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10x QL 120mm Fans, 2x Commander Core XTs and NOTHING in iCue


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So I've been having the absolute worst time with Corsair products this week.

I built a new PC, was talked into using the Corsair 5000D Airflow case, I'm using a total of 10 QL 120mm fans across 2 Commander Core XTs and I'm having issue after issue.

My motherboard is the MSI Z690 Force Wifi, it has 2x USB 2.0 Headers, both of which now have the Commander Core XTs plugged in to them. I know you can daisy chain, and I tried that as well, but to no avail.

Originally, 6 fans were connected via the included fan controller that comes with the 5000D Case, and the RGB were controlled by one of the Lighting Node Cores that came included in the 3 pack of QL 120mm fans. 

WITH THE ORIGINAL HOOK UP: RGB worked on all 6 fans, doing their default rainbow pattern per normal. However, the Node Core never showed up in iCue to mess with any of the RGB settings, change colors etc. 

I wanted to change the included black basic exhaust fan included with the 5000D Case, and wanted 3 more fans for a push pull set up on my AIO. (fits perfectly with that recessed top on the 5000D)

I did my research, found that 2 Commander Core XTs should do the trick for both fan speed control as well as RGB control through iCue. Plugged 1 of the Commander Core XTs to a USB 2.0 Header, daisy chained the second Core XT on the included 2.0 male end of the first Core XT, triple checked my layout, fan setup for profiles etc etc etc, turn on my PC, and the result?

 

All 10 QL 120mm Fans are only displaying white in the center ring, but theres about a 25% chunk not lit at all in the center ring, none of the RGB's are lit AT ALL on the outer ring, and nothing is showing up at all in iCue. 

 

Uninstalled iCue, powered off my PC, took them off the daisy chain and just decided the plug the second Core XT into the second USB 2.0 Header on the motherboard since it was free anyway, turned the PC back on, same results. All white in the center ring, missing the same chunk in the same spot of all 10 in the center, none on the outer ring, nothing showing up in iCue when I reinstalled.

 

I tried swapping the Core XTs placement on the motherboard, nothing.

I completely uninstalled ALL OTHER 3RD PARTY RGB Software including MSI Center.

I tried swapping SATA connections to a completely different SATA cable, nothing

I tried swapping to two separate SATA cables with nothing else connected to them, nothing

 

What is the deal??? I can't find anyone else on any forum or video that has ever experienced this problem.

 

<a href="https://ibb.co/sKCMxHv"><img src="https://i.ibb.co/rx318sG/20220514-200533.jpg" alt="20220514-200533" border="0"></a>
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<a href="https://ibb.co/5sX5b21"><img src="https://i.ibb.co/bNjrc76/20220514-200549.jpg" alt="20220514-200549" border="0"></a>

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Don't chain one Commander XT to another.  Those USB 'passthrough ports' are exactly that and this like like plugging a bunch of high current devices into the same extension cord.  The need to be connected directly to the motherboard or a powered USB hub.

 

If you are still having issues getting both XTs detected, my suggestion is you drop one (and return it).  You had enough gear on your first run.  

Commander XT #1 - 6 PWM ports, 6 RGB ports.

Lighting Node Core (case) - RGB for 4 remaining QLs (don't daisy chain this either)

Corsair 6 port PWM hub (from case) - This is where you put 5 of the QL for PWM control.  You don't need independent speed control for 10 fans and most of your stuff is in banks of threes.  The front and side fans probably can go on this, effectively becoming a 6 fan powered splitter using 1 Commander XT PWM port.

 

If you have both XTs detected when individually connected to the MB USB 2, then leave it and you don't need the Lighting Node Core that came with the case.  Leave it disconnected for power and USB.  The PWM hub is not part of the CUE system and you can use it or leave it without consequence.  If you are really going ahead with push pull and 13 fans, you are going to need a powered USB hub regardless.  My suggestion is you do not.  The 13th fan is going to be a PITA, requires the 3rd controller, and in return you might reduce you CPU temp by 1C.  It's up to you.  

 

The Commander Core and XT both use an auto-detect system for PWM population and RGB LED count.  You can force it to re-run the RGB detection from within CUE, but you also can force it into the required configuration by setting each in Lighting Setup "QL x 6", "QL x 4", etc.  In order to force the controller to do a restart, power down the system and flip the PSU off for 30 sec before rebooting.  

 

 

 

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So just to reiterate, the entire setup is 10 fans, that was already including the push pull fans. 

3 in the front panel, 3 in the side panel, 1 in the back, and 3 on top

Also as stated, as the system currently sits, both Core XTs are separately plugged in to USB1 and USB2 on the motherboard (9pin)

Neither are showing in iCue, none of the fans are displaying RGB, all of the fans are just white in the center ring, with roughly a 25% chunk unlit in the center ring.

Every time I swapped around components and where they were plugged etc I always fully powered down the system and flipped the PSU switch. I'm old school when it comes to PC building, I (probably unnecessarily at this point) still ground myself with the copper wristband and everything when messing around inside. 

 

I wish I could figure out how to attach pictures here to show what my iCue looks like and what my fans currently look like. iCue shows nothing but a Sensors menu as the Default. I see no way to create any layouts in iCue.

Furthermore, is the default QL 120mm fan setting when connected not a Rainbow RGB affect? Why are mine all showing the exact same lit middle ring in white and nothing else?

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Posted (edited)

The very first time you connect power to the fans, they typically show one of the rainbow patterns. However, the first time you load CUE you gain control over both the active software lighting effects and the lighting when CUE is not running (hardware lighting). Your controllers were detected at some point and so it loaded a blank slate, waiting for you tell it what you wanted or it lost the connection and dropped into this partial white state. All of this falls back in line once you gain control again. 
 

You have zero devices detected and that is a problem. They should be listed across the top. Until this solved you won’t be able to change lighting or fan speed. Do the XT controllers show as yellow triangle errors in the Windows device manager?  Are they missing entirely?  If you deliberately disconnect the usb 2 from one of the XT controllers and then boot up, is the remaining one controller detected?  
 

There are hundreds of posts of users with detection issues. Most are x570 and newer AMD owners whose boards don’t output enough voltage at the usb 2 port. Their workaround is to use a powered usb hub to provide that. This was exclusively an AMD problem until Z690. Now we are seeing it on some of these boards, but the powered hub does not always help and it’s not clear if the root issue is the same. This is the purpose of the ‘one controller test’. If it will detect 1 but not when 2 are connected, then this probably some type of chipset/board limitation. Other Z690 owners have solved it by the powered hub or using a USB 3->USB 2 adapter, but the results on this seem to vary between board models. 
 

You also could try booting up with neither XT connected via usb and just that stripped down lighting node Core circuit board in back. No need to move RGB cables as you’re only interested in detection. If the LNC doesn’t show up either, then there may be a more basic issue like a problem with your chipset drivers. The LNC is a much lower voltage device and users don’t have detection issues with at all, regardless of board model. The Commander Core, XT, and LCD top are the ones more commonly reported as difficult. 
 

11 hours ago, Corrvo said:

So just to reiterate, the entire setup is 10 fans, that was already including the push pull fans. 

3 in the front panel, 3 in the side panel, 1 in the back, and 3 on top

This isn’t push-pull, but it doesn’t matter. I was only digging as to whether you were trying to incorporate another 3 RGB fans into the build that would force a specific set of controllers. 

Edited by c-attack
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I took out the Commander XTs altogether and replaced them with 2 of the Lighting Node Cores that came with the 3 pack of the QL 120mm and am using a combination of the included fan control on the 5000D as well as SYS_FAN slots on the motherboard and now all 10 fans are showing the default rainbow cycle as they should. 

So per your thought process, either both Commander XTs were either defective or not receiving enough power to function properly, or were perhaps overloaded. 

I have narrowed it down and discovered it's in fact the 2 USB 2.0 Headers on my Z690 Motherboard that are not responding. No matter whats attached to them, be it just one at a time, both with something plugged in to them etc, there is nothing displaying. As far as I can tell, the Headers are turned on in the BIOS, and to my knowledge I have the most up to date Intel Chipset Drivers installed per MSI's website, so I guess I'm back to the drawing board and will have to entertain your other suggestions regarding potential workarounds.

14 hours ago, c-attack said:

This isn’t push-pull, but it doesn’t matter. I was only digging as to whether you were trying to incorporate another 3 RGB fans into the build that would force a specific set of controllers. 

 

Just to summarize, I understand that alone does not make a push pull set up. I have the Lian Li Galahad 360mm as my AIO with 3 120mm fans attached to it on one side, and the 3 Corsair QL 120mm shown on the top of the PC in the picture, are attached to to the backside of AIO through the case top venting. 

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So the Lighting Node Core devices are connected via USB 2, but not detected either?  I don’t think the XTs are defective. The white pattern is likely a result of a bad hardware lighting file from whatever happened on connection. The LNCores from the box have never seen CUE and thus have their rainbow default intact. 
 

I am not sure what to suggest. It’s a bit concerning nothing is detected, even a low level controller like the core. Typically when there is a voltage output deficiency you get intermittent contact and the device pops in and out. This what AMD owners often experience and a powered usb hub stabilizes the supply. It’s possible your board outputs a solid notch below what the devices are expecting and thus is never detected, but this speculative. A powered usb hub might help, but it has not worked for all Z690 owners with this issue. 
 

A usb 3-> usb 2 adapter has worked for Z690 owners, but blowing two internal 3.0 ports seems costly. One possible path might be to connect the powered usb 2 hub to the usb 3 adapter, but it might make sense to try the powered hub first. 

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I had a similar issue.  I swapped my build from a Corsair Obsidian 500Dse case with a ROG Crosshair Viii hero MB, to a Lian Li O11 Dynamic EVO case and swapped MB's to a ROG Crosshair Dark Hero MB.  I use a 10 fan configuration.  I have 10 QL120 fans, one Commander Core that came with my H150i AIO, and a Commander Core XT.  I have everything plugged into a NZXT internal USB hub.  I have the HUB attached to one of my USB headers on my MB.  When I first installed iCUE the CCXT wasn't being detected but the fans lit up and were spinning just the solid white color.  After a couple of restarts, everything clicked.  The XT was showing in iCUE and I was able to control the RGB on the fans.  I can control the Fans now as well, although sometimes it seems like they do what they want power wise, even though I have everything set to balanced.  Not that big of an issue though as my case is not hot.  I did set up a custom fan curve and they seem to be following that now.  I would highly suggest an internal USB hub.  I can say the NZXT model I bought has been working flawlessly.  I don't know about other USB hubs.  This one was recommended to me and it hasn't let me down.  Hope that helps.  I think an internal USB hub will allow you to use both XT's and have no problems.  If your USB headers on your MB are not working, maybe RMA the MB.  Best of luck.

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