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NZXT Sentry Mix Fan Controller E-mail
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Written by Marc Fruchtman   
Wednesday, 31 August 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
NZXT Sentry Mix Fan Controller
Closer Look: Exterior
Detailed Exterior Features
Closer Look: Interior Features
Test Results
NZXT Sentry Mix Conclusion

NZXT Sentry Mix Conclusion

IMPORTANT: Although the rating and final score mentioned in this conclusion are made to be as objective as possible, please be advised that every author perceives these factors differently at various points in time. The author's experience with the product may differ significantly from your own. While we each do our best to ensure that all aspects of the product are considered, there are often times unforeseen market conditions and manufacturer changes which occur after publication that could render our rating obsolete. Please do not base any purchase solely on our conclusion, as it represents our product rating specifically for the product tested which may differ from future versions.

The NZXT Sentry Mix has a simple black rubberized exterior. The LED colors look very good, except perhaps that the orange is a bit washed out.

NZXT_Sentry_Mix_Fan_Controller_Main_001.jpg

50 Watts per channel is way more than enough for any enthusiast using air cooling. However, I must also say that most cases don't even come close to having fans that can pull 4 amps @ 12VDC, let alone 6 of those. Then comes the thought that, if you actually had a setup that used 4 amps per channel, could you ever consider lowering your fan speed assuming you need that much power to begin with, thus obviating the need for a controller altogether. The whole point of a fan controller is to lower the speed of the fan at the most basic level. As features get added, things like auto regulation of RPM to adjust for specific minimum and maximum temperatures can be achieved.

Unfortunately, the Sentry Mix has none of these advanced features. It also lacks a PWM channel, and also there's no RPM monitoring.

When considering the construction score, there is a deduction for the spliced Molex connectors and for the faulty Slider.

It is important to note that the negatives and the positives listed here may not be the same as your own. For example, I found the lack of RPM and Temperature Monitoring to be important in my rating. If you happen to be looking for a high watt fan controller without those bells and whistles, you can raise the score somewhat. Some people may be content with no alarms for stalled fans. My preference is to have an alarm, so I know when a fan is failing, so I don't toast my components. Each plus or minus listed should be measured by your own personal meter, and then you can decide if this controller is worth your money.

Also, many cases are using the larger 4 pin Molex connectors for their fans. It would make sense to at least include some adapters.

Realistically, if you are buying a fan controller, you probably want to see things like internal temperatures, and fan RPM, in addition to lowering your decibels.

Overall, for a basic fan controller, with decent but simple looks, 6 channels of control at 50 Watts each, at a cost of $36.99 (Newegg), this is moderately overpriced for the functionality. I much prefer fan controllers that include at least 1 channel of PWM, RPM and Temp monitoring, even if it means only 30 watts per channel. I would strongly consider moving up to NZXT Sentry LXE Digital Fan Controller or a similar controller, gaining more features at somewhat higher cost.

Pros:

+ 50 Watts per channel
+ 6 channels
+ Easy Installation

Cons:

- Watt rating exceeds Molex Rating.
- No PWM channel(s)
- No Temp or RPM monitoring.
- No Stall detection or Alarms
- Faulty Slider on Channel 6
- No 4 Pin Molex Adapters to fit majority of case fans.
- Widely varying output voltages.

Ratings:

  • Performance: 6.5
  • Appearance: 8.0
  • Construction: 6.5
  • Functionality: 6.5
  • Value: 6.5

Final Score: 6.80 out of 10.

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