Question RGB compatibility with MSI Z390 A Pro

ghost80808

Commendable
Feb 5, 2018
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Hi all,

Took my baby daughter to a friends place and she was absolutely mesmerized by his 70's RGB disco PC! Now I want to add a bit of bling to my own system, beyond the static LED strips I already have.

The problem is, I have no idea what is compatible with what, regarding RGB stuff.

I have an MSI Z390 A Pro mobo, and I know it does support some sort of RGB, but I have no idea where to start.

I'm not looking for anything too extravagant or expensive, just a pulsing light strip, or two, or three.

Anyone got some expertise in the area?
Thanks for any help you can offer.
 
Hi all,

Took my baby daughter to a friends place and she was absolutely mesmerized by his 70's RGB disco PC! Now I want to add a bit of bling to my own system, beyond the static LED strips I already have.

The problem is, I have no idea what is compatible with what, regarding RGB stuff.

I have an MSI Z390 A Pro mobo, and I know it does support some sort of RGB, but I have no idea where to start.

I'm not looking for anything too extravagant or expensive, just a pulsing light strip, or two, or three.

Anyone got some expertise in the area?
Thanks for any help you can offer.
MB has 1 x 4-pin RGB LED connector so any RGB (not ARGB) strip should works.
Something like this for instance: https://www.amazon.com/RGB-LED-Light-Strip-Compatible/dp/B07QP8ZVYD/ref=pd_sbs_147_2/143-0815677-9511559?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B07QP8ZVYD&pd_rd_r=495da5c4-38d2-4eb4-a792-50992487bbc2&pd_rd_w=560T1&pd_rd_wg=nznNZ&pf_rd_p=b65ee94e-1282-43fc-a8b1-8bf931f6dfab&pf_rd_r=BVE0GN1J3BF91PH6X1DZ&psc=1&refRID=BVE0GN1J3BF91PH6X1DZ
 
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ghost80808

Commendable
Feb 5, 2018
6
0
1,510
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Thanks Mike, but sadly the link didn't work, as I'm UK based. It's weird, as normally I can access amazon.com, but the link just autos to the amazon.co.uk, where that product doesn't exist. Instead I get a list of alternatives (all ARGB).
 

Paperdoc

Glorious
Ambassador
Here's some help to identify types of RGB. There are two incompatible types dominating the market now. Plain RGB uses a connector with 4 pins (on the mobo header, and similar 4 holes in the lighting cable) that provide a common 12 VDC supply to the lighting device (fan, strip, whatever) and three Ground lines to change the displays. The more complex Addressable RGB (ADDR RGB, ARGB, or Digital RGB) uses a similar connector with THREE pins and holes (looks like the 4-pin one with one hole closed off) that supplies common +5 VDC and Ground lines, and a digital Control Line. Both the supply voltage and the methods of display control are quite different, so you cannot mix the two types on a single circuit.

Your mobo (manual p.36) shows it has one plain RGB header (the 4-pin 12 VDC type), so that's the type of lights you can get. Here are a couple examples, one with 2 strips

https://www.amazon.co.uk/WOWLED-Desktop-Computer-Lighting-Compatible/dp/B07F75PQN2/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=rgb+lights+computer&qid=1603215493&sr=8-5

And one with 3 strips in the kit
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Speclux-Lighting-Compatiable-Mystic-GIGABYTE/dp/B08628BWY7/ref=sr_1_20?dchild=1&keywords=rgb+lights+computer&qid=1603215272&sr=8-20

Each of those kits includes an RGB Splitter cable to allow you to connect all the strips to a single mobo header. Once you have them and connect them, download from the MSI website their utility called MSI Mystic Light, and install that. It is how you configure the lights and set how they display.

The examples I linked above use the type of mobo header that is quite common. Check that carefully before you buy, because a few companies have used different connectors and that would require some adapter. And of course, do not get the ARGB type.

An alternative commonly available is a kit that does not connect readily to a mobo header, but comes with its own dedicated Controller box and some manual control for setting displays. These can be used in any system because they do not need a mobo header, but most of them can NOT be used with the mobo if that is what you want. Also beware the many systems sold NOT for use inside a computer case. Such lights have been available before they were adapted to computers, for room accent lighting or behind your TV, or whatever.
 

ghost80808

Commendable
Feb 5, 2018
6
0
1,510
0
Thanks Paperdoc. That is the info I was looking for. I was getting thrown off by addressable and non-addressable most of all, but your post and links have cleared that up. I was pretty sure I couldn't do addressable lighting, but just didn't want to risk buying the wrong thing.

My little one is going to love these lights! Hopefully they will distract her from constantly trying to steal my controller, mid-battle! :D

Thanks again.
 

NadeMagnet69

Great
Jul 20, 2020
149
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Thanks Paperdoc. That is the info I was looking for. I was getting thrown off by addressable and non-addressable most of all, but your post and links have cleared that up. I was pretty sure I couldn't do addressable lighting, but just didn't want to risk buying the wrong thing.

My little one is going to love these lights! Hopefully they will distract her from constantly trying to steal my controller, mid-battle! :D

Thanks again.
lol The trick is to give her a second unplugged controller so she can "play" too. Enjoy those years. They grow up too fast and turn into evil teenagers. My boy's now in college and apparently I'm just the worst. :rolleyes::ROFLMAO: Parenting can be such a thankless job. Wouldn't have traded it for the world though.
 

Paperdoc

Glorious
Ambassador
I know what you mean. All our kids are in 30's and 40's, our youngest grandchild is 18 and starting college, and our great-grandchild is 5. So we've seen all ages and know what you are living with now, and fully understand your enjoyment of it. Our son played with video games and then computers (Commodore 64 first) from an early age, and is now a top Tech Support person answering phones for the local communications utility company to help users solve their problems. One daughter is an MRI Technologist who operates the machines to scan patients, and the other is a Pharmacy Technician.
 
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NadeMagnet69

Great
Jul 20, 2020
149
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I know what you mean. All our kids are in 30's and 40's, our youngest grandchild is 18 and starting college, and our great-grandchild is 5. So we've seen all ages and know what you are living with now, and fully understand your enjoyment of it. Our son played with video games and then computers (Commodore 64 first) from an early age, and is now a top Tech Support person answering phones for the local communications utility company to help users solve their problems. One daughter is an MRI Technologist who operates the machines to scan patients, and the other is a Pharmacy Technician.
We also had a Commodore 64 and also a Tandy. Can't remember which we had first. About all I do remember about them was spending over an hour entering code to program a pattern of lights that would then run on the screen for like 10-30 seconds or so. It was kinda neat to see simple code be transformed into something but that feeling was fleeting. The payoff for the time spent was when I then learned that a tech job was probably not in the future for me. I was way more into just playing the Atari or Odyssey than in writing code for PC. I remember when the first Nintendo came out and my brothers and I were like all ZOMG check out those graphics!!! :LOL: lol Good times, good times.
 

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