The enthusiast community seems to be in wide agreement that peripheral software is rarely great, and if people had the choice, most would avoid it. Yet, we’re in an era where everything from fan speeds to RGB colors are controlled by software. Unfortunately, that software almost always needs to be active the entire time you use your PC if you want to retain full functionality over your gear.
The latest version of Corsair’s iCUE software gives us a reason why companies should do more to improve their software. Version 3.19.120 seems to be overly aggressive with certain polling, which is wreaking a bit of havoc for some who are suddenly finding their gaming performance impacted. User SuNSe7 at Corsair’s official forums (via r/pcgaming) posted that the new version of iCUE decreased frame rates and introduced stutter, and it didn’t take long for others to jump in with similar experiences.
If you’re running the latest version of iCUE and are finding your gaming performance to have gotten worse, you can uninstall the software and wait for an update. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like Corsair has an archive to grab an older version. According to the official downloads page, this version came out on August 30, so it’s unfortunate a follow-up hasn’t dropped already.
It’s possible that this iCUE version doesn’t affect everyone, so if you’re already running .120 and don’t see any differences to your gaming performance, you’re probably safe to ignore it and take action only if that changes. Of course, if you’re not running that version, it’s probably wise to hold off on updating for the time-being.
We said above that companies should work harder to make sure their software is good (as in, not bloated and doesn’t cause performance issues), but it also makes us wonder why more peripherals don’t come with built-in memory. Saving profiles straight to the devices we’re using means we wouldn’t have to keep this kind of software running all of the time to begin with (unless features require software APIs, of course.) iCUE makes our Core i9-9900K test PC idle at around 1%, which highlights why we never keep it installed on benchmarking rigs. 1% isn’t much, but it’s still higher than 0%.