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Coolermaster Aerogate II Multi-function Panel Review

Former staff writer    -   February 6, 2004


Testing
To look at the unit, the Aerogate II is a slick piece of work. With 4 different individually controllable temperature monitors and fan controls, it's everything you could want in a fan control.

First check: Does it control fan speed? Answer? Sure does. Took my 3000RPM fan right the way down to 1600RPM. It takes a bit of dial-spinning to get it down there, but the noise reduction is definately worth it. Finally, you can find that perfect rate of fan speed/noise and your ability to sleep. The dial takes a bit of spinning to get it to the complete minimum speed. Unfortunately, you can't turn any fan completely off, such as a case fan if it's not necessary at night, BUT this could be considered a good thing, since you won't switch off a CPU fan or VGA fan by mistake (cause let's face it, everyone does silly things every once in a while).

Second check: Does it monitor temperature accurately? Answer? Sure does. Using myself as a test unit was the solution for this one. Holding a temperature lead and a thermometer in one hand, I came out with nearly identical temperatures. The Aerogate II measures in 0.5*C units, so any discrepancies could have been due to that. The Aerogate II also allows for change in Celsius to Farenheit temp measurement, with a single press of the button.

So, it does what it's supposed to. Now, let's take a look at some of the neat extras that CoolerMaster has added in. First off, the dial itself. The backlight colour to the dial can be one of 7 different colours, or a rotation of all 7. A simple push of the colour button starts and stops the rotation. It's very cool, I'm favouring the blue/red combination myself. Check it all out in this video clip:

Watch the movie! (3.59MB)

In the clip, you can also see the moving visuals on the screen, showing a thermometer under your temperature and a spinning wheel under your fan speed. Neither are more then eye candy, but its good looking eye candy. Unfortunately you can't change the backlit display to match this colour, which could have added some very interesting customization options.

The unit has a built in alarm, but it is not connected to the thermal monitors, but the fan speed. If any fans drop below 500 RPM, the unit will beep incessantly. So, if your CPU fan cuts out, you'll know right away, instead of just after your CPU catches fire. This was tested by jamming a pen into my case fan. Advanced techniques. The alarm went off immediately, and stopped once the fan restarted. Alternatively, you can press the dial (also a button!) to stop the alarm.



Conclusion

I fully recommend this item. That's a pretty darn strong statement in this market, but I stand behind it. The Aerogate II is a solid piece of work, and retails at a very reasonable price. It'll match an aluminum case wonderfully, and even looks good on my off-black Antec. The monitors are easily readable and accurate, which is definately important, but even better, there are 4 different fan/temperature options! Ease of installation boosts the unit up some more, and to top it all off, if you have a black case, there is a black aluminum unit available to suit your matching needs. The lack of thermal tape is an oversight, certainly, but in the grand scheme of things, CoolerMaster has a solid, functional, useful unit that any user would be proud to own.

Pros

  • 4 Fan/Temperature Monitors
  • Excellent design
  • Easy to install
  • Looks good
  • Comprehensive instructions

Cons

  • Complete lack of thermal tape
  • Inability to completely turn off fans



  1. Introduction & In-Depth Look
  2. In-Depth Look & Installation
  3. Testing & Conclusion
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