by Ryan Perry on May 9, 2011 in Cooling
A couple of months ago, we took Lamptron’s FC Touch fan controller for a spin, and were left extremely impressed with its ease-of-use and aesthetics. But what about those who don’t care for touch capabilities, and are fine with knobs? Enter the FC8, a clean-looking and high-performing option; offering eight channels at 30W each.
As with the FC Touch, Lamptron has a winner on its hands.
The main controller unit is well designed and attractive, features labels that are etched into the aluminum so that they won’t wear off and it allows for just enough customization by way of the individual LEDs without being too over-the-top for those like me who don’t want all the flash.
Another reassuring feature is that the FC8 uses some seriously high-end components compared to other fan controllers such as aluminum solid capacitors. We saw motherboard manufacturers step things it up so it’s nice to see some changes in other aspects of the hardware market. The overall build quality just feels very solid and the soldering work on the PCB is incredibly clean.
I do have to mention that our first review sample blew a trace on the first layer of PCB. The fans being used are hardly power hungry, daisy chained monsters so I was surprised when this happened given the specifications of the controller. The replacement unit used in this review however, performed flawlessly. Quality control does make me a little wary, however.
Another small point to make is that the same light leak is present on the FC8 as with the FC Touch. In the shot with the unit installed, any active LEDs flood the bay with light from the top of the controller, which is visible from the outside of the case. A small lip or cover at the very top of the face plate would make short work of this.
When all is said and done, if you need to control a ton of high RPM fans or have daisy chained enough standard fans that your system is ready for lift off, look for the FC8. It retails for $65, which may seem steep but you certainly get what you pay for seeing how there are enough channels with enough wattage to handle anything out there.
Availability seems sparse at this point with only a handful of USA e-tailers carrying it and no Canadian e-tailers, so if you stumble up on one, grab it!
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