By John Beekley posted May 31st 2011
Corsair Link™ is a technology that lets you monitor and adjust your PCs cooling and lighting based on any number of criteria and preferences.
Why am I going to want Corsair Link for my system?
If you want the best cooling control solution and the coolest lighting solution on the market, you’re going to want this.
Can you tell me a little bit about the technology behind Corsair Link?
Corsair Link involves a few pieces of hardware. First is the Corsair Link Commander, which hooks up over an internal USB header. This is the “brains” of the operation. The Corsair Link Commander fits in a 3.5” hard drive bay and communicates with other components using up to eight Corsair Link Digital connections.
The next pieces are the two nodes, the Cooling Node and the Lighting Node. The Cooling Node features five 4-pin fan headers for PWM or DC fans, and four analog sensors for temperature or other parameters. This plugs into the Commander unit via a single Corsair Link Digital cable, and is powered using a standard 4-pin molex connector. The Lighting Node features two independent lighting channels and comes bundled with three RGB LED strips, so you can customize the case lighting however you want. The Lighting Node is also controlled over a single Corsair Link Digital cable and is powered using a standard 4-pin molex connector.
The Corsair Link Dashboard software is used to monitor and control Corsair Link devices and other components in your system. It runs under Windows, and provides an extremely flexible platform for interacting with system hardware.
What will Corsair Link allow me to do?
The Corsair Link Cooling Node, combined with the Dashboard software, will allow you to customize each and every fan in your system to adjust their RPM under conditions you specify. This provides you with unprecedented control over your system, either using manual settings or based on temperature zones within your system.
The Lighting Node will allow you to adjust the lighting inside your case based on temperature measurements. It will also allow you to just set whatever colors you’d like. With Lighting Node’s RGB LEDs, you can have over 16 million colors.
What kind of devices can Corsair Link monitor or control?
Corsair Link can monitor system temperatures from any device with a thermal sensor, such as your CPU, your GPU, your hard drives, your motherboard, or anything else. It can also monitor coolant temperatures in Corsair’s new H80 and H100 CPU coolers. And, of course, it can monitor the temperature and activity level of your memory subsystem using the Corsair Airflow Pro.
In addition to monitoring these parameters, Corsair Link can control system fan speeds and RGB LED strips. Fan and LED settings can be based on personal preference or pre-set profiles based on measured temperatures within the system. System experts can also create custom profiles based on a variety of measured system parameters.
How does Corsair Link interface with these devices?
There are three ways that Corsair Link interfaces with devices within your system. Corsair Link Digital devices are products that are designed with full Corsair Link compatibility in mind, and have a specialized connector and cable which connects it to the Corsair Link Commander.
The second way that devices interface with Corsair Link is through available system parameters. Corsair Link monitors CPU core temperatures through standard system monitoring, for instance, similar to the way that other utilities do.
Finally, Corsair Link can talk to analog devices such as temperature sensors using a simple analog connection.
What Corsair products are designed to interface with Corsair Link?
Corsair’s Airflow Pro is the first product completely integrated with Corsair Link. The Corsair Hydro Series H80 and H100 are the first two CPU coolers to feature Corsair Link Digital compatibility. With a single connection, you can monitor the coolant temp, exact fan RPM, and performance profile of the cooler. You can also adjust it using the Dashboard software to a pre-existing profile (Low Noise, Balanced, High Performance) or manually set up your own profile based on your preferences.
Can you give me an example of some cool things that Corsair Link will allow me to do?
Corsair Link allows you to set up custom profiles. For example, let’s say you’re gaming and you want optimal cooling, but you don’t care so much about noise because you’ve got your HS1 headset on or your SP2500s blasting. So you can set up a custom “Gaming” profile and it’ll set the fans to max when the temp gets too high, and you can set the lighting inside to go from blue to red during that same time frame so you can get an idea of how hot your system is running. But let’s say afterwards you set your PC up to download some large files, and you want to hit the sack. You can set up a “Night” mode, where the lights all turn off (or pulse at half intensity), the fans all go into low noise mode, and your system gets a lot quieter. This can all be done in seconds.
When can I get Corsair Link, and how much will it cost?
There are two kits, the Corsair Link Cooling Kit and the Corsair Link Cooling and Lighting Kit. The Cooling Kit comes with the Commander and the Cooling Node, and will be available this summer for $99. The Cooling and Lighting Kit includes the Commander, the Cooling Node, the Lighting Node, and three RGB LED strips, and will be available this summer as well, for $139. We’ll also have an assortment of accessories up on our website for launch, so for those of you who want to control more than five fans or buy extra lighting, we’ve got you covered.
Will new Corsair Link products and capabilities be offered in the future?
Of course! In the long term, we envision a world where every Corsair Product can offer enhanced functionality through Corsair Link integration. We see lots of opportunities to make systems faster, quieter, and more fun to build and use by building with components that communicate intelligently with each other. So stay tuned for lots of product announcements, through the rest of 2011 and beyond!