At CES, Corsair talked a bit about its upcoming ‘Link’ hardware monitor / control peripheral, but at the ongoing Computex conference in Taipei, the company showed off actual product and has even released pricing details. At launch, set to occur in July, there will be two kits to choose from from; “Corsair Link Cooling” and “Corsair Link Cooling and Lighting” – the latter of which adds lighting capabilities as the name suggests.
Link consists of a couple of components. At its heart is “Commander”, which each kit includes. It acts as the base where all of the Link-supported peripherals plug in, and for the sake of supporting eight digital connections (and one analog for temperature-monitoring), the form-factor requires a 3.5″ bay. Unlike a fan controller, the Commander has no front face, so it can hide behind a drive cover and be hidden from view.
That being the case, software has to be brought in for the sake of control and monitoring, and for that we have “Dashboard”. This Windows-based software will allow users to manipulate the various components plugged into the Commander, with settings ranging from things like fan speeds and lighting colors.
Yes, lighting colors. That’s where “Lighting” comes in, an add-on that can be purchased as part of the larger launch kit, or separately after-the-fact. Included will be three lighting strips that can be mounted virtually anywhere in your PC where you think they will look nice. “Which colors?” No need to ask, because thanks to the use of RGB LEDS, these strips can support the full gamut of 16.7 million colors. Even better, you can enable a feature within the software that can change the color based on internal temperature. Now that’s cool.
While any of Corsair’s future products that have a reason to support Link will, Corsair will also be soon publishing guidelines that will allow other vendors to produce Link-supported products. Will some jump on board? It’s hard to say as there have been failed attempts at this sort of platform before, but one thing’s for certain… Corsair seems to have done its homework, because Link is looking excellent.
If there’s just one deterrent up-front, it’s the cost. The basic kit will retail for $99, while the one with the lighting addition will retail for $139. For those who are obsessive with fine-tuning their build as much as possible, and want to retain as much control as possible, this could be considered a small price to pay.