Many PC enthusiasts and builders love to hate on the rise of RGB, in large part because when it lands in motherboard, graphics cards, or elsewhere, it tends to raise prices without providing any functional benefit beyond a light show that can be tough to turn off. But Lian Li’s Strimer products are ATX or PCIe extension cables, so no one’s pushing you to buy them if you aren’t interested.
If you like the idea of adding a complex light show behind the tempered-glass side of your case, Lian Li’s Strimer Plus will definitely catch your eye. We liked the original model well enough when we looked at it last year. But it wasn’t easy to turn off, had a tendency to come apart during installation, and left a lot of room for refinement.
Announced at CES 2020, the Strimer Plus, which the company says will arrive in February for $59.99 for the 24-pin ATX cable and $39.99 for the 8-pin graphics card cable kit, looks miles better when on or off, supports many more visual effects thanks to an RGB controller box (which also includes an option for turning it off), and is also much brighter and more solidly built than the original model.
Instead of a clunky rear-bracket-mounted light controller, this time the Strimer will ship with a four-button black box that lets you adjust lighting modes, brightness, speed, and switch off the lights so you can sleep or watch a movie without that sweet cable glow. Alternatively, the lights can sync with those on your motherboard via the usual bevy of desktop software available from the likes of Asus, MSI, Gigabyte and others.
If you’re still not sold on the Strimer, that’s fine. There’s something to be said for a PC that doesn’t blink or glow while you game or create your digital masterpiece. But I can’t wait to get the Strimer Plus inside a new build because few RGB-adorned devices look this good. Hopefully a future model will let you design animations or text that can scroll along the cables.