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  #16  
Old 04-24-2015, 08:04 PM
Falkentyne Falkentyne is offline
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So if you are using "per key" lighting and trying to select one of the 16.8 million colors, the flickering does NOT happen, right?

It only happens when using custom color effects where the colors change rapidly? (e.g., ripple, wave, marquee, snake, breathing, etc?)

If YES, and per key customization gives the full complete palette without flickering (lets say, setting every key on your keyboard to a unique color, e.g, in RGB values, Q=255,128,16, W= 240, 192, 150, E=66, 75, 90 ,etc, all without flickering, if THAT Is the case, I'm willing to cut corsair some slack here.


  #17  
Old 04-24-2015, 08:07 PM
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Corsair James Corsair James is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falkentyne View Post
So if you are using "per key" lighting and trying to select one of the 16.8 million colors, the flickering does NOT happen, right?

It only happens when using custom color effects where the colors change rapidly? (e.g., ripple, wave, marquee, snake, breathing, etc?)

If YES, and per key customization gives the full complete palette without flickering (lets say, setting every key on your keyboard to a unique color, e.g, in RGB values, Q=255,128,16, W= 240, 192, 150, E=66, 75, 90 ,etc, all without flickering, if THAT Is the case, I'm willing to cut corsair some slack here.
If a key is assigned a color with no animation, there is no flicker. The flicker only occurs during foreground animation.


  #18  
Old 04-24-2015, 11:18 PM
remilton remilton is offline
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I am a bit on the fence on this for now. While the flicker is annoying, the fact is that in general I use per key colors for my profiles. The animations are mostly good for demonstration purpose and not very useful for gaming or productivity apps.


  #19  
Old 04-24-2015, 11:33 PM
remilton remilton is offline
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I wonder if reducing the number of colors from 16.8 million to say 8.4 would reduce the flicker? I seriously doubt if anyone could tell the difference. Or even 4.2 million colors. Heck anything past a few thousand is probably overkill. The difference from a practical standpoint is really just a marketing thing. I know I would be willing to take the hit if it made the flicker imperceptible.


  #20  
Old 04-25-2015, 01:14 AM
ApexAU ApexAU is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by remilton View Post
I wonder if reducing the number of colors from 16.8 million to say 8.4 would reduce the flicker? I seriously doubt if anyone could tell the difference. Or even 4.2 million colors. Heck anything past a few thousand is probably overkill. The difference from a practical standpoint is really just a marketing thing. I know I would be willing to take the hit if it made the flicker imperceptible.
That's a good question. I imagine most users would be willing to halve the number of colours to remove or reduce the flickering. If reducing colours would help, perhaps Corsair could add 8.4m and 4.2m tick boxes underneath the 16.8m option in CUE?


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  #21  
Old 04-25-2015, 02:16 AM
goomonster3 goomonster3 is offline
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Originally Posted by ApexAU View Post
That's a good question. I imagine most users would be willing to halve the number of colours to remove or reduce the flickering. If reducing colours would help, perhaps Corsair could add 8.4m and 4.2m tick boxes underneath the 16.8m option in CUE?
Honestly, I think this would reduce / remove the flickering, but two things:
1) They advertised 16.8 million colors and claimed to be able to provide it - although now they have provided it, but barely any profiles work without flickering...

2) Our eyes can only see 7,000,000 colors at max, meaning if corsair did reduce the color display range it would have the same ability as 16.8 million colors, and would probably work with the hardware.


  #22  
Old 04-25-2015, 04:15 AM
Falkentyne Falkentyne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApexAU View Post
That's a good question. I imagine most users would be willing to halve the number of colours to remove or reduce the flickering. If reducing colours would help, perhaps Corsair could add 8.4m and 4.2m tick boxes underneath the 16.8m option in CUE?
You can't just create an arbitrary value like that.
Do you know how binary math works?

512 was 8 x 8 x 8.

16 million colors is 256x256x256. (16,777,216)
256 by itself is all 8 bits active:
128+64+32+16+8+4+2+1.
That's actually 255 (which gives us 16,581,375)
256 is the next bit over (bit 8)
But its unknown if bits 0-7 are being used (For 255) or bit 8 is being used (For 256). But not to go massively off subject,

But you can only have a value of the 3 same numbers x 3
So 128x128x128, is 2,097,152

So you can see, reducing the # of individual color channels by half (256 to 128) gives you an almost 80% REDUCTION of # of total colors!

So it's NOT so simple, guys.


  #23  
Old 04-25-2015, 04:35 AM
Proffo Proffo is offline
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I might be wrong, but my understanding is that to implement 16.8m colours, the firmware had to be changed to allow the entire colour palette to be updated when any LED changes colour. I'm not sure of the specific detail, but even if you reduce the colour range from 24 bits to 16 bits (65,536 colours), the load on the CPU might not reduce enough to eliminate the flicker.


  #24  
Old 04-25-2015, 05:02 AM
markob53 markob53 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goomonster3 View Post
Honestly I find this absolutely ridiculous... They claim the keyboard can show 16.8 million colors, and it can only display 512. They make us wait 8 weeks after the statement from the CEO (which is long after the initial release of the keyboard) then finally they release the update claiming 16.8 million colors but it turns out it doesn't have the capability to run it.. Absolutely rediculous and I am sure many people will agree with me here...
Honest question...but do they actually say 'The keyboard can SHOW 16.8mill colors' because on the front of my box it just says '16.8mill colors per key backlighting' which could be read in a way that means yes there are 16.8mill colors which you can CHOOSE from but they can't all be SHOWN per key, or is it also not possible to choose from 16.8mill colors? Maybe i've missed something so please correct me if so.


  #25  
Old 04-25-2015, 05:13 AM
ApexAU ApexAU is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falkentyne View Post
You can't just create an arbitrary value like that.
Do you know how binary math works?

512 was 8 x 8 x 8.

16 million colors is 256x256x256. (16,777,216)
256 by itself is all 8 bits active:
128+64+32+16+8+4+2+1.
That's actually 255 (which gives us 16,581,375)
256 is the next bit over (bit 8)
But its unknown if bits 0-7 are being used (For 255) or bit 8 is being used (For 256). But not to go massively off subject,

But you can only have a value of the 3 same numbers x 3
So 128x128x128, is 2,097,152

So you can see, reducing the # of individual color channels by half (256 to 128) gives you an almost 80% REDUCTION of # of total colors!

So it's NOT so simple, guys.
Thanks for the explanation. While a reduction from 16.8m to 2.1m sounds significant, I don't think it would have much of an impact on colour gradients and fluidity of animations. There is a noticeable difference between 512 and 16.8m but 2.1m is still more than 4000 times as many colours as the original number. I'm not an expert but I'm guessing a 2.1m colour range would be indistinguishable from a 16.m range on keyboard LEDs. If this is correct and a lower range would remove flickering, adding a 2.1m option into CUE is a no-brainer.

If it was put into CUE as an option alongside the 16.8m check-box, I doubt there'd be any backlash. Corsair's RGB keyboards would still be capable of 16.8m colours and no one would be forced to use the lower range. CUE already allows users to limit the range to 512 colours so including a 2.1m colour is hardly controversial.

Last edited by ApexAU; 04-25-2015 at 05:51 AM.


  #26  
Old 04-25-2015, 05:36 AM
Proffo Proffo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApexAU View Post
If this is correct and a lower range would remove flickering, adding a 2.1m option into CUE is a no-brainer.

If it was put into CUE as an option alongside the 16.8m check-box, I doubt there'd be any backlash.
If it did remove the flicker and provided smooth colour transistions, I think the vast majority of Kxx RGB owners would be happy.


  #27  
Old 04-25-2015, 07:46 AM
goomonster3 goomonster3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corsair James View Post
If a key is assigned a color with no animation, there is no flicker. The flicker only occurs during foreground animation.
Will you guys push out an update to fix the flicker? If so, when.

Also, will this mean no more 16.8 million colors, more like 2.1mil or something?


  #28  
Old 04-25-2015, 07:48 AM
goomonster3 goomonster3 is offline
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Originally Posted by Proffo View Post
If it did remove the flicker and provided smooth colour transistions, I think the vast majority of Kxx RGB owners would be happy.
This probably would work (less strain on the cpu) but if the developers thought of a new method of setting the LEDs... I am fairly sure they set all the LEDs (like refresh them) every time the update method is called which could be causing the flickering - well it will be.


  #29  
Old 04-25-2015, 08:01 AM
Proffo Proffo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goomonster3 View Post
This probably would work (less strain on the cpu) but if the developers thought of a new method of setting the LEDs... I am fairly sure they set all the LEDs (like refresh them) every time the update method is called which could be causing the flickering - well it will be.
This post, from around the time the limited colour range was first discovered, seems to suggest that there is no other method of setting the colour of the LEDs. The colour setting has to be done on the fly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalcProgrammer1 View Post
Well looking at the datasheet for the chip they used it seems 16.8 million independent colors is actually impossible. The chip only provides 8 possible brightness levels at once. The only way you could get all the colors it seems is to have all the LEDs the same color (or pick 8 static colors and vary their brightnesses).

Also, Panasonic advertises the chip as supporting 256 levels of brightness, which while actually true in the case of all LEDs being the same color, is very misleading because it does not mean all the LEDs can have 256 levels of independent brightness. Corsair may have been misled by this. Look for the product page for the AN3x chips and it clearly advertises 256 levels of brightness.

Edit: Here is the Panasonic product info I think is misleading:

http://www.mouser.com/new/panasonice...x-LED-drivers/

http://www.mouser.com/pdfdocs/Panaso...x_Brochure.pdf

Edit:

The maximum interface clock frequency on this chip is 1MHz. As it is a matrix driver, it must continuously scan through all 144 LED configurations fast enough that it is solid to the eye. Say a 60Hz refresh rate is necessary, that means each LED frame is 1 / (144x60) seconds, or 115 us. Because the chip does not store an 8 bit value for each LED, if it were to actually support 8 bit per LED the CPU would have to update the 8-bit PWM register every 115us. This is likely a 2-byte command at least, as you need to specify the address to write. At 1MHz, a single bit time is 1 us, so a 16-bit command would be at absolute lowest 16us, not accounting for framing and chip select delays. This is assuming they are maxing out the interface speed. That is a VERY tight timing margin. Now they have 3 of these chips to update at this rate. Assuming they are all on one SPI bus, that is 48us minimum needed to update in a window of only 115us. It would need to update before sending any PWM at all, which further complicates things as it could mean up to 48us go by with no command at all. On top of this constant data streaming the CPU is still expected to scan the key matrix at 1ms rates and manage USB interfacing. With a max frequency of 50MHz (per above comments) this sounds like an obscene amount of workload that I honestly do not see being possible. The timing is just too extreme. I also believe the update rate is higher than 60Hz, as 60Hz flicker is quite visible on LEDs. I want to set up a photoresistor circuit and hook it to my oscilloscope tomorrow and actually measure the scan frequency.
The flickering I'm seeing is not even 60hz. It seems to be a random flicker several times per second. This suggests that the controller is running flat out, and is running out of CPU cycles to execute the code fast enough, or the timing isn't synchronised properly. It's a bit like playing a videogame with graphics settings set too high for the hardware. There will be random dips below 60hz, depending on the load the system is under, that will cause stuttering or screen tear.

Last edited by Proffo; 04-25-2015 at 08:10 AM.


  #30  
Old 04-25-2015, 09:21 AM
goomonster3 goomonster3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Proffo View Post
This post, from around the time the limited colour range was first discovered, seems to suggest that there is no other method of setting the colour of the LEDs. The colour setting has to be done on the fly.



The flickering I'm seeing is not even 60hz. It seems to be a random flicker several times per second. This suggests that the controller is running flat out, and is running out of CPU cycles to execute the code fast enough, or the timing isn't synchronised properly. It's a bit like playing a videogame with graphics settings set too high for the hardware. There will be random dips below 60hz, depending on the load the system is under, that will cause stuttering or screen tear.
Ahh thanks for this.

I still stick by this: so the keyboard works amazingly with 512 colors, then it has very small flickering (it still displays a similar color). It flickers with 16.8 million colors, imagine if we half this number, that is 8.4 millions. Our eyes can only see 7 million, meaning its still 1.4 million colors ahead of us, but this would be MUCH MUCH MUCH less of a strain on the CPU I'm guessing.

I know you can't get 7 million colors as it goes 8, 16, 32 bit, but as a developer myself, I know you could run a for loop (or whatever method corsair uses to update the LEDs) and set the loop to run every 2 times, instead of every times it loops (in English: set the color every 2nd color instead of every color, meaning it halves the color availability, but also halves the refresh rate of the LEDs.


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