Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
At some point in the last year or so, you may have noticed that NZXT has been offering a fan hub in their midrange to top-tier cases; you know, that little PCB or plastic box hanging on the back of the motherboard tray. You may have even seen one of the stand alone units, like the one reviewed here, where we got up close and personal with the Grid 10 port fan hub. Originally, the idea was to take a power lead to deliver power to a PCB capable of offering 30W across all ten fan ports as a whole, not individually. However, the real issue with this idea is that while it does allow a clean way to supply up to ten fans with an easy to mount hub that tends to wiring issues, and fills the need for more fan power, there was very little as far as control when using the Grid.
NZXT took that simple idea to the chalkboard and kicked around a few ideas, and came up with the best solution possible: point and click software that is super simple to use. So, this time around, the device is slightly larger than the original design, but that is due to the technology needed to take any open native USB 2.0 port and turn it into a communications gateway to this new fan hub. NZXT could have stopped right there if they wanted to, and customers would have been sitting in front of the desk like the meme of Fry holding cash, saying "shut up and take my money," but they didn't. NZXT figured that since the software is tied to the PC, they could take things a step further with today's cross-platform technology. Now you can log-in and check this from another PC, and you can even install an iPhone app and control it remotely that way as well. Unfortunately, in our searching we did not find a Droid equivalent.
Today we will be looking at the NZXT Grid+, the latest evolution in the NZXT fan hub. Not only are you about to see the most controllable fan hub we have ever reviewed, but with its compact nature, it can be hidden almost anywhere. It also comes with all the goodies and wiring you will need to get set up, but you see things like power usage per channel via software, and you have the ability to pick presets or customize the fan curve used with your tastes in mind. Any way you look at the Grid+ from NZXT, you have to admit that this is pretty ingenious compared to all other fan hubs offered prior to this.
NZXT supplies a pretty serious specifications chart for a fan hub, not that we mind; we rather like it when companies deliver all of the information at hand, rather than what is thought of as most important. At the top, we find that the Grid+ can also be searched by its part number, AC-GRIDP-M1. We also see that the unit is 73mm square across the top, and stands only 18mm in height to fit in the thinnest locations. There is very little to its construction really. There is a top and bottom shell made of black plastic, and the top has an acrylic insert for the white power LED, and on the inside there is a PBC with various components soldered to it. Also, NZXT is sure to mention the CAM software control, and we will have a page dedicated to that later in this review.
As you scroll down the rest of the chart, we find that this kit also includes zip ties, a couple of Y-splitter cables, a Molex to phone jack connector (round DC power plug), and a Micro-USB to native USB 2.0 cable. Outside of that, the last bits to cover would be the hub's 102.6 grams of weight, its six channels, the 30W maximum across all channels the Grid+ can deliver, the 3M Dual Lock (Velcro pad), and the two-year warranty against defects or non-user induced failures.
Upon visiting the NZXT product page for the Grid+, we see they also list the MSRP, or rather the price to buy this from their Armory. There you will find the Grid+ priced at $29.99, and an additional $4.99 is needed to cover shipping. If you decide to shop around the usual haunts, you will notice that only NZXT is currently charging for shipping, so you may as well shop at the likes of Amazon or Newegg where they list at the same base price, and save yourself a fiver for some other expense. $30 for just a fan hub may seem a bit steep, but don't forget, this is not your typical fan hub. For what NZXT is offering in the new Grid+, not only is there good value to this deal, but we see it becoming one of those things that no system build should be without.
PRICING: You can find the NZXT Grid+ for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The NZXT Grid+ retails for $29.99 at Amazon.
- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging and NZXT Grid+ Fan Hub]
- Page 3 [Accessories and Documentation]
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