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Do you use an add-on fan controller with your PC?

fan controller hardware

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#1 Liana

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 03:14

I was wondering how popular fan controllers are these days. Do you use one? Do you use it for case fans, CPU, GPU, HDDs / SSDs, or something else? Does it monitor temperature as well or have any other features?

 

I just purchased a LAMPTRON 4-channel controller that mounts in a 5.25" bay. It seems to be solidly built and works well so far. I previously had a Lian-Li controller with a digital display, and it failed after about 2.5 years. After doing some research, it seems as though most fan controllers aren't built with quality or longevity in mind?

 

I'm curious to find out what other people are using (if anything).




#2 DudeBro

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 04:06

I'm using the NZXT Sentry Mix 2. It's 6-channels at 30w per-channel and uses slider thingies to control speed. Other than 5 different LED light colors, it has nothing fancy like temp monitor or digital display. It's hooked up to 6 case fans and 2 CPU fans. Was able to hook up extra fans with fan splitter cable. Its cheap and it does its job I guess.

 

Fan controllers are neat if you want to manually adjust fans to spin slower but silent or at 100% for max cooling effectiveness but kinda noisy. Also lets me manage cables a bit better too. Instead of having random fan wires hooked up to the mobo and be seen in plain sight, I can route them all behind the motherboard tray.



#3 CG-88

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 08:25

Currently I'm not using an aftermarket one.

 

I have two fans at the top of my case, one at the back, one on the side, two on the front and one at the bottom.

 

The one at the side, and two at the front are plugged into my cases fan controller and always set up on 100% - very quiet fans.

 

The rest including my two cpu cooler fans are all plugged into the motherboard fan ports and controlled via PWM so for me at the moment I don't need a fan controller.

 

I was considering one but PWM works so well for me, I don't think I need it.



#4 John.D

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 08:42

I would on the new build but there's only 1 5.25 bay on the front. I could on the one I'm on now but see no point. It's only got 2 fans. I would probably install something better like this

 

Or this



#5 Hum

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 08:54

This cooling business seems to be getting overly complicated.

 

I get by fine with a CPU fan, PS fan, and one rear exhaust case fan.

 

My rooms are usually on the cool side, especially in the fall/winter.

 

If there is ever a heat 'problem', I simply open the case panel, and blow air in with a floor fan.

 

My $25 floor fan is unbeatable. ;)



#6 Phouchg

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 09:15

Add-on, no. I've considered one, though. Currently using Define R4's built-in controller. Mostly set to 7 volts for three AF140s I've connected to it. Another AF140 is connected to mainboard via resistor. Also two SP120 for CLC, static speed via resistors. Should have stayed with stock, but one of them was rattling OOB - a much to common problem for Corsair Hydros. Would be better to manually control them all, I figure.

 

I'm using the NZXT Sentry Mix 2.

 

Oh, this one looks good. Also knobs aren't tall, would let me keep the front door closed. Isn't available anywhere near me, though :/



#7 Ambroos

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 09:19

Currently using Define R4's built-in controller.

 

Same here, always at 7V. Inaudible with the fans that came with the case and it keeps everything very cool.



#8 OP Liana

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 12:41

I'm using the NZXT Sentry Mix 2. It's 6-channels at 30w per-channel and uses slider thingies to control speed. Other than 5 different LED light colors, it has nothing fancy like temp monitor or digital display. It's hooked up to 6 case fans and 2 CPU fans. Was able to hook up extra fans with fan splitter cable. Its cheap and it does its job I guess.

 

Fan controllers are neat if you want to manually adjust fans to spin slower but silent or at 100% for max cooling effectiveness but kinda noisy. Also lets me manage cables a bit better too. Instead of having random fan wires hooked up to the mobo and be seen in plain sight, I can route them all behind the motherboard tray.

How long have you had the NZXT controller? Any complaints about it? It looks pretty nice. The Lamptron I just got is an FC3. http://minidriven.co.../FC3BnBload.jpg

 

This cooling business seems to be getting overly complicated.

 

I get by fine with a CPU fan, PS fan, and one rear exhaust case fan.

 

My rooms are usually on the cool side, especially in the fall/winter.

 

If there is ever a heat 'problem', I simply open the case panel, and blow air in with a floor fan.

 

My $25 floor fan is unbeatable. ;)

:laugh: I know a few people who do that! My office gets pretty hot during the summer, so I adjust all my fans to max while doing anything that's resource intensive. Otherwise, I like it to be as quiet as possible.

 

Add-on, no. I've considered one, though. Currently using Define R4's built-in controller. Mostly set to 7 volts for three AF140s I've connected to it. Another AF140 is connected to mainboard via resistor. Also two SP120 for CLC, static speed via resistors. Should have stayed with stock, but one of them was rattling OOB - a much to common problem for Corsair Hydros. Would be better to manually control them all, I figure.

 

 

Oh, this one looks good. Also knobs aren't tall, would let me keep the front door closed. Isn't available anywhere near me, though :/

I've always liked that case. I wish more cases offered a built-in controller like that.

 

Ideally, I think I would want a controller that automatically adjusts fan speed based on resource use; my old controller adjusted automatically based on temperature probes, but it was laughably inaccurate. 



#9 DudeBro

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 13:38

How long have you had the NZXT controller? Any complaints about it? It looks pretty nice. The Lamptron I just got is an FC3. http://minidriven.co.../FC3BnBload.jpg

Well I've only had it for like 5-6 months. The particular model was released last year I think so it hasn't really been time tested by the masses yet.

 

So far it's been working great. As for negatives about it, well it doesn't have the ability to shut off fans completely though. I guess that's my only minor complaint about it.

 

I had actually considered some of the Lamptron ones like the one pictured but decided I wanted sliders instead of knobs.



#10 Ambroos

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 14:13

Ideally, I think I would want a controller that automatically adjusts fan speed based on resource use; my old controller adjusted automatically based on temperature probes, but it was laughably inaccurate. 

 

For case fans I think that's not very relevant. You can get good enough airflow at inaudible fan levels. Your CPU and GPU fans are the important ones once you've got some basic airflow going.



#11 Phouchg

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 14:44

These days mainboards have fairly good options. Asus Q-Fan, especially with Z97, seems to be the most featured. Fan type (DC or PWM) can be selected and control source (CPU, chipset) and minimum RPM. I think ROG boards could also tap into GPU temp sensor of ROG cards - I might be mistaken, don't take my word for it.

 

Anyway, might keep that in mind if (whenever) going for a new build (or an upgrade).

 

One thing I'd like would be the option to turn off fans (or at least keep them spinning, but at less voltage than is necessary for LEDs to light up). I can manually nibble that controller's switch into such position that it provides no contact and fans turn off, but a more robust solution wouldn't hurt.



#12 vf-

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 14:57

These days mainboards have fairly good options. Asus Q-Fan, especially with Z97, seems to be the most featured. Fan type (DC or PWM) can be selected and control source (CPU, chipset) and minimum RPM. I think ROG boards could also tap into GPU temp sensor of ROG cards - I might be mistaken, don't take my word for it.

 

Anyway, might keep that in mind if (whenever) going for a new build (or an upgrade).

 

One thing I'd like would be the option to turn off fans (or at least keep them spinning, but at less voltage than is necessary for LEDs to light up). I can manually nibble that controller's switch into such position that it provides no contact and fans turn off, but a more robust solution wouldn't hurt.

 

That was the reason I went for one of these controllers years ago. Most of the time I have most fans off except the side and rear.

 

The fans kick in for different temperature levels.

 

http://www.nesteq.de...ollers/maxzero/

 

can7169small.jpg



#13 Hum

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 19:52

 
:laugh: I know a few people who do that! My office gets pretty hot during the summer, so I adjust all my fans to max while doing anything that's resource intensive. Otherwise, I like it to be as quiet as possible.
 


I can well understand an office with multiple computers and many employees.

Maybe I will get more concerned with cooling, when I build an 8-core CPU gaming-type machine, in 2015. ;)

#14 Sir Topham Hatt

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 11:31

No.

I leave my PC to decide what cooling it wants.



#15 tsupersonic

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 20:24

Same here, always at 7V. Inaudible with the fans that came with the case and it keeps everything very cool.

Same here. Nice to see cases with built-in fan controllers. I turn mine to high (12V) when gaming. Other than that, there isn't much audible difference between 5V and 7V.