[SOLVED] no rgb header

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Paperdoc

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Background to help understand.

The market today is dominated by two different designs of lighting devices. The plain RGB system uses a connector / header with FOUR pins. These supply a common 12 VDC power line and three Ground lines. Along a light strip (or in a fan frame) there are three colours of LED: Red, Green, Blue. In the plain RGB strip all the Reds are connected to the Red Ground line, etc. The controller manipulates each of the three Ground lines to generate thousands of colours that can change over time. But at any one moment all of the strip is the SAME colour.

The more complex Addressable RGB (ADDR RGB, ARGB, or Digital RGB) uses a header with THREE pins: common +5 VDC and Ground lines, and a Digital Control Line. Along the strip those same three LED colours are organized into Nodes. A Node contains one :ED of each colour plus a Control Chip. That chip listens to the Control Lone and responds only to data packets addressed to it, manipulating only it set of three LED's. This at any one moment every Node along the strip can be a different colour, so this system can generate much more complex displays including rainbows, static or moving. NOTE that the Phanteks Halos frames are of this ARGB type, although Phanteks uses the term Digital RGB.

Because the voltage supply and method of control both are so different, these two systems can NOT be mixed in the same circuit.

Mobos come four ways in this area: no headers; only plain RGB; only ARGB; some of each. A mobo can have more than one header of each type, but often they are limited to only one or two of each. To connect several lighting devices, you can get Splitters for either 4-pn plain RGB or 3-pin ARGB systems. The mobo manual normally will tell you the max current a header can supply and you need to consider this in making your multi-strip connections, but that limit normally can handle at least four devices per header.

In lighted fans or "RGB Fans" or "ARGB Fans" the unit contains two devices, really - a fan motor, and some lights on the frame - and there are separate cables for each to go to the relevant headers. OP, you indicate you are not doing it that way; instead, you have non-lighted fans with the Halos frames added. This basically does not change the electrical details. The fan motor connections for mobo fan headers is the name as "normal". The Halos frames need to connect to a Controller box since you have no mobo ARGB header. That box supplies both power and display control. You have asked for a board to plug into a PCIe slot. But the more common way is a separate box and connecting cables that you mount inside your case to do the job. In selecting that, you need to consider three major points:

Plain RGB (4-pin, 12 VDC), or ARGB (3-pin, 5VDC)?
Do box connectors match the ones on your lighting devices (and maybe fan motors) - some boxes and fans use non-"standard" connectors?
How are the displays controlled?

On the last item, there are three common methods of control access. The simplest is a manual box with a few buttons on it to change display type, display speed, and colours. This MAY be included in the Controller as one box, which can make access to it awkward because it is INSIDE you case for connection to the lights, OR the buttons may be on a separate box on a cable that extends outside your case. A second variation is that the button box may be a hand-held battery-powered remote control with many buttons that communicates its settings to the actual controller box inside the case using a radio signal. The third option is a way to connect the Controller Box with a cable to a mobo USB2 header, and install a software utility on your system that you run to communicate instructions to that box from your keyboard. This latter system typically "consumes" one mobo USB2 header (that has two USB2 ports in it), but you may have an unused header for this.

For you, OP, you could buy fans with either plain RGB or ARGB lights in the frames, or unlighted fans and add the Phanteks Halos frames to them. (Halos comes only in ARGB type.) VERY often you can buy a complete kit of lighted fans plus Controller box that operate completely independent of the mobo. IF you go with the Halos frames, consider the Phanteks Digital RGB LED Starter Kit that contains the Controller Box and cables, a couple of light strips, and a manual button box on a cable you can feed out of the case for easy access.

Notes on the two cards linked above in other posts. The first (Akasa Vega) is a FOUR-pin plain RGB controller with a single control button on the back edge. The second (Akasa Soho) is a THREE-pin ARGB C0ntroller with, again, a single button on the back. In each case it appears that the board has several pre-set displays and the single button allows you to step though them all and find the one you want. Systems with separate boxes and control buttons generally offer more control flexibiltiity; those with the button box separate from the Contrloler on a cable, or with a remote control hand-held box, are more convenient for access to those controls.
 
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froggy8

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Background to help understand.

The market today is dominated by two different designs of lighting devices. The plain RGB system uses a connector / header with FOUR pins. These supply a common 12 VDC power line and three Ground lines. Along a light strip (or in a fan frame) there are three colours of LED: Red, Green, Blue. In the plain RGB strip all the Reds are connected to the Red Ground line, etc. The controller manipulates each of the three Ground lines to generate thousands of colours that can change over time. But at any one moment all of the strip is the SAME colour.

The more complex Addressable RGB (ADDR RGB, ARGB, or Digital RGB) uses a header with THREE pins: common +5 VDC and Ground lines, and a Digital Control Line. Along the strip those same three LED colours are organized into Nodes. A Node contains one :ED of each colour plus a Control Chip. That chip listens to the Control Lone and responds only to data packets addressed to it, manipulating only it set of three LED's. This at any one moment every Node along the strip can be a different colour, so this system can generate much more complex displays including rainbows, static or moving. NOTE that the Phanteks Halos frames are of this ARGB type, although Phanteks uses the term Digital RGB.

Because the voltage supply and method of control both are so different, these two systems can NOT be mixed in the same circuit.

Mobos come four ways in this area: no headers; only plain RGB; only ARGB; some of each. A mobo can have more than one header of each type, but often they are limited to only one or two of each. To connect several lighting devices, you can get Splitters for either 4-pn plain RGB or 3-pin ARGB systems. The mobo manual normally will tell you the max current a header can supply and you need to consider this in making your multi-strip connections, but that limit normally can handle at least four devices per header.

In lighted fans or "RGB Fans" or "ARGB Fans" the unit contains two devices, really - a fan motor, and some lights on the frame - and there are separate cables for each to go to the relevant headers. OP, you indicate you are not doing it that way; instead, you have non-lighted fans with the Halos frames added. This basically does not change the electrical details. The fan motor connections for mobo fan headers is the name as "normal". The Halos frames need to connect to a Controller box since you have no mobo ARGB header. That box supplies both power and display control. You have asked for a board to plug into a PCIe slot. But the more common way is a separate box and connecting cables that you mount inside your case to do the job. In selecting that, you need to consider three major points:

Plain RGB (4-pin, 12 VDC), or ARGB (3-pin, 5VDC)?
Do box connectors match the ones on your lighting devices (and maybe fan motors) - some boxes and fans use non-"standard" connectors?
How are the displays controlled?

On the last item, there are three common methods of control access. The simplest is a manual box with a few buttons on it to change display type, display speed, and colours. This MAY be included in the Controller as one box, which can make access to it awkward because it is INSIDE you case for connection to the lights, OR the buttons may be on a separate box on a cable that extends outside your case. A second variation is that the button box may be a hand-held battery-powered remote control with many buttons that communicates its settings to the actual controller box inside the case using a radio signal. The third option is a way to connect the Controller Box with a cable to a mobo USB2 header, and install a software utility on your system that you run to communicate instructions to that box from your keyboard. This latter system typically "consumes" one mobo USB2 header (that has two USB2 ports in it), but you may have an unused header for this.

For you, OP, you could buy fans with either plain RGB or ARGB lights in the frames, or unlighted fans and add the Phanteks Halos frames to them. (Halos comes only in ARGB type.) VERY often you can buy a complete kit of lighted fans plus Controller box that operate completely independent of the mobo. IF you go with the Halos frames, consider the Phanteks Digital RGB LED Starter Kit that contains the Controller Box and cables, a couple of light strips, and a manual button box on a cable you can feed out of the case for easy access.

Notes on the two cards linked above in other posts. The first (Akasa Vega) is a FOUR-pin plain RGB controller with a single control button on the back edge. The second (Akasa Soho) is a THREE-pin ARGB C0ntroller with, again, a single button on the back. In each case it appears that the board has several pre-set displays and the single button allows you to step though them all and find the one you want. Systems with separate boxes and control buttons generally offer more control flexibiltiity; those with the button box separate from the Contrloler on a cable, or with a remote control hand-held box, are more convenient for access to those controls.
many thanks for your post.

i have been searching high and low for a way to add a argb controller as i prefer the lights that mixes the colours and not like a normal rgb whic only lights up one colour at a time.

i have the enthoo pro which already has a rgb controller but i also want to control the lighting with the motherboard, not with a controller box or anything like that. so i can use any of the rgb softwares such as asrock, msi asus.
 

Paperdoc

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There are a few models of Enthoo Pro from Phanteks. But none I saw included an RGB Controller, nor any fans with RGB features. I do note that Phanteks tends to use the term "RGB" for both types of lighting systems, and make it clear which they sell by using the term "Digital RGB". The Enthoo Pro DOES contain a PWM Hub used to power several new 4-pin PWM style FANS under control from a mobo fan header. This is NOT the same as a lighting Controller.

The software utilities ASUS Aura Sync, MSI Mystic Light, Gogabyte RGB Fusion etc. all are proprietary tools supplied by mobo makers customized to work with their mobos. You can NOT rely on trying to use any of them with a mobo made by anyone else. And they can NOT control a third-party Controller board no matter how it is connected to your mobo. Now, you MAY find a PCIe card, or a Controller box that has a connection to a USB2 header, that does come with such a software tool supplied by that device's maker, but do not expect to use a utility from a mobo maker. Note that the two PCIe boards others posted about above do NOT work that way at all. With NO mobo header, they can be adjusted only by their single back panel button. The do have the option of accepting a control signal from "outside" - that is, from a mobo lighting header of the matching type - but you do NOT have one. That is the heart of this thread.
 
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froggy8

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There are a few models of Enthoo Pro from Phanteks. But none I saw included an RGB Controller, nor any fans with RGB features. I do note that Phanteks tends to use the term "RGB" for both types of lighting systems, and make it clear which they sell by using the term "Digital RGB". The Enthoo Pro DOES contain a PWM Hub used to power several new 4-pin PWM style FANS under control from a mobo fan header. This is NOT the same as a lighting Controller.

The software utilities ASUS Aura Sync, MSI Mystic Light, Gogabyte RGB Fusion etc. all are proprietary tools supplied by mobo makers customized to work with their mobos. You can NOT rely on trying to use any of them with a mobo made by anyone else. And they can NOT control a third-party Controller board no matter how it is connected to your mobo. Now, you MAY find a PCIe card, or a Controller box that has a connection to a USB2 header, that does come with such a software tool supplied by that device's maker, but do not expect to use a utility from a mobo maker. Note that the two PCIe boards others posted about above do NOT work that way at all. With NO mobo header, they can be adjusted only by their single back panel button. The do have the option of accepting a control signal from "outside" - that is, from a mobo lighting header of the matching type - but you do NOT have one. That is the heart of this thread.
this is teh one i have :

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Phanteks-Tempered-Glass-Black-PH-ES515PTG_SWT/dp/B074Q5MFX5

this case is only rgb and not argb.

are you saying the only way to get argb lights is to upgrade my motherboard?
 

Paperdoc

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Thanks for that detail. I see that this case comes with Halos fan frames included, which makes some sense. I don't think Phanteks makes any fans with lights in their frames, but they do sell the Halos frame accessories that fit onto most standard fans. However, I did not realize that these come in both plain RGB and ARGB versions. and as you say, the info on that case clearly indicates it has the plain RGB (4-pin, 12 VDC) versions. That makes this slightly trickier. The Phanteks Digital RGB LED Starter Kit I suggested before is ONLY for the ARGB lighting system, and Phanteks' website does not list any comparable product for plain RGB systems. So you'd need to get one from another supplier. HOWEVER, you indicated that you really want to have the ARGB type of lights with the more complex displays available. To do that you'd need to replace some items. Either replace your fans with ones that include ARGB lights in their frames, or use the fans you have but replace only the lighted frames with Phanteks' alternative, the Halos Digital or Halos Lux Digital model. Then you COULD use that Phanteks Digital controller system OR another supplier's Controller.

That takes us back to your preference of HOW the controls operate. You started out looking for a Controller card to fit into a PCIe slot, suited for ARGB lights (maybe) and somehow using software for keyboard / monitor control of the lighting displays. It is more common to do this using ARGB Controllers built into a mobo, and using a software utility supplied with that mobo. You can do some of this using third-party Controllers independent of the mobo, but most of those use some sort of manual control box with buttons, not software. The useful feature of the Phanteks system for this is that its manual button box is on the end of a cable you feed out of your case, so access to it is easy. I learned recently of ONE unit that might do what you want, the Cooler Master A-RGB LED Small Controller. This is a single box with four buttons on it that you mount inside your case. It connects to a PSU SATA power output for power, and comes with an adapter cable that converts its non-standard output ports to the "standard" 3-pin outputs to feed "normal" ARGB lighting units. (NOTE that the Phanteks Halos Digital frames use non-standard connectors, but I believe (CHECK on that!) they come with adapter cables to allow you to plug into "normal" ARGB 3-pin outputs.) The Cooler Master unit can be used like other manual control boxes via its buttons, or can accept an ARGB signal from a mobo ARGB header. But it also has a USB2 port and cable you can use to connect it to a mobo USB2 header or to a common USB2 socket - I'm NOT clear which. Anyway they say that you can then use their software called MasterPlus+ on your machine to configure and control that controller from your keyboard and screen. That way you CAN use it by software without any mobo header to feed it signals. However, I have read conflicting reviews of this system. If this option interests you, you should first confirm with CoolerMaster that this controller DOES work that way with the MasterPlus+ software and NO mobo ARGB signal input. Also search the web for user comments on this system.
 
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froggy8

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Thanks for that detail. I see that this case comes with Halos fan frames included, which makes some sense. I don't think Phanteks makes any fans with lights in their frames, but they do sell the Halos frame accessories that fit onto most standard fans. However, I did not realize that these come in both plain RGB and ARGB versions. and as you say, the info on that case clearly indicates it has the plain RGB (4-pin, 12 VDC) versions. That makes this slightly trickier. The Phanteks Digital RGB LED Starter Kit I suggested before is ONLY for the ARGB lighting system, and Phanteks' website does not list any comparable product for plain RGB systems. So you'd need to get one from another supplier. HOWEVER, you indicated that you really want to have the ARGB type of lights with the more complex displays available. To do that you'd need to replace some items. Either replace your fans with ones that include ARGB lights in their frames, or use the fans you have but replace only the lighted frames with Phanteks' alternative, the Halos Digital or Halos Lux Digital model. Then you COULD use that Phanteks Digital controller system OR another supplier's Controller.

That takes us back to your preference of HOW the controls operate. You started out looking for a Controller card to fit into a PCIe slot, suited for ARGB lights (maybe) and somehow using software for keyboard / monitor control of the lighting displays. It is more common to do this using ARGB Controllers built into a mobo, and using a software utility supplied with that mobo. You can do some of this using third-party Controllers independent of the mobo, but most of those use some sort of manual control box with buttons, not software. The useful feature of the Phanteks system for this is that its manual button box is on the end of a cable you feed out of your case, so access to it is easy. I learned recently of ONE unit that might do what you want, the Cooler Master A-RGB LED Small Controller. This is a single box with four buttons on it that you mount inside your case. It connects to a PSU SATA power output for power, and comes with an adapter cable that converts its non-standard output ports to the "standard" 3-pin outputs to feed "normal" ARGB lighting units. (NOTE that the Phanteks Halos Digital frames use non-standard connectors, but I believe (CHECK on that!) they come with adapter cables to allow you to plug into "normal" ARGB 3-pin outputs.) The Cooler Master unit can be used like other manual control boxes via its buttons, or can - I'm NOT clear which. Anyway they say that you can then use their software called MasterPlus+ on your machine to configure and control that controller from your keyboard and screen. That way you CAN use it by software without any mobo header to feed it signals. However, I have read conflicting reviews of this system. If this option interests you, you should first confirm with CoolerMaster that this controller DOES work that way with the MasterPlus+ software and NO mobo ARGB signal input. Also search the web for user comments on this system.
i have been looking at the phanteks one before i decided to try get some sort of argb header on my mobo.

do you mean this one?


this does seem like the one i want

the bit you said:

'accept an ARGB signal from a mobo ARGB header. But it also has a USB2 port and cable you can use to connect it to a mobo USB2 header or to a common USB2 socket'

you saying i could still connect to mobo even if i dont have argb header?
 

froggy8

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Thanks for that detail. I see that this case comes with Halos fan frames included, which makes some sense. I don't think Phanteks makes any fans with lights in their frames, but they do sell the Halos frame accessories that fit onto most standard fans. However, I did not realize that these come in both plain RGB and ARGB versions. and as you say, the info on that case clearly indicates it has the plain RGB (4-pin, 12 VDC) versions. That makes this slightly trickier. The Phanteks Digital RGB LED Starter Kit I suggested before is ONLY for the ARGB lighting system, and Phanteks' website does not list any comparable product for plain RGB systems. So you'd need to get one from another supplier. HOWEVER, you indicated that you really want to have the ARGB type of lights with the more complex displays available. To do that you'd need to replace some items. Either replace your fans with ones that include ARGB lights in their frames, or use the fans you have but replace only the lighted frames with Phanteks' alternative, the Halos Digital or Halos Lux Digital model. Then you COULD use that Phanteks Digital controller system OR another supplier's Controller.

That takes us back to your preference of HOW the controls operate. You started out looking for a Controller card to fit into a PCIe slot, suited for ARGB lights (maybe) and somehow using software for keyboard / monitor control of the lighting displays. It is more common to do this using ARGB Controllers built into a mobo, and using a software utility supplied with that mobo. You can do some of this using third-party Controllers independent of the mobo, but most of those use some sort of manual control box with buttons, not software. The useful feature of the Phanteks system for this is that its manual button box is on the end of a cable you feed out of your case, so access to it is easy. I learned recently of ONE unit that might do what you want, the Cooler Master A-RGB LED Small Controller. This is a single box with four buttons on it that you mount inside your case. It connects to a PSU SATA power output for power, and comes with an adapter cable that converts its non-standard output ports to the "standard" 3-pin outputs to feed "normal" ARGB lighting units. (NOTE that the Phanteks Halos Digital frames use non-standard connectors, but I believe (CHECK on that!) they come with adapter cables to allow you to plug into "normal" ARGB 3-pin outputs.) The Cooler Master unit can be used like other manual control boxes via its buttons, or can accept an ARGB signal from a mobo ARGB header. But it also has a USB2 port and cable you can use to connect it to a mobo USB2 header or to a common USB2 socket - I'm NOT clear which. Anyway they say that you can then use their software called MasterPlus+ on your machine to configure and control that controller from your keyboard and screen. That way you CAN use it by software without any mobo header to feed it signals. However, I have read conflicting reviews of this system. If this option interests you, you should first confirm with CoolerMaster that this controller DOES work that way with the MasterPlus+ software and NO mobo ARGB signal input. Also search the web for user comments on this system.
just had another look and it does seem like the only way is to use a controller box, the usb connection is for the devices software which i believe is very similar to other brands software like asus, asrock and msi.

many thanks
 

Paperdoc

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Yes, that's the exact unit I meant.

To clarify, "connect to motherboard" comes in MANY flavours that all do different things. A mobo may have a lighting device header (either plain RGB or ARGB). What that means is the mobo has a Controller chip on it that can do all of the work to power lights and control their displays, and the ONLY electrical signal it can send out are exactly what any lighting Controller can do. It cannot receive any info. On the other hand, a mobo USB2 header is a connector designed to provide two standard USB2 ports. Such a port can provide a small amount of power to a connected device, but its main focus is only to provide two-way communication of data packets for communication with an attached device. It is a VERY general port with no "knowledge" of how to do anything but move data packets. Various application software tools can use it to communicate with an external device that has matching communication ability. If that device also has on its own some programming to do certain tasks in response to instructions, and/or to return information packets to the application software, then it can do some things of use. So USB ports are used to connect to the mobo keyboards, mice, printers, scanners, cameras, etc., etc. What each of those does depends entirely on what that device was designed to do, and the application software or deice driver must use the proper instruction packets to get that to work. A USB2 type A socket on the outside of the case fed from that mobo USB header is just an extension of the wires from the header, so it's the way you can plug in one device.

So, IF your mobo HAS a lighting device header fed by a mobo Controller, then you can plug your lighting unit into that directly, and all the "smarts" and "work" to power and control the lights comes from the mobo components. But IF you do not have that, then a separate Controller capable of doing all that is required. Further, you need some way to make adjustments to what that Controller can do, unless you want your lights to do only one pre-programmed thing. The simple versions of that are the manual boxes with three or four buttons that allow you to step though several pre-programmed possible values for each of three characteristics typically: display pattern, colour, and change speed. Whether the buttons are part of the Controller box, or on a separate box with a cable, or in a hand-held remote control, that's all the same thing. Note that the power for the lights, drawn from a connection to your PSU, is fed out from this box, AND that all the "smarts" with all the pre-programmed patterns and options also are in that Controller box. MANY of these boxes also have an option to allow the box to NOT generate the electrical signals for the lights by itself, but instead to merely relay out to its lighting unit some control signals provided by a mobo lighting header IF you have such a thing. Alternatively, you can get a system that you use via the keyboard (with info displayed to you on your screen) for making the same types of setting adjustments, but then you need some means of communicating those to the actual Controller box the common way for this is to use the highly generalized USB communication system to convey instructions generated in the software tool running on the mobo to the Controller box via a data packet communication line, and to receive any info returned to the software from the Controller. This is NOTHING like having a dedicated Controller output port on the mobo.

The Cooler Master A-RGB LED Small Controller is somewhat unusual. It is one of those stand-alone Controllers that works with NO connection to the mobo. It gets power from the PSU and has 4 buttons to allow you to choose display parameters from among its pre-programmed options. It does have an input connector to allow you to feed it with the signals from a mobo ARGB header IF you have one, and to have the Controller use those signals to relay to its lights. The unusual item, though is that it also has a USB2 connector (and the related communication hardware inside) that you can connect to a mobo USB2 port so that it can communicate with the mobo. The CoolerMaster supplies you with their software utility called MasterPlus+ to run on your mobo. This allows you to make your display option choices via keyboard and screen, and communicate them to the Controller box. I say "unusual" because most systems that operate this way are provided as part of a complete proprietary system of lights and controller, usually with non-standard connectors, that cannot be used with other maker's hardware and lighting units. The CoolerMaster unit is designed to work with "standard" lighting units so it can be used with most makers' hardware.

I remind you to contact Cooler Master directly to confirm that this unit and its software DOES do what it appears to claim in the web pages (as above), AND to search for user comments on how well or poorly the system does those jobs.
 
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froggy8

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Yes, that's the exact unit I meant.

To clarify, "connect to motherboard" comes in MANY flavours that all do different things. A mobo may have a lighting device header (either plain RGB or ARGB). What that means is the mobo has a Controller chip on it that can do all of the work to power lights and control their displays, and the ONLY electrical signal it can send out are exactly what any lighting Controller can do. It cannot receive any info. On the other hand, a mobo USB2 header is a connector designed to provide two standard USB2 ports. Such a port can provide a small amount of power to a connected device, but its main focus is only to provide two-way communication of data packets for communication with an attached device. It is a VERY general port with no "knowledge" of how to do anything but move data packets. Various application software tools can use it to communicate with an external device that has matching communication ability. If that device also has on its own some programming to do certain tasks in response to instructions, and/or to return information packets to the application software, then it can do some things of use. So USB ports are used to connect to the mobo keyboards, mice, printers, scanners, cameras, etc., etc. What each of those does depends entirely on what that device was designed to do, and the application software or deice driver must use the proper instruction packets to get that to work. A USB2 type A socket on the outside of the case fed from that mobo USB header is just an extension of the wires from the header, so it's the way you can plug in one device.

So, IF your mobo HAS a lighting device header fed by a mobo Controller, then you can plug your lighting unit into that directly, and all the "smarts" and "work" to power and control the lights comes from the mobo components. But IF you do not have that, then a separate Controller capable of doing all that is required. Further, you need some way to make adjustments to what that Controller can do, unless you want your lights to do only one pre-programmed thing. The simple versions of that are the manual boxes with three or four buttons that allow you to step though several pre-programmed possible values for each of three characteristics typically: display pattern, colour, and change speed. Whether the buttons are part of the Controller box, or on a separate box with a cable, or in a hand-held remote control, that's all the same thing. Note that the power for the lights, drawn from a connection to your PSU, is fed out from this box, AND that all the "smarts" with all the pre-programmed patterns and options also are in that Controller box. MANY of these boxes also have an option to allow the box to NOT generate the electrical signals for the lights by itself, but instead to merely relay out to its lighting unit some control signals provided by a mobo lighting header IF you have such a thing. Alternatively, you can get a system that you use via the keyboard (with info displayed to you on your screen) for making the same types of setting adjustments, but then you need some means of communicating those to the actual Controller box the common way for this is to use the highly generalized USB communication system to convey instructions generated in the software tool running on the mobo to the Controller box via a data packet communication line, and to receive any info returned to the software from the Controller. This is NOTHING like having a dedicated Controller output port on the mobo.

The Cooler Master A-RGB LED Small Controller is somewhat unusual. It is one of those stand-alone Controllers that works with NO connection to the mobo. It gets power from the PSU and has 4 buttons to allow you to choose display parameters from among its pre-programmed options. It does have an input connector to allow you to feed it with the signals from a mobo ARGB header IF you have one, and to have the Controller use those signals to relay to its lights. The unusual item, though is that it also has a USB2 connector (and the related communication hardware inside) that you can connect to a mobo USB2 port so that it can communicate with the mobo. The CoolerMaster supplies you with their software utility called MasterPlus+ to run on your mobo. This allows you to make your display option choices via keyboard and screen, and communicate them to the Controller box. I say "unusual" because most systems that operate this way are provided as part of a complete proprietary system of lights and controller, usually with non-standard connectors, that cannot be used with other maker's hardware and lighting units. The CoolerMaster unit is designed to work with "standard" lighting units so it can be used with most makers' hardware.

I remind you to contact Cooler Master directly to confirm that this unit and its software DOES do what it appears to claim in the web pages (as above), AND to search for user comments on how well or poorly the system does those jobs.
many thanks for your help,

i have decided to go for the coolmaster what you linked, im sure that is the best i can do regarding argb. i did want to control through motherboard which this unit will let me do but just wanted to use other brands instead. have heard asus on e is the best one to use.
 

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If you get the CoolerMaster A-RGB Led Small Controller, see its manual here


It comes with four cables. One (item C) to feed lights has three standard 3-pin ARGB male output connectors, and a two-connector fourth arm used to connect to a mobo ARGB header, which you will not use. Item D is just a 3-output splitter cable for fan MOTORS you probably don't need. Item B has two ends: one to plug into a SATA power output from the PSU, and another used with Item E for ... I don't know what. But the key here is that it provides three standard male 3-pin lighting outputs.

On the Phanteks side, some of their kits come with an adapter cable, but you may not have received that with your case and frames. So looking at the Phanteks site for Digital RGB Accessories one finds the 3-pin Digital RGB Motherboard Adapter Cable here

https://www.phanteks.com/PH-CB_DRGB3P-MB.html

with three connectors on it. One is a standard 3-pin female ARGB connector that you can plug into one of the outputs from the Controller. One is a male just to "replace" the one "used" by the female. And the third, I believe, is the one that a Phanteks lighting cable's non-standard connector fits into. That gets you one frame connected. But then all the Phantex Halos and Digital Halos frames come with both male and female connectors on their cables so you can plug one frame's input into a male output from the previous frame, constructing a "daisy chain".
 
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froggy8

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If you get the CoolerMaster A-RGB Led Small Controller, see its manual here


It comes with four cables. One (item C) to feed lights has three standard 3-pin ARGB male output connectors, and a two-connector fourth arm used to connect to a mobo ARGB header, which you will not use. Item D is just a 3-output splitter cable for fan MOTORS you probably don't need. Item B has two ends: one to plug into a SATA power output from the PSU, and another used with Item E for ... I don't know what. But the key here is that it provides three standard male 3-pin lighting outputs.

On the Phanteks side, some of their kits come with an adapter cable, but you may not have received that with your case and frames. So looking at the Phanteks site for Digital RGB Accessories one finds the 3-pin Digital RGB Motherboard Adapter Cable here

https://www.phanteks.com/PH-CB_DRGB3P-MB.html

with three connectors on it. One is a standard 3-pin female ARGB connector that you can plug into one of the outputs from the Controller. One is a male just to "replace" the one "used" by the female. And the third, I believe, is the one that a Phanteks lighting cable's non-standard connector fits into. That gets you one frame connected. But then all the Phantex Halos and Digital Halos frames come with both male and female connectors on their cables so you can plug one frame's input into a male output from the previous frame, constructing a "daisy chain".
many thanks for that,

i will have a proper look at the controller when i order it and see what is what.

all this argb is mind boggling, it started off with me only wanting the lights that i already have in my case which is just rgb then looking over the internet i discovered there are better rgb (argb) which is so much better. i just had to have that in my case.
 

froggy8

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If you get the CoolerMaster A-RGB Led Small Controller, see its manual here


It comes with four cables. One (item C) to feed lights has three standard 3-pin ARGB male output connectors, and a two-connector fourth arm used to connect to a mobo ARGB header, which you will not use. Item D is just a 3-output splitter cable for fan MOTORS you probably don't need. Item B has two ends: one to plug into a SATA power output from the PSU, and another used with Item E for ... I don't know what. But the key here is that it provides three standard male 3-pin lighting outputs.

On the Phanteks side, some of their kits come with an adapter cable, but you may not have received that with your case and frames. So looking at the Phanteks site for Digital RGB Accessories one finds the 3-pin Digital RGB Motherboard Adapter Cable here

https://www.phanteks.com/PH-CB_DRGB3P-MB.html

with three connectors on it. One is a standard 3-pin female ARGB connector that you can plug into one of the outputs from the Controller. One is a male just to "replace" the one "used" by the female. And the third, I believe, is the one that a Phanteks lighting cable's non-standard connector fits into. That gets you one frame connected. But then all the Phantex Halos and Digital Halos frames come with both male and female connectors on their cables so you can plug one frame's input into a male output from the previous frame, constructing a "daisy chain".
hhmmmm thought i could do another trophy but it just over ride from your last trophy.
 

froggy8

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hi guys,

any other recommendation on a argb controller as the one above is quite hard to find, well the ones i have found are around 50 to 60 pound. but the ones that is out of stock is around 30 pound.
 

Paperdoc

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Check the Razer Chroma ARGB Controller. It is a third-party Controller for any ARGB lights that use the standard 3-pin 5VDC connector, and connects to a mobo USB2 header so you can use their Razer Chroma software utility to configure and control. Does not need a mobo ARGB header.

https://www.razer.com/gaming-pc-accessories/razer-chroma-addressable-rgb-controller/RZ34-02140600-R3U1

Found for sale on Amazon in UK - not sure where you are buying in £.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Razer-RZ34-02140600-R3M1-Chroma-ARGB-Box/dp/B08LGQRLXV/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Razer+Chroma+Addressable+RGB+Controller&qid=1618710530&sr=8-1
 
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froggy8

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Check the Razer Chroma ARGB Controller. It is a third-party Controller for any ARGB lights that use the standard 3-pin 5VDC connector, and connects to a mobo USB2 header so you can use their Razer Chroma software utility to configure and control. Does not need a mobo ARGB header.

https://www.razer.com/gaming-pc-accessories/razer-chroma-addressable-rgb-controller/RZ34-02140600-R3U1

Found for sale on Amazon in UK - not sure where you are buying in £.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Razer-RZ34-02140600-R3M1-Chroma-ARGB-Box/dp/B08LGQRLXV/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Razer+Chroma+Addressable+RGB+Controller&qid=1618710530&sr=8-1
man thanks for that link

just had a quick read and it seems the connection is universal which means i dont need any other converter connection, is that right?
 

froggy8

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Check the Razer Chroma ARGB Controller. It is a third-party Controller for any ARGB lights that use the standard 3-pin 5VDC connector, and connects to a mobo USB2 header so you can use their Razer Chroma software utility to configure and control. Does not need a mobo ARGB header.

https://www.razer.com/gaming-pc-accessories/razer-chroma-addressable-rgb-controller/RZ34-02140600-R3U1

Found for sale on Amazon in UK - not sure where you are buying in £.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Razer-RZ34-02140600-R3M1-Chroma-ARGB-Box/dp/B08LGQRLXV/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Razer+Chroma+Addressable+RGB+Controller&qid=1618710530&sr=8-1
the cooler master is back in stock at only 20 pound but what is teh wire i need to connect to my phanteks halo please?
 

Paperdoc

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As I recall, the Phanteks Halos frames use a non-standard connector on their wires, BUT SOME of the Digital RGB frames come with the adapter cable required to convert that to a standard (3-1) pin connector so they CAN be plugged into a header of that widely-used type. If your frames do NOT come with those adapter cables, Phanteks does sell them separately

https://www.phanteks.com/PH-CB_DRGB3P-MB.html

It is actually fitted with the connector for the frame, and with both male and female (3-1) connectors so you can "daisy-chain" several frames from one controller output port.

The Razer Controller box has those standard (3-1) ports. I believe the Cooler Master unit has non-stanradrd ports but also comes with an adapter that converts its port to the (3-1) standard male output. So with either Controller and using the Phanteks adapter cables you can make the connection.
 
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froggy8

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As I recall, the Phanteks Halos frames use a non-standard connector on their wires, BUT SOME of the Digital RGB frames come with the adapter cable required to convert that to a standard (3-1) pin connector so they CAN be plugged into a header of that widely-used type. If your frames do NOT come with those adapter cables, Phanteks does sell them separately

https://www.phanteks.com/PH-CB_DRGB3P-MB.html

It is actually fitted with the connector for the frame, and with both male and female (3-1) connectors so you can "daisy-chain" several frames from one controller output port.

The Razer Controller box has those standard (3-1) ports. I believe the Cooler Master unit has non-stanradrd ports but also comes with an adapter that converts its port to the (3-1) standard male output. So with either Controller and using the Phanteks adapter cables you can make the connection.
many thanks again for your help.
 

Paperdoc

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Two added thoughts.

The Phanteks frames themselves are fitted with two cables so you can daisy-chain several of them to each other. Thus to connect that chain to a single output port of the "standard" (3-1) form, you need only ONE adapter cable.

When you use certain daisy-chain cable systems, you may end up with one or more male output connectors with exposed pins that you are not using. It is wise to tape over those exposed pins to prevent accident contact somewhere.
 
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froggy8

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Two added thoughts.

The Phanteks frames themselves are fitted with two cables so you can daisy-chain several of them to each other. Thus to connect that chain to a single output port of the "standard" (3-1) form, you need only ONE adapter cable.

When you use certain daisy-chain cable systems, you may end up with one or more male output connectors with exposed pins that you are not using. It is wise to tape over those exposed pins to prevent accident contact somewhere.
good idea, i will do that.
 

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