If you're interested in getting the best possible performance from your machine by overclocking it, you need to be able to keep your PC cool. It helps if you take your PC's temperature and control the speed of its fans. AeroCool offers GateWatch, a mult-function unit that claims to do just that. Does it really work, or does it provide more eye candy than actual performance? Alex G takes it on a test drive to find out.
Being able to tell the temperature of various components inside your PC might seem unnecessary and even absurd to the general consumer. Controlling the speed of cooling fans inside the case might look just as nonsensical. But when it comes to the overclocking community, doing this becomes quite logical and necessary. After all, if you are set on the idea of pushing your machine well beyond its designed limits, it might be nice to know when you have an overheating problem and be able to adjust the speed of the cooling fans in order to control the temperature.
You might ask “Well, why don’t you just put a thermal sensor on the component and leave the fans spinning at the top RPMs, and who cares about installing rheostats and bothering with adjusting the speed?" The problem is that most of the fans with a high CFM rating make a very distinctive whining noise, and unless you want your PC sounding like a Boeing 747 taking off, lowering the speed of your cooling fans sounds like a good idea. Speaking of jet planes taking off, some companies even implemented a jet fan design for their CPU fans (such as CoolerMaster Jet series fans), obviously trying to compete in the growing PC-modding market. Those companies take the approach of innovation and attractive design. Such designs, although sometimes not very efficient, capture the attention of many PC enthusiasts who are into customizing their computer cases.
Today we are going to take a look at a unit that is targeted towards just that kind of a crowd - people who enjoy modifying cases for their machines and who stand firmly behind the idea of “the more bells and whistles it has, the better it is.”
This particular product, the AeroCool GateWatch multi-function unit, is all about bells and whistles. And the box boldly states that it is made for Extremely Cool People.
It is quite large and intended to be mounted inside the case, taking up not just one, but two 5 ¼ bays.
When shopping for a fan controller, we look for a few basic functions. The product needs to:
tell temperature of several components
let the user adjust the speed of several fans
Those would be the basic needs of anyone who is looking for a decent fanbus. We are going to see how it looks, how it performs, whether it is easy to install and operate, and what cool little added extras are there from which we can benefit.
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