Is it me? Or is it hot in here?
Rejoice! More shiny goodies have graced my doorstep this week. This one takes the form of the NZXT Sentry LX Dual bay Fan controller LCD unit; designed with the sole purpose of making my computer infinitely more awesome than 14 yr old neighbours, despite the fact he'll still kick your ass at Quake/Unreal/Team Fortress.
The low down on this puppy is 5x3pin fan connectors, 5xthermistors (that's temperature sensors) and 2x5.12" bays of LCD goodness.
Here's the official blurb from NZXT themselves:
- Large dual 5.25" LCD screen.
- NZXT designed intuitive control, set and change fan speeds and settings on the fly.
- Auto/Manual modes, let the LCD take control or set fan speeds to your liking.
- Temperature alarm.
- Aluminium finish.
- NZXT Designed graphical interface, easy to read and understand.
- Saved Settings, calendar and fan settings are stored even during system off so settings don't need to be redone.
As you can see, the unit is an all-in-one dedicated fan and temperature control point. There are different camps regarding the pros and cons of having hardware handle this versus software.
The software people insist that it's better to get a GUI interface to handle the fan speeds and temperatures, while relying on the motherboards own fan headers and thermistors to bring in the data. This allows for much more customisability than in hardware mode and you could find software that would activate profiles depending on what your system is doing at the time (ie. having certain fans step up their speed when games load).
The hardware camps are all about aesthetics, usability and reliability. People still find hardware, with buttons, dials and simple displays, much more intuitive to use than software. There is also less worry about reliability; the hardware will work without question every time the computer powers on, from the moment you press the button. With an operating system, the potential for incompatibility and failure is greater than a dedicated piece of hardware.