Corsair iCUE Link – One cable, fourteen fans

Corsair iCUE Link - One cable, fourteen fans

You are reading a featured article. This is the first preview on Tweakers in the Cables category. Then they must be very special, right? Corsair’s flagship new product at Computex is actually a cable, but iCUE Link should be above all else the answer to the cable problem: a hot topic in this exchange anyway.

The fan or water cooling pump and its RGB lighting can both be controlled via the reversible iCUE Link connector. This does not have to be done over a cable. With a small intermediate piece, you can connect the fans to each other, for this you only need to connect a wire to one fan in the kit. It doesn’t matter if you connect them in series or parallel or any combination of both. Each cooler or fan has two of these daisy-chain connectors. The pump cable itself is integrated in sleeves affiliate tubes; So there are no more visible cables sticking out of the block.

Corsair QX140 fan with iCUE Link coupler (right) and booster dummy (left)

The only limit is that no more than fourteen devices (fans or pumps) can be connected to an iCUE Link hub. This axis is the central axis of the system; The idea is that you hide it somewhere behind the motherboard. The hub has two iCUE link ports and connects to the rest of the system via USB 2.0 for data and PEG for power. In total, the hub can deliver up to 168 watts of power, enough for any possible combination of pumps and fans.

iCUE link hub with 2 link cables and PEG plug for power supply

The first iCUE Link products are the QX120 RGB and QX140 RGB, which are two sizes of pwm fans with magnetic bearing. You can click them together seamlessly with iCUE spacers on one side and dummy pieces on the other, with the help of magnets. So you can’t click two fans together so that they each blow in a different direction. Additionally, Corsair is re-releasing the H100i and H150i water coolers, in 240 and 360mm respectively, in the iCUE Link series. A little later, variants with the later LCD also appear, which are equipped with a screen. A 420mm version will also be released: the iCUE Link H170i LCD Monitor.

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Since you need to be able to connect the propellers in any order, each iCUE Link compatible component contains a microcontroller. You can use its computing power to great effects. The controller can adjust the frequency of the light to the current speed of the fan, making it appear as if the fan is standing still, spinning very slowly or even spinning counterclockwise. This effect cannot be captured on photos, so watch the video if you want to see it.

Two Corsair iCUE Link water coolers, for a total of five fans and two pumps. You can connect two of this configuration to one hub.

While that didn’t work out flawlessly with the prototypes shown, you’ll soon be able to upgrade your existing iCUE Link cooler with a milk-transparent RGB cover with an LCD display top. Unfortunately, you need an extra cable for this. The bandwidth of the iCUE link is not enough to control a 30fps monitor, which is why there is a USB-C port on each radiator. This, in my opinion, detracts a bit from the “single cable” concept.

iCUE Link RGB display and the necessary USB-C port on the cooler

With the iCUE Link cooler, you get a 60cm cable as standard, but other sizes will also be available, with an angled connector and a split cable. RGB fans, cables and coolers will be available at the end of this month. Pricing is not yet officially known, but I understand from Corsair that you have to count on a few dozen extra price compared to current models.

Complete build with iCUE Link water coolers and fans

Finally, I have a piece of exclusive information for you. ICUE Link fits in perfectly with all the initiatives I’ve seen in this gallery to make cables less visible. Since Corsair doesn’t make video cards or motherboards, of course, those cables still run through the casing. All these concepts from ASUS, MSI, and Gigabyte are nice, but I wrote on Tuesday that this calls for an interchange standard. And I have good news: Corsair is working behind the scenes with several motherboard manufacturers on an enclosure that will support connecting all cables through the back of the motherboard. This project is still in its infancy and Corsair doesn’t expect to be able to present the result until next year, but I think manufacturers competing in some areas are seeking convergence to make this concept a success for a wide audience. News.

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