Are there good non-PCI fan and RGB controllers?

Discussion in 'Overclocking & Cooling' started by Thunderdolt, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. Thunderdolt

    Thunderdolt [H]Lite

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    I'm finding that the Corsair Commander is fairly buggy as well as a bit limited (ie, it doesn't work if the computer is locked). Is there another controller I should be looking at for managing my fan speeds and potentially pump speeds as well?

    • I currently have 24 Corsair ML RGB fans grouped into four sets of 2/6/8/8
    • This is a 3-loop setup with 2 of the pumps having PWM control
    • I'd like closed loop fan control for each fan group
    • I want to use the RGB in the fans to indicate loop and/or GPU temperature
    • I want the whole thing to work even when the machine is locked
    • There are no available PCI slots in the machine
    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Warriorprophet

    Warriorprophet [H]ard|Gawd

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    How many corsair commanders are you using now?
     
  3. Warriorprophet

    Warriorprophet [H]ard|Gawd

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    I mean if you take out the PCI solutions everything else is going to be similar to the corsair commander, and the only one guaranteed to do RGB as you want is the Corsair ones sooo....
     
  4. Thunderdolt

    Thunderdolt [H]Lite

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    I'm currently using one for the GPU loops with four Node Pros for the LEDs on those loops. The CPU loop is being managed by the motherboard plus another Node Pro.

    I was afraid that might be the case. There is one short slot that doesn't have anything in it, but there isn't space to put a card there due to the GPUs. I'd need a low profile adapter that allowed for remotely mounting the fan controller somewhere else.
     
  5. Warriorprophet

    Warriorprophet [H]ard|Gawd

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    You could use one of the mining PCIe extenders and take the bracket off, put it behind the mobo tray..I think that's your best bet.

    Could use an m.2 to x4 adapter if you have any free m.2 slots....
     
  6. Thunderdolt

    Thunderdolt [H]Lite

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    The M.2 to x4 adapter sounds interesting. I do have a free M.2 slot on the motherboard.

    I like where this is going. What would be your suggestion for a PCI fan controller?
     
  7. Warriorprophet

    Warriorprophet [H]ard|Gawd

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    Looking around there's really nothing with enough channels/watts per channel to do what you say, I think anything software based is going to be about as cumbersome as your current setup.

    So unless you want to go to say multiple 5.25 bay type controllers and lose RGB...meh

    Have you thought of just switching to EK Vardar fans on all the rads and just using RGB strips? Its a lot easier to find a 6 channel RGB strip controller and just use them to do what you want with temp monitoring.
     
  8. Thunderdolt

    Thunderdolt [H]Lite

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    Darn. I was hoping there would be a magic box or four which could replace the buggy Corsair stuff - something more like a tool and less like a toy.

    I could swap out the fans, but I'd rather not since that's almost $700 in fans :wideyed: Crap. I shouldn't have added that up :vomit: I guess I could keep the fans as-is and just not use the RGB on them.

    Looking at the specs, maybe my best bet is to try kludging this together via the motherboard fan headers? I could just do fan curves via the AI Suite that way. Looks like the Rampage VI has 6 fan headers rated at 1A each. Four of those could power the GPU rad fans at 90% duty cycle at max speed and the remaining two could handle the CPU rad fans. Chassis exhaust fans would be driven off of the 3A fan header. The pumps could be left at a fixed RPM and therefore wouldn't require any headers. I'd then go with RGB strips like you mentioned in order to give temp and fault indications.

    My goal with having the GPUs on two discrete loops was to give the maximum level of modularity and redundancy, so that I could, for example, hot swap the connectors and run all GPUs off of one pump in the event of a pump failure. That ends up adding a bunch of control complexity, which is the issue that prompted this thread. Perhaps this simply isn't meant to be and I should just run the GPUs on one dual radiator loop.
     
  9. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex [H]ard|Gawd

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    Aquaero. It will do everything you need it to do except control the lighting on those Corsair fans. The main unit has four PWM channels rated for 2.5a apiece, eight temperature sensor inputs, and additional units can be slaved to it in order to get more I/O.

    It is a standalone controller and uses USB to connect to the computer. However, once you have configured it you don't need to run the software or even have it plugged into USB - it stores the program and will run it whenever there is power.

    The software is powerful too. There's not much that it can't do, especially for a watercooled build.
     
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  10. cyberguyz

    cyberguyz Gawd

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    I'm reading the OP and wondering why there has an issue with the CCP unit when his computer is locked. After all it is possible to set up USB fingerprint readers which means the USB has to be operable when the computer is locked. Is there a specific security policy or power setting that is disabling the USB communication?

    In any case as far as fans go my fans all still work fine when my computer is locked. My CCP monitors the fans, but like the aquero controllers once the curve is set it is independent of the USB bus. I don't use the lighting funcs at all.
    It appears only the rgb lighting stops doing its thing when the computer is locked. It seems the only thing your really need is something to control your lighting.
    That said I am guessing your are using Corsairs lighting stuff and with that in mind they are pretty proprietary.

    I can't see an easy or cheap way to fix your lighting issues.

    One thing I can say is that the Corsair Link software does get into conflicts with other software that attempts to monitor your fans like HWiNFO64 - it is pretty anti-social that way. Beyond that it works pretty well for me.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
  11. Thunderdolt

    Thunderdolt [H]Lite

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    There is a bug in iCue that prevents a large portion of its functionality from working when the machine is locked. Corsair's official line on this is that they're calling it a feature. I'd LOL if this weren't true.

    In terms of what works and doesn't work when the machine is locked, I'm not entirely sure. Corsair is dodgy when asked and the software is so buggy that it can be hard for an end user to test things like this.


    The other issue with iCue is that it crashes one of the rendering apps I use. That's kind of a big deal. I've been thinking of uninstalling iCue and giving Corsair Link a shot instead. Even though it's dead software according to Corsair, it sounds like a generally superior product.
     
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  12. JargonGR

    JargonGR Limp Gawd

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    Well they have released modules that now can control Corsair & NZXT addressable RGB led fans.

    https://shop.aquacomputer.de/product_info.php?language=en&products_id=3773

    They can get costly since you need these and some other modules but you won't find anything else that does all this in the market.
     
  13. ChoGGi

    ChoGGi [H]ard|Gawd

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    I've been using SIV to control my commander without issues for a year or two (link was a buggy hunk).
    I haven't used it for LEDs, just fans and a pump.
    Edit: It does have support for link LEDs though no idea about your fan LEDs...
    Feel free to ask if you need help setting it up.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019