Corsair Link: What It Is, What It Does, and Why Liquid Cooling Wants It

 

In some ways, Corsair Link is one of our best kept secrets. It had a very rocky start, but continued and continuing development has turned it into an extremely useful combination of hardware and software. It allows you to connect several products within our ecosystem to a software-based control panel, but there's so much more to it than that. Here's what it can do just with our products:

  • Hydro Series H80i, H100i: Control fan speed, control RGB LED in waterblock
  • AXi Series PSUs: Monitor fan speed, temperature, and efficiency, switch to multi-rail mode
  • RM Series: Monitor fan speed and +12V load

 

Corsair Link is also a product unto itself, comprised of the Commander Unit, Lighting Node, Cooling Node, and GPU Node.

  • Commander Unit: 3.5" bay unit that can be used to connect multiple nodes along with the above mentioned products
  • Lighting Node: Connect and control the colors of two different channels of RGB LED strips
  • Cooling Node: Connect and control up to five fans and four temperature sensors
  • GPU Node: Monitor power consumption through PCIe power connectors

 

And this is all handled through a single USB header on your motherboard. In fact, the Hydro Series coolers all sport a Corsair Link port that can be used to connect an AXi power supply or one of the listed nodes, effectively working as a miniature Commander unit.

 

While I love the RGB lighting and the system monitoring features, the killer app for me has been using it to control the fans on my liquid cooling loop. I have six of our PWM SP120 fans on my front 360mm radiator in a push-pull configuration, another two on my top 240mm radiator, and then I also use the node to control the PWM header on my pump.

The net result is that you can set fixed speeds for all the fans in software to exactly your liking, or alternatively, have them respond to changes in CPU temperature or temperature off of one of the sensors. I prefer fixed speeds; I hate hearing fans ramp and am happier when the system is able to run efficiently at a constant, low noise level.

 

In order to get the most out of Corsair Link as a fan controller, though, you'll want to be using 4-pin PWM fans. Actually controlling voltage to 3-pin fans is surprisingly complicated, and if a 3-pin fan doesn't get enough voltage it may not even be able to start its motor just to get enough momentum to sustain a low speed. PWM fans don't have this issue, and are much easier to control (hence why so many motherboard fan headers are PWM.)

 

Corsair Link is great just for controlling the Hydro Series H80i and H100i coolers as well as getting the most out of your AXi power supply, but if you want to bling out your case with LEDs or control your fans from a single software panel, it's the only game in town. And if you're running a custom liquid cooling loop with a whole mess of fans, it's invaluable.

Share:

Add your comment

  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Captcha
    *

Comments

  • Kyle Jankowski's gravatar Kyle Jankowski said:
    5/19/2014 1:00 PM

    My question is simple. Why publish a blog article about it when they are out of stock and rumors of EOLing the line are up and about? I was seriously interested in purchasing a link system for my build but there was no way for me to buy it anywhere... just asking

  • Gary Pearson's gravatar Gary Pearson said:
    5/20/2014 4:53 PM

    I have the same question as Kyle - I have been monitoring Link for a couple years since is has so much potential while waiting for the product to mature. I go to purchase it and it is out of stock everywhere with EOL rumors. What is the status if we want to get Corsair Link?

  • Darryl Schaumburg's gravatar Darryl Schaumburg said:
    5/22/2014 12:56 PM

    I have the Commander Cooling and Light in my PC and love it and am building one for my wife. Last year I bought an extra light node mainly for the extra RGB strips. I didn't realize Corsair no longer offers the products. Question is; is corsair no longer selling the commander, cooling and lighting - are there any plans for the future.

  • Darryl's gravatar Darryl said:
    5/22/2014 12:59 PM

    I have the Commander Cooling and Light in my PC and love it and am building one for my wife. Last year I bought an extra light node mainly for the extra RGB strips. I didn't realize Corsair no longer offers the products. Question is; is corsair no longer selling the commander, cooling and lighting - are there any plans for the future.

  • Neil Nicely's gravatar Neil Nicely said:
    9/9/2014 11:00 AM

    And What It Doesn't Do: In my Window 8.1 Pro setup, the GPU Node does Not Work. No Link code has been written for the temps from the Expensive "linkable" memory modules through the AirFlow Pro. In the Mini, the LED lights do Not Work. If you are lucky, the Commander may work sometimes, and the Mini works most of the time as long as I do not shut off my PC.

 
Facebook Newsfeed