PC Case Gear's 3.5" Rheobus
This was definitely one Rheobus that I was looking forward to getting my hands on. A lot of people are tight for space when it comes to their 5.25" bays, so little extras like fan controllers are out of their reach. It may be because they have multiple CD-ROMs or an LCD that takes up multiple bays, but this is where PC Case Gear's very own 3.5" Rheobus comes in very handy. I know that the FanStorm is also 3.5" but this controller follows the more traditional design which allows the user to adjust their fans quickly and easily. For such a small device there are a bucket load of features:
- Allows you to control the speed of the fans inside your case with ease
- Adjustable output voltages from 7V ~ 12V DC each channel
- Each channel is rated for up to 13W, providing enough power for 4-16 fans
- Multiple fans can be connected to each channel
- LED backlight around the knobs
- Printed circuit board eliminates wiring mess
- 3-pin fan headers for easy fan connection
- 3-pin extension wires included (2)
- Looks fantastic in the case
- Connects to the power supply via Molex connector
- Available in brushed silver aluminum or anodized black aluminum housing
- Can be used in cases that have a front door panel (e.g. 710B, Chieftec, Antec1080)
- Retail boxed with complete instructions
At first glance you could mistake it for a 3.5" Vantec controller as it packs the very classy glow around the knobs, which I feel really does add an excellent aesthetic touch to any controller. It comes neatly boxed with all the contents to set it up without a hitch, with the packing looking very similar to the Sunbeam Rheobus. This Rheobus packs everything that the big boys do, and even more than some, like the Hardcano 8. A great design, stylish looks and great functionality mean that this is going to be perfect for people with smaller cases. Due to the smaller knobs on this unit, it can easily be mounted into a case with a door, such as the Enermax 710B or Antec 1080 stated in the features above. The unit even comes with some extension leads for those fans not so close to the unit.
The model that I received was the new and improved 3.5" controller which is now rated at 13 watts, which gives you the chance to hook up multiple fans to each header. Some people may be wondering why you would want to hook up multiple fans to the one channel. The best way to look at it is that each channel can be dedicated to each cooling zone. If you have two fans in the front of your case it wouldn't be that often that you turn one of the fans off and not the other. So instead of having the two fans using two channels, you use them both on the same one and you now only have to turn one knob to adjust the speed of the front cooling. As an added bonus you now have another spare header, which can be used for another fan or region.
Unfortunately this unit is priced at AU$49.50 which some people may feel is quite expensive as you can get the Vantec Fan Controller for only AU$10 more. As most people know, when things get smaller the price does tend to go up slightly due to the fact that they have to fit the same features as something twice its size. It's surprising that its not more expensive then the 5.25" units considering that as it holds the same features and good looks.