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Old 07-18-2007, 02:11 PM   #1
NicePants42
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Default Why do fancy fan controllers only control 4 fans?!

Maybe I'm not in touch with the majority of PC enthusiasts, but it seems to me that of the people who would pay $40 or more for a fancy-schmancy fan controller, most of those people would want to have multiple fans on a single channel.

But I must be wrong, because the only controller available capable of such a feat is the Sunbeam Rheobus, which costs a massive $15!

Surely, there must be some other more expensive and cool-looking fan controller out there that allows for such high wattage per channel! Let's do a short investigation:

Aerocool Gatewatch
- costs $50 and two bays - but only controls 4 fans.
Thermaltake XController - Same price as Sunbeam, but crappier.
Zalman MFC1 - $30, weak, but at least the wattage/channel is in the specs.
Scythe Kama-meter - As little as $25 to sample that burned-circuity smell.
Zalman MFC2 - No wattage/channel listed here - they must have run out of room describing all the OTHER features.
Even the Aqua Computer Aquero only allows 5W per channel on it's fan controller according to the user manual! Let me say that again in case you missed it: A german-engineered water cooling control/monitoring system only allows control for 1 fan per channel! (4 fans, stock.) If you want to control more than 4 fans, you need to purchase an add-on card. Do Germans not use dual or triple radiators?

Has any designer (other than the guys at Sunbeam) ever SEEN two fans blowing in the same direction? How out of touch am I?
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Old 07-18-2007, 03:23 PM   #2
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The problem is that the heat the rheostats produce when they are throttling the fans down is what melts the wimpier controllers and limits the PCB to 4 channels. Anyone foolish enough to buy a $40+ fan controller deserves the misery they get. Even that Sunbeam controller is only good for 4 fans. If you need to control more than 4 fans then you did not setup or modify your case properly. Excellent airflow can be had with 1 intake and 1 exhaust fan......
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Old 07-18-2007, 03:57 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b1lk1 View Post
Even that Sunbeam controller is only good for 4 fans.
Product Link, allow me to emphasize: The best part is that each channel can provide 20 total watts of output so you can power as many fans as you want, as long as you do not exceed 20W per channel.

This would explain why the 8 fans in my case have been pleasantly throttled down since January, where the Kama-meter burned out after about 9hrs of operation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by b1lk1 View Post
If you need to control more than 4 fans then you did not setup or modify your case properly. Excellent airflow can be had with 1 intake and 1 exhaust fan......
The Silverstone TJ07 comes with 6 fans stock. Here is a link to my current setup. My Opty 165 is running at 2.8ghz, both X1900s are overclocked to max in CCC (I haven't been able to get Xfire OC'ing to work with 3rd party apps) and the thing is barely audible (except for the damn 'Silencer 750' under load, which will be replaced). Where did I go wrong, b1lk1?

It's not just about only having 4 fans, either. It's about being able to turn a single dial and control all the fans on a given radiator, for instance. It's about having an elegant solution, to quote my former programming professor.

Last edited by NicePants42; 07-18-2007 at 04:37 PM.
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Old 07-21-2007, 01:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NicePants42 View Post
This would explain why the 8 fans in my case have been pleasantly throttled down since January, where the Kama-meter burned out after about 9hrs of operation.
Can you even hear yourself think? 8 fans is hard core. I do agree though, fan controllers (especially expensive ones) should have the capability to handle more than four fans. I could think of many instances where this would prove useful.
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Old 07-21-2007, 02:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NicePants42 View Post
Where did I go wrong, b1lk1?
You bought the wrong case.

As for the amount of fans, my case has 4 counting the CPU fan. I overclock my CPU to 2.92Ghz. I have a nice hot 7800GTX. My PC IS silent and cool as a cucumber. As I said, POOR case airflow. Period. My case is a super generic from BTE computers. Silent, efficient and cool. It's not how much you pay for a case but how well it actually controls the air.
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Old 11-09-2007, 03:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b1lk1 View Post
You bought the wrong case.

As for the amount of fans, my case has 4 counting the CPU fan. I overclock my CPU to 2.92Ghz. I have a nice hot 7800GTX. My PC IS silent and cool as a cucumber. As I said, POOR case airflow. Period. My case is a super generic from BTE computers. Silent, efficient and cool. It's not how much you pay for a case but how well it actually controls the air.
First off, you are correct. In general the TJ07 doesn't have very good air flow, (especially for GPUs) since there is no front intake. I will defend my choice of case by saying that I got it used (paid nowhere near retail for it), and I am using water to cool my main components.

Secondly, your argument doesn't make a whole lot of sense in terms of the thread topic, which is fan controllers that only control 4 fans. You basically argue that as long as you have a decently designed case, 4 fans is all you need to keep things cool and quiet - which is entirely true. But I would argue that if everyone had the sense to build a quiet system using only 4 fans in a well designed case, there wouldn't be a need for fan controllers because our systems would already be quiet.

I think that there are three groups of people who buy fan controllers:
-People who can't stand any noise at all
-People who have way too many fans in their system and want less noise
-People who want more bling on their front panel

It's obvious where my setup fits - my problem is that thus far I've only seen ~3 fan controllers that control over 4 fans, and only ONE that can control multiple 120mm fans on a single channel without any cause for worry, and it's at least 4 years old!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Williams View Post
Can you even hear yourself think? 8 fans is hard core. I do agree though, fan controllers (especially expensive ones) should have the capability to handle more than four fans. I could think of many instances where this would prove useful.
Thanks to my $12 Sunbeam Rheobus, the 9 120mm fans in my current setup are just barely audible. My HDDs make at least as much noise when idling - which is starting to get on my nerves.

Last edited by NicePants42; 11-09-2007 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 11-10-2007, 06:33 PM   #7
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That's the same controller that I've been using from the first day I built this rig of my some 3 plus years ago and I couldn't be happier with it. I've run up to 12 120's off the thing at one time or another...........
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Old 11-10-2007, 08:45 PM   #8
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If you really want to mod, then get a rheostat or a few, then set it up the way you want. Checking to see what rheostat you need as per amps/voltage.
Maybe even set up a test lab to test it before you install it into the case.
I hate to say the RS words ( radio shack ) but it may be the only place you could find the equipment.
Be rather inventive, expand what you know, built it yourself.

That's what I do in a lot of things, if I can't find what I need, then I build it myself.
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Old 11-11-2007, 01:37 AM   #9
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that cap of fans as well as a few other reason is why I never looked into a fan controller to begin with.
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Old 11-11-2007, 03:45 PM   #10
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I've read some were having problems with fires and the Sunbeam 4 Port Rheobus Fan Controller. I really don't know what to use now.
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Old 11-11-2007, 05:02 PM   #11
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Sounds like the rheostats were maybe under rated or faulty

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Old 11-11-2007, 06:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moon111 View Post
I've read some were having problems with fires and the Sunbeam 4 Port Rheobus Fan Controller. I really don't know what to use now.
Never heard that about them before.......... Like I said before, I've had mind for over 3 years or so now and I've never had a problem with it. Heck, I've even had water pumps hooked up to the thing...............
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