NZXT Sentry Mix Fan Controller Review
By Rafael Coelho on October 14, 2011
The NZXT Sentry Mix is a simple fan controller with six channels, each one controlling one fan up to 50 W. Let’s test it.
The Sentry Mix comes in a simple and small box, as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 2 shows the box contents: the fan controller with preinstalled cables, manual, and four screws.
This fan controller will be discussed in detail in the following pages.
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 rubber-coated for a nice soft texture.
Figure 4 exhibits the side of the controller, where you see the holes for the screws.
Figure 5 presents the rear side of the controller. The cables come connected to the circuit board, but you can remove the ones you will not use.
In order to install the Sentry Mix, 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 with three-pin connectors. It means the Sentry Mix is not compatible with PWM fans nor 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.
In use, the NZXT Sentry Mix is very simple and easy to set. Each potentiometer controls one channel, and there is no way to turn off a fan.
There is also no kind of fan speed sensing, 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, purple or white. Pressing the button for several seconds will turn off the light (while keeping the fans still being controlled).
The main specifications for the NZXT Sentry Mix fan controller include:
The NZXT Sentry Mix is simple and powerful. It does nothing more than manually control fans, but there are not many products in the market able to handle 50 W per channel.
If your fans are not so powerful, however, you can look for products with more features and a lower price.