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Keeping our computer systems cool is very important, but if you really care about your computer then you’ll want to not just toss some fans in there, you’ll want complete control over them and have a way to monitor the temperatures in your case. A little bit ago I took a look at the NZXT Sentry LX fan controller, and it’s not a bad product, but it’s big, taking up two 5.25″ bays. Today for review I’ve got the new NZXT Sentry 2 fan controller, it features a touch screen, and the ability to control up to five fans, monitor five temperatures in your computer, and it all fits in a single 5.25″ bay. So continue on to learn more about one of the best fan controllers on the market today…

The NZXT Sentry 2 comes in a tiny little box with a picture on the front and information listed on the back.  Inside we find the Sentry 2 packed well, included with it is a brief instruction sheet, screws, adhesive strips, and a couple extra temperature probes.

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The Sentry 2 has a very minimalist design to it, just basic black, beveled in towards the screen with the NZXT logo barely visibly at the top center. It’s a 5.25″ bay device so it’s small as well, and it’s short in depth, it doesn’t go far into your case. There are two screw holes on each side that are reinforced with metal.

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Looking at the back we can se the PCB, and it’s connections:

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The Sentry 2 comes with dual power connections so you can use either a 3-pin or molex connection to power and control the fans. This is a nice feature as not all fans have the 3-pin connection on them. Power for the Sentry 2 comes from a standard molex of course. Each of the fan connections are numbered and the temperature probes are numbered as well to correspond to them.

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Specifications:

SENTRY 2

5.25″ Touch Screen fan controller
Introducing the Sentry 2, a full system fan controller with an advanced touch screen interface. Sentry 2 easily installs in a 5.25: bay and is compatible with any fan that uses voltage control. The innovative touch screen features ultra fast selection and response time and displays all pertinent info including temperature readout in both Celsius and Fahrenheit. Sentry 2 allows users to control up to 5 fans with the option for manually tuning individual fan speeds or letting the automatic controls take over to correspond to a specific temperature. The controller’s advanced functionality sounds an alarm to alert the user should the temperature exceed a preset amount and stores saved settings even after it is turned off. Designed to maximize efficiency, the Sentry 2 supports 10W per channel and creates less heat than traditional temperature displays.

Features
* Touch screen interface
* Five fan control through an intuitive interface
* Ultra fast selection and response time
* Display temperatures in both F and C
* Light switch turns off the meter when sleeping
* Automatic and manual modes of control
* Full compatibility with all types of fans using voltage control
* With a minimum of at least 10 Watts per channel, the Sentry 2 will support almost all high end fans
* Tuned accuracy with only a tolerance of one degree
* Sound alarm to alert when the temperature is over
* Stored settings, the Sentry keeps your settings even after power off


Installation of the NZXT Sentry 2 is very easy, you just need a free 5.25″ bay and you’re set. I wasn’t sure it was going to fit in my case, the Cooler Master Black Label Cosmos, because I’ve got a 120mm fan inside of the bay that keep things cool, but since the Sentry 2 is small it fit just fine.

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A couple screws and installation is basically complete, though you’ll need to put the thermal probes where you want them as well. I installed two of them on my CPU Cooler, as the Sentry 2 is controlling both fans, then the third probe went onto my ram since the Sentry 2 is controlling the Kingston Hyper X Fan that I have in my case. The probes are numbered to correspond to the numbers on the Sentry 2 and the fan numbers. The last two fans I have the Sentry 2 controlling are the top exhaust fans, but I used their probes to keep track of the temperatures of my video card and PSU.

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One quick note, and it’s not specific to the Sentry 2, but every product like this that I’ve come across, is that the tape that comes with it just never seems to be sticky enough, after a few days or so the tape always comes off. Eventually some company will realize this and come up with a better adhesive for this temperature probes.

Using the Sentry 2 is easy, just touch screen. The fan graphic is a button, you tap it to change the fan you are trying to control. The plus and minus buttons are also touch sensitive to adjust fan speeds up and down, and there is a small touch area in the center of the Sentry 2 that allows you to switch between auto and manual fan control modes. The temperature is also touch sensitive, touching it switches between Celsius and Fahrenheit.

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I’ve got a brief 30 second video for you demonstrating the Sentry 2, just touching the display to give you an idea of how it works:

If you had the volume up, you’d have noticed that it beeps every time you touch it.

I did check the accuracy of the temperature probes and it’s close. I used my Thermohawk 200 infrared thermometer to check temps. An example would be that the Sentry 2 display read 29C, and the Thermohawk read 30.2C, so it’s close, good enough to give you an idea of the temperatures in your case.

The NZXT Sentry 2 is probably one of the best fan controllers on the market, I couldn’t really find anything wrong with it, it’s well made, easy to us and works great.


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Conclusion:

The NZXT Sentry 2 5.25″ Touch Screen Fan Controller is one of the nicest fan controllers I’ve had the chance to review. It’s small in size and very easy to install and use.

If you’re limited to space as I am with my case, then you’ll very much appreciate the single 5.25″ bay design of this product. Before the NZXT Sentry 2 arrived for review I was controlling my fans with in-line resistors, this works, but doesn’t give you any real control, now I’ve got control of my fans and I can monitor temperatures as well.

I can easily recommend the Sentry 2 as a must-have accessory for your PC.

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Pros:
+Very easy to use
+Well made
+Small size
+Looks great

Cons:
-Tape isn’t very sticky

Grades:
Overall score 10 10 thumb1 NZXT SENTRY 2 5.25" Touch Screen fan controller
Design score 10 10 thumb1 NZXT SENTRY 2 5.25" Touch Screen fan controller
Performance score 10 10 thumb1 NZXT SENTRY 2 5.25" Touch Screen fan controller