What is the current state of RGB lighting?

Discussion in 'Cases & Case Modding' started by rtangwai, Mar 23, 2018.

  1. rtangwai

    rtangwai [H]ard|Gawd

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    I recently picked up a Thermaltake Core P7 case. I have temporarily installed an i7-3770K CPU and ASUS P8Z77-WS motherboard. It looks alright but it is definitely boring. I'd like to bling it up with some RGB fans and light strips.

    The problem I have is that as far as I can tell there is no single unifying standard. A manufacturer's RGB controller can control only their fans/strips. Sometimes even the RGB connector is proprietary so it won't fit literally anywhere else. Corsair is exceptionally complicated as you cannot even mix different fan types (SP vs HD vs LL) on the same fan hub. The motherboard makers aren't much better, with Gigabyte using a special 5-pin connector (for pure white) instead of the standard 4-pin.

    What I would like to know is whether or not the manufacturers have announced plans to start making things cross-compatible. I really don't want to run multiple RGB control apps and syncing them together from multiple vendors is starting to look like a nightmare.

    As an alternative, is there a single app that is cross-platform and can control all these various RGB products under one console? I can't imagine getting everything to work together otherwise.

    Sure I could go with a single manufacturer, but I can't seem to find one that provides everything I want. Thermaltake is close with their Riing Plus series (which includes PSUs), but the software is terrible. Corsair doesn't have a RGB PSU. NZXT fans don't look great but the software is nice.

    I do intend on installing watercooling (haven't done that in 12 years and even then it was with a Reservator 1), but I cannot figure out if the RGB waterblocks (GPU and CPU) can be controlled in software at all. I'm rusty enough to consider going AiO on that front, but I am unimpressed with the Kraken G12 mount I would really prefer a full jacket solution for my RX 480 as those VRMs get really hot.

    So, am I jumping into RGB too soon or have I overlooked something crucial?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Brian_B

    Brian_B [H]ard|Gawd

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    Yeah... No.

    Manufacturers absolutely do not want a standard. They want you locked into their ecosystem.

    Sucks for us. I don't see it changing anytime soon though.
     
  3. Krenum

    Krenum [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Multicolored.
     
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  4. craigdt

    craigdt Gawd

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    Ive put all my eggs in the Asus Aura basket.
     
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  5. AORUS

    AORUS Limp Gawd

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    No company will cross-compatible with each other, there is no money in it, I control all my RGB lighting strips with the Corsair link also I use a Thermaltake fan controller for my Corsair RGB HD fans & Thermaltake ring fans and I have 12 fans in total in my big tower case.

    it dose look pretty at night also if you buy the Corsair RGB keyboard & mouse to match.
     
  6. Absalom

    Absalom Limp Gawd

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    G.Skill RGB ram is controllable through Asus Aura. In fact, G.Skill's own RGB software will install Asus Aura software even if you don't own any Asus products.

    I don't know if that's a move towards standardization or assimilation. At this point, I'm leaning towards the latter.
     
  7. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex Gawd

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    Uhm... I'm using that Gigabyte 5-pin header on my mobo to control some 4-pin Phanteks Halos and an XSPC 5mm LED. I'm using two splitters and an adapter to do it.

    There is a level of "standardization", even if it's not official. Mixing and matching is possible as long as you do your homework.
     
  8. Xaeos

    Xaeos [H]ardness Supreme

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    As others have said, it is kind of annoying there is a patchwork of varying standards, however there is some good news. First of all the semi-proprietary standards from main hardware manufacturers (ie mobos/gpus) , ASUS "Aura Sync" is one of the most open (thanks to an openly available SDK and implementation without a fee, if this is still accurate) and widely used, I've found. As others have said,GSkill RGB RAM for instance is Asus Aura compatible. Lots of hardware items actually support more than one of these standards though, I think those same GSkill RGB DDR4 sticks support ASUS, Gigabyte, and MSI's RGB ecosystems for for instance. Next, the use of standardized RGB and Addressable RGB headers on motherboards in recent generations is a nice feature. So in some ways there are kinda wonky moves towards universal compatibility, if not standardization

    However, the one really neat thing I found recently that handles the other half of the issue, peripherals. Razer, Logitech, Corsair and others have RGB SDKs that handle software control - and in some cases build in different features to various games. Check out for instance...

    Thankfully there is an open source program called "Aurora" - http://project-aurora.com/ - that unifies and extends support to devices not otherwise supported. They should be incorporating ASUS Aura I'm told, as well. Hopefully programs like this will help to bridge the gap and ensure full featured use across any standards, at least until manufacturers give up the idea of lock-in. In the meantime, try to support those who do things in the most open way possible (ie easily available SDKs, hardware based on open RGB controllers like Arduinos etc) and encourage them to knock down barriers
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2018
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  9. Aenra

    Aenra [H]Lite

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    Was that sarcasm dear? :)
     
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  10. KazeoHin

    KazeoHin [H]ardness Supreme

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    Aura Sync is the closest we have to a 'universal' ecosystem. Basically anything that uses 4-pin RGB headers can connect to it.
     
  11. defaultluser

    defaultluser I B Dum

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    RGB control is a lost cause, since so many different systems exist. You have to be truly dedicated to deal with it, or go through the trouble of buying from the same brand.

    This is early days, so just because a part claims compatibility with a standard doesn't mean it will "just work." Expect much head banging of you own.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2018 at 4:57 PM
  12. Krenum

    Krenum [H]ardForum Junkie

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    No its true. :)
     
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  13. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex Gawd

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    But by that logic, anything compatible with MSI Mystic Lighting or Gigabyte RGB Fusion is also "universal," as evidenced by these Phanteks fan frames which are compatible with all three: http://www.phanteks.com/HalosLux.html

    ...and I own some of those frames. They aren't different part numbers for different brands of RGB control. So, Asus, Gigabyte and MSI at least must have cross-compatibility, even though their branding makes it seem like they're different systems.