Fan Controller

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Fan Controller

Postby shybri69 » Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:57 pm

I am looking at getting a fan controller, I will admit I do like function, but flash as well.
I am considering the NZXT LX, but I am just wondering if 6 watts is enough - I have a few of the coolmaster 120mm, but recently obtained some of the Corsair AF120mm and just want to make sure that, as I say, 6 watts is enough, in which case, even though I have read that some of the units blow up or at least smoke, thought I would give one a try, it's either that or the Sentry 2.

Any ideas or thoughts are greatly appreciated and/or if you want to tell me what you are running and why you like it???

Thanks
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Re: Fan Controller

Postby Hammer_Time » Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:00 pm

Hi shibry69

Welcome to the forums! Personally I do not use a fan controller as my Antec 900 case fans already come with inline switches for low/med/high fan settings so that is "good enough" for me, plus I leave the side panel off my case for better cooling.

Some of our forum members do use fan controllers, so perhaps some of them will respond here...

You mention the NZXT Sentry LX fan controller, here is a review on it in case you have not read it already:

http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/nzxt_sentry_lx/

Conclusion:

The NZXT Sentry LX is a nice tool to add to your air cooling system, and it allows you to get the most out of your fans. When it's time to keep your components cool during a gaming session, it speeds up the fans. When it's time to read an e-book, and the PC is idling, it slows the fans down to reduce noise. Moreover, it displays up to five temperatures, directly on your case's drive bays, which is very useful.


Compared to its predecessor the Sentry 1, the LX can control three more fans and gather two more temperature readings. It's a good thing, because nowadays, cases tend to have more and more fans. The fact that it occupies two drive bays instead of one allows for a bigger screen to display all of the information at the same time. So you don't need to push any buttons to see the information you want, something that you needed to do with the Sentry 1.

I was also very impressed by the accuracy of its temperature readings. Not only is it as accurate as a good old alcohol thermometer, it also meant that the changes in temperatures are detected instantly. Seeing these results, I can't do anything else but trust the readings shown by the NZXT Sentry's display screen. I will even use it to gather the room temperature for my next reviews.

However, the fact that you can only connect 3-pin fans is very disappointing, and it is by far its biggest con.
Adapters could have been supplied to fix that, at an added cost, of course. There's also the non-existent fan disconnection alarm, which turned out to be for the temperature probes. It is written in the user's manual that it rings if a fan is disconnected! So we have here either a conception or manual error (note the online manual corrects this issue). Even with these cons, the Sentry LX is still an amazing product. I would still feel comfortable recommending it to everyone who wants to control their air cooled system, and to watch their temperatures. What self respecting overclocker does not do that?



Pros:

Can control up to five fans
Gathers temperatures from up to five probes
Very accurate
Nice design and appearance
Ease of use
Unused wires can be disconnected
Auto and Manual control


Cons:

Screws not provided
Only 3-pin fans can be used
LCD angle view impedes readability


So it can control up to 5 pin fans, although they must all be "3 pin" and not "4 pin" connectors of course...nice controller overall if those fan pins are not a problem for you...cheers!

Sentry 2 Review:

http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/nzxt_sentry2/

Conclusion:

The Sentry 2 is one of the coolest fan controllers I've used, and for one main reason: it's got a touch screen!
The Sentry 2 is a nice little treat to add to your system. Along with looking really cool, you'll be able to silence those noisy fans when they don't need to run at 100%. Or maybe you want them to run just enough to keep your system at the temperatures you want. Either way, the Sentry 2 gives you the ability to do this.

Along with the ability to control fans, you'll be able to monitor temperatures of up to five different pieces of your hardware. I'll admit it can be hard to find five things you want to monitor, but for those of you with Tri-SLI configurations, the Sentry 2 would be perfect. If you'll use the Sentry 2's temperature sensors as they're supposed to be used, you can set it up so the fans automatically speed up when the areas around them get too hot. If you manually adjust your fans, the Sentry 2 makes for a great way to monitor temperatures on the fly. This means that you don't have to constantly open Core Temp, CCC, HWMonitor, eVGA Precision, or whatever you might be monitoring temperatures with.

Sadly, this greatness does come with a problem. It isn't a big problem, but it really did irritate me. The main irritation was the lack of instructions. I don't expect much, and quite frankly I hardly ever finding myself using them. But come on - a 3" by 2" page, half of which was taken up by "Support and Service", is way under doing what needs to be done for an instruction manual.

Even so, with glowing lights and a fancy touch screen, the NZXT Sentry 2 managed to find a place in my heart. If you're looking for a fan controller, I'd pick up a Sentry 2!

Pros

Touch screen!
5 fan connectors
5 temperature sensors
Manual control
Auto control
Overheat alarm
Defective fan alarm
Back light that can be shut off
Can display in both C and F

Cons

Very poor instruction set


Sentry 2 changed to a touch screen ( and much smaller and half the price! ) than the original Sentry model... so if that is a big deal for you then get the Sentry 2 of course...

Sentry LX :

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811992004

NZXT SEN-001LX Sentry LX Aluminum dual bay fan controller

$47.99


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811992005

NZXT Sentry-2 5.25" Touch Screen Fan Controller

$25.99


Smaller cheaper Touch Screen Sentry 2 for $26, or larger non-Touch Screen original Sentry LX for $48, the choice is yours! :)

Read through all the newegg customer "reviews" on both of those controllers to really see what people think of them... :reading:
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Re: Fan Controller

Postby Sauron_Daz » Wed Nov 20, 2013 12:25 am

Fan's consume like half a Watt at full speed (the bigger ones), so no worries there.

And welcome aboard! :D
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Re: Fan Controller

Postby shybri69 » Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:45 am

Thanks guys that's pretty much what I was after. I have pretty much decided on the LX, as two 5.25 bays are not a problem to have available.
Also good to know that even the largest fan only takes like have a watt, again very important to note, because this is one controller that only has a limited amount of wattage being six per channel.
I have ten fans total so I will probably buy two.
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Re: Fan Controller

Postby mhudon » Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:03 am

Welcome aboard!

33% of the 303 review are negative on Newegg, this is a rare sight :shock: This would be enough to run any 120mm fans, but personaly, that 33% negative review defenitly is a flashing yellow light.
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Re: Fan Controller

Postby Hammer_Time » Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:42 am

True, but I think that all fan controllers, regardless of brand, get a lot of "negative reviews", people seem uber-picky about their fan controllers, but in other cases the unit simply failed and stopped working on them which is cause for concern.

I don't think NZXT fan controllers are generally any better or worse than other brands out there, just my opinion of course...
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Re: Fan Controller

Postby shybri69 » Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:53 pm

After researching them and others for the past two weeks and basically driving myself nuts, I could have terrible reviews about just every fan controller out there.
Yes, this one does have a ton of reviews and hence the percentage of bad reviews will increase with that figure.
I just wanted to make sure the freakin thing won't toast my entire system when I fire it up for the first time, so pulled out an older system and will use it to test.

Bottom line, not sure there is a "best" one out there, yet at least, of course I could just skip the ten fans and connect a leaf blower to it, that would give it more then enough air :)
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Re: Fan Controller

Postby Hammer_Time » Thu Nov 21, 2013 1:09 pm

Completely agree.

Wise of you to install the fan controller in an "old test system" first to make sure it works properly, so you don't "toast" your main system ... bit of extra work of course, but never hurts to be overly careful either! 8)

Let us know how you like it once you get it installed and working...cheers!
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Re: Fan Controller

Postby mhudon » Thu Nov 21, 2013 1:44 pm

shybri69 wrote:After researching them and others for the past two weeks and basically driving myself nuts, I could have terrible reviews about just every fan controller out there.
Yes, this one does have a ton of reviews and hence the percentage of bad reviews will increase with that figure.
I just wanted to make sure the freakin thing won't toast my entire system when I fire it up for the first time, so pulled out an older system and will use it to test.

Bottom line, not sure there is a "best" one out there, yet at least, of course I could just skip the ten fans and connect a leaf blower to it, that would give it more then enough air :)


Don't get me wrong, I'm a real fan freak too and, trust me, I really need a fan controller to help run what's in my Coolermaster CM 690II (5x140mm + 5x120mm). If like me you like to push your hardware and test it's maximum capacities, you need an efficient cooling system.

I used Furmark to test the stability of my 7970 CF set-up after buying my second card. Both 7970 have aftermarket coolers blowing the hot air in the case and they got hot to the point it smelled heated pcb (new cards often do first time pushed at 80degres). Everything went fine, temps were kept under tolerance with lots of hot air being pushed out of the case. :D

With units such as this NZXT, there's a lot chance to get some failure since it's so full of features like thermal probes, flashy screen... Many negative reviews were written about screen failures and displayed temps errors but the fans were still running.

I'm using an old simple fan controller in my 3.25" bay that's still doing well after many years. Round knob, blue/red lights and my ears to set the best fan speed/noise ratio. Simple, efficient, durable. Units like the NZXT Sentry Mesh and ZALMAN MFC1 Plus-B look like solid products.

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811992007&SortField=0&SummaryType=0&PageSize=10&SelectedRating=-1&VideoOnlyMark=False&IsFeedbackTab=true#scrollFullInfo
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811999171&SortField=0&SummaryType=0&PageSize=10&SelectedRating=-1&VideoOnlyMark=False&IsFeedbackTab=true#scrollFullInfo
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Re: Fan Controller

Postby shybri69 » Thu Nov 21, 2013 2:02 pm

Definitely thanks for the links, I'm steering away from Zalman though, I have first hand experience, when my best bud hooked it up, fried the psu immediately, well, more of a sloooooowwww burn, had it connected correctly according to their manual and site and checked it three times before firing up. They later admitted to having "possible" issues with certain devices, who knows for sure, it's definitely a guessing game.

My gpu at one point was running a 104 degrees, the fan had stopped on the card, not impressed, of course once it hit 105 my entire system shut down.
So, being an extreme gamer, and the idea of having liquid running around all those electrical components and me being clumsy, not a good combo, hence all the fans.

The other unit I am considering is possibly the NZXT Sentry Mix 2, simpler layout but more power per channel which maybe a very good thing.
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Re: Fan Controller

Postby Hammer_Time » Thu Nov 21, 2013 6:22 pm

Understood...

BTW, just 1 more post till you have total 5 posts here, then you will no longer have to have us mods "approve" your future posts, you can post at will and they will show up immediately here! :D
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Re: Fan Controller

Postby shybri69 » Thu Nov 21, 2013 7:05 pm

Oh sweet, in that case, Old McDonald had a farm e i e i o? :) does that count? :)

oops I guess it's need to relate to the topic, hum, okay, Old McDonald had a fan controller e i e i o :)
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Re: Fan Controller

Postby Hammer_Time » Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:46 pm

Close enough!! You are now a full member, no more "approvals" necessary! :D

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:lol: ( just change "farm" to "fan controller" ) :twisted:
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Re: Fan Controller

Postby Sauron_Daz » Fri Nov 22, 2013 1:05 am

shybri69 wrote:After researching them and others for the past two weeks and basically driving myself nuts, I could have terrible reviews about just every fan controller out there.
Yes, this one does have a ton of reviews and hence the percentage of bad reviews will increase with that figure.
I just wanted to make sure the freakin thing won't toast my entire system when I fire it up for the first time, so pulled out an older system and will use it to test.

Bottom line, not sure there is a "best" one out there, yet at least, of course I could just skip the ten fans and connect a leaf blower to it, that would give it more then enough air :)


:lol: :lol:
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Re: Fan Controller

Postby Sauron_Daz » Fri Nov 22, 2013 1:08 am

Hammer_Time wrote:True, but I think that all fan controllers, regardless of brand, get a lot of "negative reviews", people seem uber-picky about their fan controllers, but in other cases the unit simply failed and stopped working on them which is cause for concern.


Curious that so many would fail.. not a single brand without many bad reviews?
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Re: Fan Controller

Postby Sauron_Daz » Fri Nov 22, 2013 1:08 am

shybri69 wrote:Oh sweet, in that case, Old McDonald had a farm e i e i o? :) does that count? :)

oops I guess it's need to relate to the topic, hum, okay, Old McDonald had a fan controller e i e i o :)


What does he have in that fan controller?
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Re: Fan Controller

Postby Sauron_Daz » Fri Nov 22, 2013 1:14 am

shybri69 wrote:Definitely thanks for the links, I'm steering away from Zalman though,

Reading the reviews that was my first thought as well..
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Re: Fan Controller

Postby Kahless » Sun Nov 24, 2013 5:29 pm

I find that allot of "experts" don't recommend using hardware fan controllers. They almost always point people in the direction of the program Speedfan. If your fans are all 3-pin motherboard headers then your fan profile in your BIOS will control the speed or you can override it with Speedfan. Your motherboard maker would probably have some software to do the same thing as well. Then again some of those drive bay touch screen fan controllers look pretty cool.
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Re: Fan Controller

Postby Sauron_Daz » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:26 pm

I wonder why that is..?
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Re: Fan Controller

Postby Kahless » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:36 pm

I think they say that the program does the same thing as the hardware so why spend the $ money on it. I think they just look cool is all but might be unnecessary. I almost got one once i'm glad I didn't.
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