be here + Strimmer/adapter on the RGB channel side. You’ll need to look to 3rd party suppliers for a Corsair to strimmer adapter. Also, your X73 likely has 3 fan connectors from its control. The hub can go to one of those so the X73 controller does fan speed from its coolant temperature. If you are looking to avoid using CAM, I can tell you how to set up the Commander to mimic coolant temp from the radiator exhaust temp. 
 

With any QL triple pack of 120s you’ll get a Lighting Node Core. This will be the RGB controller for the fans. Each can handle 6 RGB connections and thus you’ll need 2. This also is a key aspect of the system. EACH RGB controller acts as an independent control group. Most people who first get into RGB are key to set it up so their fans will run sequential lighting pattern from 1-13 (or whatever). You can’t or at least not without very tedious programming of custom effects. Preset lighting effects (the ones you are going to use all the time) will run in sequence from 1-6 on that controller only. My suggestion is you put the top 3 and bottom 3 QL on one controller. This is the highly visible set and dominates the view. It also makes the most sense for sequencing. You also can break the 6 into smaller groups with a quick drag of the mouse. More often than not I set the top and bottom to run parallel effects rather than sequential. With 34 LEDs per fan, a 1-6 run can be a bit slow. You would then put the side wall fans + 1 rear and try to do something to tie together the mb gpu lighting. You always have individual led control and so each fan can do its own thing. Trying to blend it all together will take some practice, but this won’t change the initial set up. 

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