What is RGB Lighting in PC? (Explained)

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What is RGB lighting in PC? Any decent full-tower desktop PC offers you plenty of customizations, and while not all are intended to better the performance level, some are just for the sake of looks, like changing the CPU case or adding RGB lighting.

Every gamer’s dream is to have a PC that is above the average performance level, with lights protruding everywhere from the case, fans, and a bunch of other components.

A common misconception is that only the high-end desktops or PCs with a large case can have RGB lighting, but that is most definitely not so.

Even cheaper pre-built options are available that you can have while building a PC from the ground up allows you to add some more lighting.

But is RGB just adding LED strips wherever you can on your rig? Find out more below!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • RGB lighting in PCs typically refers to the combination of red, green, and blue colors that makes a computer look more attractive.
  • Apart from the standard RGB combination, there are also other types of it such as Addressable RGB and RGBW with a white color included in it.
  • There are different RGB color schemes used in PCs such as monochromatic, mixed, and fixed patterns.
  • RGB can be added to several parts of a computer such as motherboard, RAM, GPU, cooling kits, CPU case, and more.

What is RGB Lighting?

What is RGB Lighting in PC

The RGB lighting is a combination of Red, Green, and Blue colors that offer millions of color hues altogether, thus allowing one to get rid of the boring looks of his/her PC.

Not only the case itself, but the various internal components like the motherboard, RAM, etc can be customized to flaunt various colors, and you can even control how these get activated, and the frequency of each combination.

Many brands have some sort of controlling software that allows you to customize and fix patterns of your own liking. Being so, MSI has the Mystic light software, while Corsair supports ICUE that works similarly.

The lighting on any device connected to your PC and the PC itself can be controlled through these. In most cases, certain keys on the keyboard can be assigned roles to alter patterns or colors as well.

Types of RGB Lighting in PC

  • RGB

This is the usual kind of RGB lighting and the way it works is that the three colors Red, Blue, and Green can be utilized to produce several more (above 16 million approximately) colors by varying the intensity of each.

No single LED has more than a single color, and hence three bulbs are mainly used in an RGB LED strip.

Controlling software is used to indicate which color needs to be brought up, and the bulbs are directed accordingly.

The color yellow, for example, requires more green than red, and blue at the lowest level or not at all. So the brightness of the different LEDs can be altered so that the desired color can be seen.

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Now an RGB component uses a 4 or a 5 pin header, 3 or 4 of them for providing connection for Red, Blue, Green, and White colors (depending on whether there are 4 or 5 pins), and another for a ground connection and a 12V connector.

  • ARGB

Addressable RGB allows one to control the color of each LED module individually, which means that if an ARGB cooling fan has 6 LEDs, the user can control each of it to produce a color of their choice, and there isn’t a fixed pattern that needs to be followed.

An ARGB strip has a 5V connector and 3 pins, one for power, one signal pin, and the other ground pin.

There aren’t pins dedicated to different colors, and all of the lighting works through relaying signals. There are however small IC controllers that actually control the lighting.

The best part with both is that with some knowledge about wires and circuitry, you can add lights to your PC even though none of the components support RGB.

So you see this is one customization that doesn’t depend on your system specs and what anyone can do, only if they wish to.

Whether or not a part is ARGB or RGB compatible is usually specified in the product description so buying one isn’t much of a problem. Moreover, adding RGB doesn’t cost much and this makes it more convenient.

But one thing that you must take care of is that adding an ARGB component to a 12V connector will damage the LEDs and there could be a short circuit.

  • RGBW

In some cases, along with the Red, Green, and Blue LEDs, a separate LED can be seen that produces especially the White color. This arrangement is known as RGBW.

But since three other LEDs can produce the white hue, why do you need one separately?

The thing is the white color produced by a separate LED is purely white and even brighter than what would have been produced in only an RGB setup.

This glow is free from any sort of yellowish or orange taint, and it can also give lighter shades to the other colors, which could be attractive to some.

An RGBW LED strip generally has more number of bulbs as well.

Where Can One Add RGB Lighting?

You can add RGB in the following parts of your PC, and all you need to have is a setup that allows you to showcase all the lighting inside, like through a tempered glass panel on the side or at the top:

Many motherboards today (gaming ones mainly) have LED lighting present already, which is made possible by LED headers present on it.

These lit up when you use the PC, thus giving you rich RGB experience.

Some brands like Asus and Razer have created motherboards which have dedicated software installed that allows you to sync the lighting with other components inside the chassis and even the peripherals, which give you an organized system.

  • RAM

RAM modules, or specifically the RGB RAM modules are also available in plenty that you can install in the designated slots of the motherboard.

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The first popular RGB RAM was introduced by G Skill in 2017, and since then many companies have been manufacturing them.

They get power from the motherboard itself, thus there is no need for extra wires. The head has the RGB lighting, and depending upon the brand, some can be even controlled with specific software.

  • GPU

Yes, GPUs or more specifically the graphics cards to support the RGB feature. While some brands already provide you with some colors on the cooling fans present in the video cards.

While yet others may have strips present on other parts, not only on the fans.

AMD provides RGB wraith prism coolers with some of its products already, while NVIDIA has a specialized software through which one can change the dynamic range of the colors.

  • Case and cooling accessories

This is the most common piece, and needs no introduction. There are certain cases that have a single color light glowing inside, while others have many.

What matters is you choose one whose interior and exterior color schemes match with your preference and those of the other components inside.

Cooling fans too are of various kinds, and there are specialized RGB cooling kits that you may purchase.

Another kind of efficient cooling provided by the liquid coolers also has some sort of LED arrangement.

  • RGB Wires

What can be more beautiful than a set of colorful wires running about inside the case, forming all the major connections?

Precisely, and you can buy quality cables with single or multicolor lighting that can complement your PC.

  • LED strips

This is the easiest way to add RGB colors, and also one of the cheapest in this list. A strip contains small different LED bulbs, while some have a specialized bulb that creates the white color.

Place them correctly and you get all the glow that you want, be it on the exterior or the interior of your PC.

PC RGB Color Schemes

The RGB sequence can create about 16 million colors, so there are a lot of ways you can brighten your PC up.

Every one of us has a special color that we like, and that may or may not suit the choice of the others.

Some may like a mellow color in their setup, while others require a strong one.

But what you can do is select one of the schemes below, or customize one of your own, based on whether the components are ARGB or RGB:

  • Monochromatic: Nothing can be more elegant than having a single color light up the entire rig, and in this case, you may select a lighter shade, like White or Blue may be depending on the surroundings.
  • Fixed Pattern: Another kind of RGB lighting can be one that has fixed patterns of colors, that can be controlled by the glow time and frequency of the lighting bulbs.
  • Mixed: If you have three colors, why not utilize it? Thus, two colors can be combined for a more robust effect, like black and red. This also depends on the surroundings and the color of the case itself more importantly.
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FAQs:

Is RGB lighting worth it?

The RGB lighting is surely worth it if you are one who needs an above-average feel while using your PC.

It is not necessary for your rig to be a very pricey one to add colors, you can add lighting even in an entry-level desktop if you want to do so. However, these better suit those who are gamers or are invested in some creative work.

There aren't many instances where a user who only uses the PC to access the internet uses RGB, as the components having such characteristics aren't available by default in all PCs. As long as you have a suitable case that actually allows you to show others how attractive the interiors are, it should be worth customizing your PC with lights.

Does RGB increase FPS?

No, RGB cannot and never can increase frame rates on your PC as it is only an external lighting add-on, that has nothing to do with internal performance.

A PC with RGB has the same performance as one with another with the same specs but without RGB, and this has been proven.
If you do want to see better FPS, consider buying a new GPU or a better monitor with a higher refresh rate.

However, RGB in the context of the GPU or monitor can have an effect on FPS or other parts of the performance.

But in this case, it is an internal aspect and does not fit the description of the RGB we are talking about here.

Does RGB affect Performance?

No, RGB never affects performance, neither in the negative nor in a positive way. Adding RGB on your PC only results in visual satisfaction and has nothing to do with performance.

Why do gamers love RGB?

Gamers of all kinds love RGB rigs as they give off an aesthetic feel, while also making the rig catch some eyes in the room.

When you have a PC that you built or has high-end components, it is natural to want to show others how it looks. The reason is the same as customizing anything else, to make it attractive.

The fans, lighting, etc feels like a nice addition when one is a streamer, in which case viewers would be more interested in watching you play on an RGB PC rather than a dull, color-less one.

Conclusion

RGB has been a common customization that people do in their desktops these days, and in most cases, they also use other peripherals like the keyboard and mouse which also have a lighting scheme of some sort.

Thereby, this was all you needed to know about RGB lights on the PCs.