Today we are reviewing Touch-2000, a fan controller from Aerocool that takes two 5 ¼” bays from the case and has a touch-screen LCD panel. Let’s take a look at its features.
The product box give us a good idea of the main features from the product, which are the control of up to four fans and measuring temperature of up to four spots from your computer. The panel has no buttons: all the adjustments are made by the touching the screen.
The panel also shows the rotating speed of each fan and has an audible alarm for over temperature (configurable) and for fan stop.
This alarm volume, however, is a little low and, after beeping for some seconds, it stops. So, if you are not in front of the computer when the alarm starts you will never know if a fan stopped or if temperature is too high.
Inside the Touch-2000 box you will find, besides the panel, and audio cable needed to use the frontal audio outputs, a USB cable that connects the two USB ports to the motherboard, a SATA cable for the use of the frontal e-SATA port, adhesive tape used to fasten the temperature sensors in place and two spare sensors.
The product user manual is simple and intuitive, explaining basic usage in eight different languages. However, it lacks simple information about, for example, how to replace the temperature sensors or the fact the alarm goes off for only a few seconds.
The panel itself is very well-made and sturdy. Its front frame is made of aluminum with black finishing.
In Figure 4, you can see the rear side from Touch-2000. Cables for temperature sensors, main power and fan outputs come already connected, but you need to connect SATA, USB and audio cables on the available headers. Of course you can choose not to use any of these features, using the panel only as thermometer and fan controller.
Installing Touch-2000 on your case is simple: you need just to remove two 5 ¼” bay covers, put the panel in place and fasten it with four screws (or using the screwless retention system from your case, if it has one). After this, you must connect it to the power supply using one standard peripheral power connector, tape the temperature sensors on the four points you want to monitor and connect up to four fans to their respective outputs.
An interesting detail is the fact the CPU cooler fan must be connected to channel one, which has an auxiliar connector that must be plugged on motherboard, so the motherboard can still read the CPU cooler fan speed and you can monitor it by software.
One problem of Touch-2000 is the fact it only supports fans with three-pin miniature connectors (channel one supports also four-pin miniature connectors, altought the PWM pin is not used). It is not possible to connect fans with four-pin standard peripheral connectors (“Molex”), or fans with two-pin micro connectors, usually found in video cards. Aerocool could at least added adapters for these kind of fans.
Turning the computer on, Touch-2000 lights as you can see in Figure 5. The panel looks is clean and pleasant, giving an excellent aspect to your computer. The most important info (temperatures and fan speeds) is very clear.
In order to make adjustments you need first to unlock the panel, which is done by touching the lock icon available on the center of the panel. This prevents you from accidentaly changing your configuration. To lock again, just touch again the lock icon or wait for 30 seconds and the panel locks itself again automatically.
The touchpanel is very sensitive (you don’t need to use a lot of pressure) and it makes a little beep every time you press it, so you feel like you are really pressing a button.
There’s no need to unlock the panel, however, to change the temperature unit between Celsius and Fahrenheit degrees, which is made by pressing the green button at the center, or to see the temperature set for the alarms, which is done by pressing the temperature values.
Unlocking the panel you can adjust fan speed, touching over the speed value and then pressing the “+” and “-” buttons. You can adjust rotation speed between its maximum and 50% of the maximum. The adjustment doesn’t enter in action instantly; the rotation speed takes some seconds to reach the programmed value.
Temperature alarms can also be programmed individually for each sensor, from 25 °C to 90 °C. To adjust them you need to unlock the panel, press the current temperature value to show at what value the current alarm is set, and then keep pressing the value for two seconds. After that, you just need to set a new value using the “+” and “-” buttons.
The alarm not only warns user about high temperatures: when activated, it also puts the corresponding fan at full speed. So it is a good thing, for example, to connect the temperature sensor number two on the video card and the video card fan to output number two.
Another good feature (mostly if you keep your computer on your bedroom) is that, by pressing the Aerocool logo for two seconds, all the panel lights go off, but the control and alarm funcions stay active. To restore the display light you just need to touch the panel on any place.
A detail we didn’t like on Touch-2000 was that when one fan control channel has no fan connected the rotation value keeps blinking “0000” and we could not disabled this. So if you don’t have four three-pin fans on your chassis, unused channels will be always blinking, drawing your attention and adding visual pollution to the display. It would be better if we had an option to disable those unused fan channels.
Another drawback is the fact that in bright enviroments panel visibility is good only when you look it from straight ahead: viewing it from the side the reflex from light prevents you from reading data. In dark enviroments, however, it looks perfect.
[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]
Aerocool Touch-2000 fan controller main features are:
- Front panel: Aluminum
- Temperature sensors: Four
- Fan controller channel
- USB ports: Two
- Required case bays: Two 5 ¼”
- Maximum power output: 6 W per channel
- More information: https://www.aerocool.us
- Average price in the US*: USD 60.00* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.
Aerocool Touch-2000 is an excellent product that will satisfy enthusiast users for sure. It looks very cool and not too garish. Its functionality is great on what it was created to be: temperature monitoring (with programmable alarms) and fan control (with alarm if one of them stops spinning).
As a bonus it brings two USB ports, audio connectors (unecessary, because most cases have these connectors already) and an e-SATA port (great, because not all cases have it).
Its installation is simple (besides you computer will look messy inside with lots of wires coming from the front panel) and its operation, too. The only drawbacks we found are the lack of a feature that disables unused fan channels and adapters to use fans with other types of power connectors.
As it is priced fairly enough, we are happy to give Aerocool Touch-2000 the Hardware Secrets Golden Award.