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Review: NZXT HUE RGB LED Controller

by Parm Mann on 3 August 2012, 14:45 4.0

Tags: NZXT

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It's always fun tarting up your PC, but if you don't have a lot of faith in your modding capabilities and your electrical expertise don't stretch beyond replacing a light bulb, you might want to consider an all-in-one kit.

One such solution is the NZXT HUE RGB LED Controller. That's a whole lot of acronyms, but fear not, this is a product that's in no way complicated to use.

 

Priced at around £25 and presented in a simple little box, the HUE consists of two components - a controller designed to slot into a vacant 5.25in drive bay, and an LED strip that measures two metres in length. The basic principle is oh so easy, but for anyone who's toyed with the idea of lighting their chassis, we can't think of an easier option.


 

The 5.25in controller bay is neatly finished in black and the small mesh inserts should complement a wide variety of chassis. The three full-turn dials - corresponding to Red, Green and Blue - feel good to use and are notched, so you can point them precisely and with ease.

Each dial controls the amount of colour but also doubles as a push button; pushing the first dial toggles brightness to five degrees, the second dial allows the user to turn the LEDs on/off, and a press of the third dial switches between the various lighting modes - normal, fading, flashing, and pulsating.

The controls are all simple to use, and being able to turn the LEDs off quickly is a handy feature. Worth noting, also, that NZXT's PCB does come equipped with a small storage chip, so your lighting preferences and colour combinations are remembered when you turn the PC off.


 

What makes the HUE really appealing is how simple the installation really is. Whereas modding multi-coloured lights into a chassis was once considered a challenge, the HUE makes it practically effortless. With the 5.25in controller inserted into a spare 5.25in bay, all you need to do is attach a power cable - NZXT handily uses an up-to-date SATA connector as opposed to a four-pin Molex - and then hook-up the LED strip to the four-pin cable.

An arrow on the connector shows you which way to connect the LED strip - it needs to line up with the positive pin - and that's about all there is to it. The strip's two-metre length is just about perfect for circling our Corsair Graphite Series 600T chassis and 3M adhesive backing makes positioning a breeze, but while the out-the-box configuration just works, there isn't a great deal of flexibility. The LED strip has female connectors on both ends - so while it can be attached to the controller bay from either end, you can't attach another strip - and as far as we can tell there's no option to trim the strip, either.