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A little help with wiring and fan troubles in iCUE


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I would appreciate some help optimizing my wiring, it's gotten a bit unwieldy and I could use some expert advice. I had posted this in another thread and realized I should have started a thread.

TL;dr, I can't control the fans very well that connect to my Commander Core XT

Case is Corsair 5000D
MSI Pro Z690 DDR4
XC7 CPU Block
XD5 Pump/Res
EKWB Red Devil GPU Block
Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO 2x16 (probably not relevant but they are in the ecosystem)
Commander Pro
Commander Core XT
Lighting Node Pro
3 ML120s Pro on Side Rad in Push config
6 QL120s 3 on front of case for intake, 3 on top rad in Pull config
1 AF120 (I think, it's one of the fans that came with the 5000D)

Extra Items Available on Hand: Lighting Node Core, Lighting Node Pro, RGB Fan LED Hub

XC7 is Connected to daisy chain connector on the XD5 Pump.
XD5 Pump is plugged into LED 1 on Commander Pro

Lightning Node Core is daisy chained to the Commander Core XT
Commander Core XT is plugged directly into Mobo

Commander Pro is connected directly into Mobo

iCUE is updated as well as all the devices connected
MSI Mystic Light is set to NOT override any software controls. Bios is updated
HWMonitor has Corsair turned off in settings, but my issues below happen without running HWMonitor

Issues I am currently having:

  1. ML120 fans are running limited lighting (I understand this is because I mixed fan types on my lighting node core (I suspect I should run the 3 ML120s to the Commander Core XT so that it only has those 3 fans connected
    1. I fixed this by moving the 3 top rad QL120s to the lighting node core and the MLs to the XT.
  2. Fans 7, 8, and 9 are acting bizarre in iCUE, I can set them to Extreme and they ramp up, but I cannot turn them off using a custom preset of "Fan Off" using RPM, %, or custom curve or by setting them to the Zero RPM default preset

Bonus Question: I have an ARGB to Corsair 3 Pin adapter coming, my plan is to plug the EKWB GPU block 3 pin into Commander Pro LED 2 and set it to an RGB Pro strip (EKWB has 9 ARGB LEDs, so the Strip was the closest with 10)

I appreciate any and all help and advice

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The Commander Core and XT controllers can auto-detect different LED counts and pick a compromise configuration to make them all light up.  However, you can't make a center hub LED fan (ML) look like a ring fan (QL), so my general advice is to keep these on separate controllers.  All other controllers require you to manually compute the max number of LEDs and then use a forced UI configuration to make them lighting up.  So 3 QL (34x3) + 3 ML-Pro (3x4 LEDs) you would choose QL x 4 and the MLs just look a bit weird.  

 

I would move the QLs to the same controller and put the ML-Pro on its own.  It doesn't really matter whether the QL go to the LNCore or the XT and the same for the ML.  I don't see an immediate advantage to either and remember PWM and RGB wires do not need to be on the same controller, although it does help mentally with the day to day management.  

 

1) If you have an old RGB Lighting Hub around (like from a ML Pro multi-pack), you can plug that into Commander Pro RGB 2 and get rid of the LNCore entirely.  It would make sense to put the ML-Pro there and create a motherboard plane of lighting (CPU + XD5 + side fans).  Of course, if you are thinking of maybe using a 3rd party adapter to bring the GPU leds into CUE, then I might save RGB Ch 2 for that purpose, although it could also go to the LED channel on the XT.  You will be just fine with the 10 LED strip setting (RGB strip x 1).  This is what I do for mine as well.  

2) You could put the 6 QL on the LNCore for the purpose of separating the high 5v draw from those fans from the additional duties of the Commander controllers.  I have not seen a lot of 5v draw issues like we did in the past, but I still try and balance my 12 and 5v draws on specific SATA connections.  However, if all the XT is doing is fans, then there isn't much 5v load there either.  

3) If you really like the Lighting Link visor effect, be aware the LNCore will fire in sequence before the Com Core XT.  

 

PWM stuff - The Com Core and XT controllers are PWM only and lack the voltage control of the Commander Pro.  I suspect a lot of fans will not be able to run zero mode on the Core/XT controller.  If this is important to you, put the QL all on the Commander Pro PWM ports.  The ML-Pro fans are a bit different than all the others and may be able to run zero mode on the XT.  I have not tested this because I don't have an XT, but you should be able to verify that before moving things around.  You can pair two of the QLs with any PWM two way splitter to keep a header free for the XD5 control.  Remember to change the Commander Pro header setting from 'auto' to "4 pin" in the device settings.  This is necessary for pump control and also will skip to 100% fan power test at boot.  

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This is really helpful, I did move the QL rgbs to the lighting node and isolated the MLs on the XT. This seemed like the best option for RGB.

 

It isn't 100% necessary that I control the fans to be 0, it was more of a concern that it isn't respecting a fan curve.

Thanks for the tip on setting the port to 4 pin, I'm not opposed to the pump turning on at 100% but better control the better 🙂

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Something else to consider is you likely are using one of the Commander Pro temp sensors for the “temp plug” in the XD5. That gives you coolant temp as the fan speed control variable and what you should use. For fans on the C-Pro using that sensor, they will run the assigned curve at all times — software running or not.
 

You may also be using the same “Commander Pro Temp #1” sensor on the XT fan curves. This works when cue is running and one controller can fetch the data from another.  When CUE is not running it cannot get that data. If you happened to use multiple T-sensor plugs in your build, run one back to the Com Core XT so that controller can have its own native data. This is not something to rip apart the loop to do, but the next time you need to make changes it may be worth the $7 plug plus time and effort. 
 

And to that end… get yourself off the Quiet/Balanced/Extreme presets on both controllers. I suspect that is the real source of the odd fan behavior and the XT probably reverts to cpu temp as the control variable for the presets. They were not intended for what you are doing and you (like most everyone) should make your own curves. As a start, go to the cooling tab and click + to make a new curve. Graph appears below. Click on the shape tool second from the left. This is a copy of the “Quiet” preset for AIO coolers and is a decent place to start.
 

It has a clear 31C baseline that you can move to match your normal “idle” coolant temp. Based on your gear I’m guessing you see about +10-11C coolant temp rise when gaming. Set that to an acceptable moderate fan speed. Leave the 100% mark for something like 50C. If your custom loop reaches that, there are questions to be answered. Make sure you change sensor to the C-Pro temp 1 sensor. You’ll need to do this on both controllers. 

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