Especially in last few years, the noise generated by computer fans has increased very dramatically because of advanced and more power consuming components. At first, solution to this problem was chiefly self-made but because of high demand among silence enthusiast, many manufacturers have brought their own solutions to aid in this growing problem. Although fan speed controller isn't very new invention, there are some promising newcomers with more abilities all the time.
This time Metku had a chance to test Super Flower's new innovation, Fan Master SF-609.
Super Flower Fan Master is delivered in a very good looking carton box, which holds proper product specifications and features on its sides. The various color choices of the front panel are also demonstrated on the back side of the box even though the colors aren't exactly alike. The product is packed quite carefully under a plastic cover which can be seen through the small window on the carton.
As you might have noticed already, the bundle shipped with Fan Master is pretty extensive. It contains these items: about half meter power and sensor cables, five faceplates, user's manual, four stickers for mounting the sensors, four mounting screws, hex wrench, two nylon cable ties and two clear covers. The variety of different faceplates and plastic covers is a great add for a product like this. Many fan controllers are equipped only with one default faceplate, which suits only a couple case colors perfectly.
The manual, or rather only an A4 sheet with instructions is printed in Chinese and English. It includes a short brief to the product specifications, button functions and rear panel connectors. The text is split in ten separate sections from letters a to j. The text is very easy to understand and the structure which was mentioned before makes it really logical. Although the manual is quite short, it is just sufficient for a product like Fan Master.
Specifications and features
- Four fan-speed controller (5-12V ±5%)
- Four Temperature sensors (CPU, HDD, PSU, case) from 0 to 90 celcius
- Dimensions 148.5x42.5x75.8 millimeters
- An LCD-display with seven colour capable backlight
- Audio alarm warning
- Five separate aluminum faceplates and two clear covers
The audio alarm warning activates when the sensor temperature exceeds or the fan reading is below given setup. The unit alarms by a very loud beebing noise and by blinking its LCD backlight. The sound alarm lasts only for 20 seconds but the LCD will continue blinking in red colour backlighted until the problem is fixed. The sound alarm should be active at least more than 20 seconds. Alarming until fixed would be the best solution for the user and the hardware itself.
Super Flower SF-609 Fan Master
On the front panel we have four knobs for fan controlling, and LCD for displaying i.e temperature, information about fans and three buttons for selecting various setups. The extremely good looking front panel is made of brushed aluminum and it is decorated by stylish Super Flower logo and Fan Master label. Fan Master is 148.5 millimeters wide, 42.5 millimeters high and 75.8 millimeters deep.
Behind the unit you can find the eight jumper-like connectors for the sensors and four 3-pin fan connectors. The unit is powered by a 4-pin molex connector. On the topside of the circuit we have a very small peizo speaker similar to the ones seen i.e on motherboards. The four transistors are covered with tiny heatsinks to keep them cool even in long-term use.
The looks above is just one of the ten alternatives you can make up with five brushed and anodised aluminum front panels and clear covers labelled with white and black colours. To change the faceplate you have to remove the four hex screws. After that you'll just have to pick one of the coloured panels and place it where it belongs. Add the plastic cover, fix the screws and you're ready. Because of this wide ranging customization there should be something to suit everybody's needs.
Fan Master is equipped with an LCD panel and three multi function buttons. The buttons are labelled with three letters: T stands for temperature, F for fan and C for colour. By pressing button T you can cycle through four temperature sensors: CPU, HDD, case and power supply. Button F allows you to choose fans for control and C is for switching the LCD backlight colour. There are seven colour choices and possibility for OFF and AUTO modes. AUTO mode cycles through each colour every few seconds and OFF mode disables the backlight complitely. There are also couple special functions when pressing these buttons at the same time. For example alarm temperature and default settings are adjusted this way.
Like mentioned before, Fan Master is equipped with four knobs which are used for adjusting fan input voltages from 5 to 12 volts with 17 wats. There isn't possibility to switch off the installed fans, which is a shame although range from 5 to 12 volts is sufficient in most cases.
On the clear plastic cover we have indicators for each fan knob indicating low and high settings. The adjustment is stepless and the touch is very smooth and nice. The clear covers around the knobs are alighted by five super bright blue leds. This solution is almost must when handling the unit in the dark but unfortunately there isn't any way to adjust the color of the backlight: it's blue all the time.
Starting from the top left corner we have an indicator which represents the selected sensor, its reading and the alarm temperature. On the right side: fan RPM reading and the indicator for selected fan. The weird looking icon on the center tells you if the fan is powered up or not.
Pretty cool, eh?
Overall, Super Flower Fan Master is very high quality and useful product. Fan Master astounds with its superb looks and versatile features except for couple exceptions. Only twenty seconds lasting audio alarm, a lack of possibility to change the knob backlight colour and the impossibility to turn the fans off are the only disadvantages of Fan Master. The extensive bundle makes the unit very customizeable and the cable extension pieces makes possible to install fans and sensors even to the farest side of the case.
When ignoring these couple disadvantages Super Flower Fan Master is a very good purchase for people who are interested about controlling fans and monitoring hardware temperatures.
Past related articles in MetkuModsReviews:
- Cooler Master Aerogate II
- Cooler Master Musketeer
- Bitmodding's XP series of controllers