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Question RGB Device controllers: Recommend a solution for me

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
14,927
1,029
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In most respects, I would think this is dumb. OK -- I've spent chump-change here and there for light-bars, LED strings and other eye-candy trash. They still work. I just don't make "bling" my reason for building PCs and computing. It's all very ancillary -- a frill.

I'm building a twin box following my own prescriptions for the one I've had for four years. Both of these, by the way, can easily be upgraded to latest-gen cores and motherboards. VirtualLarry chided me that I'm using "four-year-old technology". I'm unphased.

I'm picking fans for the twin box. No more will I pick LED fans with limp, average CFMs and RPMs. Even the Corsair Mag-Lev fans leave something unfulfilled in those regards. I'm going to use Noctua IPPC 3000 140mm units for the cooler-pusher fan and the front and sidepanel fans. You'll tell me they're too noisy, but I can fix all that -- to my satisfaction, anyway. I still want the bling, though. So I found these items at Performance PCs:

Phanteks Halos Digital RGB Fan Frames -- 140mm

At minimum, I might want something like that to dress up the heatpipe-cooler's pusher fan. But now I see that these items require special motherboard headers for "RGB" control, and I don't think I have any. Or --they need their own controller. Before I even decide to pull the string for one or more of these . . . gadgets . . . I need to resolve the problem of powering and controlling them.

Somebody -- tell me . . . advise me . . point me in the right direction. Or, with the right information, I might just decide to turn around on my bling fantasies. Comments?
 

Paperdoc

Golden Member
Aug 17, 2006
1,980
141
106
The Phanteks Halos line of lighted fan frames uses what most others call Addressable RGB or ARGB lighting. That system is characterized by using a 3-pin connector (looks like a 4-pin one with one pin blocked off) that supplies power at 5 VDC. That is different from the other main system, plain RGB, that uses a 4-pin connector and supplies 12 VDC power. You cannot mix the two systems on one circuit. Just a note: Phanteks units use a slightly different connector from the type that has become "standard", so they also include an adapter cable to allow you to plug into most mobo ARGB headers. Further, note that Phanteks uses the label "Digital RGB" for these.

See the complete Phanteks Digital RGB product line here


You will see that there are two Halos products styles, plain and LUX, the latter made more sturdily.

Lights like that require a Controller that supplies both power and display control. Many mobos include at least one of those, but many do not. For users with no such mobo header, you need a third-party Controller module to connect the lights, and these come is several basic designs. Phanteks sells one called their Digital Controller Hub. It connects to a PSU output for power, has three output ports for lights, and an input port. It includes a manual three-button control box on a cable you can plug into the controller, and feed out of your case for access to the buttons. They allow you to select display options. IF you have an ARGB header on your mobo, as an alternative you can connect to that (using a different cable from the Controller box) to let those mobo header signals do display control using a software tool supplied with the mobo. You can buy the Digital Controller Hub with its included accessories by itself, or in a combo pack called their Digital RGB LED Starter Kit that includes a couple of light strips.
 

Iron Woode

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 10, 1999
28,773
9,057
136
In most respects, I would think this is dumb. OK -- I've spent chump-change here and there for light-bars, LED strings and other eye-candy trash. They still work. I just don't make "bling" my reason for building PCs and computing. It's all very ancillary -- a frill.

I'm building a twin box following my own prescriptions for the one I've had for four years. Both of these, by the way, can easily be upgraded to latest-gen cores and motherboards. VirtualLarry chided me that I'm using "four-year-old technology". I'm unphased.

I'm picking fans for the twin box. No more will I pick LED fans with limp, average CFMs and RPMs. Even the Corsair Mag-Lev fans leave something unfulfilled in those regards. I'm going to use Noctua IPPC 3000 140mm units for the cooler-pusher fan and the front and sidepanel fans. You'll tell me they're too noisy, but I can fix all that -- to my satisfaction, anyway. I still want the bling, though. So I found these items at Performance PCs:

Phanteks Halos Digital RGB Fan Frames -- 140mm

At minimum, I might want something like that to dress up the heatpipe-cooler's pusher fan. But now I see that these items require special motherboard headers for "RGB" control, and I don't think I have any. Or --they need their own controller. Before I even decide to pull the string for one or more of these . . . gadgets . . . I need to resolve the problem of powering and controlling them.

Somebody -- tell me . . . advise me . . point me in the right direction. Or, with the right information, I might just decide to turn around on my bling fantasies. Comments?
Here is a video review:


checking out reviews can give lots info you may not get here.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
14,927
1,029
126
Thanks --- Iron Woode and PaperDoc.

I took a look at my Sabertooth Z170 S mobo manual and cannot find any reference to such pin-outs or plugs.

This isn't any major priority, but I'm inclined to put an "ugly" 140mm Noctua on my Grand Macho RT cooler, and I thought an RGB device or "LED" ring might brighten things up.

I'll take a closer look.
 

Iron Woode

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 10, 1999
28,773
9,057
136
My board does have the 3 pin 5v connector.

You would need to use Phanteks' own controller.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
14,927
1,029
126
My board does have the 3 pin 5v connector.

You would need to use Phanteks' own controller.
I'll give it a closer look. Some of those items come with a "remote" controller! I don't know if I really care about that. I'm talking about a couple fans. Anything else is light-bars with toggle switches. Extra in-the-case clutter. But it's all cheap thrills. about the price of a mexican dinner or a couple double-bacon-cheese burgers.
 

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