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Today we are reviewing the NZXT Sentry Mesh fan controller, which has five channels, each one controlling one fan up to 30 W.
The Sentry Mesh comes in a simple and small box, in brown cardboard.
Figure 2 shows the box contents: the fan controller itself with attached cables, manual, and four screws.
This fan controller will be discussed in detail in the following pages.
[nextpage title=”The NZXT Sentry Mesh”]
The fan controller uses only one 5.25” bay. It is simply a fan controller, with no thermometers or USB ports. The fans are controlled using five sliding potentiometers, which can be seen in Figure 3.
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, revealing the circuit board. All the cables are connected to the device with removable connectors.
The installation of the Sentry Mesh is easy. You just need to open a 5.25” bay on your case, put the panel in place, attach the screws, and connect the fans to the cables.
Figure 6 presents the product cables. The power cable, shown at the right side, must be connected to the power supply. The fan connectors are three-pin ones, without the rpm sensing pin.
The NZXT Sentry Mesh is not compatible with fans that use a four-pin standard peripheral power connector (“Molex”) or a micro four-pin connector (PWM fans).
The operation of the NZXT Sentry Mesh is extremely easy and intuitive. You just need to slide each potentiometer up and down in order to control the speed of the respective fan. At the upper position the fan will be at full speed, and at the lower position it will be running at approximately 40% power.
The controller also has a white LED at the right, which indicates that the panel is powered on.
A problem we found with this controller is that it doesn’t sense the fan in any way. There is no indication that each fan is actually spinning, so if a fan were disconnected, blocked or burned, you will not know it unless you open your case and check the fan on your own.
[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]
The main specifications for the NZXT Sentry Mesh fan controller include:
- Front Panel: Plastic
- Temperature sensors: None
- Fans controlled: Five
- USB ports: None
- e-SATA ports: None
- Used bays: One 5.25” bay
- Maximum fan power: 30 W per channel
- More information: https://www.nzxt.com
- Average price in the US*: USD 27.00
* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.
The NZXT Sentry Mesh is about simplicity and functionality. It is no more than a simple fan controller, but it is awesome in this role, with a very intuitive operation.
Those of you who like flashy gadgets with lights, colors, and lots of functions, should look for another product. But if you just want to buy a great and inexpensive fan controller that simply controls your fans, the NZXT Sentry Mesh is the choice for you.
- Simple and intuitive to use
- Great looks (if you like black meshed panels)
- You can remove unused cables
- Controls an awesome 30 W per channel
- Cannot turn off a fan
- Supports only fans with three-pin connectors
- There is no indication of the fan’s actual state