The RGB ecosystem is a disaster

I’m convinced that the RGB ecosystem that covers the world of “computer enthusiast” hardware is a disaster. And while a good chunk of this reasoning is because everyone wants to do their own thing, I’m also convinced that a vast majority of it is down to two reasons:

  1. Incompetence of the software team
  2. Marketers just want to slip in spyware on your system and not get called out on it

“Incompetence? Who are you to say these people are incompetent?” Actually I don’t think a lot of people would disagree with my rather negative disposition, but I’ve had the (dis)pleasure of using three different vendor’s RGB software and I can’t help but feel a conclusion is either the first reason or the second reason I listed. Here are a few reasons why:

They have to run as an administrator

This is a gripe with one of the RGB control software that I have, the one for MSI MysticLight’s system. I can’t think of any legitimate reason why it needs elevated privileges to run, let alone work at all. There is a temperature based RGB setting which typically requires low-level access to work, but the RGB system should be able to figure that out without the need of an OS app telling it so.

NZXT CAM used to be the same way, but it doesn’t need elevated privileges to run anymore.

They have to run all the time, or the RGB won’t work

Or at the least, the RGB won’t work as intended. It may freeze or the RGB behavior may revert back to default settings. This can only mean to me that the RGB software is controlling the LEDs all the time which is mind blowing (I’m pretty sure you can get a super basic micro controller to manage the effects without some OS app telling it).

This is part of the reason why I think RGB software may be spyware. Or just poorly designed. Or both.

You can’t overwrite the default settings

This is my biggest gripe with most RGB systems: there’s no provision to set a default behavior. I don’t get how this isn’t a thing other than to require that the RGB software be run all the time. The inability to do this feature is why I’m not considering Corsair for any RGB again. It used to be that you could bake-in the RGB behavior into the devices so you didn’t need the software to run it, but since the release of iCUE, not only is this feature no longer present, but if I baked in the settings, it overwrites the default behavior back to the original one. I will not run iCUE because it reverts the RGB behavior on my H100i Pro to a rainbow.

In fact, this is my biggest gripe with most customizable hardware in general. Logitech is guilty of this too, as most of their keyboards need their freaking software to run to retain certain settings. The biggest one that I like is reverting the F-keys back to F-keys.

If this last feature is missing because someone at manufacturing convinced the bean counters they could save a penny or two off a chip, I’d gladly pay $5-$10 just for that 1 cent EEPROM that stores settings just so I don’t have to run extra software all the time.

Again, I’m convinced either the software developers are incompetent or marketing wants to install spyware on our computers and they got away with it.

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