Now some people love fan controllers, some hate them. I find myself in the middle with loving the on/off feature, but normally set my fans up so they are insulated enough that I can leave them at full blast without hearing them. So in the balance between acoustic properties and thermal control, I tend to end up more on the thermal control end.
A good fan controller is designed to not only help you fine tune this balance, but actively tweak it as the circumstances dictate. For example, during intensive situations such as gaming, you probably want the airflow as high as possible. On the other hand, during idle time, cutting the fan speeds by half will have little to no impact on heat buildup. It might actually help drive less dust into the case or its air filters.
The introduction from NZXT is what first caught my eye on this. The Sentry LXE is different from the prior models that we have reviewed due to it being a stand-alone controller. The LXE features a controller card that takes up a rear expansion slot, a cable that is run to the controller, and the controller itself. The previous models had it taking up a 5.25” expansion bay.
I see a lot of merit to this idea due to sheer convenience. You don't have to reach under your desk to adjust the fan controller. You can have the touch screen LCD right in front of you so that you can easily see while working the current fan speeds and temperatures.
In the specifications we can see that there are five fan controllers and five temperature monitors.
Let's move ahead and take a closer look at the NZXT Sentry LXE Fan Controller.