ARGB vs RGB: What Are the Differences & Which One Is Better?

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It seems like there is no corner of the gaming PC world that doesn’t have some sort of flashing, pulsing, or otherwise colorful lighting.

Because there are so many different kinds of lighting, it’s not always easy to tell what each one is for.

In this article, we’ll compare two of the most popular options, RGB and ARGB, and discuss their respective benefits and drawbacks.

With the variety of lighting alternatives and the type of ways in which they are promoted, it can be difficult to distinguish between them.

In contrast to ARGB lighting, which allows each LED to be independently controlled, RGB lighting requires all LEDs to be the same color.

If you have a 50-LED LED strip and you want to make it into 50 different colors, you can achieve so with ARGB.

As a result, ARGB is more flexible and appealing as a color scheme for tweaking personal computers.

What is RGB?

Each individual LED on an RGB strip—and, in fact, nearly all screen-related lighting—uses these three primary colors since any color can be created by combining red, green, and blue.

LED strips and case fans that use RGB lighting must maintain a steady hue.

RGB Keyboard - ARGB vs RGB


You can customize the color of each LED in an RGB LED strip, but if you have 50 LEDs and want them to all be purple, they must all be purple simultaneously.

While RGB still allows for various lighting modes including strobing and a fade between colors, it lacks the versatility of ARGB, which allows for some truly stunning lighting effects.

RGB LED Connectivity

To keep things straightforward, we’ll only talk about what an LED “strip” does; if you see an RGB fan, the lighting mechanism is the same, but the fan may use a different type of proprietary communication.

For RGB LED strips, the vast majority of motherboards continue to use the industry-standard 4-pin 12v connector, which is typically located next to the nearly identical ARGB connector.

Depending on the model of motherboard you have, you may find that some, all, or none of these ports are present.

Other than RGB controllers on the motherboard, a button on the computer case, and a remote control, there are various ways to connect RGB or even ARGB.

What is ARGB?

ARGB’s “A” refers to the “Addressable” part of the acronym. With ARGB, you may independently control each LED in an LED strip, allowing you to create infinite color combinations.


This makes the ARGB strip significantly more versatile than the RGB version. ARGB is the most up-to-date option, and you can even find it in an SSD these days.

With the ability to individually control each LED, you can create all sorts of unique lighting effects, from spiral rainbows to watercolor washes and glitches.

ARGB Connectivity

A 3-pin 5v header, which is simply an RGB connector with one of the center pins removed, is the common connector used for attaching ARGB components or strips to most motherboards.

It’s crucial to distinguish between the two voltages, as plugging a flashy new 5v ARGB device into a standard 12v RGB header will render the latter useless and leave you in the dark. Literally.

They are typically labeled on the motherboard, making them difficult to misplace.

ARGB vs RGB: Which is better?

ARGB is more spectacular and flexible than an RGB strip, but it also costs more.

Aside from the additional capabilities afforded by individual LED control, however, an ARGB strip may reproduce any effect created by an RGB strip.

RGB could be the way to go if you have a certain lighting setup in mind or even if you just know what colour you want to go for.

It’s also important to think about the rest of the room when planning lighting.

If, for example, your case already has ARGB fans built in, it would be counterproductive to install an additional RGB device or LED strip because you wouldn’t be able to “sync” them.

It’s recommended to always keep to a theme if one is available, as this is a typical mistake that leaves PC projects looking disconnected.

Are there any other types of lighting?

That’s right! In addition to the most common forms of configurable lightings, such as red-green-blue (RGB) and alternating-red-green-blue (ARGB), RGBW (red, blue, green, white) for an accurate “white” light, and RGBUV (green, red, blue, ultraviolet) for reacting to various materials (Cable braiding, UV coolant, etc.)

It is possible to purchase LED strips with dual or triple densities (both RGB and ARGB) to give a more consistent, smooth movement for lighting effects, but there are also other options to choose from.

Many lighting configuration tools, however, have a maximum limit of about 120 LEDs for a single device or LED strip, so be careful not to overload your device or header by adding too many LEDs.

Important distinctions

Knowing the distinction between the two solutions makes it easier to spot deceptive marketing for either.

Product images typically feature a fan or LED strip with a rainbow of colors to represent RGB technology.

Without this modification, the RGB fan’s shifting colors would appear as simple shades of red, pink, blue, green, and so on.

A potential drawback of this method of promotion is that a still photograph of an RGB fan may look quite similar to an ARGB fan exhibiting distinct colors.

For this reason, it is crucial to double-check the product’s name or description to determine what kind of illumination you will be receiving.

This makes it even more important to see a video demonstration of the difference in action to fully grasp it.

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Conclusion: ARGB vs RGB 2023

In conclusion, the choice between ARGB and RGB can make a significant difference in your digital designs.

Understanding the fundamental differences, including the added alpha channel in ARGB and potential file format limitations, allows you to tailor your design choices to achieve the desired visual outcome.

Color management is another crucial aspect to consider alongside these color models, ensuring a consistent experience across different devices and software.

Ultimately, both ARGB and RGB have their unique strengths and applications, and your ability to make informed decisions between them will serve to elevate your design skills and results.

Finnich Vessal

Finnich Vessal is an experienced affiliate marketer, he has been in the affiliate marketing industry for over 7 years and living his entrepreneur dreams online. Finnich is the founder of the popular affiliate marketing blog AffiliateBay where you can find posts related to affiliate marketing news, product reviews & trends in affiliate marketing. Finnich is a marketing expert who helps businesses achieve their online visibility and marketing goals. With over 7 years of experience in the industry, Finnich has a wealth of knowledge and insight to share with his readers. He is a regular contributor to leading publications in the marketing space, where he provides advice and insights on everything from SEO to social media marketing. You can find him on Linkedin, & Facebook.

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