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How does iCUE even work? (general iCUE related question)


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I'm in the process of planning out a gaming PC setup, with a lot of products using the iCUE/Corsair ecosystem of course. I've been browsing this forum, and I had a lot of questions which weren't asked by others, most have to do with the general setup of iCUE products. Navigating the software is fairly simple for me, as I can afford to run into issues and ask questions there and then, this is just so I understand what I do and don't need to buy for connections and wiring.

1) Which hub do I use and what cables do I need?
There are two obvious ones: the "Corsair iCUE LINK System Hub" or the "Corsair iCUE COMMANDER CORE XT". I'm planning on using the 4000X case, with a liquid cooler (H100x) and a total of six fans. Plus, I'm hopefully going to be using the LC100 for decoration as well. All I want is the ability to control fan speed and RBG, that's it. 

2) Do all iCUE products need a hub?
I'm also planning on using other RGB products, like the ST100 Headphone Stand, MM700 mouse mat. As well as the LT100 and LS100 starter kits. I'm not sure how a lot of these connect, whether its through USB or some other means of connection.

3) How do partner products work?
Like Nanoleaf or Phillips Hue, do they connect wirelessly, etc.

4) How does the screen mirroring feature work?
Do you need some separate hub, or is all of your iCUE products, including ones from Nanoleaf or Phillips Hue, able to mimic what your seeing on your screen straight from the iCUE software?

That are most of my questions now, I'll expect to get more later but they may be easier to answer with knowledge from the answers to this post. Also, if there is any official or un-official guide to using iCUE, that would be great to have. Thanks.

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1) Hubs - It depends on what fans you use.  We are in a transition period from one controller generation to another.  Most Corsair products still use the Lighting Node Core/Pro or Commander XT/Pro controllers for PWM and RGB control.  The SP-Elite fans that come with the 4000X will be connected to a Lighting Node Core and that controller can handle 3 more fans for RGB.  The new generation of controller is the single wire "linked devices" that use the CUE Link Hub.  The only fans that use this are the new QX fans, CUE Link AIOs, and a few new Hydro X products.  This controller passes both power, speed control, and RGB through a single wire and connected fans have no wire at all.  This is the direction things are headed.


If you get a 4000X, it would make sense to get a Commander XT for both speed control and RGB control.  The other way to do that is to upgrade the AIO to a H100i Elite Capellix XT.  This has the Commander Core already in the box and takes care of speed/RGB for 6 fans.  The H100x is not a CUE controlled AIO and it is intended to be connected to the motherboard and left alone.  If you are interested in the CUE Link system, it would make more sense to get the 4000D version, then add QX fans and a CUE Link H100i.  


2).  No, hubs are typically for internal devices.  Everything needs a controller of some type.  Some devices use motherboard native controllers and more complex ones may need a standalone controller.  The ST100, MM700, LT 100, and LS100 all connect back to the system using a USB 2.0 external (rear of motherboard) connection for communication.  They do not need to connect an internal lighting controller.  On the other hand, something like the LC100 triangles do require a RGB channel on a controller and were meant to be used internally.  As a general rule, internal devices usually need one and external devices do not or have their own inside the device.  


3) Both Nanoleaf and HUE should connect using your home Wifi network, the same way you likely use your phone to control them now.  I don't use either and can't say more than that.


4) Screen mirroring is done through the Mural effect layer in CUE.  You can arrange your device in their physical positions there.  HUE and Nano devices should appear there as well.  


5) There is no official written guide for CUE.  Most of Corsair's tutorials for specific tasks are linked within the help section on the main website or Youtube videos.  



Edited by c-attack
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