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Corsair Commander Mini

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I want to buy this PWM controller in order to swap out my 3-pin GTs to 4-pin PWM GTs and control my MCP35x pump. I've looked into getting an Aquaero but I don't want/need all the features of the Aquaero, especially the screen. I prefer a simple PWM controller that can be tucked away and can be controlled via software.

From what I've been reading online, it seems like it's a much better product from updates this year than when it was released a few years back. Does anyone use this product and have feedback?
    
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post #2 of 7
Hey, I hope it's not too late, but here goes anyway:

I have the commander mini. Hardware-wise it is excellent, with the only downside being that the firmware does not allow for fans to be fully turned off. If you need that specific functionality and can't go without it, the commander mini is not the right choice for you right now.

In terms of software, the corsair software is better than it has been, but it still has some glaring issues such as high CPU usage; unreliable fan control; not detecting all hardware; having to redo your fan curves with each update, the list goes on. Thankfully, there's a free application SIV made by the corsair forum user red-ray that works flawlessly and actually allows the commander mini to be fully utilised.

It can be downloaded http://rh-software.com/here, and there's also a guide you can find on the front page for getting it set up with the commander mini. The UI is a little dated, but once you get it working, it works without any problems.

It controls my PWM pump and voltage controlled fans very well, with each individual component able to be separately controlled in response to multiple temperatures.
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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by d0mini View Post

Hey, I hope it's not too late, but here goes anyway:

I have the commander mini. Hardware-wise it is excellent, with the only downside being that the firmware does not allow for fans to be fully turned off. If you need that specific functionality and can't go without it, the commander mini is not the right choice for you right now.

In terms of software, the corsair software is better than it has been, but it still has some glaring issues such as high CPU usage; unreliable fan control; not detecting all hardware; having to redo your fan curves with each update, the list goes on. Thankfully, there's a free application SIV made by the corsair forum user red-ray that works flawlessly and actually allows the commander mini to be fully utilised.

It can be downloaded http://rh-software.com/here, and there's also a guide you can find on the front page for getting it set up with the commander mini. The UI is a little dated, but once you get it working, it works without any problems.

It controls my PWM pump and voltage controlled fans very well, with each individual component able to be separately controlled in response to multiple temperatures.

Thank you! This is exactly the type of response I was looking for. +rep thumb.gif
    
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post #4 of 7
I'm currently using the CM to provide PWM control to 8 2K RPM Vardar 140ER fans and a DDC pump.

4 of the fans are running off of a powered PWM splitter and the other four are powered off of 2 fan channels on the CM using splitters.

The official Corsair Link 4 software works fine for my purposes, though I have run into some software bugs with some fan channels oscillating until I switch the fan profiles. Extra features like driving fans off of virtual sensors would be nice. I don't like how it doesn't let me specify PWM duty cycle instead of RPM. There shouldn't need to be closed-loop control... I wish the CM would just output a specific PWM signal and let the fans deal with it. CPU usage is a constant .6% on my system and I haven't seen any of the high CPU usage bugs reported on older versions.

Hardware-wise, I've noticed that the CM can't properly drive the Vardar fans that are drawing power from the CM itself.

The fans hooked to the powered splitter work fine, but the 4 fans being powered by the 2 headers can't hit max RPM unless I block the airflow with my hand to reduce the power draw. Switching the fan's connections to the powered splitter fix the issue, so this tells me it's the CM's voltage drooping. Hooking the fans individually to the fan headers doesn't either, which is odd since the CM is rated for 4A combined. I've ordered an additional powered PWM hub to fix this issue, but that's something to keep in mind when comparing costs.

Also, be careful to next snap off the temperature sensor probes. They wiggle enough to make me nervous.
post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kokin View Post


Thank you! This is exactly the type of response I was looking for.

No problem. I made a review on the commander mini in the time I replied to you, it has some comparisons with the official software and SIV of you were interested in seeing them. Under my profile image. smile.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by Exilon View Post


The official Corsair Link 4 software works fine for my purposes, though I have run into some software bugs with some fan channels oscillating until I switch the fan profiles. Extra features like driving fans off of virtual sensors would be nice. I don't like how it doesn't let me specify PWM duty cycle instead of RPM. There shouldn't need to be closed-loop control... I wish the CM would just output a specific PWM signal and let the fans deal with it. CPU usage is a constant .6% on my system and I haven't seen any of the high CPU usage bugs reported on older versions.

That software bug of fans oscillating - does it happen under sustained medium loads? I have noticed this issue too, and have raised it in the corsair forums. Red-Ray has said to me that it must be a firmware bug, and it could be worked around by implementing custom curves in software. I have been the only one to raise the issue so far, to my knowledge. If you could contribute on this thread, that would show it's not just a one-off case and might get Ray to work on it sooner.

With the virtual sensors (combining different temperatures and using the maximum value to control fans), that is actually possible with SIV. The .6% usage, was this seen in task manager? The amount of usage the software actually takes up, as far as I know, is that value multiplied by the number of threads you have. Task manager works out CPU usage of single-threaded applications by taking how much a single CPU thread is being utilised, and then dividing it by the total number of threads. Depending on how many threads you have, the usage can be a fair amount higher than you thought. As I said to Kokin, take a look at the review for more info. It's the only one I know of that looks at the commander mini while using SIV.
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My baby
(21 items)
 
   
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
4790k@5GHz, 1.472v (3GHz uncore) Maximus VII Impact MSI 980 Ti Gaming 6G Corsair Dominator Platinum 16gb 2133 CL9 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
2x 840 EVO 500GB Toshiba XG3 1TB (M.2 NVMe SSD) EK Supremacy Evo & VGA Ek xres 140 pump 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
4x Gentle Typhoons 1850rpm intake 4x Gentle Typhoons 1450rpm exhaust PE-240, XT45 120, SR-2 360, G2 240 slim rads windows 10 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Acer Predator XB270HU Corsair Strafe RGB EVGA G2 850 PSU Suppressor f51 
MouseMouse PadAudioAudio
Logitech G502 XXL neoprene mousemat goodness Bose companion 20 Sennheiser HD 650 
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GSX 1000 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
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post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exilon View Post

I'm currently using the CM to provide PWM control to 8 2K RPM Vardar 140ER fans and a DDC pump.

4 of the fans are running off of a powered PWM splitter and the other four are powered off of 2 fan channels on the CM using splitters.

The official Corsair Link 4 software works fine for my purposes, though I have run into some software bugs with some fan channels oscillating until I switch the fan profiles. Extra features like driving fans off of virtual sensors would be nice. I don't like how it doesn't let me specify PWM duty cycle instead of RPM. There shouldn't need to be closed-loop control... I wish the CM would just output a specific PWM signal and let the fans deal with it. CPU usage is a constant .6% on my system and I haven't seen any of the high CPU usage bugs reported on older versions.

Hardware-wise, I've noticed that the CM can't properly drive the Vardar fans that are drawing power from the CM itself.

The fans hooked to the powered splitter work fine, but the 4 fans being powered by the 2 headers can't hit max RPM unless I block the airflow with my hand to reduce the power draw. Switching the fan's connections to the powered splitter fix the issue, so this tells me it's the CM's voltage drooping. Hooking the fans individually to the fan headers doesn't either, which is odd since the CM is rated for 4A combined. I've ordered an additional powered PWM hub to fix this issue, but that's something to keep in mind when comparing costs.

Also, be careful to next snap off the temperature sensor probes. They wiggle enough to make me nervous.

+ rep Thanks, good to know. I think running 4 of your EK F3-140ERs on a single header would use up almost 1.3A, which surpasses the 1A limit. 3 fans per header is probably your limit (0.96A), with 2 fans per header being a safer choice.

I plan to use my pump (PWM/RPM signals only) and 5x 2150RPM PWM Gentle Typhoons (0.13A each), so I shouldn't even reach 1A total usage. Will probably only use one temp probe on a plug for my reservoir to control fan speed via coolant temps and it looks like SIV will be perfect for what I want to do. If I can get it to fit at the floor of my Mercury S3, I will be a happy man. smile.gif
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5 3570K [Delid] Asrock Z77E-ITX EVGA GeForce GTX 1080Ti FTW3 HyperX Fury 16GB 1866 DDR3 HX318C10FBK2/16 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Crucial M4 256GB Silicon Power S60 120GB Western Digital Blue Scorpio 1TB Seagate Constellation 2 1TB 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Swiftech Apogee Drive II XSPC RX240+EX240 [Painted White] 5x 2150RPM Gentle Typhoons PWM [Painted Black+W... Bitspower Water Tank Z-Multi 80 Inline Reservoir  
OSMonitorMonitorMonitor
Windows 10 LG 34UC88-B 34" Ultrawide 3440x1440 75Hz HP ZR2240w IPS Qnix QX2710 1440p 110Hz 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
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Sennheiser HD 598 SE Micca OriGen 
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post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by d0mini View Post

That software bug of fans oscillating - does it happen under sustained medium loads? I have noticed this issue too, and have raised it in the corsair forums. Red-Ray has said to me that it must be a firmware bug, and it could be worked around by implementing custom curves in software. I have been the only one to raise the issue so far, to my knowledge. If you could contribute on this thread, that would show it's not just a one-off case and might get Ray to work on it sooner.

I sometimes get the bug on a single fan channel when I bring the computer out of sleep. I rarely sleep the computer, but I'll keep that thread in mind if I encounter it next time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by d0mini View Post

With the virtual sensors (combining different temperatures and using the maximum value to control fans), that is actually possible with SIV. The .6% usage, was this seen in task manager? The amount of usage the software actually takes up, as far as I know, is that value multiplied by the number of threads you have. Task manager works out CPU usage of single-threaded applications by taking how much a single CPU thread is being utilised, and then dividing it by the total number of threads. Depending on how many threads you have, the usage can be a fair amount higher than you thought. As I said to Kokin, take a look at the review for more info. It's the only one I know of that looks at the commander mini while using SIV.

I have 8 threads so it's using about 5% of one core with occasional periods of 8% usage. It's definitely one of the heavier background processes, but not so much that it bothers me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kokin View Post

+ rep Thanks, good to know. I think running 4 of your EK F3-140ERs on a single header would use up almost 1.3A, which surpasses the 1A limit. 3 fans per header is probably your limit (0.96A), with 2 fans per header being a safer choice.

I plan to use my pump (PWM/RPM signals only) and 5x 2150RPM PWM Gentle Typhoons (0.13A each), so I shouldn't even reach 1A total usage. Will probably only use one temp probe on a plug for my reservoir to control fan speed via coolant temps and it looks like SIV will be perfect for what I want to do. If I can get it to fit at the floor of my Mercury S3, I will be a happy man. smile.gif

I'm running 2 fans per header, and they're exhibiting the behavior. Running one fan per channel doesn't fix the issue either. So it's down to the Vardars are underrated or the entire unit is overrated in current capability.
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