RGB: Why and Why Not?

So here I am, slowly putting together my first PC build list in about a decade. This requires numerous component choices to “do it right” and often I tally up little lists weighing pros and cons of any given component. Every time I do this, the presence or lack of RGB falls somewhere on that list.

My cat & I are the ones who will primarily see my PC build. Why should I worry about dressing it up any more than I’d worry about wearing sweatpants and a t-shirt when working from home? Yet still, it’s “a thing” for me.

Rationalizing an RGB keyboard is easy; I prefer to work, game and stream with the lights mostly off. But a water cooler?
pictured: EKWB’s EK-AIO 360 D-RGB

I mean, I don’t really need to see anything in my case when I’m on the PC, but on the same token I’ve picked out a case with not one, but TWO glass sides.
pictured: Lian Li O11 Dynamic XL

And if I’m going that far, maybe look into some sparkly RAM? Who doesn’t like sparkly RAM?
pictured: G.Skill F4-3600C16D-32GTRS Trident-Z-Royal

So down the rabbit hole one can go, dropping an extra $20 here and $30 there until there’s so much “unicorn vomit” that one might reasonably worry about summoning faeries if you press the wrong key combination.

Of course, then come the software packages. Every motherboard manufacturer has their own and some components and peripherals are more or less compatible. It’s been shown that running more than one of these can have a negative impact on system performance, so optimizing can be important.

So where do people here generally fall when it comes to lighting up their cases and desks?
(private votes)

  • My God, it’s full of stars!
  • Maybe a little
  • WTH is wrong with you RGB people?
  • Shitbonerz (requisite)

0 voters

I have tempered glass on my case, and I see my lights. I only purchased things with lights though because the deal was good, otherwise I would’ve put zero effort into getting lights and would’ve just watched the fan spin. I don’t pay extra for GLOW.

I recently thought about a windowed case, but ended up changing my mind. I’d just end up having to clean the inside more. :P

RGB lighting inside a case…


This would be my concern too.

To be fair, I mostly want my PC to disappear and just work.

The only in-case RGB I’ve ever seen the point of is on the GPU, where you can tie it to the temperature and just see at a glance what’s going on without needing an OSD. RGB fans, memory? Fuck no.

I believe you will think it’s cool for about an hour. Then it’ll get dark and you’ll fire up a game to play, and realise there’s the glow of a thousand neon suns preventing you from concentrating on what’s on your screen.

Fortunately, you could install a set of curtains on your PC case window although I’m not sure anyone has cornered the market on that yet.

Something tasteful like this:

I did “maybe a little” because of my keyboard (which, as Dan notes, is excellent in low-light office settings like my gaming room at home) but also while I don’t have a lot of RGB the little I do have is coming off a few elements on my board and video card, and I kind of like having just a little there. Nothing crazy though.

That’s one way of making your PC disappear! Beautiful.

I admit to having a RGB keyboard, where I use only the white option for key illumination at night. :)

If I could eliminate leds from all my home goods, I would. I sleep best in absolute darkness, and the piercing shrill light of a dozen tiny diodes telling me, insistently, that yes, the bedside speaker I have playing white noise is still on, and yes, my phone is charging, are loathsome and cruel. I’ve taped over a number of them.

I got a good deal on a PC that came with RGB lighting, otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered with it and I usually leave it turned off. That being said, sometimes it’s fun to have the sparkly lights on!

I already had a lighted Corsair keyboard, and usually leave the keys on their dimmest red setting. Works really well in low light settings without throwing off a glare.

Well it probably helps that I don’t sleep in the same room my glowy keyboard, CUP fan, RAM and GPU are in. They can be mesmerizing when tired though.

Black electrical tape is handy in these instances. (I also cover the camera on my laptop with it.)

Neither do I, in fairness, but tbh, living in neverending WFH, I’m basically slumped in front of my PC any time I’m not cooking, showering, sleeping, or taking a bio break. I’ve installed dark mode mods on all my browsers, tuned down brightness all over, etc. to avoid eyestrain. The gleaming lights of a couple of my monitors, my Blue Yeti mic, and my NUM Lock key are all that remains in my direct line of sight most of the time, and I’m growing to hate them. It’s a bit of an overreaction, I know, but I just want to exist in the cool evening darkness when we turn down the lights and I slump back to watch some Netflix or whatever.

With you all the way. When my girlfriend and I sit down to watch a movie or something, I have to do a ritual of placing lots of things in front of each LED (so an empty toilet roll in front of my blu-ray player, a long piece of dark foam that I stand up in front of my desktop PC, some paper to stop the multi-socket light bouncing off the wall behind the TV). I should just tape it all up. If we don’t do this it’s like Close Encounters when we’re sat on the sofa in the dark.

I bought a Razer mouse and thought the changing RGB lighting was hideous. Then I was too lazy to try to fix it with a hack, so I left it. Now I kind of like having a light source when I walk into my dark computer room.

This concludes my RGB experience.

This is me, except that I’m also annoyed by the constant RGB cycle my motherboard goes through to the point that I cover it as best I can. It’s pretty for a minute, then it starts to hurt my eyes a bit.

RGB controller software is notoriously badly coded and unstable. Corsair iCue and the ASUS ROG crap will prevent some Ryzen motherboards from sleeping.

It’s simple:
Why? You’re a kid
Why not? You’re an adult

My case came with a LED attached to a fan but I actually replaced it with a non-LED fan.