NZXT Sentry Mix 2 Fan Controller Review
By Rafael Otto Coelho on June 24, 2013


Introduction

Hardware Secrets Silver Award

The NZXT Sentry Mix 2 is a simple fan controller with six channels, each one controlling one fan up to 30 W. Let’s test it.

We already tested the first version of this controller, the NZXT Sentry Mix. The main difference seems to be the design, and the fact the older version supports 50 W per channel.

The Sentry Mix 2 comes in a simple and small box, as shown in Figure 1.

NZXT Sentry Mix 2
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Figure 1:
Box

Figure 2 shows the box contents: the fan controller with preinstalled cables, manual, and four screws.

NZXT Sentry Mix 2
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Figure 2:
Box contents

This fan controller will be discussed in detail in the following pages.

The Sentry Mix 2

The fan controller uses only one 5.25” bay. It is merely a fan controller, with neither thermometers nor USB ports. Each channel has a simple sliding potentiometer and an LED illuminated number below it. There is a small button on the left of the front panel, which will be discussed later. The front panel is made of plastic.

NZXT Sentry Mix 2
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Figure 3: Front panel

Figure 4 exhibits the side of the controller, where you see the holes for the screws.

NZXT Sentry Mix 2
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Figure 4: Side view

Figure 5 presents the rear side of the controller. The cables come connected to the printed circuit board, but you can remove the ones you will not use.

NZXT Sentry Mix 2
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Figure 5: Rear side

Installation

In order to install the Sentry Mix 2, you need to open a 5.25” bay on your case, put the panel in place, attach the screws, and make the connections.

There are two standard peripheral power connectors for the power supply connection. They are joined in a single power cable before reaching the controller, so you will not need to connect both of them, unless the total power of the fans you are controlling is too much for a single power supply output.

The fans must be connected to the output wires. The connectors at the end of each wire has only two pins, but is compatible with three- and four-pin fan connectors, which means you can install PWM and not-PWM fans. The Sentry Mix 2 is not compatible with fans that use a standard peripheral power connector (“Molex”) unless you use an adapter (not included).

All the fan cables have only two wires, which means the controller doesn’t receive the rpm signal.

NZXT Sentry Mix 2
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Figure 6: Cables

Operation

In use, the NZXT Sentry Mix 2 is very simple and easy to set. Each potentiometer controls one channel from 40% to 100% of the full power. There is no way to turn off a fan.

There is also mode to sense fan speed, which means the controller will not show if the fan is really spinning or if it has stopped for some reason. Actually, it doesn’t even show if there is a fan connected to each channel.

On the other hand, the channel number below each potentiometer is illuminated and, pressing the button at the left of the controller, you can change the color. You can set it to red, blue, green, orange, or white. Pressing the button for five seconds will turn off the light (while continuing to control the fans).

NZXT Sentry Mix 2
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Figure 7: Red numbers

NZXT Sentry Mix 2
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Figure 8: Green numbers

Main Specifications

The main specifications for the NZXT Sentry Mix 2 fan controller include:

Conclusions

As its antecessor, the NZXT Sentry Mix 2 is simple and powerful. It does nothing more than manually control fans, but it can handle 30 W per channel, which is enough even for connecting several fans per channel. The highlight is the intuitive and simple adjustability for each channel.

Strong Points

Weak Points

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/NZXT-Sentry-Mix-2-Fan-Controller-Review/1791


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