NZXT Sentry LXE Fan Controller ReviewIndybird - October 11, 2010
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Installing the NZXT Sentry is definitely an adventure, but not necessarily a bad one. First thing you do is hook up all of your fans and temperature probes. If you want to keep the inside of your case looking clean (if you have a window or are concerned about airflow), then you’ll have to get creative with up to eleven 2-foot-long wires. I found that running all of the fans' cables to one spot allowed me to run all of the Sentry fan cables to that same spot in one bunch. So realistically, it just takes a little bit of ingenuity and some cable ties to wrangle the would-be mess. For temperature probes I opted for the CPU, Graphics Memory, RAM, Graphics Core and VRMs. After making all of your fans and temp probe connections then you can pop the battery in, connect the 4-pin internal power cable to a spare Molex, mount the card to an open expansion slot and connect the interface cable. Powering on your computer, you’re greeted with a beep from the controller, the whir of your fans and a nice, bright screen.
The manual, unfortunately, isn’t particularly clear on the exact workings of the fan controller. Luckily, however, the touch interface, by nature, adds its own level of intuitiveness. First things first, you can set the the time and date simply by pressing and adjusting them via the plus and minus button in the lower left corner. To adjust the alarm temperature or fan speed on a channel, you simply press the number to the left. The selected item will start flashing, and you can chose your target value.
There Sentry LXE gives you two modes of operation; auto and manual. In automatic the fan speeds are self-regulated based on the temperature. I’m not quite sure what temperature the controller aims for because the adjustable temperature here is still just the alarm temp. Once you have the alarm temperature set, the controller goes back to displaying the current temp. Switching over to manual you have same alarm adjustment, but fan adjustment also. To adjust the fan speed you press the channel number a second time and the RPMs will flash, showing the target value. Fans can be adjusted from 100% down to 40%, then turned off.
The last two items are the “power” button and reset. The power button simply shuts off the screen. All control is handled on the internal interface card, so when screen is turned off or even unplugged, fan control continues exactly as you left it. Pressing and holding reset will revert the controller back to default settings.