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Reviewed by: Bryan Pizzuti [03.24.03]
Edited by: Carl Nelson

Manufactured by: Enermax
Model Number: UC-A07FATR2
MSRP: $40.00

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So how does it work?

Very well, actually.  Installation is a snap.  The fan control dials are a little small, but with so much on this faceplate, space is a bit limited, and it's understandable. Besides, I have big monster fingers, and many people won't have as much trouble as I will  at grabbing those knobs. :)  If you just roll them between two fingers moving in opposite directions rather than trying to grab and twist them, it's a lot easier.

One thing about the fan control is that it IS a rheostat-based control.  This means that it controls the speed of the fans by varying the amount of power going to them.  You won't get more than the rated speed out of the fan, and it's probably a BAD idea to hook a self-adjusting fan to this device, since the fan's own controller and the rheostat may cause some interesting results, to say the least..

The settings buttons for the LCD are also pretty small, but these should be used MUCH less often (besides, they have good tactile feedback, so you'll know if you hit it or not).  The best thing to do would be to associate Fan1 with Temp1 and Fan2 with Temp2, if possible, so that the fans can be adjusted for any alarms temperature alarms that might come up.  This would work well with a video card and a side-vent fan, for example, but probably not so well with some GPU fans, since some graphics drivers prefer to control them (Like on the GeForceFX 5800 Ultra, or the Xabre600, where the GPU speed drops, and the GPU fan slows or turns off). Of course, if you're using a custom GPU cooler that uses a standard 3 pin connector, it might work a little better, but we haven't been able to test it yet.

The thing about using those blue-lit LCDs is that they're NOT terribly visible unless they're at eye level (or you're at eye level to them).  This is a zoomed-in view from my normal seating position at my desk.  As you can see, from that particular angle, the LCDs are unreadable.  So keep this in mind if your system sits on the floor; they won't be as useful to you, since you might not even see the flashing digits of the alarm. A segmented LED display would have been MUCH better for visibility reasons.  Just keep it blue though, since I LOVE how the blue lighting on the LCD panels match my blue LED fan on the side of my case.

This was taken in the dark, just for the best effect.

Functionally, this device is an interesting, do-it-all addition to any case.  There's basically something in here for almost everyone, and a lot more things that the person may need later.  Also, the price isn't terribly prohibitive at all, and it can be gotten in white/beige, black, or silver, to match the 3 main case colors out there.  It's not perfect though.  I wish that the alarm were more user configurable.  I like that it stops buzzing after 30 seconds, but I'd like the options of having it continually buzz. It would have been nice (but not critical) if they had included a motherboard USB connector rather than just USB "A" connectors (thought Enermax's solution is much easier to deal with than the PC Geiger's).  Another potential problem is the visibility of the LCD displays, but that may or may not be an issue for you, depending on your configuration. 

Those are the only real problems I have with this device; its still a great add-on, with a lot of good features, and as I mentioned, you can get by the USB thing if you really want to.  This device is ESPECIALLY great if you're short on 5.25 bay space, since if gives you what might otherwise take 2 or 3 bays to provide. And it gives you so much besides what's on the LCD displays that it only loses a small part of it's function if you can't see it well from where you sit.

It's cheaper than the PC Geiger RD2, requires less assembly, and doesn't waste the space behind the unit.  Big plusses. Now if only someone would put better USB cables into one of these packages. :)

  • More functions than you can shake a chip at
  • Handy alarms
  • Lots of convenient front ports
  • Extra HDD bay
  • Or an extra fan or two
  • Good if you're short of bay space
  • Cool blue lighting

  • Some might not like small fan dials
  • Alarm could use a continuous option
  • LCD needs to be eye-level to be visible

Final Score: 85%