An Introduction to RGB Lighting: What You Need
A gaming PC that reflects your personality and preferences is incomplete without some good ‘ol RGB lighting to spruce it up. Yes, we know, it’s not for everyone, but for the majority out there, RGB does get a thumbs up. However, there's an extremely fine line between a tacky RGB setup and a gorgeous one. Simply throwing in a few components and LED strips and lighting them up just isn’t enough.
We're here to guide you through the various components and accessories that you can use to light up your battle station – ensuring that all the various parts work in synergy, and most importantly, make your setup look stunning.
MSI Mystic Light Sync
To get started, you need to ensure that you have a software utility that offers the flexibility and functionality to control and synchronize all the lighting in your system.
From changing your MSI motherboard lighting to controlling the RGB LED strips connected to your PC, MSI Mystic Light 3 gives you fine-tuned control over every aspect of lighting that you could want. What's more, the intuitive interface allows you to set even the most complex lighting patterns without much effort.
*You can download Mystic Light 3 here
RGB and ARGB Headers
When you're buying RGB components, you're bound to run into these terms sooner or later. Not only are they functionally different but they are visually quite distinct too. 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. 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.
Next: Get Ready to Pick Your Basic Parts!
Before we move on to accessories, we need to get the basics right. Without a solid foundation, your RGB components and accessories won’t work together to deliver a stunning look like you envisioned. Your motherboard and PC case form the backbone of any PC and this doesn’t change even when you're building an RGB gaming PC.
For this build, we use the MPG Z390 GAMING PRO CARBON as our base. Not only does this motherboard boast gamer-specific features that enhance the gameplay experience but it also allows you to connect additional RGB accessories and components. In addition to built-in lighting effects of its own, this Z390 motherboard boasts a 3-pin JRAINBOW header (same with ARGB Header) and 2x 4-pin RGB headers. What's more, it supports a Corsair ARGB controller as well, ensuring that you can control all Corsair RGB components using MSI Mystic Light Sync.
*Note that all the Addressable RGB devices need to be connect with MSI JRAINBOW headers; otherwise it only works with RGB effect.
If you want to build a stunning gaming PC, an attractive RGB case is only the first thing you need. The case should also provide easy access to controlling your lighting. The MSI MPG GUNGNIR 100 Case is designed keeping these conveniences in mind.
A front-panel LED control button will ensure that you can change your lighting without much effort. A built-in RGB LED control button reduces reduce headaches when you want to accomplish simple tasks like turning down brightness or changing color patterns. A pre-installed ARGB fan is already connected and ready to obey your commands.
An included ARGB HUB allows you to connect up to 8 ARGB LED strips. This gives you extensive lighting capabilities you might require to light up your rig to your liking, both now and in the future.
Top 5 Components and Accessories for your RGB Build!
Now that we've got our basics right, let's move on to our flashier parts!
Memory Modules: RAM
Today, RGB memory modules have changed the game with a plethora of lighting effects to enhance the look of your gaming rig even further – making them an indispensable part of any RGB gaming PC.
We recommend going for a dual-channel setup at the very least. This will give your rig better overall symmetry and more lighting patterns to choose from.
▼HYPERX PREDATOR DDR4 RGB
CPU Cooler and Case Fans
Your case fans and CPU coolers are among the most visible parts of your rig, especially when you’re using a PC case with a tempered glass window like the MSI MPG GUNGNIR 100.
The RGB patterns and effects on these parts are extremely apparent on these parts. Today, the advent of modern RGB CPU coolers has made them a must in any RGB gaming PC.
When you're choosing an RGB case fan, do make sure that you're not compromising cooling for fancier lighting. We recommend adding an ARGB case fan to this build. It will make a fine addition to the ARGB fan built-into the case we selected. Moreover, it will synergize with the other components to provide a much greater array of lighting effects.
▼COOLER MASTER MASTERLIQUID ML240R RGB
The ATLAS MYSTIC ARGB Graphics Card Holder is an excellent way to protect your graphics card while adding some zing to your gaming PC. The graphics card holder prevents the dreaded ‘graphics card sag’ after long periods of just hanging in your case without support. Its ARGB lighting capability adds yet another addressable RGB element to your rig.
So, not only does this add a bit of flair to your RGB gaming PC but it also helps protect your precious components from harm.
RGB LED Strips
RGB LED Strips aim to drive away darkness. Use them in spaces that aren’t covered by your other RGB components and accessories to make sure that your lighting remains uniform and as gorgeous as ever.
There are many ways to position these LED strips and it depends on your preference. For more sober ambient lighting, position them in such a way that their light never exits the case directly. Face them towards various surfaces so that lighting remains ambient.
Strips that are directly visible from the tempered glass window are considered tackier and thus isn't an ideal placement.
Now, when it comes to peripherals, you have a wide array of products to choose from if you're just looking for RGB peripherals. However, we'd like this build to be as convenient as well as uniform, which means we're only looking at gaming mice, keyboards, and headsets that can be controlled using MSI Mystic Light Sync. If you want to take a look at various such RGB peripherals, head on here
to check for compatible peripherals. Meanwhile, we recommend the best value RGB peripherals for gamers building an RGB gaming PC below:
- Gaming Headset: MSI IMMERSE GH70 – Not only does this stunning RGB headset offer the convenience of being controlled using MSI Mystic Light Sync but its Hi-Res certification guarantees amazing sound. It supports virtual 7.1 surround sound to complete your gaming and media experience.
- Gaming Mouse: MSI CLUTCH GM50 – The ergonomic design and RGB-enhanced curves of this gaming mouse sit on a PMW-3330 gaming-grade optical sensor for enhanced precision. It is perfect for those rapid movements you make when playing fast-paced games. The Clutch GM50 also boasts a maximum 7200 DPI to help with precision and navigating high-resolution displays easily.
- Gaming Keyboard: MSI VIGOR GK80 – The GK80 offers the swiftness and low actuation force you need for gaming while delivering the reliability you expect from a mechanical keyboard with Cherry switches. The full RGB lighting effects enhance the keyboard, especially when paired with a gaming PC that's controlled by MSI Mystic Light Sync for perfect rgb sync.
That's it! Time to Get Inspired
Let's have a quick look of our RGB PC Build recommendations:
If you're looking for design and color/pattern ideas, a simple image search should give you some clues. Need more inspiration? Come visit our Get Hyped with Glowing Vibes
page, an MSI dedication to those who love personalizing their PC with some RGB lighting! You can find design ideas, component suggestions, and so much more. Use the filter on the left to make your search easy and quick.
Don't forget us when you're done with your gorgeous PC build. Share your completed RGB Gaming PC setup with us on Twitter, simply use hashtags #MysticLight for a chance to show off your favorite setting!