mCubed HFX-112 T-Balancer MiniNG Review

Written by Paul Goodhead

August 22, 2010 | 11:50

Tags: #analogue #control #cool #fan-control #fan-speed #mining #molex #pwm #quiet #quiet-computing #recommended #silent

Companies: #mcubed

Cooling Performance

We tested by hooking up the miniNG to two 120mm fans, one pointed at the Northbridge of our system and one at the graphics card. We then attached the probes to the heatsinks of each of these components.

After a bit of twiddling and mucking about, we had a very pleasing setup using the Curve mode where, at idle, the side-panel fan aimed at the graphics card didn't turn on, and the fan aimed at the Northbridge barely spun. When we then fired up 3DMark06 and looped the demanding Canyon Flight test the side-panel fan would turn on after about 60 seconds, and gradually sped up along with the Northbridge fan.

Once we stopped stressing the system, the fans continued at their high speeds for a little while before slowly dropping down to their quiet settings as the component cooled down. It’s funny, but we found the whole process very pleasing: seeing the fans speed up and slow down without any direct interaction almost gave the computer a life of its own.

mCubed HFX-112 T-Balancer MiniNG Review T-Balancer MiniNG Cooling and Conclusions
The thermal probes of the miniNG. Click to enlarge

We did find some niggles however. We couldn’t get the fan aimed at the Northbridge to stop spinning, even with that channels potentiometer turned right up. The heatsink wasn’t all that hot when the PC was idle, so it would seem that the top setting of the potentiometers may be a little restrictive. It’s also difficult to see what the potentiometers are set to with the naked eye: two of the quarters of each dial are pinched slightly to create an arrow but it’s very difficult to see.

The instructions for the miniNG are also difficult to understand, as they seem to have been hastily translated from Austrian; some of the directions barely make sense.

mCubed HFX-112 T-Balancer MiniNG Review T-Balancer MiniNG Cooling and Conclusions
Click to enlarge

Conclusion

The miniNG is a tidy piece of kit. It’s well made, compact and more powerful than its diminutive sizes suggests. It’s also very pleasing when it’s fully set up, seeing your rig’s fans all spin up and slow down in unison is an undeniably cool experience.

We can’t help feeling that £30 is a little steep for a dual-channel controller though. Granted, you can attach more than one fan to each channel but there are no splitter cables included, so this would be an additional expense. For our money we would have liked to see either a third channel or two fan splitters included.

As a result, we can’t recommend the miniNG for everyone. But if you’re a compulsive fiddler, and you don’t mind giving up a little time to set up the miniNG, the fully autonomous cooling it provides could be a fun finishing touch for your PC.

  • Build Quality
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • -
  • 9/10
  • Ease of Use
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • 5/10
  • Features
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • -
  • -
  • 8/10
  • Value
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • 6/10
  • Overall
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • -
  • -
  • 8/10
Score Guide

mCubed HFX-112 T-Balancer MiniNG Review T-Balancer MiniNG Cooling and Conclusions

mCubed HFX-112 T-Balancer MiniNG


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