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PC COOLING

AeroCool GateWatch Review
By: Alex G
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  • Rating: 3 stars3 stars3 stars3 stars3 stars / 12
    2004-12-17

    Table of Contents:
  • AeroCool GateWatch Review
  • The package
  • Features
  • Installation
  • Display
  • Controls
  • Pros/Cons

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    AeroCool GateWatch Review - Installation


    (Page 4 of 7 )

    The actual size of the unit was exactly two bays tall and we did not need to do any adjustments to fit it inside the case. It went in perfectly.

    AeroCool GateWatch Review

    AeroCool GateWatch Review

    Wiring was quite a drag, considering that there are exactly ten wires that need to be connected from the unit. The product is designed for someone who has a stylish case, as an addition to the look. A modder who is going for a clean look for his case usually does a very good job with wire management. In this case you would have to open all the wire looms and cut the wire ties to accommodate the addition of this new set of cables.

    There are four extensions for fans, four thermal sensor leads, a power connector and a wire going to the Audio board at the back of the case. Although the power connector posed no problem, the other nine leads were definitely a pain. It took a bit of an effort to fish them through the little space inside the mid-ATX box.

    Thermal leads were attached as follows:

    1. CPU lead attached to the back of the motherboard in the proper opening at the CPU.
    2. VGA lead attached to the back of the card at the GPU.
    3. HDD lead attached to the back of the motherboard in the opening at RAM location.
    4. CASE lead attached inside the case towards the middle.

    There were specific reasons we picked those locations for our thermal sensors. CPU and VGA leads were attached normally. HDD lead was attached to RAM for two reasons: it is far more important to read the RAM temperature than the HD, and the old temperature sensor was mounted to that location previously. The machine that the unit is tested on has a modified ASUS p4p800 motherboard with 3.2V being fed to the RAM. This makes it extremely important to monitor RAM’s temperature because the nominal voltage for the memory in our case is 2.6V. We would not want to burn 1GB of Mushkin pc3500 with bh5 Winbond chips, would we? The CASE lead was attached towards the middle of the case, a few inches off from the video card and the CPU fan. This allows us to read the temperature inside without being affected by the hot air right above the video card and next to the CPU. The role of the CASE sensor is to monitor how good the airflow is inside the case during operation.

    Then I ran into problems with our fans. The case had four case fans, a CPU fan, GPU fan and a Northbridge fan. Out of all those, only three had a 3-pin connector on them to accommodate the GateWatch. The CPU fan was a CoolerMaster Jet4 which has a 4-pin connector and a single-wire three-pin connector for RPM readout. It also had its own rheostat in our case mounted to one of the back-plates of the case. So right away I was not able to do much with the CPU fan in terms of controlling it and being able to tell its speed. The GPU fan on this PC is a stock socket-478 fan mounted atop of a stock P4 socket-478 heatsink modified to fit the video card. That fan was fine with a three-pin connector.

    AeroCool GateWatch Review

    Also, out of four case fans, only two had a three-pin connection, the other two were a regular four-pin style. As the unit does not come with any 4-pin to 3-pin adapters, I had one laying around to throw in the mix. So the final setup looked like this:

    • CPU fan – not connected, speed controlled by its own potentiometer, RPMs are told by Motherboard reading;
    • VGA fan – connected and working;
    • Two case fans connected and working (one with a 3-pin connector, one with a 4 to 3-pin adapter).

    The adapter on the second case fan was only providing power and did not have the third connection for RPM reading. So forty-five minutes later and after a number of thoughts of hitting my PC with a hammer, it was up and running.

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