Paying The Price For High-End Fan Control

A Fan Controller For $240?

Any truly superior water cooling solution must in part also feature a decent control unit to regulate the radiator and system fans. Germany-based Innovatek offers up its high-end model Fan-O-Matic PRO to do the job. But Innovatek also demands that its users pay a price, which adds up to more than a whopping $245 (200 euros) in this case. For the same amount of money users can get a complete bargain-basement barebones PC. When is such an investment in a fan controller necessary?

A Cornucopia Of Connection Options: Sensors, LEDs And Fans

The list of connection options for the Fan-O-Matic PRO is stupendous, indeed. With 31 inputs/outputs, 16 fan connectors and another 16 sensor connectors, it can probably accommodate more peripheral components than any case could ever support. The reality is more sobering: The Fan-O-Matic PRO can only control four fans steplessly, although eight is still a decent number for the sensors. Added to that are eight more ports for LEDs and a 12V switching contact. All other interfaces can only be connected via optional extension modules.

All connection facilities are located on the back of the unit.

All ports are on the back of the device. Four fans can be plugged into the familiar three-pin Molex connectors, which are the same as those found on motherboards. No four-pin versions are available for PWM fans.

There are four fan ports (FAN 1 through FAN 4) plus one for a flow sensor (DFS). The power supply is visible on the top right.

The wires are connected just like on a motherboard; a charge flow sensor has been plugged in here.

The voltage regulators for the power supply to the fans: These can be set to a whopping 12 Watts per channel.