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NZXT Sentry 2?

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April 12, 2013 2:25:25 PM

I've been looking at this little fan controller and from what I see I am quite impressed. However I do have some questions that I'd like to ask, I've tried contacting NZXT but it's been a week and I haven't heard back so I'm going to try here.

1. The controller can support up to 5 fans. Is there a way to change/increase that so I can have say three fans running off of one setting for say a radiator?

2. I have never used a fan controller and am new to computer building so how do fan controllers install? Is this any different? Do they connect to the motherboard somehow?

3. It's supposed to be compatible with 4-pin molex connectors. That is for PWM fans correct?

4. Has anyone had any issues with theirs? Any complaints? What did you like about it?

5. I've seen mentioned that the controller just shuts fans off if the speed goes below 40% (since this doesn't measure in rpms). Is this true?

6. How is the heat detection. ie. how well does it respond to heat increases in terms of detection speed and what it increases the fan speeds to?

If there is a better section to ask these questions in (maybe the cooling/overclocking section) please direct me there. I would like these questions answered as fully as possible.

Thank you everyone.

More about : nzxt sentry

April 12, 2013 3:10:18 PM

I have one, got rid of it though for other reasons, not because it's bad...

1. You can try using a splitter but I think it only supports 10w per channel so it's not a good idea. Don't quote me on that one though.

2. This specific one goes into the 5.25 bay [usually] at the top of your case and you screw it in. Then you will need to provide power to the unit via a molex connector.

3. No, it only has a 3 pin connection for the fans. It has 5 of these and there is a molex connector for power. 4 pin molex is not PWM. PWM is exactly like a 3pin but with another wire making it 4 pin PWM. Molex is another type of connector giving power to various things such as your optical drive.

4. I only have a single complaint with it so far. The Cooler Master Sickleflow fans (I used a 120mm blue led version) when used with this fan controller makes the fan whine regardless of what speed it is running at. This is very annoying and this is why I am using a 7v mod molex adapter. This is not really a complaint but make sure you have enough room to manage the cables.

5. It has the following speeds: 100%/90%/80%/70%/60%/50%/40%/OFF.

6. I have not tried the heat detection but don't expect it to work. I put it everywhere in my case and it gave me about the same temperatures everywhere... I would just do it manually.

I would get a Sunbeam Rheobus-Extreme instead.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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April 12, 2013 4:27:43 PM

completelyrandomname said:
Now I remember. Lamptron makes one of the best fan controllers. Check them out.
http://www.lamptron.com/


I was thinking about the FC Touch amongst the Lamptrons you recommended (like that touch screen capability). I see it also has a temperature reading so how is that? The 30W output seems like it should be able to handle several fans yes? I'm hoping to run three off one of the fan settings and they all have 8.4W and 12V required input.

Are there any fan controllers that support PWM? I'm probably just misunderstanding your answer to 3. wrong because I'm new to this. Sorry about that. Preferably touchscreen :) 

The reason I'm looking at all this is because I'm looking to get a Cosmos II case and I know it comes with an included fan controller but I'm seeing if I can't get something better (and possibly flashier :)  ) since it only has very basic 3 -maybe 4- fan speed settings.
April 12, 2013 4:35:52 PM

The temperature reading is probably from the temperature probes that you stick around your case. It should be able to handle multiple fans like you said but I wouldn't overdo it. Max I would do is 3 or 4.

Allow me to explain again =) Case fans utilize 3 types of connections. A standard 3 pin, a 4 pin PWM, and a molex, the 4 pin molex is not to be confused with the 4 pin PWM connection. The difference between 3 pin and 4 pin is that the extra wire is there to control the fan speed(s). I do not know of any PWM compatible fan controllers... right now. I will look for one.

EDIT: and I derped out. With a fan controller why do you need PWM functionality? A fan controller is basically a PWM unit but you have to do it manually though some like the Sentry 2 can do it by itself. You probably are looking for a 4 pin support on the fan controller. 4 pin PWM fans have, 4 pins, and some fan controllers only support 3 pin connections unless you do a bit of modding and cut off the plastic.
April 12, 2013 4:44:39 PM

completelyrandomname said:

Allow me to explain again =) Case fans utilize 3 types of connections. A standard 3 pin, a 4 pin PWM, and a molex, the 4 pin molex is not to be confused with the 4 pin PWM connection. The difference between 3 pin and 4 pin is that the extra wire is there to control the fan speed(s). I do not know of any PWM compatible fan controllers... right now. I will look for one.
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Thank you so much!

If a fan is PWM then it must be 4-pin yes? Not molex.

For fan controllers if they aren't PWM, how exactly does the automatic setting work? Does it just increase or decrease the fan speed from 0%-100% until the temperature reading is within acceptable level? If so I assume that PWM would be superior then since the motherboard would be able to give better readings.

If you know (you obviously know a lot about fan controllers and components) what does Q-Fan on the Rampage IV Extreme (and other Rampage models I believe) do exactly? Is it the PWM function of the motherboard?

Edit: Just saw your updated post, so then fan controllers are self contained PWM controllers and the 4-pin ability of them allows them to manage PWM fans. This would probably work against the Q-Fan function of the Rampage so then which would be better to use? A fan controller or the motherboard itself?

Here's the fan socket layout for the Rampage IV Extreme.

April 12, 2013 7:40:13 PM

A PWM fan is 4 pin, not molex, correct.

Fan controllers change the amount of voltage available for a fan. This is how it controls the fan speeds of a 3 pin fan, it just adds or takes away voltage. Usually it will "set a temperature target" and the fan speeds will adjust accordingly. The motherboard control would be very similar to this.

I don't know that much about fan controllers, please your flattering me :p  [After doing a bit of Googling] I can tell you that the Q-Fan is basically another software type of thing where you can control your CPU fan speeds, which you can do with any other software.

The edit part. You can just turn off Q-Fan which is what I would do and let the motherboard do the rest.

You should also know that ASUS has a program called Fan Xpert (some newer boards support Fan Xpert 2). So you know how you can't control the fan speed of a normal 3 pin fan right? Well ASUS has used some sort of black magic and made it so that you can control the fan speed.

If you are getting that motherboard then ditch the fan controller. Just plug in a 3 pin or a 4 pin fan and get fan Xpert and use that to control the fan speeds.
April 12, 2013 10:07:41 PM

I think you should Google the Aquacomputer Aquaero 5 XT... Note: I have absolutely no plans on getting it =P
April 15, 2013 10:45:06 AM

Alright, well I found out that the Rampage IV Extreme fan connectors can't output enough for one of my PWM components (the pump for the water cooling setup) so I'll need a fan controller for sure. I can probably put the exhaust fans that are not for any of the radiators off the motherboard however the radiator fans will run off the fan controller.

As I said before I was looking at the FC Touch, it looks like it should do the job (provided Lamptron gets back to me on how much current draw it can withstand per channel). But if I could get a flashier touch screen fan controller of comparable quality, features and output ability that would be fantastic. Any other suggestions?

I am by no means trying to knock your suggestion, the fan controller looks great. I'm just laying down a lot of money on the build that will be using this so I'd like to have a wow factor in the fan controller as well if possible.
April 15, 2013 4:32:08 PM

completelyrandomname said:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
This flashy enough?


I need it to fit in one drive bay not two, sorry.

I'm hoping to draw from your knowledge as well to make a good choice in terms of construction and quality. I don't want to end up buying something that is prone to malfunction or cause problems.
April 15, 2013 5:18:04 PM

Aerocool, Sunbeam, Lamptron, NZXT are of all high quality. These brands are well known for making high quality fan controllers. As for single drive bay flashiness I would go for the following

1. Sunbeam Rheobus Extreme
2. Lamptron FC-9B

I would get the Sunbeam because it has 30w per channel, and if each fan uses 9w (to be safe) you can run 3 off of 1 channel. I would do 2 though just in case it overloads. It also has 6 channels so it should be plenty, it also lights up.

If however you want to spend a hefty amount on a fan controller then get the Lamptron FC9B. It only has 4 channels but it has a ridiculous 50w per channel meaning you can run all of your fans on your radiator provided you are using splitters or something.
April 15, 2013 5:22:17 PM

Or get one of these Fan-Atic 5s.

EDIT: Just read more on it. Turns out there are 2 versions of it and there are 2 settings for the switches. It's either 12v or 5v, if you buy the other version it's 12v or 7v based on what it says on the website and the LegitReviews review of the fan controller. When it's RED it's at 12v and when it's at BLUE it's at 5 or 7v.
April 15, 2013 9:45:14 PM

I might just go with the Lamptron FC touch, I like the idea of a touch screen. Now, I haven't touched up my electrical physics skills lately so let me ask a few questions.

Power in Watts is Voltage x Current

Each channel of the FC Touch outputs 30W and 12V so that gives 30W/12V = 2.5Amps total? Or is that per channel. Because I need 1.5A for the pump in my cooling system.

Voltage is constant throughout a loop which is why fans are rated at 12V and the fan controllers output at 12V correct? Current is actually drawn so it would be best to put the 1.5A pump on it's own separate channel.

Now more of a fan controller question:

4-pin fan header fans are PWM enabled. This allows the motherboard to directly control PWM fans without the need for a fan controller. Fan controllers can vary the voltage accordingly to essentially do what the motherboard does with PWM except for 3-pin fans also (with the exception of Asus' Fan Xpert). So there's no downside or upside to having 3 or 4 pin fans on a fan controller besides the fan performance itself yes?

All the NZXT fan controllers have a minimum level of 40% voltage level otherwise it just shuts the fan right off. Is this a safety feature to prevent damage to fans or is it just something they do? Is it common amongst most fan controllers? In particular I guess Lamptron products?
April 16, 2013 9:51:27 PM

Is my math really that bad? :( 
April 17, 2013 3:25:19 PM

Wow I swear i answered your question. Some how it didn't actually post. Anyways If you like the FC Touch then get it, it's a great fan controller.

(answering as I read them)

I'm not a custom water cooling guy so I don't know much about it. If it uses a fan connection I would just run it on a separate channel and control the fans itself on the remaining channels. (You just answered your own question)

Correct. 3 pins and 4 pins does not matter, all the fan controller does is give or take away voltage to the fans.

It is just something NZXT does. Probably to ensure that the fan still runs because if the voltage is too low the fan(s) won't start. Doesn't really matter.

Spongeman131, you are thinking about this too much. Fan controllers only add or take away voltage to the fan(s) that are hooked up to it. The more watts per channel the better because this determines how many fans you can plug into a single channel. When a fan controller says it has 3 channels this means you can 'naturally' hook up 3 fans to it without any adapters. The more channels the more fans you can plug into it. In your case I would be looking for a fan controller with a lot of wattage per channel and the rest would depend on looks and the amount of channels.

April 17, 2013 3:38:02 PM

completelyrandomname said:
Wow I swear i answered your question. Some how it didn't actually post. Anyways If you like the FC Touch then get it, it's a great fan controller.

(answering as I read them)

I'm not a custom water cooling guy so I don't know much about it. If it uses a fan connection I would just run it on a separate channel and control the fans itself on the remaining channels. (You just answered your own question)

Correct. 3 pins and 4 pins does not matter, all the fan controller does is give or take away voltage to the fans.

It is just something NZXT does. Probably to ensure that the fan still runs because if the voltage is too low the fan(s) won't start. Doesn't really matter.

Spongeman131, you are thinking about this too much. Fan controllers only add or take away voltage to the fan(s) that are hooked up to it. The more watts per channel the better because this determines how many fans you can plug into a single channel. When a fan controller says it has 3 channels this means you can 'naturally' hook up 3 fans to it without any adapters. The more channels the more fans you can plug into it. In your case I would be looking for a fan controller with a lot of wattage per channel and the rest would depend on looks and the amount of channels.



Alright, thanks for all the help!
still think I'll go with the Touch, but I might hold off. I was speaking with one of the Lamptron people and found out about the CW611, it has everything I need plus added watercooling pump support! But it's not touchscreen so I'll wait for its release and then decide between the two, hopefully they'll make a version that is :) . It was supposed to be released in April but got delayed.

I don't know, maybe touchscreen isn't all that needed, sure it's cool but if you can set for automatic control how often would you need to play around with it past the first time? Probably not a whole lot.
April 17, 2013 4:09:50 PM

At first I was extremely excited to start using my FC and that I would constantly change the fan speeds. When I got it, it was so much work I just ditched it :D  I wouldn't use the automatic control though. They don't represent an accurate enough temperature for it to automatically adjust correctly. I would just used a fixed speed and change it from there.
April 17, 2013 4:09:50 PM

EDIT: Double post sorry
April 17, 2013 5:33:57 PM

So you didn't care much for the touch screen because it was a lot of work just to do a few simple things? Is that why you got rid of the Sentry 2?
April 17, 2013 5:56:35 PM

It wasn't the touchscreen, if anything it was cool. I just got rid of it because my old Fractal fan controller did the same. Plus I wanted to use the optical drive bay for hard drives. It's a great fan controller if you know you will be constantly changing fan speeds.

It all started like this:
I didn't have enough case fans so I wanted to get more. If I did however, I feared I the cables wouldn't be long enough to connect to the motherboard and that it would be cool to change the speeds whenever I want. So I got some fans with the fan controller and I regret doing this (getting the FC), turns out I didn't need it.
April 17, 2013 7:46:38 PM

completelyrandomname said:
It wasn't the touchscreen, if anything it was cool. I just got rid of it because my old Fractal fan controller did the same. Plus I wanted to use the optical drive bay for hard drives. It's a great fan controller if you know you will be constantly changing fan speeds.

It all started like this:
I didn't have enough case fans so I wanted to get more. If I did however, I feared I the cables wouldn't be long enough to connect to the motherboard and that it would be cool to change the speeds whenever I want. So I got some fans with the fan controller and I regret doing this (getting the FC), turns out I didn't need it.


Well thanks for sharing. :) 

Except now I'm even more undecided on which to get :p . Have to wait and see. Hopefully the delay isn't too much longer. Off of experience which would you say would be the more useful? I know it comes down to the "ultimately it's your choice and what you will like" but I always ask stuff like this:

The CW611 has no touchscreen and uses a knob and button for functionality, it does however have 36W of power per channel so that means 3A as well. It also has detection for connected pumps compared to just fans and handles them differently in terms of speed and it even has a special start up mode so that pump gets the power it needs right away. It also features an improved LED screen.

The FC Touch has... a touchscreen and none of those features with a slightly worse screen that isn't as viewable from some angles. But a touchscreen.

Both controllers have automatic modes and retain settings when power is completely removed from them.

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April 18, 2013 2:50:42 PM
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If you think about it, touch screens can possibly break down over time. The touch screen might not be as sensitive or maybe it will register 1 touch as 2 or 3. A knob or switch is more robust. It's either this or that. This is all my opinion by the way. Based on what you have told me I would just get the CW611 when it comes out.
April 18, 2013 3:55:53 PM

I think I finally got my controller picked out, thanks for all the help! I know it was a long drawn out discussion.
April 18, 2013 5:08:21 PM

Yea no problem. It was tiring.
February 25, 2014 8:29:09 PM

Spongeman131 said:
I've been looking at this little fan controller and from what I see I am quite impressed. However I do have some questions that I'd like to ask, I've tried contacting NZXT but it's been a week and I haven't heard back so I'm going to try here.

1. The controller can support up to 5 fans. Is there a way to change/increase that so I can have say three fans running off of one setting for say a radiator?

2. I have never used a fan controller and am new to computer building so how do fan controllers install? Is this any different? Do they connect to the motherboard somehow?

3. It's supposed to be compatible with 4-pin molex connectors. That is for PWM fans correct?

4. Has anyone had any issues with theirs? Any complaints? What did you like about it?

5. I've seen mentioned that the controller just shuts fans off if the speed goes below 40% (since this doesn't measure in rpms). Is this true?

6. How is the heat detection. ie. how well does it respond to heat increases in terms of detection speed and what it increases the fan speeds to?

If there is a better section to ask these questions in (maybe the cooling/overclocking section) please direct me there. I would like these questions answered as fully as possible.

Thank you everyone.


February 25, 2014 8:35:04 PM

just got one, works great. running 2 fans on one leg, no problems. installed easy enough. unless you are a super player with the big time games, it will work just fine. hope this helps?
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