RGB LED software like Corsair iCUE, MSI Dragon Center, and NZXT CAM, among others, creates a lot of bloat on new gaming PC builds. This benchmark tests the impact.
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We decided to benchmark a full suite of bloatware, like RGB and peripherals software, both individually and altogether. The testing methodology exactly matches our CPU reviews (so check one of those for notes), but switches the GPU to an ASUS Strix 2080 Ti specifically for another RGB LED component, then also uses the 9600K in an MSI ACE Z390 motherboard for the CPU. We chose the 9600K specifically because we knew it’d be a good performer in gaming overall, but that its weaker core/frequency configuration would likely illustrate the software impact more readily.

Software used includes the following:

– MSI Dragon Center (Motherboard)
– NZXT CAM (X42 cooler, HUE 2)
– Corsair iCUE (PSU, 680X LL RGB fans)
– Gigabyte RGB Fusion (RAM / GSkill)
– TT RGB (Riing fans)
– CM MasterPlus (KB)
– Logitech G Hub (Headset)
– EVGA Unleash (Torq mouse)
– ASUS Aura Sync (GPU)

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Editorial, Testing: Steve Burke
Testing, Research: Jake Henderson
Video: Josh Svoboda, Andrew Coleman

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