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Product Application:

System Controller
Product Provided by: AeroCool

Available at:

NewEgg.com

Estimated Online Price:

$24.99

Availability:

Now

Review by:

Darren

Edited by:

Scott

Review date:

March  10, 2008

Crucial System Scanner
 

 

AeroCool has made quite a name for them selves with system controllers like the GateWatch and the FP-01, but sometimes you don't need all the extra bells ad whistles a full size controller has to offer.  With the EasyWatch, AeroCool provides the core functions you really need in a slim 2.5 inch package.  Lets see if this smaller profile has what it takes to be in your next build.

box

The EasyWatch comes in both silver and black trim.  Today we will be looking at the black model.  AeroCool packages eth EasyWatch in a sensible box not much larger than the controller its self and relies on the product imagery to make the sale.  the back of the box provides the product specifications below in a variety of languages.

Front

Out of the package, you can see the easy part of the EasyWatch is the lack of any control beyond the temperature conversion buttons seen here to the right.  These buttons are also used to set the audible alarm for each of the temperature probes.  After some of the more gaudy multi-colored controllers we have seen around here, the clean presentation is refreshing.

Specifications:

  • Color LCD Display
  • Fits in 3.5" bay
  • Detects and controls 3 sets of fan speeds and temperatures. Automatic fan control ONLY.
  • Manual setting for alarm temperature
  • Switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit
  • Sound detection display
  • Alarm temperature warning

LCDThe LCD display provides an active look at the current fan speed for up to three different devices and provides temperature readings for three probes, unlike the picture above the actual unit is labeled CPU, video card and case for the  temperatures.  The center lighting provides a visual sound meter.  With no reference for this measure, the lights become an interesting display of just how much sound your system generates as measured at the controller.

OOBE

The controller ships in a plastic tray and includes: a simple manual, two screws for 2.5" bay mounting, mounting tape for the probes and protective covers for the probes.

back

This picture shows how simple these controllers really are.  Just a single board and two runs of cabling is all it takes.

plugs

The included cabling is quite long with each run reaching about 28 inches (about 71 cm) including the length of the controller housing.  The power is provided by a +12V Molex pass through and each fan controller can handle a standard size 3 pin fan lead.

probes

Each of the three temperature probes is protected by a small plastic tube.  These are pretty durable but the ends can be damaged resulting in an incorrect reading on the display.  Simply attach one of these probes to the part you will be monitoring using the included tape.  For best results the end of the probe should be in firm contact.  The lines are labeled as CPU, VGA and case to help you out.

installed

Installing the EasyWatch is a breeze making the entire setup from box to install about the same as installing a floppy drive.  Frankly I would much rather use that slot for an EasyWatch, wouldn't you?  The finished install is bright and easy to read.  I have used three different fans to get an idea of just how the automatic control would power them:

Fan 1 - 120mm AcoustiFan AFDP-12025 120mm
Fan 2 - AeroCool 80mm
Fan 3 - AcoustiFan AFDP-8025 80mm

As you can see the three different fans are individually controlled based on the case temperature.  In this case the ambient temperature was about 24 C (about 76F) and eth ambient case temperature was confirmed by my laser thermometer to be 27C or about 80 F.  I must confess I like to have control of every fan most days out of habit but I really only seem to tweak them during the first setup once things are stable, I rarely even think about the cooling at all.  Now I can keep things in mind with just a quick glance at the EasyWatch.

Conclusion:

Sometimes less can be more.  With the EasyWatch controller everything was simple from install to operation.   Here at the Club we may enjoy tweaking every setting on a CPU but when it comes to system monitoring sometimes it nice to just work right from the get go.  This is one case where you can literally set things up and never need to touch them again.  AeroCool has made a great decision in providing this setup in a 2.5" bay size providing a practical use for those empty slots that seem to show up in almost any case. 

The EasyWatch is priced much lower than those full size units too, making the addition of a controller a lot easier decision for your pocketbook.  I would recommend every system have some sort of active fan control whether it be on the motherboard or a controller like this.  There is no reason to have any fan set on a manual speed for normal operation when a active control can keep things cool and still keep the noise down at idle.  Got an unused slot?  Give the EasyWatch a shot, your fans will thank you!

Note: Club Overclocker is now using a new rating system based on a score of 1 to 5.
Please go to our rating system page for more information.

Performance: 3 out of 5

Innovation:

3 out of 5

Quality:

5 out of 5

Stability:

N/A
Aesthetics: 5 out of 5

Software/Drivers Pack:

N/A

Overclocking:

N/A
Value: 4 out of 5

4.0

Project Skill Level
(5 being most difficult)

2 out of 5




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