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Setting up newest ML120 as radiator fans question


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Hi everyone, new here and need a little insight/help planning my build.

I've got a h100i capellix elite (newest one) and I'm planning on purchasing an extra 5 of the newest ML120 fans.

As I understand it, the AIO fans and the ML120's both have 8 leds and are a good match/complement for each other.

But I'm really into looks, and the backside of the ML120's looks a lot nicer than the AIO backsides (yes, I am wanting to setup a "pull" configuration on the raditator).

My question is if I swap out the included AIO fans for the ML120's, will I be able to set them up in iCUE to be controlled by the CPU thermostat?

 

Thanks in advance! G

 

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Also, I'll be attempting to run 7 total fans in this build. The AIO comes with Commander CORE. I can either buy a 3 pack of the ML120's and get the included Lightning Node CORE, or just buy them all individually and purchase a Commander PRO. Not sure what the best approach is. I'm Ok with spending a little more money to make life easier and more flexible.

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The Commander Core that comes with the Elite AIO series is a PWM only fan controller. Aside from that, it does not matter what fans you connect. The retail ML-Elite and the OEM version are both controllable for speed and RGB identical. 
 

It’s the 7th fan that is a bit of nuisance. For speed control this is easily solved by pairing and two fans with a standard PWM splitter. The two radiator fans are an obvious choice. However it’s the RGB side that poses more difficulty. 
 

There are 3rd party RGB splitters out there. They are not officially supported and not always a great option with the Commander Core RGB controllers. Your other option is you need a second lighting controller. You will get a Lighting Node Core in any ML-Elite multipack and 1 is all that’s required.  You then need to split the 7 fans into two lighting groups, likely either 6+1 or 4+3 depending on your viewing angle. The 6+1 would be rear exhaust on its own RGB controller and thus it’s own lighting group. You’d probably end up setting a basic pattern to match what the rest do. The other choice is likely to be front 3 as group 2 and top 3 and rear and group 2. This allows you to run two separate moving lighting effects or whatever you prefer.
 

With 8 LED fans there are not as many complex sequential effects like with the ring style fans, but where the choice may have more impact is if you prefer “random” lighting changes. When set to random color, the entire group will change as one. That leaves 1 fan out in 6+1 or two opposing groups if 4+3. If the random lighting is what you really like, I would suggest 4+3 or in CUE you give each fan its own personal lighting effect set to random to make each fan an independent group. Regardless of what you choose, the hardware remains the same and you can change simply by moving RGB connectors from one controller to another. 
 

I cannot think of any reason to add a Commander Pro to this build. Since you will lack the RGB lighting hubs that previously used to come with RGB fans, you’ll have no direct way to use it as a fan lighting controller. 

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Thanks @c-attack. That demystifies quite a bit actually. I was unaware that "hubs" essentially equate to "lighting groups" on the RGB side of things. Duly noted.

I'm hoping to use the Lian Li mini case for my build. After looking at what other people have done, I might simplify things and just run 6 total fans (2xRadiator, 2xBottom, 2xTop). It sounds like if I do that, then I can get away with using just the one Commander CORE, and since all of my fans will be PWM/8-LED this should work just fine.

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