Component manufacturers are trying not only to attract, but also to retain a buyer. A proven recipe is creating custom software for branded products. These ecosystems provide new opportunities for customization and synchronization of components. Corsair Gaming, one of the most famous manufacturers of computer peripherals, also has its own system. We are talking about the Corsair iCUE.
What is iCUE
iCUE is a Corsair component management system. It allows you to configure a wide variety of equipment parameters. Fan speed and rotation mode, memory operation modes, and so on. In addition, the ecosystem manages the backlighting of all ARGB elements. Components with RGB and solid color backlighting are not connected to the iCUE and cannot be controlled using Corsair software.
In ARGB lighting, you can change the color of each LED separately. In RGB lighting, all LEDs will be the same color. ARGB lighting allows you to create impressive lighting effects and synchronize them across multiple components using iCUE.
How iCUE works
Almost all types of Corsair components can be connected to the ecosystem. Cases, power supplies, fans and liquid cooling systems, keyboards, mice, headphones, mouse pads, individual LED strips … In addition, iCUE supports the backlight control of select ASUS motherboards.
For different types of components, the connection is implemented in different ways, and this must be taken into account when purchasing.
How to set up an ecosystem? First you need to download and install the iCUE software . After starting the program, a list of all available devices will appear in the main window.
Basic parameters can be adjusted for various Corsair elements.
for the mouse: key assignment, sensitivity and macros;
for keyboards: assignment of additional keys, settings and macros;
for LSS and fans with a controller: setting of operating modes;
for memory blocks: setting timings, notifications and other parameters.
iCUE can control the operating mode of the case fans. You can customize sensor temperatures, preset coefficients, and so on. Such control is carried out only through the controller. Fans connected to a regular motherboard will not be controlled by the iCUE.
After connecting the controller, the corresponding tab will appear in the iCUE. Through it, you can fine-tune the case fans.
For each of the connected fans, you can:
set a fixed percentage of the maximum rotation speed;
set a fixed speed in rpm;
make a graph of the rotation speed depending on the temperature sensor (processor, motherboard, etc.).
Separately sold iCUE compatible case fans have a custom JCORSAIR backlight connector . It can be found on some MSI and ASUS motherboards. However, most motherboards will not be able to plug it into the 5-volt ARGB connector.
What if there is no such connector? You need to purchase a separate fan controller – iCUE Commander PRO or iCUE Commander CORE .
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However, even if the board has the required connector, this still does not guarantee anything. The fact is that most often there is only one such connector on the board. But there may be several “luminous” components. In this case, you need a hub – CORSAIR RGB Fan LED Hub .
Sometimes these items are included in the kit. In this case, connecting the backlight will not cause any problems.
However, inexpensive Corsair fans don’t come with a backlight controller. Keep this in mind – the backlight on the fan will not work without connecting to “your” connector.
iCUE provides extensive control over the operation of Corsair PSUs. The user can see the exact values of all output voltages, the current power of the power supply, its temperature. The software even allows you to adjust the fan speed of the power supply.
The backlight on Corsair PSUs will work as soon as they are turned on. However, its capabilities will be severely limited. Most power supplies have a separate button that selects one of the preset lighting effects.
The backlight of the power supply can be synchronized with the backlight of the remaining elements or controlled by software. This requires a connection to a Corsair connector on the motherboard (if there is one) or a backlight controller (if there is no connector on the motherboard).
Inexpensive Corsair cases do not come with an iCUE controller. Therefore, the fans coming with the case will not be “visible” in the application. Even if there is a fan backlight, it will not work. Of course, the case itself can be backlit. However, without connecting to an iCUE controller, it will not be able to sync with the rest of the elements.
More expensive models are equipped with an iCUE controller. In this case, you can control the operating modes of the case fans, power supply and backlight.
Liquid cooling systems
Corsair LSS contain an iCUE controller. They can be connected to the ecosystem right after installation. This requires one USB connector on the board. Unfortunately, most of the LSS have a built-in controller, there are no free connectors. Therefore, you will not be able to connect a case fan to the device, for example.
iCUE controls the cooling modes of the LSS. The program allows you to customize the operation of each fan and pump. You can create multiple profiles with different settings for each element. You can switch between them if necessary.
So far, iCUE only supports backlighting on ASUS Aura (ASUS Aura Ready) motherboards. To connect to iCUE, you need to first install software – ASUS Aura Sync or ASUS Armory Crate.
Corsair memory modules connect to the iCUE without restrictions or any additional devices. The ecosystem allows you to customize the layout of the modules used, view the timings and the temperature graph of the modules.
You can turn on an alert that is triggered when a certain temperature is reached.
The illumination of the modules is switched on and configured without the use of additional elements.
Corsair keyboards , headsets , mice and other devices do not require additional devices to be included in the ecosystem. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about wireless or USB devices.
iCUE allows you to customize the parameters of Corsair keyboards (here it all depends on the model), recording macros and controlling the key backlighting.
Wired keyboard Corsair K55 RGB [CH-9206015-RU]
The user can block some keyboard shortcuts. You can change the assignment of the function keys, customize the color of the glow of the indicators, and so on.
Macros consisting of keystrokes, cursor movements, and mouse clicks can be assigned.
For mice, the Corsair iCUE allows for calibration and adjustment of various parameters. The complete list of settings depends on the model.
A mouse with extra buttons is really great. For example, each button can be assigned a keystroke on the keyboard. You can also run a macro at the click of a button.
For Corsair headphones and headsets, there is an EQ tab in the iCUE app. It allows you to change the sound image in different conditions. You can set several profiles for different modes – conversation, game, cinema and so on.
All ARGB-backlit elements can be backlit:
element as a whole;
zones defined by the manufacturer (for example, the color of the logo and the color of the frame for the LSS pump or the color of the front and rear fan LEDs);
each individual LED