Today we are reviewing the Sunbeamtech Rheosmart 6 fan controller, which has six channels, each one controlling one fan up to 30 W and the possibility of controlling each fan in automatic or manual mode. Check it out!
The Rheosmart 6 comes in a simple and small box, in shades of blue.
Figure 2 shows the box contents: the fan controller, cables, manual, a small manufacturer sticker, and four screws.
This fan controller will be discussed in detail in the following pages.
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The fan controller uses only one 5.25” bay. It is simply a fan controller, with no thermometers or USB ports. Each channel has a simple potentiometer with a knob, an LED indicator above it, and a small button below it.
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. Notice the six heatsinks for the voltage regulators. You can also see, from left to right, the motherboard PWM connector, the six fan outputs, and the main power connector.
The installation of the Rheosmart 6 is easy. You just need to open a 5.25” bay on your case, put the panel in place, attach the screws, and make the connections.
You will need to connect a standard peripheral power connector from your power supply directly at the rear of the fan controller.
Your fans can be directly connected to the controller, too. If the cables don’t reach it, you can use the cables shown in Figure 6. There are two cables with two wires (i.e., no speed monitoring) for three-pin fans, two cables with three-pin connectors with speed monitoring, and two cables for connecting fans with four-pin standard peripheral power connectors (“Molex”).
The cable at the top left of the picture is the key for the “smartness” of this controller. It must be connected to the CPU fan connector of your motherboard, to your CPU cooler fan, and to the fan controller, so it can use the PWM signal from the motherboard to control any fan you want. We will explain this feature in more detail in the next page.
As we previously mentioned, the key feature of the Rheosmart 6 is that it can control each fan manually (thorugh potentiometers) or automatically (based on a motherboard CPU cooler PWM signal).
The button below each potentiometer selects the control mode for that fan. In manual mode, the LED above the knob is lit in green, and the potentiometer fully controls the fan. If the LED is red, the fan is in automatic mode, and the Rheosmart 6 controls it based on the PWM signal that the motherboard sends to the CPU cooler, which typically depends on the processor load and temperature.
This means that you can have some of your case fans working together automatically with the CPU cooler, and the other ones under manual control.
Notice that the Rheosmart 6 doesn’t control the CPU fan, which continues to be controlled and powered by the motherboard.
Figure 7: The Rheosmart 6 working
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The main specifications for the Sunbeamtech Rheosmart 6 fan controller include:
- Front Panel: Aluminum mesh
- Temperature sensors: None
- Fans controlled: Six
- USB ports: None
- e-SATA ports: None
- Used bays: One 5.25” bay
- Maximum fan power: 30 W per channel
- More information: https://www.sunbeamtech.com
- Average price in the US*: USD 30.00
* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]
The Sunbeamtech Rheosmart 6 is simple and smart. As you can choose if each fan will be controlled manually or automatically, it is an excellent way to control your fans.
- Simple and intuitive to use
- Can control any fan according to CPU workload and temperature
- Great looks (if you like black meshed panels)
- Unused cables are removable
- Controls up to 30 W per channel
- Supports any kind of fan connector (however, PWM fans must be connected directly to the panel)
- Cannot turn off a fan
- There is no indication of the fan’s actual state
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