Question Installation of Corsair H100i PRO RGB question

Sep 19, 2019
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I have a problem:

I am building a new system. I am using the Corsair H100i PRO RGB AIO as the cooling solution to the 9600K.

My motherboard is Asus ROG Strix Z390-F. It has a total of 7 fan headers, CPU_FAN, CPU_CPU_OPT, AIO_PUMP, CHA_FAN1, CHA_FAN2, W_PUMP+ and M.2_FAN.

I have no problems getting the fans and radiator hooked up and fitted to the roof of the case. That part is done admirably easy.

Now I am in the middle of installing the pump to the CPU and before I fit it into the socket, I get stuck here. There I notice 3 cables from the pump unit:
  1. SATA ---- This one I know it is required to connect to the PSU SATA cable, I have no problem with it. It supplies power to the unit.
  2. The 3-pin female connector (according to manual, it is required to connect to the CPU_FAN header0
  3. A Y-split cable with two male 4 pin connectors (according to the manual, the two connectors are meant to hook up with the two fans' connectors.
If I follow the instructions to connect them all up, how do I monitor the speeds of the two fans and that of the pump separately? Despite I haven't finished with the whole setup, I observed in some videos that this motherboard's BIOS provides fans monitoring software to monitor the speed of the CPU_FAN, CPU_OPT, AIO_PUMP, CHA_FAN1, CHA_FAN2,...etc. If I follow the instruction, only 1 fan header namely, CPU_FAN will be used. Will I lose seeing the speed of the two fans and most importantly the speed of the pump?
 
Last edited:

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
You use the Corsair iCue software for monitoring and control. The 3 pin pump connector connects to the CPU_FAN header, which is four pin, but you do not NEED any PWM control on the pump because the pump should be 100% speed at ALL times. You do not want ANY variable speed on the pump, only on the fans.

The pump ALSO has a USB connection that must be connected, which is how the iCUE software is able to control the fan speed and monitor everything. It is indicated on step 6 of the quick start guide.
 
Reactions: BY66
Sep 19, 2019
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You use the Corsair iCue software for monitoring and control. The 3 pin pump connector connects to the CPU_FAN header, which is four pin, but you do not NEED any PWM control on the pump because the pump should be 100% speed at ALL times. You do not want ANY variable speed on the pump, only on the fans.

The pump ALSO has a USB connection that must be connected, which is how the iCUE software is able to control the fan speed and monitor everything. It is indicated on step 6 of the quick start guide.
Thanks for your reply, m a bit desperate. I searched everywhere but found no useful information.
I guess my previous experience with H60 has led me to think that only 1 connection is required to connect the pump to the CPU FAN header.
The H100i PRO RGB is definitely different.

So let me get this right: so the 2 PWM fans are "linked" up with something (which we need not to know what that is) inside the pump unit and the 3 pin connector hooked up to the CPU_FAN header on the motherboard will allow information regarding the fan's speed and the pump speed to be processed by the iCUE software, do I understand it correctly?

If yes, then I have a concern: does it mean that I have one less option to monitor (not change or control) the fan's speed and the pump speed via ASUS BIOS and its Xpert 4 monitoring software?

Just my personal comment, I feel this is very strange arrangement by Corsair. A normal thinking will lead one to connect the two PWM fans to the CPU_FAN and CPU_OPT headers for speed control. Then maybe the 3-pin (I believe it is the PUMP speed controller?) connected to another header maybe AIO_PUMP? As it is 3-pin, nobody can control its speed it will run at full speed by default. Had I know this particular Corsair product is so confusing and eliminate BIOS tweaking, I would have chosen to buy another brand, afterall my case is a Cooler Master. IT's just that Corsair has earned some goodwill in my heart over the years as I used it first generation H60 AIO.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
No, you don't. As I said, there is a USB connection in addition to the three connections you described. All the two fan connections DO, is control the fans. All the SATA connector does, is provide power. All the CPU_FAN connection does, is make sure the pump is running full time 100%.

The USB connection that goes from the pump to the motherboard, which is outlined in step 6 of the quick start guide for your board, provides all communication between the iCUE software and the pump and the fans, for control of the fans and monitoring of the pump speed. Nothing else has anything to do with the control of the various components OR the communications. Just the USB connection.
 
Sep 19, 2019
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No, you don't. As I said, there is a USB connection in addition to the three connections you described. All the two fan connections DO, is control the fans. All the SATA connector does, is provide power. All the CPU_FAN connection does, is make sure the pump is running full time 100%.

The USB connection that goes from the pump to the motherboard, which is outlined in step 6 of the quick start guide for your board, provides all communication between the iCUE software and the pump and the fans, for control of the fans and monitoring of the pump speed. Nothing else has anything to do with the control of the various components OR the communications. Just the USB connection.
So, in order to control the fan speed, (Not the pump speed, I don't touch the pump speed of course, one would like it to tun 100% or even 200%), I must install the iCUE?
And as far as hardware installation, I have to follow the instruction fan's connectors to the Y-Splitter, 3 pin connector to the CPU_FAN header and NOT the AIO_PUMP, then the SATA for power, AND THE USB TO THE motherboard USB header (by the way is that any 10-1 pin USB header on the motherboard will do? I have 2 of them in my motherboard.

Also, the design of this whole product defeats the AIO_PUMP header function!!

Had I know that I don't need that many fan headers for fan speed control, I would have not bought this expensive motherboard and I will go for a mATX board. Why Corsair makes this so complicated? If I were Corsair, I would have drafted 2 manuals: one is for RGB with iCUE software, one is without iCUE.

I would not recommend Corsair Cooler to anyone from now on!
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
IF you want to use the iCUE software, then yes. Otherwise, you could just connect and control the pump through the BIOS using the CPU_FAN header settings, and connect your radiator fans to any two available CHA_FAN headers on the motherboard and control them the same way. Far as I am aware there is no reason that can't work just like any older AIO that didn't have fancy control software. Also, pretty sure you could just disable the CPU_FAN header warnings in the BIOS and use the AIO pump header for the pump. Headers are headers. Doesn't REALLY matter which ones you use on most boards these days.

You still need other fan headers for the rest of your case fans, if you have them, which you should.
 
Reactions: BY66
AIO systems introduce a small dilemma that mobo fan control systems did not anticipate, and there are various ways that these are handled. You also need to understand that the CPU_FAN and other headers have FOUR functions: provide power to the connected device; display the speed of that device; control the speed of that device; and, monitor that device's speed signal for FAILURE and take appropriate action if such failure is detected. For the CPU in particular, many mobos take quick and significant ation in the event of failure of CPU cooling, including immediate warning displays and often including rapid system shut-down even without waiting for the sensor inside the CPU chip to show high temps. In the case of AIO systems, there are two devices involved in CPU cooling - the pump and the rad fan(s). Of these, the PUMP is more important for failure monitoring because without that there is VERY LITTLE cooling, whereas failure of one or even all fans on the rad leaves some cooling working, just not enough.

The way Corsair's H100i system does these jobs is this. (And yes, this is different from the way their older H60 system did it.) There is a 3-pin connection from the PUMP to the mobo's CPU_FAN header which feeds the speed of the PUMP to that header where it can be monitored for FAILURE; it also is available for display and as info accessible by other systems. The pump gets all power for itself and the rad fans directly from the PSU via its SATA power input cable. The pump housing also contains all the circuitry to power and control the rad fans, and in this system there is NO mobo involvement in rad fan control. To do this you MUST connect the rad fans to the outputs from the PUMP unit. There is a cable connecting the pump to a mobo USB2 header, and that is the communication link between it and the iCue software utility that you must download and run. THAT utility will monitor and display the pump speed via the info it gets from the CPU_FAN header. It also completely takes over control, display and failure monitoring of the rad fan speeds, so that is the only place you can "see" those speeds. Control of CPU cooling is done solely by varying the speeds of the rad fans; the pump speed is usually full speed although some options may be available to you in iCue.

Your mobo has some fan headers suited to use with AIO systems that operate differently. The Corsair H100i system was designed for use even without those additional headers and does not require them.
 
Reactions: BY66
Sep 19, 2019
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IF you want to use the iCUE software, then yes. Otherwise, you could just connect and control the pump through the BIOS using the CPU_FAN header settings, and connect your radiator fans to any two available CHA_FAN headers on the motherboard and control them the same way. Far as I am aware there is no reason that can't work just like any older AIO that didn't have fancy control software. Also, pretty sure you could just disable the CPU_FAN header warnings in the BIOS and use the AIO pump header for the pump. Headers are headers. Doesn't REALLY matter which ones you use on most boards these days.

You still need other fan headers for the rest of your case fans, if you have them, which you should.
Thanks, from what you said, you seem to understand what I am thinking. As luck could have it, I just received some response from Corsair Forum, here is what he said about the CPU_FAN and CPU_OPT control header, they do behave differently from others which is something I didn't know:

A second issue may be cpu/opt fan control. Those two headers were meant for air tower fans and they have very quick response times — something completely needless on a water system. I have not tested on Z390, but historically those two headers ignore the specified fan delays under a number of conditions, one of which is rapid cpu temp change. Really annoying to have the fans ramp up to max when you hit a game loading screen or your anti-virus kicks in. If you decide you need bios/MB control, you might look at using a CHA fan header on a splitter. Better still would be a 10K thermistor to the back of the radiator, but I am not sure the F has that sensor input like the Code.
I am waiting for his reply about using the AIO_PUMP header. you see the other trouble I am getting at the moment is that the ASUS Technical Support in my region is very weak, they have no in depth knowledge about the fan hearders.
In fact, after reading Corsair reply, I might need to get a 4 pin PWM splitter because one of the CHA_FAN2 is used for the rear fan in my beloved MasterBox MB511, great case this one is, a bit under-rated.

Fortunately, the front 3 RBG fans are controlled by a separate RGB controller and they are power-wise 3-pins only via molex connector. The Z390-F has 7 fan headers, but W_PUMP+ and M.2_FAN are clearly for other peripherals, their voltage might be different.
 
Sep 19, 2019
32
2
35
0
AIO systems introduce a small dilemma that mobo fan control systems did not anticipate, and there are various ways that these are handled. You also need to understand that the CPU_FAN and other headers have FOUR functions: provide power to the connected device; display the speed of that device; control the speed of that device; and, monitor that device's speed signal for FAILURE and take appropriate action if such failure is detected. For the CPU in particular, many mobos take quick and significant ation in the event of failure of CPU cooling, including immediate warning displays and often including rapid system shut-down even without waiting for the sensor inside the CPU chip to show high temps. In the case of AIO systems, there are two devices involved in CPU cooling - the pump and the rad fan(s). Of these, the PUMP is more important for failure monitoring because without that there is VERY LITTLE cooling, whereas failure of one or even all fans on the rad leaves some cooling working, just not enough.

The way Corsair's H100i system does these jobs is this. (And yes, this is different from the way their older H60 system did it.) There is a 3-pin connection from the PUMP to the mobo's CPU_FAN header which feeds the speed of the PUMP to that header where it can be monitored for FAILURE; it also is available for display and as info accessible by other systems. The pump gets all power for itself and the rad fans directly from the PSU via its SATA power input cable. The pump housing also contains all the circuitry to power and control the rad fans, and in this system there is NO mobo involvement in rad fan control. To do this you MUST connect the rad fans to the outputs from the PUMP unit. There is a cable connecting the pump to a mobo USB2 header, and that is the communication link between it and the iCue software utility that you must download and run. THAT utility will monitor and display the pump speed via the info it gets from the CPU_FAN header. It also completely takes over control, display and failure monitoring of the rad fan speeds, so that is the only place you can "see" those speeds. Control of CPU cooling is done solely by varying the speeds of the rad fans; the pump speed is usually full speed although some options may be available to you in iCue.

Your mobo has some fan headers suited to use with AIO systems that operate differently. The Corsair H100i system was designed for use even without those additional headers and does not require them.
Really appreciate for your in-depth explanation! It looks like then, connecting everything according to the manual is the only option I have. Because according to your explanation, in case the CPU has to be shutdown, AIO_PUMP header control doesn't possess of that capability to do so.

About iCUE, I have to use it anyway because I have purchased the Corsair RMx 850W PSU, a quite expensive unit and it also has a USB cable for monitoring the states of various parts of the unit.

I am just a bit disappointed that the control and monitoring of the two fans won't be available in the BIOS then, will they?
 
Sep 19, 2019
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2
35
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Your mobo has some fan headers suited to use with AIO systems that operate differently. The Corsair H100i system was designed for use even without those additional headers and does not require them.
Thanks for the heads-up, I guess you must be referring to motherboards like iTX where they normally have 2 fan headers maximum. You're right, the H100i PRO is in fact a thoughtful design.

I withdraw what I said about my not recommending the product to others.
 

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