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NZXT Sentry 3 5.4-inch Touch Screen Fan Controller Review - NZXT Sentry 3

NZXT Sentry 3 5.4-inch Touch Screen Fan Controller Review
Touchscreen fan controllers are an attractive solution to controlling masses of fans. It's time to see how well NZXT's Sentry 3 does with 15W per channel.
By: | Cables & Accessories in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Jun 6, 2014 2:03 pm
TweakTown Rating: 78%Manufacturer: NZXT

NZXT Sentry 3




Without power to the Sentry 3, there isn't much to see outside of the thin bezel and the shiny screen. However, we are able to see quite a few of the touch points from the visible traces and pads, which can give you an idea of how this all works.




From the side view we see that rather than steel wrapping around from the front to make the side mounts, the Sentry 3 has a removable side. While not all that impressive, it will save case modders some work if there is a desire to put this somewhere other than in the 5.25 inch bays.




Looking at the back side of the Sentry 3, we now see the white PCB that contains the alarm buzzer. MCU, voltage regulators, capacitors, and all the power, fan lead, and thermal probes get attached along the bottom.




At the end of two foot of wiring, we find five three-pin or four-pin fan connections, the four-pin Molex that powers the device, and the solo thermal probe that is currently protected with a tube and tape.




Just so we could say we tried a random selection of fans, we dug deep into the box and pulled out these five fins to test the channels with. Not only will we be running these on individual channels, we will also wire them up to test out the individual channels.




Adding in some power we find that all of our test subjects functioned as expected. You can see we are showing channel one, which is the 38mm Scythe fan, and it is currently running at 1280 RPM, and the ambient temperature in the booth is 23.9 degrees.




There are major issues we found with the Sentry 3 we will just touch on here, but we will explain these issues more fully later. First is the display when looking at it directly. This is not a camera trick; the screen is just difficult to see when looked at directly. The second issue is the screen is shifted too far to the right to make the two buttons there functional.




Just like with all the images on site, as well as on the packaging, once you get far enough above, below, or to the sides, the screen becomes plainly visible and much easier to read. The RPM and temperature are displayed to the left, and the arrows are for setting the thermal alarm after pressing on the temperature for a few seconds. To the left of the five there are three fan modes to select from, and to the right of it is the power off button, and a link button to set all five channels the same. At the far right we have a slider to use for manual fan control, the five channels at the bottom, and an alarm button and on button flank the right.

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