Cooler Master plans an open-source MasterPlus+ update to support third-party APIs

Cooler Master CK720 using the MasterPlus+ software
MasterPlus+ (Image credit: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Cooler Master has discussed plans to update its MasterPlus+ software suite with open-source API integration, offering diagnostics and control for third-party components.
  • Talking to Albert of Boring Text Reviews at CES 2023, Cooler Master explained how the update would offer a simple solution to monitoring hardware temperatures and controlling RGB.
  • Some specific functions will not be cross-compatible with third-party hardware, including proprietary features designed for Cooler Master hardware.

Cooler Master described plans at CES to switch to an open-source version of its MasterPlus+ software suite with an update, allowing users to monitor even more computer hardware and control components such as PC case fans and RGB accessories.

Discussing their plans with Albert of Boring Text Reviews (opens in new tab) at the conference in Las Vegas, Cooler Master made it clear that while this opens up possibilities for third-party parts to be controlled by the software, certain features will remain inaccessible by the new API.

Specific upgrades to the MasterPlus+ software designed for Cooler Master hardware won't be compatible with coolers and other components manufactured by other companies, including monitoring the power efficiency of its first-party PSUs. Its branded all-in-one (AIO) coolers will further benefit from planned updates with leak detection, but third-party coolers will only provide temperature and fan speeds to the suite.

An open-source API will likely evolve and offer functions that even Cooler Master can't expect, with unified RGB control as an attractive prospect, among others. Various manufacturers provide customizable multi-colored lighting on variations of their hardware but often require first-party software to control it. Discussing the potential of the API, Cooler Master representatives demonstrated how it could control external displays, with more undisclosed functions coming later.

MasterPlus+ (Image credit: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)

Alongside the open-source overhaul, cloud integration is coming as part of a similar update for the MasterPlus+ suite. Cooler Master says the cloud and mobile versions of the software won't be as open as the desktop variant but will still offer compatibility with third-party components. The cloud functionality won't be forced upon users, and the purely-software side of the suite will remain intact, with more details said to be coming soon.

Windows Central Take

Reducing the amount of diagnostic software is a win for any hardware-conscious PC gamer, with the bonus that MasterPlus+ offers personalization options for its peripherals, as seen in our CK720 mechanical keyboard review (opens in new tab). Unfortunately, I did dock the software some points for its flat, barren UI with plenty of room for improvement. Still, it needed much less memory to run in the background than some competitors and offered decent functionality over various components.

My favorite suite is still Corsair iCUE, but it sits in my system tray among a slew of other proprietary dashboards supporting one device each. Any efforts to consolidate all this RAM-hogging nonsense into one place will always win favors from me, and an open-source API should be an exciting prospect for custom PC builders. If Cooler Master can offer me control over every individual RGB component in my machine, they'll be catching up with community-built alternatives and winning favors with consumers.

Ben Wilson
Channel Editor

Ben is the channel editor for all things tech-related at Windows Central. That includes PCs, the components inside, and any accessory you can connect to a Windows desktop or Xbox console. Not restricted to one platform, he also has a keen interest in Valve's Steam Deck handheld and the Linux-based operating system inside. Fueling this career with coffee since 2021, you can usually find him behind one screen or another. Find him on Mastodon @trzomb@mastodon.online to ask questions or share opinions.