I have never really found a need for fan controllers. I tend to be the one that locates low noise producing fans out of the box and apply them as needed. When I first started off, sound wasn't such an issue, as I was learning to overclock, and as I was advised then, more air flow leads to better temperatures. At that time 80mm fans were the norm, and most cases didn't even offer room for the 120mm fans that were on the shelves. As time went on, I learned a lot, and had a few in-line fan controllers, which usually left a bit to be desired. Most of the single fan controllers limited the 12 volt current at maximum, and would often stop the fan completely when in the lowest setting.
Over the past year and a half, I have seen quite a few ideas at fan controls based inside of cases. While the technology has improved, and I don't see the same stopping of the fans or the limitations the older controllers showed. With all of those built into a case there are simple dials that work to limit the incoming voltage to give the end user the ability to change the fans speeds depending on the demand, or just to tune them for the noise factor. Moving from the case controllers, as there are always some that want more finite control of fans in cases that don't offer controllers built in. This usually leads to the purchase of a rheostat style, bay using, and mounted fan controller. There are many varieties of this type of controller, and their specifications and powering capabilities may or may not cover your specific needs.
Today we are going to look at a new multi-channel fan controller from NZXT, the Sentry LXE. This isn't just an ordinary fan controller though. It offers time and date, temperature alarms, and on top of that it functions via a touch screen LCD display. Typically, one would need a few open 5.25" drive bays to apply such a piece of hardware to control their system. That just isn't the case here! NZXT has taken the fan controller, and with the use of a cable and PCI interface, they took the controller off the front of a case and allowed for this unit to sit anywhere there is room. Let's have a look at the specifications and features, and see what the Sentry LXE is all about.