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Coolermaster Musketeer Mult-Function Panel Review

Former staff writer    -   April 28, 2006


Testing
Testing setup
  • AMD 3700+ @ 2.75Ghz
  • DFI SLI-DR
  • 2x1Gb Mushkin Redline
  • X800Pro
  • Enermax 600Watt PSU
  • Antec Sonata 2
  • Windows XP Pro

Coming into this review I was very excited about trying this product out. But upon booting up my machine after the install my excitement started to wane. My first test was to play with the voltage adjustment, I found that at lowest it was reading 6 volts, and at fastest it was showing 10 volts. That is 2 volts lower than the maximum voltage of the fan. This was a very large disappointment for me as I would have liked to see adjustments up to 12 volts, and down to something below 6 volts, so that the fan could at least run at full speed.

Next was the VU meter, I tested this by playing some music with my normal sound volume, as I use a pair of headphones and do not adjust my volume at all, I found that the VU meter would not move at the volumes that I ran. I was forced to turn up my system volume up to 3/4-full volume, to get the needle to give me a healthy bounce. I next decided to drop back to my normal running volume and play a game to see if I had any better luck. While playing Counterstrike source with my stock volume (about 1/7th) and the gain for the VU meter turned up to max, it would move only under extreme combat situations, or very loud environmental sounds. This again was a disappointment, as the needle never actually gave me a fast, or a steady bounce, it was more of a slow slide.

The next part of testing on this unit was that of the temperature sensor. This sensor will report from 10 to 80*C, this is a healthy range for a computer based readout. I found that this sensor was very well calibrated, as when placed against my chipset it was only reading about 1-2*C off, although this was most likely due to it being an analog rather than digital display. Throughout the testing I found that this was a very nice probe, the probe itself came with quite a long cord, so I had no issues hiding it once I had it placed. With the use of this temperature sensor I was able to drop my overall case temp by 4*C by monitors temps in different areas, and then adjusting my airflow accordingly.


Conclusion
If you are looking for something to perk up the overall look of your case, than this is a more than worthwhile investment. But if you are someone who is more interested in functionality than looks this is not the product for you. While it is definitely eye catching it does not have performance enthusiasts in mind, due to the lack of voltage adjustment, as well as the lack of a more precise [digital] readout for the temperature probe. This product is more geared towards improving the aesthetics of your computer, while giving trivial and minor adjustments/monitoring. The use of uniform Blue LED lighting is a nice effect, and the chrome edge around the gauges gives a nice look, however I feel that this does not make up for its other shortcomings.

Pros

  • Nice Looking
  • Good temperature readings
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Poor voltage adjustment
  • Poor VU meter range
  • VU meter needs to high of an input



  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Installation & Specifications
  3. Testing & Conclusion
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