Lamptron FC5 Fan Controller Review

by AkG     |     March 29, 2010

Lamptron FC5 Fan Controller Review

Manufacture Page: Lamptron Electronics
Part Number: FC-FC5-B
Price: $59.99
Tekwiki: Lamptron FC5 Fan Controller - Specs & Reviews

In an era where fans are getting bigger, quieter and generally “better” than they once were, the need for a dedicated fan controller has been diminished somewhat. However, there has always been a need, want and desire to make an already quiet PC even more so or take better control over all things noise-related. With a controller, one can choose to lower fan speed when they are watching a movie or doing homework and then increase the speed when running taxing applications like games. Above all this give some much-needed versatility to a PC.

In the past, to overcome the limitations of early fan design, silent PC aficionados had to resort to volt modding a given fan to make it run slower and thus more quietly. While times have changed and you can now get variable resistors that plug into the line (the best examples being the Low Noise and Ultra Low Noise Adapters which accompany Noctua fans), there still has a major down side: adaptability. Nothing beats being able to turn up the fan speed when needed and then turn it back down during idle periods. This is what motherboards do, but you are limited by the number of fans and the total wattage that can be drawn. In order to balance ease of use, precision, cost and setup time many have decided to buy a dedicated fan controller. Nothing beats a big old knob on the front of your computer for speed adjustment.

This is where Lamptron and their newly released FC5 front bay fan controller come into the equation. This unit not only has four separate channels for independently setting fans to different speeds but can also tell you (via its built in liquid crystal display) exactly what the voltage is being set to….in real time. As an added bonus you can even have it tell you what the RPM of your fan is running at. It also comes with temperature probes so you can see the effect your speed adjustment has on the temperatures inside the case. Throw in the ability to output up to 30 watts per channel and you have what on paper may just be a near-perfect controller.

As the old saying goes “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch” and all this power and versatility comes at a pretty steep cost. The FC5 retails for about $60, which is reasonable for what it has to offer and the supposed material quality and workmanship which has gone into it. However, this does further entrench it into the enthusiast end of the spectrum. As such, the biggest question of them all has to be if this device is worth your hard earned dollars.


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