By Jeff Checchi posted Feb 08th 2013
Corsair Link V2
Corsair Link has recently been updated to version 2, and what this means for users is that usability, compatibility and general functionality have all been greatly improved. The update coincides with two new product lines that have recently been updated to include Corsair Link support, right out of the box. These two product lines are the new AXi series PSUs, and the Hydro Series H100i and H80i CPU coolers. These "i" (intelligent) devices do not require any extra hardware to be purchased in order to utilize the Corsair Link V2 software — support for Corsair Link is built in. These both simplify the setup of Corsair Link, and lower the barrier of entry for people wanting to take advantage of the system monitoring and control that Corsair Link can provide.
With these new product updates Corsair Link gives you even more control over your hardware than before. For instance the AXi PSUs offer an entirely new "Power" tab within the Corsair Link Software, which will allow you to monitor efficiency, power consumption, voltage readings and more, all in real time. With the new coolers, there are more fan profile presets and extra control parameters to play with, such as the new customizable RGB backlit Corsair logo.
In this blog post, we will illustrate the functionality and capability of the Corsair Link V2 software. Below you will find sections corresponding to specific tabs within the software, so if you are looking for information regarding a specific area of the program, feel free to skip to the appropriate section.
The first tab that you will see when you launch Corsair Link is the "System" tab. listed in the column on the left, you will find all the Corsair Link compatible devices that are detected. By default, the main area of this tab will show you a picture of a Corsair Graphite Series 600T PC case. If you have a different Corsair case, then just right click on the 600T in the background and select "Change System Image," from this menu you can select from other Corsair cases, or if you have a case that is not listed, then you have the option of uploading your own picture. The idea here is to drag and drop your detected devices onto their actual positions on the case image. Once you have dragged and dropped your individual devices over to their actual position on the case picture, you can quickly and easily know which devices correspond to all the data points being read by the software. No more guess work when it comes to remembering which fan you plugged into "SysFan 3."
The types of data points that you are going to find detected in Corsair Link that you can monitor and control are going to be fan RPM, temperatures, loading %, and controllable LED lights. I will explain what type of options you have for each of these below. To control or configure the behavior of a data point, just click on it and the "Config Menu" on the right side of the screen will expand and display configuration options.
Within the Device Setup menu, you can rename the selected device, change the device type from fan to pump (for water cooling devices), change which group the device belongs to, and for fans, configure the fan mode.
Quiet, Balanced and Performance profiles will allow the fan speed to be controlled based on temperature. Each of these presets will display a graph showing how the fans RPM will react compared to temperature once they are selected. Depending on the type of fan you are using and where it is connected, you may have fewer options for configuring fan speeds.
Custom allows you to configure your own custom fan profile, where you can determine how fast the fan spins based on temperature.
Fixed (RPM) allows you to set a static RPM value for your fan.
Fixed (%) allows you to set a static RPM value based on a % of its maximum RPM.
Information will display additional information about your selected device.
Notification is where you can program Corsair Link to notify you if the RPM, Temperature or CPU Loading % of the device exceeds or falls below your own specified values. Under the details section is where you will define your Minimum and Maximum values. The Action section below is where you will tell Corsair Link how to react if your min/max values are exceeded, check the desired box(s) and then click save to save your configuration.
If you are using a Hydro Series "i" cooler or the stand alone Corsair Link LED node, then you have the option of manually configuring your LEDs. As with device setup, you can change the name of your LED device, and select another device you would like to group it with. By grouping the LED with a temperature sensor you can configure the LEDs to change based on the temperature that is detected.
The three types of LED modes are Normal, Cycling and Temperature. Normal mode allows you to set a static color which will not change, while Cycling allows you to configure multiple colors that the LED will cycle through. By choosing Temperature you can configure the color gradients that will correspond to the temperature that is detected by the device that you have grouped your LED with.
The next tab you will come across in Corsair Link is the "Groups" tab. With intelligent devices such as the AXi and H100i/H80i, the groups will mostly be auto configured, but you can go in and change how the devices are grouped together manually. The group number of every detected device will be listed within a red circle on each device tile in the upper right corner. Grouping certain devices together allows you to set up rules for one device that are dependent on another.
As an example we can use the configurable LED logo on the H100i. By default you can set the LED to reflect the temperature of your CPU and have it change colors depending on the temperature reading of the CPU. If you wanted the LED to reflect the temperature of another device, such as an AXi PSU, then you can move the Hydro Series LED tile into the PSU group and configure it to change colors dependent on the PSU temperature device reading via the "Config Panel." There are various configuration options available within Corsair Link, and if you are using the stand alone Corsair Link hardware kit which includes a lighting controller, fan hub and temperature sensors, you can integrate and group them with any "i" devices from Corsair.
With Corsair Link there are powerful graphing and data logging capabilities built in. Once selecting the "Graph" tab, you will find your configuration options over on the right hand side of the screen. This is where you can select which devices you would like to start graphing data from. Fans and pumps support RPM/Time, and any device with a temperature sensor will support Temp/Time.
To select which devices you would like to graph, just click on the "Config Panel" on the right side of the screen, this will bring up a checkbox menu listing all the detected devices that can be graphed. Just check the box next to any device you would like to graph and you will see it show up in the main graphing area. Each device will have a color coded line graphing the readings from your device in real time. With multiple devices being graphed, minimize the "Config Panel" by either clicking in the graphing area, or disabling "auto-hide" on the "Config Panel", and you will be able to view the color coded key to quickly discern which line corresponds to each device. You can also set up data logging so that your graphed data can be exported to a .csv file. To set up data logging, click on the "Options" tab, and then click on the "Logging" tab within that section, we will discuss this more once we get to the "Options" tab.
The "Power" tab will ONLY show up if you are using an AXi PSU. This tab is only possible because the AXi PSUs are digital, instead of analog like most other PSUs. When I say that they are digital, what I mean is that there is an actual Digital Signal Processor (DSP) onboard the PSU, which takes the place of many different analog components common on standard PSUs. Analog components are not able to deliver the same precise performance, and are unable to actively monitor and adjust voltage, ripple, noise, etc. based on real time data and power usage.
There are many advantages to having a digital PSU, but the important thing here is that the various signals that get processed by the DSP are available to view in real time via Corsair Link. These data points include efficiency, the amount of AC power coming from your wall outlet into the PSU, the amount of DC power being sent to your systems components and real time voltage readings from each of the PSU rails. Being digital, the information provided within Corsair Link will be more accurate than other software, or even BIOS readings.
In addition to the previous data points mentioned which can be monitored in real time— there are some additional configurable parameters available in the "Power" tab. At the bottom of the power tab you will find where you can setup and control multiple Over Current Protection settings which effectively turns your single rail AXi PSU into a multi-rail PSU. The other parameters that offer configurability on the Power tab are PSU fan RPM, and PSU Temp. Just like any of the other fan and temperature devices, you can choose from different preset fan profiles, or create your own which is dependent on the PSU temp. These two configurable parameters can also be grouped and configured to operate depending on the readings of another device. For example, you could have your PSU fan spin up dependent on your CPU temperature.
The "Options" tab is where you can configure the general settings of Corsair Link, such as whether or not you want the program to start when Windows boots up, switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit for displaying temperatures, etc. This is also where you will be able to save, delete and manage Corsair Link profiles, as well as update the firmware of any Corsair Link devices.
Many of the configuration options for Corsair Link detected devices allow you to set up rules for when Corsair Link will send you an email alert, for instance if a fan fails or falls below a certain RPM. The email setup for this feature is found at the bottom of this tab.
On the left side column of the Options tab, you will find tabs for "Devices", "Logging", and "About." Devices is where you go if you want to see which devices in your system are being detected by Corsair Link, this is also where you want to go if you want to update the firmware for any of your Corsair Link devices.
Logging, as mentioned in the graphing section, is where you go to configure what your data logging file will be named, and where it will be saved. You can also select how often your data is logged to the output file, the default is two seconds. While the "Graph" tab shows you current real time data, nothing shown there will be logged to a file without configuring the "Logging" tab, and clicking on the "Start Logging" button. To stop logging data, just click the "Stop Logging" button.
And finally, the "About" tab within the options area is where you can see which version of the Corsair Link software is currently installed.
More to Come
So that concludes this general overview of features and functionality of the Corsair Link V2 software. We have made many improvements since the first inception of the software, and continue to look for ways to improve its functionality and ease of use. The AXi series PSUs, as well as the H80i and H100i are the first devices from Corsair that offer Corsair Link functionality right out of the box, and they certainly will not be the last. If you have any questions on Corsair Link, please post in the Corsair Link section of our forum.