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Fan controllers

  1. Im setting up a massively overkill liquid cooling system for my pc and I wanted to know the best fan controllers to use for the massive number of fans that I will be using? I will have 3 radiators on this single loop covering a single gpu and processor. rads include 2 480mm and 1 240mm rad. bothe 480's will have 8 fans each and the 240 will have 4 total. I need to know what would be best to use for controllers or just devices to plug them all in to the power so that they run at all times. thanks for the help every one
  2. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,849   +679

    For the most part, any respectable (Scythe, NZXT, Lamptron, Logisys, AeroCool, Zalman etc.) fan controller will handle pretty much any single fan per channel, and in some cases you can use a splitter to connect a couple of fans per channel.
    The big issues are:
    1. The fans themselves. High static pressure usually goes hand in hand with high operating power. Check the documentation of the fans you are planning on using.
    2. Start up power. All fans require more initial current at start up than they do once they are in motion. Here's a portion of Scythe's (Nidec) GentleTyphoon spec sheet:
    [​IMG]
    Continuous use rating is 123mA, so 0.123A * 12 volt = 1.476 watts
    Start up rating is 530mA, so 0.530A * 12 volt = 6.36 watts.
    The start up power requirement is the one you need to take into consideration when looking at a fan controllers wattage-per-channel specification. Allow a generous margin above the calculated start up power for each fan - especially if you plan on using a splitter.
    I picked the GentleTyphoon because they offer a good compromise between static pressure, power, and noise. You might also consider fluid bearing fans (since they are becoming more reasonably priced) from Corsair, Cougar, and Xigmatek, the dual ball bearing offerings from Silverstone (FM series) and Koolance (they are made for radiators but require a high power input), and the Cooler Master JetFlow which uses a POM (Delrin) bearing - steer clear of most (all?) other Cooler Master fans since they are sleeve/rifle bearings and almost always louder and less effective then their specs suggest.
    TitanJeager87 and cliffordcooley like this.
  3. TitanJeager87

    TitanJeager87 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Nice info. I was looking at using nothing but corsair AF120 fans for my cooling setup so this will be great
  4. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder TS Evangelist Posts: 2,214   +521

    If your looking specifically for fan controllers there is always frozencpu which offer great selection of liquid cooling products. I personally have this for my setup running 6 fans on one channel, second has 3, and the last has 2. If your looking to have that many fans on a system (8+8+4) then its going to come down to just buying a fan controller that will probably split it up 3 ways (assumed 3 ways would be what you would want).30 Watt per channel are the most common high wattage controllers with 50 and 60 watt following suit however your going to pay for the beyond 30 watt range and a reputable brand.

    If your just looking for a basic fan controller (No screens or what not) then this Lamptron would satisfy your needs based on the information provided by you. A little headroom on these things is always a good thing to have because it just prolongs the life of the controller when its not always pushing itself to the limits. Some brands to look for on the high end are Lamptron, Akasa, and Lian Li in the order of my personal preferred. Some of the other brands are ok but can burn up fairly easily if not careful.
  5. TitanJeager87

    TitanJeager87 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    What I will need is something that will run 20 fans between 3 radiators
  6. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder TS Evangelist Posts: 2,214   +521

    Well lets see then...Lets pretend you go with some Jetflo fans on everything (Just for reference, not saying you should or have to). Each of those fans is rated by CM to use 4.8 watts on their site. Assuming that is accurate that would be 4.8 x 8 = 38.4 Assuming some extra headroom for starting and just giving some headroom that would be about 40 watts on one radiator just in fans. Add in the others that would be another 40 and then a little less than 20 watts. Normally you can see fan controllers are rated for a certain wattage Per Channel meaning they can handle that much wattage on each fan knob or whatever you want to call it.

    So you would definitely want a fan controller that handles around 45 watts per channel or higher depending on how you want to split it up. I would guess that splitting up each radiator on its own knob would be about what you would want (Just guessing) so I would recommend this Lamptron controller. This one has 50 watts per channel (Well above what you would probably need), its got 4 channels (So if you have some extra fans later you have a spare slot), and its a good brand (Least in my book). With a fan controller one thing to be careful of is to just not run to close to the controllers limits otherwise you run the risk of killing it.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2014
  7. TitanJeager87

    TitanJeager87 TS Rookie Topic Starter

  8. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder TS Evangelist Posts: 2,214   +521

  9. TitanJeager87

    TitanJeager87 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Theres a couple of other that are pretty much the same but they are 6 pin and 8 pin connectors. so I think I may go with that but im still doing research fo this setup lol. as its gona run atleast 1000 bucks.
  10. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder TS Evangelist Posts: 2,214   +521

    I hear that, I spent a pretty penny on my LC setup and alot of time getting it to look right and work the way I wanted. With fans and cabling, I went with using some extension splitters and hooking up 6 fans to one 6 way splitter and the same for the others which essentially then ran across the roof of my case with a single cable to the fan controller. Each of the three knobs then control different aspects of my PC from the Top Radiator, to rear radiator, to the intakes/HDD/SSD cooling.

    I would still suggest for this setup a front panel fan controller unless you do not mind noise or you get low noise/speed fans. Otherwise you might get a little annoyed with the fans being at 100% all the time, personally I run mine mostly at 100% gaming and most of the time except when watching a video or posting on the forums.

    Just make sure whatever way you want to do it, your happy with it!


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