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What do 5v and 12v RGB cables look like you ask?

1mluer
Level 11
I keep answering questions on RGB. It's confusing sometimes when you don't understand that there is currently 2 types of RGB used on today's platform.

The Differences:

5 volt or 5v Addressable RGB (ARGB) in ASUS's world uses a 4 pin 3 wire configuration for it's connector. The RGB effects you get are that each light in the RGB strip is individually controlled and can be whatever color it's programmed to be. It's the latest craze and most products today are starting to use this technology. It is also called Digital RGB because of the 5v Address-ability.

12 volt or 12v RGB has been around for a while and is what the original ASUS Aura Sync was based on. The connector looks very similar to the 4 pin 5v version but it uses all 4 wires of the connector. The RGB effect you get here is that all lights only show what is currently being asked on the RGB bus. If the Bus is showing RED then all lights are RED without exception.

Without question the 2 versions of RGB are not interchangeable and do not work together. Plugging 5v circuit into 12v header may cause damage to the product you are plugging in.

Below is a picture of the 2 different cables and motherboard connectors:

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Notice a couple things. Each 4 pin connector has a notch on the left side showing how to line them up with the RGB power pin on the motherboard. You can also see the motherboard headers are different. The 5v addressable only has 3 pins while the 12v RGB has all 4 pins. This is a great representation but newer cables have a Key for the 5v RGB cable as shown on these photos.

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You can see it doesn't have a pin slot for the pin that is not used and is blocked off (key). It's a great way to keep you from plugging the 5v circuits into the 12v header. After using these standard connections to your motherboard then you can use the ASUS eco system of Aura Sync, LiveDash, Armory etc. to control them.

Proprietary products like Thermaltake and Corsair use completely purpose built connections for their RGB products. As you can see the cables look nothing like the industry standard configurations. These cables can't be used without the associated technology or converter cables. They generally have their own hubs, power and software control. EG: Riing Plus RGB for Thermaltake and iCUE for Corsair.

79878

So if you buy RGB addressable products and you want to hook them up directly onto the motherboard make sure the connection looks as described above in the first pictures

This goes for fans, RGB Strips or anything RGB that isn't connected to a controlling hub etc..
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8 REPLIES 8

1mluer
Level 11
With the number of questions I still get this should be stickied 🙂
InWin 909 Silver RGB build
i9-10900k
ROG Maximus XII Apex
ROG Matrix 2080 ti
Gskill Trident Royal 4400 16g

Everything overclocked and love it.
ROG Awesomeness !!!!

DsAMD
Level 7
Yes but how to you get a 5v RGB fan lights to connect to your 12v RGB Aura sync mother board? This has been driving me nuts.

DsAMD wrote:
Yes but how to you get a 5v RGB fan lights to connect to your 12v RGB Aura sync mother board? This has been driving me nuts.


Generally the connectors won't allow this to happen but if you did it would fry any 5v devices and possibly more. ARGB or Addressable RGB uses 5volts to power themselves and have an address color processor connected to each led. 12v is not Addressable but follows what color is being displayed on the bus at the time. It's LED architecture is different with a different type of LED's so they are completely in compatible. You will cause harm to something if you do manage to get a 5v led string connected to a 12v header.
InWin 909 Silver RGB build
i9-10900k
ROG Maximus XII Apex
ROG Matrix 2080 ti
Gskill Trident Royal 4400 16g

Everything overclocked and love it.
ROG Awesomeness !!!!

1mluer wrote:
Generally the connectors won't allow this to happen but if you did it would fry any 5v devices and possibly more. ARGB or Addressable RGB uses 5volts to power themselves and have an address color processor connected to each led. 12v is not Addressable but follows what color is being displayed on the bus at the time. It's LED architecture is different with a different type of LED's so they are completely in compatible. You will cause harm to something if you do manage to get a 5v led string connected to a 12v header.


Thank you so much for clearing this up. I foolishly bought this device and it turned out to be a waste of time and money:

https://www.newegg.com/deepcool-rgb-convertor-black/p/1W8-00JK-00030?Item=9SIA6J39CB4893

I just wanted to make sure I wasn't doing anything wrong. 🙂

1mluer
Level 11
This actually looks like some kind of converter for 12v to 5v. If it works as I am reading your 12v motherboard connection goes into this and it takes the color being displayed on the bus and converts it to 5v led signal. It must also have a separate 5v line for the 5v LED's so they don't smoke. So things like rainbow colors would act like the motherboard and will turn 5v strings into drone color changers. Meaning if the 12v bus says it's time to show blue it converts that to a signal to the 5v string to tell ALL the leds on that string to play blue now then red then green etc.

If you were looking for argb type control where each LED can show a different color then this will probably not work like that. I haven't seen this converter before. for me it's either ARGB or just RGB. Looks like this product was trying to fill a void.

I also say your cable configurations have to match the ports on this converter correctly.
InWin 909 Silver RGB build
i9-10900k
ROG Maximus XII Apex
ROG Matrix 2080 ti
Gskill Trident Royal 4400 16g

Everything overclocked and love it.
ROG Awesomeness !!!!

1mluer wrote:
This actually looks like some kind of converter for 12v to 5v. If it works as I am reading your 12v motherboard connection goes into this and it takes the color being displayed on the bus and converts it to 5v led signal. It must also have a separate 5v line for the 5v LED's so they don't smoke. So things like rainbow colors would act like the motherboard and will turn 5v strings into drone color changers. Meaning if the 12v bus says it's time to show blue it converts that to a signal to the 5v string to tell ALL the leds on that string to play blue now then red then green etc.

If you were looking for argb type control where each LED can show a different color then this will probably not work like that. I haven't seen this converter before. for me it's either ARGB or just RGB. Looks like this product was trying to fill a void.

I also say your cable configurations have to match the ports on this converter correctly.



I think I managed to connect it correctly but it still is not working as hoped. It does manage to light up but the light is weak and it appears to be missing one of the main colors in the RGB spectrum so for example if I have my Aura sync configure to show purple, it will only show up as blue. If I configure my Aura Sync to do breathing, it completely ignores that config. So did it succeed in power up the lights without it blowing up? Yes. Does it perform as it appears to advertise? No.

DsAMD wrote:
I think I managed to connect it correctly but it still is not working as hoped. It does manage to light up but the light is weak and it appears to be missing one of the main colors in the RGB spectrum so for example if I have my Aura sync configure to show purple, it will only show up as blue. If I configure my Aura Sync to do breathing, it completely ignores that config. So did it succeed in power up the lights without it blowing up? Yes. Does it perform as it appears to advertise? No.


Sounds to me like you have blown the controllers on individual ARGBs, my son did this the other day when he plugs his 5V 3 pin set into a chinese 2 pin controller, but didn't realise that was 12V, the sound of the ARGBs popping as they tried to initiate made me wonder what he was up to in the room next door... Thing is some of the RGBs still illuminated but as you say you don't have the full spectrum... he's learnt now to read the strip as the info is all on there.

Smaky The Flank wrote:
Sounds to me like you have blown the controllers on individual ARGBs, my son did this the other day when he plugs his 5V 3 pin set into a chinese 2 pin controller, but didn't realise that was 12V, the sound of the ARGBs popping as they tried to initiate made me wonder what he was up to in the room next door... Thing is some of the RGBs still illuminated but as you say you don't have the full spectrum... he's learnt now to read the strip as the info is all on there.


You could be right on that although I heard no popping sound. 🙂