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Commander Pro + Commander Core XT for EK AIO 360 DRGB CPU Cooler (3 fans) and 6 QL120 fans


elshvfi
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I'm new to PC building so bear with me guys, I'm just inquiring around so I can get my first PC build right:

I want to control both the EK AIO 360 DRGB CPU cooler fans and QL120 fans  through the Corsair iCUE software as I see it being the most convenient for me in terms of controlling RGB lighting and fan speed ALL in one place. I had in mind of controlling the 6 QL120 fans (RGB lighting and fan speed) through the Commander Core XT and controlling the EK AIO 360 DRGB CPU Cooler fans (3 fans) through the Commander Pro. I would plug the 4-pin PWM fan connectors of the EK AIO into the Commander Pro normally (for fan speed) and plug the daisy chained EK AIO fan D-RGB LED Light connectors into this adapter/converter (https://www.amazon.com/EZDIY-FAB-Adapter-Lighting-Commander-Included/dp/B08KGMZ9YT), which will then go into the LED slot of the Commander Pro (for RGB lighting). I want to do this setup to avoid overcrowding 1 controller with all 9 fans as I read that this could lead to issues. What do you guys think? Is this overkill? Or is there an easier way to wire all 9 fans?

Any help would truly be appreciated. Thank you!

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One key question is how the pump RGB integrates with the fans.  I have some Vardar S and they function on a duplicate chain circuit (each fan lighting is copy of the prior - not sequential LEDs like Corsair).  My EK D5 pump chains in to the end and does the same.  Each fan is 9 LEDs and the pump 10, you set it to be a 10 LED RGB strip in CUE and you're all set.  I don't see the number of LEDs in the product description for the pump cover, but that will be the determining factor.  I use this as the 5v D-RGB to Corsair cable.  Presumably the one you highlighted works the same way, but I don't have any experience with that version.  It slots into a RGB channel on a Commander Pro, Lighting Node Pro, or hopefully the RGB port on the Commander Core XT.

 

I don't think you want two Commanders for this.  You don't need 4 RGB channels or independent speed control for 12 fans.  An additional problem is the Vardar S don't always behave as expected on a PWM curve from the Corsair controller.  It works better than some older Vardar, but the better solution is to use a PWM hub as the go between.  This allows you to chain the 3 onto 1 PWM header from the device.  When connected directly to the Corsair controller, you get some strange oscillations at lower RPMs and the curve can get stuck or is sluggish to respond.  No such issues for my 3 when running them through a powered PWM repeater.  

 

So if the 3 Vardar S are off on the PWM hub (using 1 PWM port), then you still need RGB control for 6 and PWM control for 6.  If you have old RGB Lighting Hubs around from older Corsair ML/HD devices, then a Commander Pro works fine.  If you do not, I think you want the Commander Core XT.  This will give you a direct plugin sequence for the 6 QL on the device, PWM control for them (need 1 PWM splitter for 2 to share), and then the EK stack goes into the RGB/LED port on the side.  This lets you run the QL effects as intended and the EK stack operates as a separate lighting zone.  

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3 hours ago, c-attack said:

One key question is how the pump RGB integrates with the fans.  I have some Vardar S and they function on a duplicate chain circuit (each fan lighting is copy of the prior - not sequential LEDs like Corsair).  My EK D5 pump chains in to the end and does the same.  Each fan is 9 LEDs and the pump 10, you set it to be a 10 LED RGB strip in CUE and you're all set.  I don't see the number of LEDs in the product description for the pump cover, but that will be the determining factor.  I use this as the 5v D-RGB to Corsair cable.  Presumably the one you highlighted works the same way, but I don't have any experience with that version.  It slots into a RGB channel on a Commander Pro, Lighting Node Pro, or hopefully the RGB port on the Commander Core XT.

 

I don't think you want two Commanders for this.  You don't need 4 RGB channels or independent speed control for 12 fans.  An additional problem is the Vardar S don't always behave as expected on a PWM curve from the Corsair controller.  It works better than some older Vardar, but the better solution is to use a PWM hub as the go between.  This allows you to chain the 3 onto 1 PWM header from the device.  When connected directly to the Corsair controller, you get some strange oscillations at lower RPMs and the curve can get stuck or is sluggish to respond.  No such issues for my 3 when running them through a powered PWM repeater.  

 

So if the 3 Vardar S are off on the PWM hub (using 1 PWM port), then you still need RGB control for 6 and PWM control for 6.  If you have old RGB Lighting Hubs around from older Corsair ML/HD devices, then a Commander Pro works fine.  If you do not, I think you want the Commander Core XT.  This will give you a direct plugin sequence for the 6 QL on the device, PWM control for them (need 1 PWM splitter for 2 to share), and then the EK stack goes into the RGB/LED port on the side.  This lets you run the QL effects as intended and the EK stack operates as a separate lighting zone.  

Okay, based off of what you said, I have 3 questions:

1. The LED count for the waterblock of the EK AIO is 9 so would I set it to be a 9 LED RGB strip in iCUE?

2. What is the best powered PWM repeater you would recommend for my EK AIO 360 DRGB CPU cooler fans?

3. If I understood correctly, would my wiring look like this if I were to use the Commander Core XT: Plug EK AIO 360 DRGB CPU cooler fans (3 Vardar S fans) into powered PWM repeater which then goes into PWM header 1 of the Commander Core XT (for fan control). I would then plug the daisy chained EK AIO fan D-RGB LED Light connectors into the adapter/converter, which will then go into the 3 pin RGB slot of the Commander Core XT (for RGB lighting). The 6 QL120 fans will go into the 4 pin PWM headers of the Commander Core XT (2 of the QL120's on a PWM splitter) for fan control and they will also go into the 4 pin RGB headers of the Commander Core XT (for RGB lighting)? Is this all correct?

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1. So the pump is 9?  Same as the fans then and you set cue to “RGB strip x 1”. A Corsair strip is 10 LEDs. This covers the  9 with a 10th never displayed. No consequence to having the 10th in this circumstance because the lighting does not go fan to fan in sequence. This is how mine works as well. 
 

2.  Any of them that are SATA powered. They all tend to be 4-10 fan ports (more than you need). If space is tight look for the smallest one. There are a few that are circuit board only without a case. I’ve been using a Silverstone and Deep Cool models for a couple years. Differentiating them is all minutia - LED color, PWM port depth, SATA attaches directly or has an extension. 
 

3. Looks correct on all counts. 

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23 hours ago, c-attack said:

1. So the pump is 9?  Same as the fans then and you set cue to “RGB strip x 1”. A Corsair strip is 10 LEDs. This covers the  9 with a 10th never displayed. No consequence to having the 10th in this circumstance because the lighting does not go fan to fan in sequence. This is how mine works as well. 
 

2.  Any of them that are SATA powered. They all tend to be 4-10 fan ports (more than you need). If space is tight look for the smallest one. There are a few that are circuit board only without a case. I’ve been using a Silverstone and Deep Cool models for a couple years. Differentiating them is all minutia - LED color, PWM port depth, SATA attaches directly or has an extension. 
 

3. Looks correct on all counts. 

Perfect! Last 2 questions:

1. Since the 4-pin PWM connector and 3-pin DRGB connector of the EK AIO pump are going to be plugged in into the motherboard, does that mean I wont be able to control the pump through iCUE software like all the other 9 fans?

2. If the EK AIO 360 DRGB Cpu cooler fans are going into the 3 pin RGB slot of the Commander Core XT, does that mean I get to control the LED's individually on the fans via the iCUE software? And if the 6 QL120 fans are going into the 4 pin RGB headers of the Commander Core XT, does that mean the LED's will all be the same color via the iCUE software?

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I am expecting the D-RGB connector from the pump to go into one end of the Vardar S chain. Each of those fans has a male/female 3 pin RGB cable. However, this will make them synchronized copies of each other and not individually addressable fans (you can’t make fan 1 red and fan 2 blue). You will still have individual control over each of the 9 LEDs. You can make LED 1 red, 2 orange, 3 yellow, etc., but that will be replicated on each fan and the pump.
 

In order to make each fan individually controllable you would need 1 adapter for each fan and the pump and then run those two a fan hub, like the way Corsair RGB fans work. That takes a special 3rd party adapter for MB 3 pin RGB to Corsair fan hub connector. If you were to this later you would need to acquire a RGB hub and the 4 special adapters or those same adapters and a Lighting Node Core. It does not affect the initial set up now. 
 

If the pump 4 pin connector is really just a tachometer, you may be able to control it like a fan from the commander. However, I wonder if it would have the same communication issues as other Ek pumps. In a short, low resistance loop like an AIO, you won’t get much out of pump speed manipulation. A fixed speed from the MB is likely all you need. 

Edited by c-attack
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On 11/27/2021 at 10:18 PM, c-attack said:

I am expecting the D-RGB connector from the pump to go into one end of the Vardar S chain. Each of those fans has a male/female 3 pin RGB cable. However, this will make them synchronized copies of each other and not individually addressable fans (you can’t make fan 1 red and fan 2 blue). You will still have individual control over each of the 9 LEDs. You can make LED 1 red, 2 orange, 3 yellow, etc., but that will be replicated on each fan and the pump.
 

In order to make each fan individually controllable you would need 1 adapter for each fan and the pump and then run those two a fan hub, like the way Corsair RGB fans work. That takes a special 3rd party adapter for MB 3 pin RGB to Corsair fan hub connector. If you were to this later you would need to acquire a RGB hub and the 4 special adapters or those same adapters and a Lighting Node Core. It does not affect the initial set up now. 
 

If the pump 4 pin connector is really just a tachometer, you may be able to control it like a fan from the commander. However, I wonder if it would have the same communication issues as other Ek pumps. In a short, low resistance loop like an AIO, you won’t get much out of pump speed manipulation. A fixed speed from the MB is likely all you need. 

That makes sense. Much appreciated! Is there by any chance, a way I could private message you on here for any future inquiries I might have. Because youve been of great help

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