If you had a chance to read my previous article entitled "Case Modding, Sunbeam Style" you would have noticed that I was quite impressed with the Rheobus Sunbeam has made. It sports a host of features to go along with the nice smooth black finish on the plate and knobs. Sunbeam describes the Rheobus on the website with the following paragraph:
"Run the fans at full speed when you are doing CPU intensive tasks, and then when your system is idle run the fans at a slower setting. The variable speed setting can be adjusted to whatever speed you prefer, making it perfect for reducing noise. So, instead of leaving all 4 fans on all the time, you can instead turn down two and run 2 at a higher speed, cutting down on the noise immensely."
This statement sums their Rheobus, and Rheobus' in general, up quite well and in the end gives the average user insight into how these products can benefit their system. As far as features go on this Rheobus there is quite a list:
- Power: 20Watts
- 4 anodized aluminum knobs
- High quality rheostats
- Extra large heatsinks to keep heat output at a minimum
- Printed circuit board to reduce wiring mess
- Drilling template, ensures proper installation
- Comprehensive instruction
- Socketed super bright LED's: Dual Color changes from red to blue at 7Volt
- Ability to turn off LED's
- Drilled aluminum 5.25" faceplate: Optional Extra
Most of the features are quite self-explanatory but I will go into more detail on some of the more 'unique' features. The inclusion of the extra large heatsinks on the Rheobus helps to keep the temperature as low as possible. As most of you know, when electricity starts running through resisters, etc, there can be a tendency for heat to build up with the end result being in the death of your new Rheobus. It seems that Rheobus manufacturers are well aware that the modder buys a fan controller to assist in cooling the system, not heating it up. Printed circuit boards aren't uncommon; you will find that most of them are done this way. The drilling template is something you will only receive if you do not purchase it with the optional predrilled aluminum plate. The instructions are an easy read, although most computer literate people will never know that as they will have few problems installing the Rheobus without even referring to them. The instructions come in handy if you have to drill a faceplate using the template, etc.
Something else that is worth taking note of is that this product does ship in a few different formats. It can be purchased with or without the face place, which in turn can be black or silver. These are definitely handy options as the DIY face plate is going to save you a few dollars and the choice between Black or Silver is always a good thing as these are the most common colors these days as far as modders cases go. A lot of people have moved away from the beige front and this is due to case modding mainly since people were just sick of the color and started to paint their cases in similar colors to other home theatre items. Companies have recently picked up on this and started producing multiple colored cases and releasing them onto the market.
One feature that I cannot praise highly enough is the inclusion of the Dual Color LED's and how these work. It is something I haven't seen done before and personally think is a fantastic feature as it not only looks excellent, but also serves a useful purpose. The idea of this is when 7 volts or less travels to the fan, the LED turns red, thus warning the user that there is not enough voltage for the fan spin. As I stated in my review the other day, this is going to be something that is quite helpful as your fans may be in a position where you can't see, or hear them and as long as the LED is blue there shouldn't be a problem. I tested it for accuracy and it works quite well, once it turns red it needed a little bit of an extra nudge to the right and the fan started to spin as it should. Overall, the Sunbeam Rheobus stands out from the beginning but it will be interesting to see how it goes as soon as we place some of the bigger named companies into the ring.