I’ll be the first to admit that the entire RGB scene has just been crazy, anything and everything you can think of now has it. It's not for everyone and for some of the people who don’t like it, it can even lead to an angry response. Three years ago, I wrote an article on the topic of why RGB can still be useful even if the idea of that rainbow look isn’t your thing. Last year Lian Li came out with one of the most outrageous RGB products with their Strimer RGB cable extensions and this year they have upped the ante by upgrading them with addressable lighting with a lot more effects. Today I’m going to check them out and see what they are all about and try to figure out if they should only be used on the craziest RGB builds or if maybe you can use them as an accent in a “normal” build.

Product Name: Lian Li Strimer Plus

Review Sample Provided by: Lian Li

Written by: Wes Compton

Amazon Affiliate Link: HERE

 

Strimer Plus 24 Pin Specifications

Dimensions

273mm (L) x 87mm (D) x 43 mm (H)

Material

Silicone/PVC

Cable

200mm

Gauge

18AWG

Number of LEDs

120

Includes

Extension, Controller, and cable to connect to motherboard 3 pin addressable header

Strimer Plus 8 Pin Specifications

Dimensions

364mm (L) x 85mm (D) x 34 mm (H)

Material

Silicone/PVC

Cable

300mm

Gauge

18AWG

Number of LEDs

108

Includes

Extension and cable to connect to motherboard 3 pin addressable header

 

 


Photos and Features

So just to be clear, Lian Li sent over two different Strimer plus models, but they do go together. They sent over the Strimer Plus 24 and the Strimer plus 8. The 24 is their motherboard power extension and the 8 is for your video card. That is why I have two different boxes in the picture below, but as you can see they both have the same theme going on with the black background and the laser-like stripes. The Strimer Plus 8, however, is longer so its box has the background artwork stretched out farther. Beyond that, the model name is on the front with a reflective finish as is the Lian Li branding in the top right corner. The only thing that shows which model you have however are the stickers on the front. Stickers work, but as you can see they are a little hard to read and see. Being larger would help for a retail environment if they wanted people to pick them up.

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Now the two boxes do come with different things. So the 24 pin extension comes with a black control box and a few more cables. Basically, this is what you need to control the Strimer Plus lighting, so to get the 8-pin working you will also need to get the 24 pin kit. That said they both do come with a cable to hook the lighting directly up to your motherboard if it supports a 3 pin addressable LED connection. So you do have options if you only want the 8-pin. The cables, controller, and extension cable all come in plastic bags for protection. Then there is a basic folded up paper with instructions. They do show the installation on there, but the best part of the instructions is the list of the different effects.

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So here is the Strimer Plus 24 which is their 24 pin motherboard power cable extension. It comes in at a cable length of 200mm. If you haven’t seen the original Strimer you might be interested in how Lian Li manages to get that RGB cable look. The real power cables aren’t any different than a normal extension cable. They are individually sleeved with bright white sleeving. They then clip on top of that the RGB component which has diffuser tubes that run the length, 12 in total which matches the top profile view of the cable. Then in between each has white around it. This helps cover the small addressable LEDs that are behind the tube. Because it clips on like that, there is room at the ends where the lighting doesn’t reach to the plugs. The left black clip also has the Lian Li branding on it as well. This cable has a total of 120 addressable LEDs which makes for easy math with the 12 total strips meaning there are 10 LEDs down the length of each diffuser. There is one cable that comes out of the end which has an 8 pin connection at the end.

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The Strimer Plus 8 is a little different, this is the cable extension for your video card and unlike a motherboard where almost all modern boards use the 24 pin connection and it is in the same place/orientation, for video cards you will sometimes have an 8 pin and a 6, two 8 pins, or even two 6 pins. There are lots of mid/lower end cards that only use one cable that isn’t going to be supported by the Strimer 8 and even a few ultra high end overclocked cards that use three 8-pins that are also not supported. They do have two 6+2 plugs on the Strimer Plus 8 though to handle most two plug options. The connections are really close together though. This extension is longer at 300mm and it has a similar layout to the Strimer Plus 24 which has the white cables hidden behind the diffuser tubes. This time with 8, not 12 to match the number of cables. The 8 also doesn’t have the RGB portion running all the way to the end of the cable, there is more room on the female end. The other unique part about this one compared to the Strimer Plus 24 is the RGB is removable so you can flip it around. This is important because depending on your case, this cable may reach your video card from the bottom, side or top and you want the lighting to face out and not be hidden.

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So you have two different options for controlling both the Strimer Plus 8 and 24. They both come with a cable that adapts from Lian Lis connection to a standard 3 pin addressable LED plug that you will find on most new motherboards. The other option is to use the controller that Lian Li includes with the Strimer Plus 24. This control box can control both of the extensions and has four buttons on the front. The top button is labeled as M1 and this controls the lighting mode which can flip through 18 in total modes. On the left, you have a speed control button that flips through the 15 different lighting effect speeds. The right is labeled L and this controls brightness with 5 brightness settings as well as turning the lighting off. Then the bottom is M2 and this flips between colors, 7 in total. There are some effects that are monochromatic, the color button doesn’t work on those. The box has the Lian Li branding on the front but I will say that the labels for the buttons don’t seem to make any sense to me. M for mode, S for speed, B for brightness, and C for color would have made more sense IMO.

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It does have plugs on both ends to hook everything up. The two longer plugs at the top are for the two extensions. The 8 pin is for the Strimer Plus 24 and the 6 pin is for the Strimer Plus 8. Then at the bottom, there are three plugs. One is where you hook up the power cable, the middle plug is where you hook up directly into your motherboard with a 5V ARGB plug. Then the last one is where you can hook up an additional addressable RGB device with a WS2128B connection for up to 27 more LEDs. The back of the controller doesn’t have any mounting solutions, which isn’t a big surprise. Velcro or double-sided sticky tape would be the normal mounting method for something like this but I was surprised either wasn’t included.

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Here are the cables included with the Strimer Plus 24. On the left is the power cable which has a SATA plug on the end. In the middle is what connects to an additional addressable LED strip. Then on the right, that is the cable that hooks the controller into the motherboards aRGB connection. They are all blacked out but it is interesting that the power cable comes with that sleeving but none of the other cables do.

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Performance

Performance testing the Strimer Plus extensions isn’t complicated really. There aren’t any metrics that we need to see them reach. It's as simple as checking out the lighting. For that, I tested them out on our test bench. I took a few pictures along the way, but being addressable LEDs the only way to really show them is with video so I have also included a video of flipping through all of the lighting modes. You can see how I routed the Strimer Plus 8 extension for the video card up where it would normally need to be flipped around, this was just to keep both close together to make them easier to see. Normally you would need to pull the RGB off and flip it around. The other big installation point is that you really have to remember that adding the lighting on top of the cables does make them stiff, you aren’t going to be able to bend these as much as any other cable extension. This is really important on the motherboard 24 pin where in a lot of cases you come right out and it 180’s and plugs right in with almost no cable visible. Not only would that defeat the point of these extensions, but it also wouldn’t be possible. So plan on leaving room.

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I actually think the pictures better show just how bright and vibrant the Strimer Plus is for lighting. But the video below shows all of the different lighting effects you can get using the included controller. Now the 7 different colors that they allow you to use does skip over orange, which is one of the main colors I would most likely want to use if I used these in a build. But that is where plugging into your motherboards Addressable LED header is important to have as an option. At least with that, you can dive into more complicated colors, though I do wish the controller was USB controlled with software or had R G and B buttons to tweak the color, similar to how Cooler Master does the on the keyboard controls for their lighting.

 


Overall and Final Verdict

So like I said earlier, the Strimer Plus 8 and 24 from Lian Li aren’t overly complicated. You get cable extensions for your motherboard 24 pin and your two 6+2 plugs for video cards that are covered in addressable RGB lighting. You will notice that the CPU power extension which is normally an option for cable extensions, isn’t available as a Strimer Plus. That is simply because it is hardly visible and the tight bends that cable needs aren’t possible with this setup. Which is the first downside for the Strimer Plus, all of the cables are a LOT stiffer than a normal extension cable. It isn’t anything that can’t be worked around, but at least with the 24-pin, you might have to bring it out of a different hole than you normally would.

I was impressed with the lighting being bright and vibrant all the way through the cable and adding addressable lighting this time around compared to the original Strimer is a huge improvement. The idea is extremely unique, and with that, it is also going to be very hot and cold. If you love RGB lighting you may like it, but if you are already not of fan of RGB this is going to be your first example of how things have gone way too far. I like that Lian Li included a controller with the Strimer Plus 24 to allow control even if you don’t have a motherboard that supports addressable LEDs or if you have already used your one header up. That said, even with the 18 different lighting modes, 7 colors as well as multi-color effects, and speed/brightness controls. You will still get more control with a software controller like on your motherboard. With that, you can do more colors, like orange which was missing from the default colors, and you can do effects using your choice of color combinations where the controller only has single color OR rainbow effects. I think they should have included Velcro or sticky tape to install the controller as well. I also think the controller button labels could be more clear without having to refer to the instructions.

Honestly, you most likely already knew if you would love or hate the Strimer Plus 24 and 8 the first time you saw a picture of them in action. I think even in the RGB lovers camp people who want this much lighting are going to be a small camp. But I am glad that Lian Li offers them as an option. This is a quick way to add RGB lighting into an older build or to go crazy with a build that you can see from the moon. The extensions aren’t exactly cheap. The 24 pin model will run you $59.99 which includes the controller and getting the matching VGA cable is $39.99 which is a lot of money but no more than a set of crazy addressable RGB fans would run you.

fv5

Live Pricing: HERE

Author Bio
garfi3ld
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: http://lanoc.org
Editor-in-chief
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

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