What is it: 4 Channel Rheobus Model: Rheo-3,5-B Supplier: Eksitdata Cost: Approx. £19.20 (€29,89) Availability: Now Verdict: A few niggles, but well made and fantastically easy to use.
Fan noise, we all hate it.. in fact, I've already done a review on a product which helps to keep that under control. That said, you have more than one fan in your case most of the time and generally they're hooked up to the 12V line, whirring away as normal. If you plan to curb the noise, the general idea for many of you is to hook these up to a fanbus, or a rheobus. As we've already reviewed the Fanbus from Eksitdata, let's move up to their rheobus offering and see about having more control over those fans.
The Eksit 3.5 Rheobus Fan Controller is a 4-Channel Fan controller, allowing variable speed fan control. It is rated at 8W per channel, supplying varibale voltage between 7V-12V min-max.
Each channel is lit by 2 LEDs, becoming increasingly brighter (or decreasingly dimmer, depending on which way you're going) as the voltage changes.
What you get
Included in the box is the Rheobus itself, mounting screws, a pass-through adaptor for power and some simple instructions. You really will not need the instructions; the device itself is, as it's designed to be, tremendously simple.
We've been sent the Lian Li insert, in black. This unit comes in a 3.5" housing, with blue LED lighting. Generally up until now, most Rheobus' have come in a 5.25" bay mount which, whilst giving you lots of room to play with, is a bit of a space consumer. Many people these days do not even have a single floppy drive, let alone both, so this allows you to make some use of that otherwise wasted space.
Along the back, there is an input for a standard 4-pin Molex power connector and then 4 3-pin power outputs.
Having a closer look at the components, the front has small aluminium knobs with a professional looking translucent shroud to allow the light to come through evenly. On the rear, the whole unit is made on a single board with surface mount resistors. As you can see, this is more of an electrobus than a rheobus, using regulators to give maximum current to each of the channels.
The pass-through connector is useful so that you don't have to give up a power connector; however you may need an extension adaptor as the cable will sit almost at the front of the floppy bay. Secondly, you are not supplied with any 3 to 4-pin fan adaptors (to allow you to use 4-pin fans with the unit). If you opened up the average case, I am willing to bet that you probably have two 3-pin fans, the CPU fan and maybe one other. The reason for this is that generally it's a lot nicer to pull the 12v from the PSU than rip them down the tracks on the Motherboard, I've heard horror stories of certain powerful fans burning out Mobos due to the current drain, so people have a tendency to run their case fans off 4-pin and even adapt their 3-pin fans to 4-pin as well. As you'll see later on, I just didn't have any decent case fans to test this with which were 3-pin adaptions, so make sure you buy some converters if you're going to need them. (Maybe something Eksitdata could consider supplying with it as a bonus?).