When considering your plan for a gaming PC, workstation or PC upgrade, lighting is something you may find yourself thinking about. This is in my opinion a good train of thought to follow. With the trend of windowed cases LED fans and strips can change a dark PC into a centrepiece of a desk or battle station showcasing your parts.
Lighting gaming PCs has become the done thing for tournaments, conventions and shows and will continue to rise in popularity.
Here is a small list of Pros and Cons to consider.
- Looks good especially in windowed cases.
- Showcases parts like the GPU and cooler.
- Fresh look each day with several colour options.
- Unique look.
- Can make a low end PC look top of the range.
- Can match décor of room or desk.
Not to RGB
- It can be expensive depending on what you want.
- With low end PSUs they can need precious watts or Molex cables.
- Requires extra planning with 3 and 3 fan headers on the motherboard.
As you might guess, I clearly side with "To RGB" here are some things to think about when planning the lights in your PC.
There are several types of LED strips you could use in your build of varying price and performance. Three of the most common types are, single colour strips, RGB strips with a set range of colours (normally with a remote) and fully customizable strips that normally use software control.
If you have in your mind a set colour scheme for your PC and will have no need to swap colours, then getting single colour strips will save you a lot of money, You can pick up strips running from a Molex for as little as £1.99 although the cheaper ones can begin to fall apart after a year or two.
The strips with remote controls normally come with a small remote unit which used infra-red. Remeber, you are going to need a window for the Infra-red sensor! These can be a cheap way to have several colours on in your PC without spending large quantities. Some of these kits come with fans that synchronise with the strips which avoids having to buy them separately.
The "Full spectrum RGB" option is a fun one. This option allows full control over each LED on the strip meaning you can mix or even have a rotating rainbow around the inside of your PC. With most of the kits you will need a control box for all of the fans and strips to connect for the software to control. The NZXT Hue+ or the Corsair Link are good examples. Some motherboards, for example, the MSI H270 Pro Carbon which have JLED headers can be used with a mystic RGBW strip thus skipping the need for a control box. Of course thjis option can be expensive, but if you have the budget it is worth it,
Spending money on LED fans can be fruitless if there are already enough LED strips in the case as the LED fans will not add anything apart from cost. As with the LED strips you can get single colour, specific colour choices or full spectrum fans.
Single colour fans are the cheapest way to light and cool a PC but the cheaper ones tend to not light the fan blades well or show light into itself and give nothing to the case. Also with most cheaper fans you will find the airflow is less than that of a more costly fans so if you expect heat from your high powered parts these may not be the way to go.
You can buy fans that work with a remote control with several colour choices separately from the LED strips but if they don't synchronise this would be a disaster. If your case has some nice vents. or glass on its front then these can be used in twos of threes to make a beautiful fan effect.
With the full spectrum fans you can control any LED and use them for moving colour designs blending between colours, flashing or pulsating and work hand in hand with the strips unfortunately for a good kit of fans you going to be spending good money.
Other RGB Parts
When planning a build you want all of your parts to match with both colour and lights for instance you would not want a GPU that only glows blue in build where you plan green LEDs so it can take some shopping around to find parts that work together. A lot of manufacturers now make most of their parts sync with each other using software like RoG Aura for this very reason.
CPU coolers are the big one to consider in an RGB build and some liquid cooler plates have space for all sorts of cool LED designs. The cooler fans are normally a lot less colourful but you can always replace the stock fan with a LED one.
LED memory in becoming increasingly popular and the fully customizable sticks can look amazing. These cost an arm and a leg though, and aren't totally necessary until perhaps the price drops.
Recently power supplies have been hit with the RGB hammer and you can find a few with great LED rings around the fan. Be careful with these though, as depending on the case, they may not be visible.
I'm always interested in hearing your ideas, and helping you get the result you desire, contact TitanUp now.