Some clapped their hands over their heads in disbelief, others stared spellbound at the colorful light show on their own computer with sparkling eyes. And probably most endure the RGB trend in a certain neutrality between “you can do that” and “that’s too much for me”. PC hardware is being decorated more and more with random LED elements, which sometimes creates the curious situation that most components are offered on the market with the lighting decoration – even if it’s just the manufacturer’s logo. From a technical point of view, however, the visual enrichment is completely optional, redundant and, depending on the application and scenario, can ask you to pay either with the purchase price or lost performance due to too many effects with different software providers. On the other hand, the personal room can be designed nicely with it. In this article, we will therefore guide you through the current world of RGB lighting on particularly personal computers, give practical tips and point out pitfalls.
Not all RGB is the same, there are a few pitfalls that you should at least keep in mind. There can be serious differences in the power supply, the connections and the signal line, which cannot be seen at first glance. The most important distinction in the computer itself would be between 12 (4-pin) and 5-volt LEDs (3-pin, ARGB). Normally, connecting 5 V LEDs to a 12 V source is difficult or even impossible due to physical connection blockages, but theoretically a connection could also be established here with the right adapters – with fatal consequences: the 5 V RGBs go through incorrect voltage will be permanently damaged and will need to be replaced. Although there is no direct standardized connection due to different manufacturer solutions, the trend is clearly towards 5-volt 3-pin plugs, which can usually be easily plugged into mainboards or RGB controllers and which have profiles finer than 12 volt LEDs can be synchronized or adjusted. In the RGB theory part we go into more detail about similarities and differences.
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The following topics can be found in the article:
RGB all-round Colorful lighting in theory: 12-volt RGB, 5-volt ARGB, jungle of connectors, RGB headers, hubs and splitters, comparison of energy consumption Diffused lighting vs. direct lighting Software, peripherals and external lights: Room lighting power consumption Performance impact: RGB benchmarks and power consumption in games plus frametimes RGB: Summa Summarum INFO: You can purchase PCGH Plus items individually or purchase a Plus subscription.
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