Date: November 30th, 2004
Article by: Joe Anderson (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner, Head Editor & Hardware Reviewer)
Product Submitted by: Thermaltake
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PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS & FEATURES
As you can see from the chart, the fan kit is offered in three sizes: 80mm, 92mm and 120mm. Our example (p/n A2018) blasts out a whopping 93CFM at full speed. Predictably, this kind of firepower generates a fair amount of noise. Fortunately, as we'll see later, Thermaltake has come up with a couple of solutions to keep the air flowing while keeping the noise to a minimum.
With one ball and one sleeve bearing, the fan should have a long, quiet life.
Thermaltake has packed quite a lot of stuff into this fan kit.
Inside the box you'll find:
1) The 120mm fan itself with its three connectors.
2) Backplane fan speed controller.
3) Mounting hardware.
4) Molex passthrough with connectors.
5) Thermal sensor with connector.
6) Instruction sheet.
Also included is a sheet of thermal tape to affix the thermal sensor.
PRODUCT WALKTHROUGH & PICTORIAL
The most obvious feature of the Thermaltake Smart Fan is its size. As you can see, it dwarfs an 80mm fan.
With its many options for speed control, the Smart Fan could be used as an intake or exhaust fan as well as a cooler for some of the larger heatsinks now on the market. There are basically three configurations in which the fan can be utilized to keep temperatures under control in a computer case.
To paraphrase the (rather thin and less than clear) installation sheet, AI function 1 enables full speed operation of the fan at all times. This is the simplest operational mode, as you just install the fan as it comes from the box, plug in the 4-pin molex and let 'er rip. Maximum airflow, and maximum noise are the result. Personally, this option is just too noisy for me.
AI function 2 uses the thermal sensor to automatically adjust fan speed as temperatures rise or fall. Thermaltake makes a couple of suggestions for sensor placement depending on which brand of CPU is used, but the sensor could be placed on most any component, or in any area of the case to keep tabs on temperature and adjust the fan accordingly. The probe leads are 12 inches long and should provide freedom of placement in all but the largest cases. To enable function 2, simply affix the probe to the desired surface with the included tape, remove the jumper on one set of leads from the fan, attach the probe leads and plug in the molex connector. I tested function 2 performance with a heat gun judiciously applied to the sensor and found that it worked flawlessly, although it basically operates at high or low speed, rather than ramping up from low to high. As I mentioned before, I think this fan kit would be a great compliment to one of the larger heatsinks now available.