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I'm not referring to the ability of a power supply unit to supply power, but to the capacity of some PSU to transfer data, like HX1000i, HX1500i, or the 5 years old AX1600i, have.

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I don't know if t here's any benefit from connecting the PSU to LINK instead of the usual USB header. PSUs are bought also from people who don't care about corsair ecosystem. they are just great PSUs to be honest. If people had to buy a LINK controller and have to deal with the buggy mess that iCUE is just to read data, it would most likely kill a good chunk off their PSU sales.

I know if they replace the USB connectivity with something proprietary, my next power supply will be another brand, for sure.

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It's obvious an iCUE LINK system makes sense only for people buying at least two Corsair products. Anyway, assuming they removed the PSU USB connector for everyone, after a few tweaks, your reverse engineered Corsair USB protocol software would work just fine. I don't understand why you assume the PSU data from the iCUE LINK SYSTEM HUB  should be so different. Clearly it wouldn't be an exceptionally customer-friendly idea, in fact it would imply that their business model is selling iCUE LINK SYSTEM HUB to people buying a single Corsair fan, which is not particularly clever. Personally I would opt for a removable expansion card, so that people could choose between buying an USB connector card, buying an iCUE LINK connector card, or living without knowing what the PSU is doing.

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All the competition connects with USB. if corsair inflates the price with add on modules to get a USB connexion, they shoot themselves in the foot.

The PSU only needs to report data, and maybe tweak a setting or two, OCP mostly (single/multirail). No need for Link to achieve that. And they rather use off the shelf USB chips rather than use some homebrew stuff. PSUs have to be dependable, reliable. Corsair ecosystem is the opposite of that.

But, going your way, what would Link add to the equation when it comes to PSUs besides reporting voltage/currents ? Just trying to find what incentive Corsair would have to do it.

The only use i'd see for it is for the RGB PSUs, to control lighting.

I believe Link was mostly done because the corrent RGB / PWM scheme corsair is using now is just horrendous in terms of cable management and ease of use.  It's severely outdated. Likewise, the dongle used by the AXi PSUs have been dumped in favor of straight USB connection. It makes sense to change a design when it's flawed or impractical. Changing from USB to Link would be going from something reliable to something controlled by iCUE.. 10 steps backwards ^^' Maybe they are planning it now that i think of it..

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There likely will be CUE Link enabled PSUs at some point, but right now there are only a handful of products and it’s just going to be the QX fans and AIO to start. If we see CUE Link PSUs, it likely will be the RGB fan versions in the mid-price range rather than the high end digital PSUs that don’t need this system for rudimentary data transmission and lack RGB components — as suggested above. 

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I don't see why Corsair should inflate the price. The development cost should be peanuts. If you're referring to the cost of creating additional PCBs, maybe you're right. Maybe just having both connectors is the cheapest solution.

Wasn't the old LINK (not the present iCUE LINK) dongle (used by the AXi PSU) an USB cable with a Mini USB connector? 

Do PSUs only need to report data, and maybe tweak a setting or two? I don't know what you're doing with fans and leds, but to me they seem to do roughly the same thing.

It's probably not an instant incentive, but the benefit is tracing a path to a future where consumers' motherboards get rid of all the complexity and focus only on one standard: PCIe. Basically there would be only one piece of hardware left that is connected to a motherboard, the iCUE LINK SYSTEM HUB, which means a lot of incentive for motherboard manufacturers to ditch complexity. If the type of connection between HUB and motherboard was phased out, only a new HUB would be needed, or an adapter if Corsair acted in bad faith (for example by disproportionately raising prices of a new HUB, or by creating an incompatible iCUE LINK 2 system). Clearly this message would have been more effective if ASUS, MSI, Gigabyte and ASRock had been involved, instead of choosing the lone wolf path. I personally don't have such a negative view of iCUE and Corsair, but I have to admit that my problems with iCUE in the past were easily identifiable, repeatable and therefore were addressed in Corsair updates. Furthermore Corsair doesn't force people to use iCUE and open source alternatives are tolerated. I know that using iCUE in parallel with software reading the same data can create conflicts, but I've never suffered any major problems and I can accept that I've to end an application if I want to access exactly the same data. In the long term the incentive could materialize if iCUE LINK becomes a standard. 

I understand people's dismay at seeing a new proprietary connector being brought into our lives, especially now that mobile phone manufacturers like Xiaomi are proving USB allows huge numbers in the power supply department. Unfortunately the people maintaining USB lack brain capacity and aren't proactive. This is evident when people look inside the business of pulsing electrons to provide huge power at low temperature. Concatenating cables with different specs is so poorly managed that it should be considered a crime. So who is guilty if, by recharging your mobile phone with an inadequate cable concatenation, your house catches fire and your family dies? The USB Implementers Forum? You (because you used an inappropriate cable)? The phone manufacturer (because they didn't use proper verification to supply a dangerous power)? The power supply manufacturer (for the same reason)? The answer is simple: who cares about the answer? Your family is dead. For this reason I support Corsair position of using a proprietary connector, at least until the USB Implementers Forum people grow a brain.

Will iCUE LINK become a standard? For this to happen Corsair has to be proactive, which means having variants of successful competitors' products converted to iCUE LINK technology at their own expense and only making a profit with a little margin on these products. From what I have seen so far I think there is no real motivation, or a serious plan, to welcome competitors. There is a clear lack of iCUE LINK enthusiasm inside Corsair too, proof is this thread has not received an official response. I believe Corsair is creating the ideal atmosphere to tempt competitors not to join iCUE LINK and instead to launch an identical but incompatible product. Who will win? I don't care. The implementation of an universal bus to clean motherboard layouts is more important than who implements it. Maybe this idea will be absorbed by the common USB after they will address their safety problems. Eventually a standard will arise. 

Meanwhile, to clean motherboard layouts, we have to get ready to say goodbye to SATA, which will only be possible when we will get rid of PCIe 5.0, the same PCIe 5.0 that some people already bought and approximately nobody is using. Unfortunately there is a fundamental issue with PCIe 5.0: data degradation if a cable reaches the impressive length of ten cockroaches. This prevents people from having GPU expelling hot air directly outside the case, it prevents the use of active cooling for the new PCIe 5.0 M.2 SSD (because there is a GPU right on top) and it prevents the proliferation of M.2 SSD in general (because they have to be on the motherboard, on a PCIe card, or inside a server). So get ready to say goodbye to PCIe 5.0!

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Well, the old AXi dongle, as its name implies was a dongle.. a USB to serial adapter (or I²C, ican't remember). The PSU wasn't natively USB.

Development cost is far from peanuts, it's probably the biggest cost in making such modular connexion. It far exceeds tooling and manufacturing in many cases.

And honestly.. trying to replace USB with Link, seriously? If the people responsible for USB lack a brain, then here comes Corsair, with a barebones dysfunctional software and bottom of the barrrel quality hardware sold for a premium to save the day..

I have used Corsair hardware since the days they were only known as "Corsair Memory", and it's been a slow but steady downwards spiral for them quaity wise.

If a company that takes pride in its products, in its quality and in the user experience they provide starts considering a unified standard for RGB and cooler support, Corsair's is the last they'll chose.

Still Link is a GREAT step forward for Corsair because it will rid them of the one worst RGB ecosystem in existence today.

Now they only have to replace iCUE with something more useable and stable. Something that doesn't crash at random or crap out every other update. Something that doesn't brick your PC because you happened to be using Corsair DDR4, and they hadn't tested their new iCUE XMP gizmo... They have to ditch software control for RGB.. as in.. actually put decent microcontrollers in their devices so that the CPU doesn't have to sweat to run lighting. People pay a lot of money for them just to have iCUE run all the lighting off the CPU. They have to make a UI that doesn't require for new users to come to a forum to know where to do basic things. They have to give more control on the cooling department. Chosing only one sensor and making a fan curve with 5 points was fine in 2000, things have changed, even motherboard BIOS have more cooling options than iCUE. They have to start thinking about using existing standards like.. USB headers on the motherboard, that get so overloaded they can actually lack bandwidth to make devices work when you slap your new LCD screen on a capellix AIO, or lack power because they just pull too much current off them despite having SATA power on almost all devices.. and they would have to stop putting out hardware and abandonning all support and features updates right from the release date, as they did with the AIO LCD screens and the Nexus for example. People are still waiting for the possibility to rotate the display on Capellix AIOs.. and to have more than the basic widgets, and more customization options on Nexus..

Corsair just has cultivated that reputation to put out brand new EOL products regularely, so i don't see any company jumping on the LINK boat anytime soon. Link is a very good step in cleaning up the mess they created, so is the modular installation of iCUE 5. But there is a TON of work before Corsair becomes remotely relevant. Adapting to a product's crap factor or overlooking them isn't what a good customer experience is. 

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