Date: September 2, 2005
Author(s): Greg King
Feel the need to add a cool mod to your case but are slow on ideas? We are checking out a quality digital thermal display that tracks 9 read-outs! Let’s take a look at the product, and see if it can stack up with our high expectations!
On the chopping block today is a product from Logisys Computer. Logisys was kind enough to send up this digital Thermal Controller for reviewing so that’s exactly what I intend to do. This piece is meant to be installed into a vacant 3.5 bay which we all should have, because floppies are all but irrelevant 99% of the time.
You do have an open floppy drive don’t you? There are a lot of these types of products offered out there so I am going to see how this piece of hardware stacks up to my demanding expectations.
This appears to be a nice little piece of hardware that, in all honesty, might prove to be rather useful as a hardware monitor. Let’s get into the design and functionality of this product.
This is designed, as stated before, to occupy an open 3.5″ drive bay, so that’s exactly where I will put this. As it stands, I have two 3.5″ bays in my black Antec SOHO case. The top one is occupied by a 100MB Iomega Zip drive. By process of elimination, the Logisys is going to go right below it. In this case, I am fortunate enough to have removable drive bays which will make this install easy.
Upon removing the drive bay, I quickly installed the Thermal Controller, which will reside directly below my Zip Drive. The controller is held firmly into the bay with 2 screws. This struck me as odd that only 2 mounting holes were available because without the Zip drive above it, the Thermal Controller might be prone to wobbling up and down if not firmly in the case’s front bezel. Aside from that, installing the Thermal Controller in my case was easy and painless.
Physically getting the Thermal Controller into the drive bay, then into the case was simple and hassle free. Hooking up and routing the cables is another thing and could prove difficult. When I say difficult, I don’t mean that it’s going to take an engineering degree to install, but that it is going to be a tedious endeavor if you take any pride in the appearance of your computer.
There are in total, 7 connectors coming out of the back of the Thermal Controller. These include a hard drive connector that plugs into your motherboard, three 3-pin connectors to monitor your fan speed and 3 thermal probes to place on or near your CPU, the front of your case and of course, the rear of your case.
In all honesty, you can place the probes anywhere in your case such as your hard drive, your chipset, your power components on your motherboard.. the options are limitless. Managing all of this can be a nightmare for most but for the sake of this review, and to not compromise of the integrity of the readings, I did not route all of these wires in an optimal path because that my friends is for another review.
From a functional standpoint, I am extremely surprised in the way that this little guy works. The temps on my CPU are bang on with what is displayed in BIOS and the fans read out correctly too. This piece also reads out the time and hard drive activity which for the most part, isn’t any different than the LED on the front of my case but still, it does as it should and that makes me happy.
All in all, I am impressed by the professional look that this piece adds to my case. I must be honest when I say that the Digital Thermal Controller did not wow me when I first opened the box. When it was installed and working, I stood corrected. The ability to view my CPU temperature is a greatly added bonus. The front of the thermal display looks right at home in my black case and the blue display adds a nice touch as well.
I cannot find anything wrong with this product that can be directly blamed on Logisys. My only recommendation to Logisys is to make all of the wires coming out of the back braided like the hard drive connector cable. This would make the product far less cluttered looking and improve air movement throughout the case, which could be the main reason many might overlook this fine product.
I would also provide a few different places on the case of the controller to mount, as the current 2 can allow the box to pivot should it not be secured in the bay. As with anything, there is always room for improvement, and I hope that Logisys will consider these recommendations in further revisions.
I am giving this fine piece of hardware, direct from the equally fine people at Logisys, a 9 out of 10. The blue display and the accurate readings are proof enough that Logisys has a top notch product on their hands that is sure to attract attention to your case and turn a few heads at any LAN party you attend.
If you would like to discuss this review, please comment in our related review thread! You do not have to register to post, but it is welcomed! Thanks to Logisys for sending this along for review, and I can’t wait to see what they release in the future.
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