Love it or hate it, RGB is probably here to stay in at least some capacity. But sometimes setting it all up can be a little tricky, so that’s what this post aims to resolve for you. Here is how to install your RGB products.
Types of RGB
There are 2 main types of RGB that we (and many other companies) offer. For us, you’re looking at RGB or ARGB. So, what’s the difference? Well, it’s pretty minimal, but worthwhile knowing.
ARGB (Addressable RGB), is a new lighting technology that is more advanced. It allows you to control each individual LED in the component, allowing you to customize everything to the tiniest detail. RGB on the other hand, will only allow you to control all of the LEDS at the same time. So, for example, if you had an LED strip, if it was ARGB, you’d be able to edit every single LED along that strip. But if the LED strip is just RGB, then the LEDS will always show the same colour.
Now you know the difference, lets get to the guides!
Thermaltake products with RGB will most often than not come with a handy dandy controller box. This is what everything will plug into so you can control your lighting. First, you’ll want to plug the RGB cables from your hardware into the ports on the sides. You can fit up to five in one box, but you can use multiple controllers too if you have more.
You may notice some other ports in the box too that you will need to plug something into. First, there is the power connector. This connects to either a Molex or SATA connector, and then plugs into your Power Supply. This will give your controller box power.
On the opposite side you’ll find a bridge port, which is where you can connect up another controller if you wish. And finally, you have a micro-USB port, which will connect your controller box to your motherboard. You simply plug in one of the micro-USBs into the port, and then the other side into a USB 2.0 header which is often located towards the bottom of your motherboard.
Once all of this is done, congratulations, your lights should be powered and connected up. Now, you need to access your PC and install the software required to change your lighting. For us at Thermaltake this might be TTRGB Plus 2.0, or iTake.
Moving into the ARGB realm, things get a little different. There is no control box to worry about here, but things can get a little tricky depending on what product you are working with. First step, is having a think about how you want to control your lighting. With ARGB products, you will be controlling your lighting either physically or via motherboard software. What do I mean by physically? Well, this could either be via a button on your PC case, or the external controller provided. So, decide what works best for you first as it will determine your installation.
So, first off, you’ll notice that often ARGB products have 2 cables coming from them, one is to power the product itself, and another is the ARGB headers. The ARGB header cables are what you use to daisy chain all of the products together (e.g., multiple fans). So, your first step (especially with products like fans) will often be to daisy chain up all of the items until they are all linked. This is easy to do, by connecting the male to female sides on each cable until you’ll be left with a solo female side.
Once that is done, it’s time to connect these to the motherboard if that’s what you’ve chosen. (If not, skip ahead.) Find the corresponding cable for the motherboard you are using which will be a 5-volt header. Now simply plug the daisy chained cable into the 5-volt header cable, and this then goes into your motherboard. What you’re looking for is a 5-volt ARGB header, which will have 3 pins.
The second option for powering your LEDS, is via a manual controller which might have been supplied with your product. In this case, you first simply plug the supplied controller into the daisy chained cables. Then, you will need to power the controller via a SATA plug from your PSU.
The final option would be if you have a case that supports the use of an RGB button. This will rely on your case manufactures own PCB. In the case of Thermaltake cases, we often have a small controller out the back of your case. You will simply plug the LED cables that you daisy changed up earlier, into the LED out port in this controller.
Now that you’ve set up the lighting, it’s time to power up your product. Simply get the other cable now, as this is the power cable. These cables can plug into any old fan connector on your motherboard such as a SYS_FAN port. You can also plug them into a splitter, so you will only be using one port instead of multiple.
And that’s how to install RGB products!
Hopefully now your fans, or LED strips, or whatever else you wanted to get working is nice and lit. If not, drop a comment below and hopefully we can help!