From what we have seen previous to this inside of cases, and the very few stand alone units that we have seen similar to this in the past, we feel the Grid+ is the obvious evolution in what a fan hub can be, and should be. While any sort of a fan hub is handy when building a system, if just to centralize the wiring and eliminate the need to have a fan controller poking through the front of your chassis. Of course, you were limited to 12V on some, and others offered PWM control via the CPU header.
Here, you can choose between a trio of profiles; there is a mode that takes thermals into top consideration, and another mode where silence takes priority. There is performance mode too, with a very aggressive fan curve to ramp all fans with a very steep curve that start to ramp aggressively around 50 degrees. Then, of course, you can create your own profile in the custom tab, and make slight changes to the presets to fit your exact needs. Because all of this is in a tiny little box that is only 18mm thick, you can place it behind the motherboard tray, or realistically almost anywhere you see fit to use it; you can't say that for most other forms of fan control.
Is there a downside? Of course, there is the wattage to consider. With a maximum of 30W across the board, it may be a concern if you plan to try to power a pump and a serious amount of fans, but realistically, for what most people need in a fan hub, even with the Y-splitters in play and eight fans on the Grid+, most fans will not tax this system to its maximum capability anyways.
We have seen the Grid as just a PCB before NZXT released the standalone unit. Both of those versions were great for taking a mass of fan leads, and allowing anyone to gain some control of it all. Taking it to the point where NZXT has it now makes it the obvious choice in fan hubs, no matter the brand of chassis you own. The Grid+ is just that sort of a product; once it is in your hands and in use, you will have a hard time figuring out how you got along before it.
Everything about the Grid+ fan hub from NZXT is a win in our book. Its compact size helps in all angles of its installation, and allows it to go almost anywhere the wiring will reach. Once the CAM software is at play, the Grid+ steps leaps and bounds above the rest. Finite control of fan speed is obviously needed, so is being able to keep an eye on fan speeds. And while we are at it, why not power draw too?
Most PC gamers and system builder will tell you they can't even see the front of their chassis while seated at the desk, and without getting up or seriously straining to see it. Even if the bay controller offered such information, if you cannot see it, what good is it? The fact that you can simply open a window on the desktop, see all of the fans in action via speeds and power, and adjust them with just a few clicks is great. You don't even have to adjust your posture in the least to accomplish it since everything is right there on the screen.
For $29.99 to get the Grid+ to your door, we not only feel that it is worth the money to address chassis cooling, but there is even enough left over to control most of the demand of a custom water cooling system, and a couple radiators' worth of fans. All in all, there just isn't anything to pick apart with this design; both the physical product as well as the software worked flawlessly from the start, and it has been a pleasure, and a real convenience to have.
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.
|Quality including Design and Build||96%|
|Bundle and Packaging||93%|
|Value for Money||98%|
|Overall TweakTown Rating||96%|
The Bottom Line: NZXT's Grid+ fan hub is not only a super convenient product for anyone who builds their own systems, but with the capabilities that the software offers, the power offered, and its compact design, the $30 price is a drop in the bucket for such handy device.