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Rheobus Round Up - The FanStorm Fan Controller

With case modding becoming the way of the future, several manufacturers have come up with retail Rheobus units to meet the high demands of the enthusiast. What used to be a DIY (Do It Yourself) modification has now become a monstrously successful product line of its own. But how can we tell what works and what doesn't? To help answer this question, we'll be joining Shawn "Toxic" Baker as he takes a look at five of the most popular brands currently on the market. After all, its YOUR hard earned money that we're talking about here!

| Fan Controllers in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Feb 4, 2003 5:00 am

FanStorm's Fan Controller

 

This product has a very different approach to controlling your fans. Instead of you adjusting them manually, the FanStorm fan controller takes care of it all automatically. In a sense it works more like the DigiDoc where it adjusts fans to the temperature, the hotter the system gets, the faster the fans spins and vice versa. Fortunately, you have a lot more control of what the temperature ranges are unlike most other products that try to work like this.

 

 

 

The first thing you notice with this pack is just how much you receive with it. There are cables galore emanating from the device, which isn't always a good thing for as every case-modder knows, every cable you add to your system is another cable you have to try and hide! The FanStorm controller we received was packaged with an internal 3.5" and an external one the same size just with a cover over the top of it. The external box is quite handy if you have your tower on the ground as the cable that goes from the back of the box to the computer is quite a good length. Here is a list of what the FanStorm comes with:

 

- 1 x Controller board (4 channels)

 

- 1 x Front Panel with 8 x LED's and 5 x Switches

 

- 1 x power extension cable

 

- 4 x fan power extension cables

 

- 4 x temperature sensors

 

- 4 x Mainboard monitoring cables

 

- 4 x Adhesive Temperature mounting pads

 

- All screws, spacers; the Deluxe kit also has extra cable ties, mounting pad cleaning pad and manual on CD

 

 

 

I am pretty sure the kit I received was the deluxe version, but unfortunately I didn't receive the manual on the CD. You should have noticed that there are a load of cables with this fan controller as I stated above and if you intend to use it with four fans, it may create a bit of mess. On the other hand, if you don't have a window, or nobody to look through the window that you do have, this shouldn't be a real concern. There is a decent list of features as well, they are as follows:

 

- Pulse width modulation control

 

- Posi-Start fan control technology

 

- Simple installation

 

- Wide range of mounting options

 

- Control up to 16 fans (4 amps per channel)

 

- Supports RPM monitoring from the mainboard

 

- Manual on / off fan override

 

- High / Low LED intensity

 

- Full set of cables and fittings supplied with each unit.

 

A lot of the features incorporated into the FanStorm fan controller are new to me so I looked at FanStorm's website which noted this:

 

"Unlike some fan controllers, which generate extra heat because they use a resistor, variable resistor or variable resistor connected to a transistor to control the fan speed, the FanStorm controller uses "Pulse Width Technology" to control the fan speed.

 

This superior design generates no additional heat or wastes any power. This means it runs cooler and is more reliable.

 

Fully microprocessor controlled the FanStorm Controller is digital all the way from the controller to the fan for total control over the fan speed from 25% through to 100%."

 

 

 

As you can see, this fan controller is totally digital with the addition of a microprocessor to help take care of fan speeds. The end result is a more reliable cooling solution which is what a lot of people are after. Thanks to the 4 amp channels, you are able to run up to 16 fans (4 fans per channel) and the cables included also give you the ability to monitor the speeds of your fans. The controller can also be mounted in many different ways from inserting the main board into a PCI slot or keeping it attached to the 3.5" bay. You can then purchase it with the external or internal controller; all this will depend on your setup. What the FanStorm controller is capable of is simply amazing. It gives the user a lot of control on exactly how they want their fans to run. With Low/Med/High settings on temperature range, multiple fans per channel and manual on/off override function, it can be information overload.

 

Out of the 5 Fan Controllers in this Round up, this one would have the longest list of features, but unfortunately it is plagued with so many cables and a lack of colors to choose from. Some people will like the idea of the FanStorm taking care of fan speeds for you while others would prefer to just simply adjust it manually themselves. It also has the highest price tag out of the lot due to its complex design. This is one smart fan controller but will probably be overkill in most people's systems. It may suit a server situation better where you don't access the computer very often but due to intense data work it has a tendency to warm up often. This will suit some people, but I think for most of our readers out there something simpler like Vantec's or Sunbeam's will suit them better.

 

 

 

 

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