Codename OpenPleb: A non-profit for open consumer motherboard and peripheral standards

What is OpenPleb?

OpenPleb is a non-profit company dedicated to hosting open documentation and royalty-free agreements from computer peripheral companies. It is co-managed by L1Techs and GamersNexus.

What is the Mission of Open Pleb? :star:

First and foremost: OpenPleb is an organization founded around accessibility. OpenPleb wants to make the hardware you already own as accessible as possible for whatever software you want to run.

Too often in our adventures as hardware-enthusiasts, we’ve run into bottlenecks and barriers centered around proprietary software:

  • Why do so many RGB peripheral control protocols and interfaces need an undocumented black box?
  • Do we really need a company charging everyone else 3 cents for a combination fan+RGB connector, just because they have the most clout?
  • And why does controlling your hardware mean you’re reliant on poorly-written software from 2003?

Unfortunately, many companies do not have a good track record of providing more than a year or two of support for consumer peripherals. For example, the Corsair AX1600 can operate in single rail or multi rail mode but requires software to configure it. This software does not run on modern operating systems.

Rather than ask Corsair to support the AX1600 for 10+ years, we simply wish to document how it works, so that should there be enough desire from end-users, third party control software could be developed.

We believe that there is opportunity for innovation in the RGB control software or sensor monitoring software itself; and that innovation does not come from vendor lock-in. The less lock-in there is the more that companies can compete on the merits of the product and not because you are already in a particular company ecosystem.

The time has come for standards and interoperability.

How OpenPleb Will Work :writing_hand:

Open Pleb will have a three pronged approach to accomplishing it’s mission.

01: OpenPleb Will Provide Documentation

OpenPleb will provide documentation for developers to use to implement software that can control and access hardware features such as RGB control, sensor monitoring, fan control, and peripheral control. And anything else along that line that consumers/end-users may find useful. It is mainly for motherboard features, but can also apply to peripherals like power supplies, rgb controllers, sensor hubs and more.

02: OpenPleb Will Provide Accountability

OpenPleb will provide a public list of companies and products that are currently supplying, or are working to supply documentation, so users can make informed purchasing decisions.

03: OpenPleb Will Provide Community

OpenPleb will also co-ordinate and manage crowd-funded or bounty-funded reverse engineering programs, only when absolutely necessary, to discover and document any undocumented features of motherboards that end-users would find useful. For example, documenting how a platform monitoring chip works or commands that could be sent via SMBus to a Corsair Link device to access and control it.

Frequently Asked Questions :thinking:

Does a company have to give up their secrets for this to work?

OpenPleb is not asking that companies give up anything proprietary or secret-sauce. We are asking that if a company provides a new type of RGB or Fan connector that they document how it works in an open fashion and allow anyone, including competing companies, to use that standard. Does company X think they’ve invented a better mousetrap? Fine, but the fine print shouldn’t be that Company X mousetraps only work with ACME brand mice.

Are there any other projects like OpenPleb?

A similar historical case study for this kind of standardization is OpenCompute. OpenCompute created standards for enterprise-level hardware. Instead of HP, Dell, etc one-upping one another with features that attempt to lock-in their customers, sophisticated corporate buyers did an end-run around this product strategy to insist that these computer companies strictly adhere to the standards produced by OpenCompute.

OpenCompute has done many great things including fully open network switch operating systems. Without OpenCompute, we’d probably still be in the hellscape where Dell charged exorbitant yearly licensing fees for “switch operating system” instead of what we can do now with ONIE 2 hardware.

OpenPleb is meant to follow the same basic template but is designed for us “plebs” down here with our consumer grade computer hardware.

Are there any examples of the kind of documentation you want to provide? What about projects that would use it?

In a kind of hap-hazard way the community here has already tripped over a lot of these issues described above. Thankfully, we have a wonderful userbase who are more than happy to document what they’re working on:

In addition to posts like these from our forum members, there are lots of other fantastic projects that focus on making things less dependent on manufacturer software. One of the biggest is OpenRGB, which provides open source RGB lighting control.

OpenRGB is a great project: and we aim to go even farther. A lot of the RGB support from OpenRGB has been reverse-engineered. What if there was pressure facing these companies to provide some documentation so that projects like OpenRGB could benefit? The time spent on reverse engineering could instead go to making the software better! Win-win.

Get Involved :thread:

Have you ever experienced a pleb-tier fail?

OpenPleb: Hardware Fails

Do you have a piece of hardware that has inaccessible functionality because the software has been abandoned or doesn’t work anymore? This is a place to gather those pics and stories so that we can convince manufacturers to minimally provide documentation so we can keep using whatever.

Check out the thread above to contribute your horror stories!

Final Note :eyes:

This is very much a work in progress and I will do a bit more writing on this in the next few days! We will be the change we want to see. Watch this space.

[Last edited by Krista on 6/8/2023. Mainly to reformat it with :sparkles: EMOJIS :sparkles: ]

Example - Xigmatek

Xigmatek has a new aqua line. Bundled with their cases are 7 fans! But these fans have a proprietary connector. The connectors go to a control box which can also be connected to a digital header or Corsair connector either one.

We are recruiting companies to pledge that it is okay for someone else to, for example, make fans that use this connector in case you want to swap the xigmatek hands out for something, literally anything, higher end.

Yes this multipin connector is both fan and RGB.


There has also been instances in the past where, for example, bad “RGB control” software has erased user’s memory SPD chips (SPD chips are used to provide information on how the memory should be trained. No SPD? No POST…) This sort of thing means that there are land mines waiting for anyone working on reverse engineering these features for DIY software.

That is hilariously bad, lmao.

If this is an issue, I’ll throw out that for people actively reverse engineering this stuff, there are DDR3/DDR4 SPD writers available on aliexpress. These let you unlock (make sure you get a version capable of “unlocking”), reading, and writing the SPD info on memory, allowing you to “back up your RAM”. This lets you take hosed ram out and plug it in via USB on another system to restore it. You may be able to restore SPD info without a backup, but that may be more problematic as you might need to figure out if any available profiles work. Pulling information from a working stick also works, you’ll just need to change the ID.

The software involved is going to be hilarious and hella sus, in my case looking like some kind of cracked and alternate version of typhoon burner that was translated to Chinese, then back to English sometimes. For things to actually work I just ran a burner windows 7 install on an old laptop. The programs ran on windows 10, but didn’t seem to work properly.


I hope im on the same page definition wise

So off the top of my head:
ASUS aura controllers remain proprietary
NZXT Hue does but it uses standard interfaces (USB and serial depending on the variant) and thus has some compatibility with openRGB
Any NON razer laptop is basically problematic problematic for controlling keyboard RGB

Corsair is the same way with iCUE being the proprietary software

I think a lot of the information collecting you need done has partially been done in a similar scope regarding RGB. Here are some links to the openRGB project

Edit: Rereading your post. I realize that this list might need some prechewing if its to serve your question in its exactitude


I’d never heard of OpenCompute before today. Just read up about it on Wikipedia. Am I imagining things or has Facebook actually achieved something good?


Made some updates to the body text in the OP, mainly to make it a little more digestible at a glance. Ya’ll let me know if I missed anything.

Also, I didn’t have room for it in the main post (and it’s only kinda-sorta tangentially relevant so eh lol), but I wanted to mention another industry that benefited from creating a standard for users.

Prior to 2020, backpacking sleeping pads weren’t rated using a universal standard “r-value”; meaning it was almost impossible to tell how warm a sleeping pad actually was. Each manufacturer made up seemingly random numbers based on their own testing. Backpackers would design “sleep systems” to combat this randomness-- stuff like layering pads, using a higher-rated sleeping bag, etc; but ultimately it was impossible to know if the pad you were using was truly a winter, shoulder season, or summer pad without testing yourself. This lead to a lot of debates in the backpacking community (and probably a few cold trips for the unlucky few who picked the wrong pad for the wrong conditions).

With enough fuss like this, big retailers like REI started demanding that pad manufacturers stick to a standard number system for warmth ratings. It’s an interesting case study in how community action can change retailer/manufacturer behaviors:


I’ll throw Broadcom HBAs (personal experiences with the models 9400-8i8e, 9500-16i & P411W-32P) into the mix.


  • These things officially support Windows and system sleep (S3), both things pleb users like to use

  • User experience reality: System crashes with Bluescreens all around triggered by Broadcom’s drivers and firmware

  • Broadcom doesn’t care to fix them

  • Third-party critique remains pretty small-scale: “LOLz, how dare you use products primarily intended for 24/7 server use on Linux with “consumer-grade” (ignorant term) hardware and pedestrian Windows?!”


Regarding RGB stuff, I’d suggest software that’s also able to talk with “real” stage lighting equipment using DMX.

I’m still a noob here myself but using such lights in normal-sized rooms is just awesome, imagine simulating a sunset where the light is so bright that your senses are actually fooled.

It’s an even more awesome effect when combined with music.


This falls a bit in the IoT space more than peripheral or motherboard but could also be interesting for a third-party hub replacement for aRGB. At least I believe it’s specifically for aRGB over WiFi/network.

Dave might be interested in supporting this project as well since he seems to love RGB.

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Thankyou for taking this on, I think it’s a fantastic idea. My hope is it will lead to something better than the current software plugins that companies provide to make their component’s RGB work with those of other manufacturers when there is no other option. A good example is the Corsair RGB RAM plugin for Asus motherboards (obviously can’t use a “black box” hub because RAM plugs straight into the motherboard!), which generally works as a “better than nothing” solution, but is quite buggy in my experience. Plus you still need both Armoury Crate and iCUE software installed for it to work, which is annoying.

I wish L1Techs and GamersNexus all the best with this initiative.


We desperately need it87 and ITE sensors to fall under this initiative. We can’t sustain zombie forks like this:


It’s not RGB, but Peripherals like steering wheels and flight sticks would benefit form a project like this. Phoronix did a write up on the issue a couple years ago when some of them got better kernel support. ’ Better Support For Thrustmaster Steering Wheels Is Driving To The Linux Kernel’ March 22 2021 /news/Linux-5.13-Better-Thrustmaster (I’m new so I can’t post the link.)

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I would like to suggest a name: OpenPref.

I like OpenPleb but I want companies to take the project seriously and if that means sacrificing a somewhat funny name, so be it. In addition to that, I think OpenPref is the most condensed summary of what this project is trying to achieve; standardization of all peripherals of any kind. It is short, concise, and extremely clear for the purpose of the organization.

Note: I am choosing to use the word peripheral extremely liberally here.


I agree but I think this was a WIP anyways.

Instead of OpenPref why not OPP? Open Peripheral Project lol idk names are less important than gathering intelligence on whats all out there and what to do about it atm I think


I really hope this takes off and works. I’d like to suggest a couple of names for the project/foundation:

Official Open Peripheral Standards - OOPS
Open Unified Peripherals - OpenUP


I’m for “Open Peripherals Programming And Interfacing” (OPPAI).


This is a brilliant idea and should be brought up in every review of new hardware from this point forward, I think. On every tech channel.

OP is a great abbreviation and also gamery enough to work as a brand. You could make it into something official sounding like Open Periphery or whatever but I like silly names for serious things, so…

#OpenPleb :+1:


i would like to see the following considerations on the radar:

  • broad inclusion of many forms of pc hardware, including laptops too
  • for those companies that are not much into open source, and dont have those internal capabilities or resources / culture develped yet, then services / support provisions to facilitate an easy and voluntary participation to submit fields of information. so that users can get those tabulated into rows / columns or other structured data. within openpleb’s own databases. for example this might be in the form of a corporate login. to then submit data or updates / corrections. marking who is the data source.
  • for those companies with their own more comprehensive support provisions and ecosystems, lets take framework laptops as an example… then field entries to link externally from openpleb to those external officially provided resources.
  • further fields could also point to other valued external resources, for example a product’s ifixit page might have teardowns hosted there. this is very much all sounding like maintaining wikimedia tables. and of course this also applies to other external resources of openrgb data for hardware support levels

openpleb data: could be further enhanced with things like compatibility scores, or other consumer oriented scores. to help indicate specific levels of support for things. but further than that, companies could be positively rewarded with consumer friendliness scores for persistent patterns of good behaviour across multiple products in their ranges. this (for example) might be akin or the openpleb equivalent to tracking ifixit repairability scores

so the picture building up of an overall openpleb online database service would begin to look something a bit like proton’s steam compatibility databases for the steamdeck. and also include user comments sections for each product page, and consumer contributed data. in a sort of linux wiki style.

linux hardware wikis are another external data source for some product categorie. as are other sparsely scattered independant hardware wikis for a variety of other random open source projects. it is a challenge to gather data in a coherent and structured way from such a variety of bespoke data sources. some consideration also needs to be given as to who should be considered a primary owner of a data source that must be kept up to data and maintained. this is especially challenging for certain products out there, which keep getting their firmware updated with new features and capabilities. this happens a lot more than perhaps we realize. and especially for many of the ahem more proprietary devices that keep requiring automatic firmware updates. and can be either pro consumer or anti consumer. or anywhere inbetween

i would like to say i can volunteer solutions but it is exceptionally hard set of problems to bring together in a consistent and practical way. such that the data itself remains easy to maintain. i am also reminded of websites like rtings or similar (there is also a similar site for a microphones database, commisioned by produce like a pro guys). it i a hard problem to bring together many different product types. that is less narrow focus

but hopefully you guys have some more professional and polished ideas. that is more workable / towards achievable goals. i am sure it is pretty difficult to get right. very much a long term efforts. my love and support, and a great step forwards for the consumer to be getting this started.


for the name how about:

open product something something

for example

‘open product online database’ = opod

or other variations of similar themes.

‘open peripheral online database’ = same (opod)

things like that

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*also a plugin on the website to link to bounty source, or donate bounties to products, and otherwise to ‘vote’ on products. or upvote them. or for a consumer who owns a product to basically do some types of surveys and data entry on it after n months of usage. a bit like a product registration and after sales questionairres. but more foccussed on consumer interested. and (this is a bit like evga’s my products service). if a product gets a safety warning. like the thing needs a recall. then registered owners of such a product can get email notified. this can also be for positive after sales developments / news updates. not just negative ones. for example a registered user could subscribe to all database updates on their owned product. whenever that page changes. or just certain types. if they are a windows user, or a linux user. and so on.

it alsso gives a mechanism for news outfits like gn to reach out to registered users, to appeal for more data on a specific product. and participate in some custom questionairre or survey about a specific issue.

the whole openrgb software itself could also help to submit data entry from users. with opt in telemetry. to link your openpleb account. and this is basically a bit like when you register your gpu with gefore experience. (but in a good way, a way that helps you as a consumer get more help with your registered products).


I love this idea! I think generally we’d all benefit from there being more organizations like this. However, I do want to echo sentiment I’ve seen from others that “OpenPleb” as a name is very likely to be an unnecessary barrier to the project’s success. The final name should be something that the community can get behind, but also something that even the most out of touch corporate manager could respect and not immediately dismiss. Getting buy in from manufacturers and growing an image/perception of trust and good will is significantly more important than having a fun name. After all, it’s called “Open Compute” rather than something less approachable like “Open Rack” etc…