NZXT Sentry LXE Fan Controller ReviewIndybird - October 11, 2010
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A variety of tests will be used for the NZXT Sentry LXE. First I will check the temperature accuracy using a laser thermometer, then I will test the ergonomics of the controller.
- Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE
- Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P
- Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD USB3
- Memory: Mushkin Blackline 996782 PC3 12800 2x2GB
- Video Card: XFX HD5870 1GB
- Power Supply: OCZ 700W Modular Power Supply
- Hard Drive: 1 x Seagate 750GB SATA
- Optical Drive: Lite-on DVD-RW SATA
- OS: Windows Vista Ultimate 64-Bit
To test the temperature accuracy I placed the temperature probe on the surface of the VRM heatsink. The Sentry LXE measured a temperature of 36.5 while the laser thermometer reported 36.25. Obviously these are pretty accurate probes.
Ergonomics is the test of usability and intuitiveness. To start, we'll take a look at the Sentry LXE's screen. At first glance it looks absolutely stunning thanks to a high brightness and great horizontal viewing angles. Unfortunately, it is plagued by terrible vertical viewing angles. You have to be looking down at it somewhat to get the best viewing angle, and there isn’t much room to move. Though the screen looks good, the layout is less than desirable. One example would be the plus and minus buttons. They are perhaps the most important buttons, but they are also the smallest on the whole controller. I don’t have particularly large hands, and I often found myself pressing either the wrong button, or two at the same time. Next up was the responsiveness of the touch screen; this too was a slight issue. It requires an unusually firm press, which at the same time reveals another issue, and that is the feet. They simply do not hold the screen upright or in one position when the pressure is applied to the touch-screen. A simple fix would be moving the feet to the far corners of the bottom; I imitated this with some spare rubber feet I had, this alone made the controller a lot easier to use. To wrap up the testing is a strange feature that is not necessarily good or bad. When adjusting the fan speed up and down, the fans do not react immediately unless turning them off. After a five second delay the adjusted fan will slowly speed-up or slow-down to match the desired RPMs. There was no mention of this in the manual, and upon first use I thought something was not working correctly.