I simply had the pleasure of chaining up the Corsair iCue Hyperlink—a stunning full PC cooling “ecosystem” that snaps collectively and hyperlinks as much as its accompanying System Hub with fewer cables than your common cooling and RGB management system. The thought is that it is meant to take the stresses out of PC constructing, not less than in relation to cooling set up, with Corsair claiming it’ll “reignite your ardour for DIY.”

The fact? Positive, it is a a lot cleaner expertise and fewer cable heavy, however the stresses of DIY are nonetheless very a lot current.

Opening the field for the System Hub up—the so-called mind of the iCue Hyperlink—I used to be met with a QR code with a really distinguished STOP signal, bidding me verify the directions on-line earlier than setting all the things up. As a result of I have been previewing the package forward of launch the ultimate model of the directions weren’t accessible once I was testing it out. Positive I had the reviewer’s guide to go off, but when I do know something about DIY PC builders I would say going instructionless felt like a more true expertise—we is usually a little gung-ho in relation to this stuff.

I set about getting all the things set in place within the beautiful NZXT H9 Elite chassis we reviewed just lately. This fish tank-looking beastie is the proper exhibit for the iCue Hyperlink, since you possibly can see all the things happening from each entrance and aspect.

Corsair iCue Hyperlink Starter Package

The Corsair iCue Link starter kit.

(Picture credit score: Future)

1x QX120 RGB Starter Package
1x QX120 RGB Growth Package
1x iCue Hyperlink System Hub
1x iCue Hyperlink cable package
1x Connector Set
1x 600mm Slim Cable
1x 200mm Slim Cable

It sounded easy sufficient entering into. The iCue Hyperlink System Hub comes with a brief 6-pin PCIe cable, and USB 2.0 knowledge cable to plug into the motherboard. On either side, there is a single iCue Hyperlink channel port for connecting the remainder of the ecosystem collectively. Which means none of the opposite parts would wish energy or knowledge routed to them. It is an thrilling idea, to say the least, particularly when you think about the sheer variety of cables connecting to your common RGB management hub.

I used to be despatched the chonky iCue Hyperlink H150i RGB AIO CPU cooler. Relatively than having an influence connector on the pump head, the ability is deftly routed by means of the skin of the liquid tube sleeves and into the 397mm x 120mm radiator, with its three, preinstalled QX120 RGB 120mm followers.

I would need to get that linked as much as the System Hub utilizing one of many many ports on the perimeters and backside of the radiator, together with the gathering of iCue Hyperlink QX RGB PWM followers I would been despatched with the starter package. Every fan has a port on both aspect, to be snapped along with different followers, or chained to different parts with Corsair’s nifty proprietary energy cables.

The preliminary set up wasn’t too dangerous. Beginning with the AIO cooler for the CPU, that screwed in with no points, and fortunately there was already a bracket put in behind the motherboard so I did not need to kind that out. It does include each an AMD and Intel bracket, although, so no worries there if you do not have one already. Oh, and it comes with thermal paste pre-applied too, in order that was good.

The fan screws then again have been a bit of troublesome to twist. Actually, I wanted three palms: one to carry the fan in place, and two to understand and deathroll on the screwdriver like some RGB-fuelled alligator. At first I put it right down to sweaty palms, however I’ve genuinely by no means had such bother attempting to repair followers into place.

Due to this, although, the triple fan consumption on the aspect had a bit of give so it might slide up and down in the course of the constructing course of—one thing that frankly saved me once I needed to unplug all the things three bloody instances.

An RGB lit PC case courtesy of Corair's iCue Link cooling system starter kit.

Assist, why is the AIO radiator not lighting up? (Picture credit score: Future)

As soon as all the things was vaguely screwed in, it was a matter of determining where I might afford to put the Hub. I wished to show it within the entrance of the case, as a result of it is a cute little block, all issues thought of. Moreover, not solely does it take up simply 2 inches of area, it is even magnetic. No screwing concerned right here.

I settled on popping it close to the underside right of the motherboard, and fortunately I had a spare PCIe energy cable so I might route energy to it, circumventing the NZXT H9 Elite’s bizarre PSU placement situation. Simply one thing to bear in mind in case your chassis has a non-standard PSU placement otherwise you wish to put the hub someplace else, as you solely get a teeny weeny 10cm energy and header cable with it.

That stated, the actual fact you solely need to plug a single USB header cable into the motherboard’s USB 2.0 slot is an absolute marvel. Severely, it’s best to have seen the state of the case earlier than I swapped the hubs over… fan header cables in all places. The hack who reviewed the H9 Elite is decidedly not good at cable administration both.

Whereas the shortage of cables may be very a lot appreciated, the difficulty got here in determining the best way to chain all the things collectively. I imagined I might connect the powered System Hub to one of many AIO cooler’s many ports, then octopus out from there into the remainder of the parts. I thought that ought to work, nevertheless it merely didn’t do the factor.

An RGB lit PC case courtesy of Corair's iCue Link cooling system starter kit.

I made a large number. (Picture credit score: Future)

I ended up making a chained loop of cables from one aspect of the System Hub, into the triple fan consumption, up into the top-mounted AIO radiator, after which again right down to feed into the opposite aspect of the System Hub. I then merely connected the one QX120 exhaust fan to the opposite finish of the AIO radiator.

Once I take a look at it now, it appears so easy. Not on the time, although.

My saving grace at this level was the additional Cable Package. It meant I had some leeway to swap totally different size cables out and in whereas attempting to determine the best way to make the followers go brrr. All of the parts include one or two cables, not less than, together with some 90° ones that basically saved me when it got here to the tighter areas. 

The true hero of the hour, although, is the actual fact the cables join whichever method up you attempt to jam them in. That meant I had a variety of choices as to which course to deal with my issues from.

My greatest remorse of this complete ordeal was screwing the three aspect followers in earlier than I found out how the cables labored. As a result of attempting to jam my hand in between some elements to get the connector located was a nightmare even in a case that is tremendous simple to construct in.

An RGB lit PC case courtesy of Corair's iCue Link cooling system starter kit.

Look ma, it is defragging. (Picture credit score: Future)

When you get the brand new model of the iCue software program put in, there is a plethora of results to select from. Every with literal layers of potential and particular person zones on each piece of package, so you possibly can spotlight particular person LEDs to get issues good. There’s 34 RGB LED per fan, in actual fact, so a number of leeway for silliness, like my makes an attempt to make an outdated Microsoft background look alike. The LEDs did not deal with the green rolling hills of the XP background nicely, however the AIO appears to be like nice within the outdated Home windows brand colors.

The software program truly detects all the things routinely, although you do need to rearrange them into the fitting order, and ensure all of the followers are up the fitting method on your RGB customisation session. It does helpfully show a single RGB color you possibly can relate to every fan on display screen, which additionally helps you determine orientation. The orange may be very simple to mistake for a creamy white, however in any other case it is a fairly useful system.

All in all, I would say the ultimate visage is fairly rad. Even for those who determine to not set up any software program, the pastel “Watercolour” tackle the RGB is refreshing. And scorching rattling, the satisfaction from lastly getting all the things working with out having checked out any directions is immense. Go me.