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Question about LED interfaces

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Apr 2, 2020
Good morning good folks of the OCers forum.

I am trying to clear up some confusion I'm having about LED interfaces and controllers that I ran into while building a computer with a Gigabyte x570 motherboard. I have done some initial searching on the web so that I don't have to ask about something I can easily look up.

The issue I'm confused about is that there seem to be two different digital aRGB interfaces. Both use 3 pins, but one has a connector that is 4 pins wide with a single missing pin. The other one appears to resemble the 3-pin fan interface, with two "fins" that fit into slots on the interface to ensure the correct orientation. This 3 pin led interface is for the led control for both my GPU and CPU waterblocks, from alphacool and swiftech respectively.

Now the motherboard has two different LED interfaces, the "4 pin wide with 1 missing pin" which the guide refers to as a 5v digital led interface, and the 4 pin analog 12v. I know the 3 pin standard "fan looking" connector can't go to the analog 4 pin header, but is there a way to adapt it to the "4 pin with 1 missing pin" header? is there a specific name for these interfaces so that I can easily search for them and their adapters?


Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Dec 15, 2008
Pretty sure 4 pin is non addressable, and the 3 pin is...

RGB and ARGB Headers
This makes understanding the distinctions between them quite critical. RGB or ARGB headers are used to connect RGB LED strips and other RGB accessories to your PC. However, an RGB header (usually a 12V 4-pin connector) can only control colors on a strip in a limited number of ways.

However, an RGB header (usually a 12V 4-pin connector) can only control colors on a strip in a limited number of ways. For example, multiple colors on different parts of the strip aren't possible – severely limiting the lighting choices at your disposal.

Here's where ARGB headers come into the picture. An ARGB, or Addressable RGB, header (usually a 5V 3-pin connector) is equipped with an IC (Integrated Circuit, also sometimes referred to as a microchip) to provide much better flexibility with regards to lighting options.

It allows you to enjoy a plethora of lighting effects including, but not limited to, multiple colors on a single LED strip, multiple color changing patterns on a same strip or in sync with other strips connected to ARGB headers.