Front Mounted Ports: Take a Joy Ride On The Fan Bus

Multi Fan Speed Controller - ZM-MFC 1 - Zalman, Continued

The ZM-MFC 1 was the only fan bus in our review to offer support for up to six fans; however, only four of these can be controlled by the sexy looking silver knobs on the front of the ZM-MFC 1. The other two can be controlled by the two switches located on the far right of the ZM-MFC 1.

The ZM-MFC 1 is part of Zalman's CNPS (Computer Noise Prevention System) which is the primary target for use of the ZM-MFC 1. The ZM-MFC 1 features LEDs that change intensity to indicate the rate of speed for the fans connected to it. One nice feature is that the included connector cables allow for connection to the motherboard, so you can still take advantage of the three pin connector on the motherboard to use the motherboard's monitoring features, if offered.

The ZM-MFC 1 distinguishes itself with a look that is different from the crowd. The translucent black face of the ZM-MFC 1 is different from the other products that we reviewed. And Zalman's quality of construction seems to be way above average for a device like this.

Rated at 7 watts per channel, the ZM-MFC 1 offers a good range of fan adjustment. The knobs on the ZM-MFC 1 are nice looking and offer the smoothest control of all of the devices that we have reviewed here. There seems to be no shortcuts taken or product limitations made with the ZM-MFC 1.

The back of the ZM-MFC-1 has a very traditional look. Look at the size of those heatsinks compared to the other devices in our review.>

The ZM-MFC 1 mounts into a 5-¼ bay and uses the standard two hole/screw per side configuration, which (as we pointed out earlier) can be problematic if you have a case that requires rails.

Overall the ZM-MFC 1 is a fine product that performed well in our tests. We like its design and quality. While the single sheet of instructions printed on the back of the box for ZM-MFC 1 seemed a bit sketchy, we didn't have any problem installing the unit. While the ZM-MFC 1 is a little pricier than other traditional fan bus controllers, quality usually costs a little more; and, if you need to control more than four fans, this is the only device in our review that meets this requirement. We found the ZM-MFC 1 to be a quality product and for a top-of-the-line traditional fan bus controller, it is the best of the lot in this category.