Sometimes you don’t need all of your case fans to be running at full speed, especially in a case with more than just three fans. Ideally, slowing down those RPMs could save on both electricity and noise pollution. To that end, NZXT recently sent us their top-tier fan controller, the Sentry LX.
- Large dual 5.25″ LCD screen
- NZXT designed intuitive control, set and change fan speeds and settings on the fly
- Auto/Manual modes, let the LCD take control or set fan speeds to your liking
- Temperature alarm
- Aluminum finish
- NZXT Designed graphical interface, easy to read and understand
- Saved Settings, calendar and fan settings are stored even during system off so settings don’t need to be redone
- Supports up to 4W per channel
For testing, the Sentry was installed into an NZXT Tempest case, as its roster of five fans is enough to fully utilize the Sentry LX. Also, since the Tempest is NZXT’s “cooling king,” the Sentry may have been designed with this case in mind.
Installation was a breeze. Slipping the unit into the system was as easy as putting in a new optical drive: Just pop off the bay covers, slide it in, and secure it. The power for the unit is a simple 4-pin 12v molex connector, and five small wires leave the Sentry for connecting the fans. Unfortunately the five small pigtail connectors made an already difficult cable management situation worse; it would take serious effort to make this case look tidy.
The temperature leads are to be placed as close to the fans as possible, and to facilitate this, NZXT kindly included some slices of anti-static tape. Unfortunately, they chose some cheap stuff, and even in this brand-new, clean case, the tape wouldn’t stick for very long. After considerable cajoling, I got the leads to stay in place only to have them fall right back off when I righted the case to power it on. Eventually we abandoned NZXT’s tape and opted for our own which worked quite well. The tape issue is not a serious flaw, but would be disappointing to anyone who doesn’t have some good tape of his or her own on hand during installation.
Once the installation was finished it was a sleek and attractive addition to the front of the case. Perhaps not very important if your case has a door on the front, but it fit perfectly with the design elements of the Tempest. It does seem, especially once installed, to take up a lot of space; users who cannot afford the real estate might be a better match for NZXT’s entry-level rheobus, the Sentry 1. As it stands, the Sentry LX is positioned as a premium model so it is fitted with a larger screen.