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Rheobus Round Up - Vantec's Nexus 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

Vantec's Nexus Fan Controller

 

This is by far the Rheobus with the highest "eye candy" quotient currently on the market. When it is plugged in the first thing you notice is the lighting from the LED goes all around the button, a very neat and professional look that I think will start making its way into more Rheobus'. The design is similar to the Sunbeam model, which makes it a highly functional design of four knobs with the ability to control four fans. This layout is practical as it has an uncluttered front-end and most modders will only need to control the flow to four separate fans. The features of the Vantec Controller are as follows:

 

- 4 Channel fan controller

 

- Adjustable fan speed knob

 

- Aluminum "U" type housing

 

- Blue LED light

 

- Each channel will support 15 to 18 watts

 

- Fits in a standard 5'25" drive bay

 

- No need to cut wires like other fan controller. Just plug the cable in

 

- Great for Vantec Tornado or other high CFM fans.

 

 

 

This controller comes in Black and Silver to suit whatever color your case is. I noted that a lot of companies have moved away from the beige, as it is not so widespread in the enthusiast market, which is where these products are aimed at. You are unable to purchase this unit without the faceplate so if you do have a different color case and want to use your own front panel, it may be worth looking at one of the other Rheobus' in this round up. Installation is a very simple affair involving plugging the fans straight into the back of the unit. Some of the earlier Rheobus designs needed you to cut the original Molex connector off and insert the wires into the rear. Fortunately the Nexus Fan Controller, like so many newer models, does away with this step making installation much, much easier.

 

 

 

 

On researching this controller, I found reference on another technical website of problems they had mounting it in a Lian Li case. Personally, I had no problem with mounting it in mine; as you can see it sits in there very nicely. Vantec was kind enough to provide us with one of their Tornado fans which are similar to the 80-CFM Deltas in that they produce high CFM and high volumes. A closer look of the fan reveals that it is just a re-badge of a Sunon PMD1208PMB1-A. The specs on the fan can be found here on the Sunon site.

 

 

 

 

The Vantec controller was unable to turn off this fan, where the Sunbeam one was, which indicates that the voltage range on the Sunbeam Rheobus may be a lot wider compared to that on the Vantec. The good thing about it not being able to turn off is that you could install it onto your heatsink fan and not be worried that people will come along and turn the knob right down and having the fan fail on you, destroying your CPU. If it's not capable of turning this fan off, then I think the same thing would have happened with the Delta fans. The controller had no problem turning off the fans that Sunbeam provided us with, so this must be something to do with the amount of voltage the fans turn off at. You may find that the low-end fans need more power to start spinning while the ones at the other end of the scale start up a lot easier. It's definitely worth taking note that the Tornado fan started spinning while the LED was still red on the Sunbeam controller, which probably is enough evidence to show that it does need less power to start up.

 

 

I believe that the Vantec Nexus is definitely a very nice Rheobus with the added advantage that you shouldn't have any trouble finding one as PC Case Gear sell them along with some of the other Rheobus' we are looking at. Overall, this controller looks awesome, and goes perfectly with any silver aluminum case. The inclusion of a black version is handy as people with a black case are going to be able to install one without it looking out of place.

 

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