Wondering what the real difference is between RGB versus ARGB and if one is better than the other?
There are a massive number of PC lighting options (and a massive amount of marketing) these days, so confusion is definitely not uncommon.
ARGB (Addressable RGB) is a lighting technology that is simply a more advanced version of RGB. While RGB lighting can only be set to display a single color across its LED’s, ARGB gives you control over each individual LED. Impressive color cycling, flashing, sound syncing, and more can be done with ARGB.
For example, an RGB lighting strip may have 100 individual LED lights, but all 100 of those lights will always show the same color at a given time. An ARGB lighting strip containing 100 individual LED’s could have 100 different colors showing at once.
That’s the short of it, but we’ll get further into the details to better explain each option and help you determine which one is worth it over the other.
Whether you are just getting into RGB lighting or are looking to upgrade your existing setup, there are a ton of possibilities when it comes to modern PC lighting tech.
What is RGB?
RGB stands for red, green and blue color. It’s used within electronic device lighting, from TV’s and computer monitors to smart phones, tablets and more. The reason for red, green and blue is that these are the primary colors that comprise every other color we can possibly conceive on a screen.
In recent years, the electronics industry (the PC gaming niche, especially) has made a big push to design products to be more aesthetically pleasing than they did in the past. The end result of this lies not only in plastic, metal, and glass, but also in the use of RGB lighting devices.
Using this lighting, the PC becomes less of a utilitarian work tool and more of a wonder to the eyes. Even a static color display can add a lot to a PC and your room.
What is ARGB?
ARGB stands for “Addressable RGB” and this technology gives you greater control over your RGB lighting at the individual LED light level. You can control colors of individual LEDs and set them to cycle through the color spectrum, flash, breathe, synchronize with sounds, etc.
Over the last decade, modern RGB technology has come a long way due to ARGB.
Check out this video of a YouTuber who does a great job of showing the kinds of things ARGB can do on something as simple as a PC case fan:
ARGB is available on a wide variety of different devices, so if you feel your laptop or PC isn’t flashy enough, ARGB products can do a lot to alleviate that feeling. This is all done through the controller box software which is incredibly simple to use and lets you control all your ARGB lighting devices from one place with ease.
Again, the unique features here include the ability to have your devices change color in a breathing patterns, screen mirror, or even change colors to the beat of the music you are listening to, effectively turning your work or play space into your own personal nightclub.
Is ARGB Better Than RGB?
ARGB is the clear winner as it is a more advanced form of the RGB lighting that has taken the PC world by storm. With ARGB’S full customizability against RGB’s more singular capabilities to show one color at a time, it’s a no contest that that ARGB is superior tech.
Not only can ARGB products look good, they can also improve your overall PC experience by adding additional lighting effects for games and music and that’s something that RGB simply doesn’t have the ability to do.
It’s actually a pretty cool experience to have your entire lighting setup actively mimic what’s on your PC screen at any given time.
ARGB is simply the modern progression of RGB lighting. So if you are going to be sprucing up your PC or building one from the ground up and want lighting, we’d recommend that you opt for ARGB.
Does RGB or ARGB Affect Performance?
Despite any jokes (or serious claims) you may have heard around the web, RGB or ARGB lighting isn’t going to affect your gaming performance. The lighting has no effect on your CPU usage and does not stress a graphics card in any significant way. If you have a bum product, then maybe it could cause some issues, but this can be said about any computer product under the sun.
Singling out RGB lighting as a possible reason that your performance is increased or decreased is generally a false notion that is created by users to make their purchase seem a lot more impactful than it really is.
The basis for this rumor has to do with fans that associated with these products and that blue lighting can cool your PC off more, therefore creating better performance in games. It’s nonsense and a way to justify their cool looking purchases for anything more than just looks.
Most PC products that you buy will affect your computer in a variety of ways. Whether it is looks, performance or a mixture of a two, rarely does a new piece of equipment go unnoticed when it is introduced to your PC for the first time.
What devices Come with ARGB or RGB?
How many devices can you name on a computer? Because usually, that’s the limit when we are talking about what can use RGB and ARGB lighting.
Everything from your keyboard, mouse, motherboard, graphics card, fan, speakers, RAM sticks, LED strips, cases- the amount of products that now have this type of lighting installed is truly nuts.
One of the most popular items out there is the RGB lit keyboard and what this does is add a bit more flavor to your regular old, boring keyboard by letting your controller pick what the lights do depending on what task you are doing.
For example, you can have the lights bounce along to the music you have playing, or with certain games, the lights can have different behaviors depending on what you are doing in the game.
The same goes for RGB lit mouses that have a similar effect. Of course, there are always some that prefer more docile and quite lighting and for that, there is the option to have a static lighting effect on at all times if you’d like.
Which Is More Expensive?
Depending on the product, devices with this type of lighting can wildly vary in price. RGB RAM will cost far more compared to standard RAM, while an RGB lit keyboard may not be that much more than a non-RGB keyboard.
But comparing ARGB product pricing to that of standard RGB product pricing?
There really is not much of a difference here in most cases. ARGB products may cost a tiny bit more than an RGB product, but they’re really not that much different in price or practice. It’s totally a case-by-case thing.
Although RGB lighting started out as strictly an aesthetic thing to make computers more visually pleasing, the invention of ARGB has taken that to the next step and actually improved PC experiences.
The improved experience is not increased performance, but giving lighting systems the ability to be altered on the fly as well as integrated with systems like dancing along to your music or turning particular colors in games.
The latter is especially cool as it has the ability to light up red when taking damage in a game and that effect goes a long way when it comes to immersion.
Price wise, they are very close to one another so the RGB vs. ARGB product talk should never really be an issue unless it comes to which is compatible with your system.
Certain Motherboards are built to support either RGB or ARGB sometimes but not both, so if you plan on having devices like that light up, you need to check and make sure it is built to handle it first and foremost.
Apart from that, the amount of devices that utilize lighting these days is numerous, so if you want your PC to be glowing like something just found on a spacecraft, ARGB is the way to make that happen.