SunbeamTech 20-in-1 Superior Panel Review

Modding/Small Mods by SidneyWong @ 2005-03-22

Want to access everything from an arm?s reach without bumping year head trying to reach the rear panel? Two many flash memory cards and not enough card readers? Sunbeam comes to the rescue once again.

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Installation & Test

Installation & Test:

It's always a good idea to prepare the wirings before hand. I decided to group the cables and wirings into three bundles.

  • The first bundle includes all the connections that will go thru the PCI slot to the rear of the case.
  • Second is the SATA and USB (flash memory) connections to the motherboard.
  • The last one includes the two fans and temp probes.

    Madshrimps (c)
    Just to show you want I mean - lots of cables and wires.

    It's time to decide what to do with the jumper pins mentioned earlier.

    Madshrimps (c)

    At default, all jumpers are in OFF positions (all pins open)

  • 1,000 RPM min. fan speed
  • Temp reading in Celsius
  • 45 °C max. temp

    I decide to have 70°C max temps (the setting is for both temp probes and not by individual), reading in Celsius and min 1,000 rpm fan speed. As such, I need to use two jumper pins closing JP2 and JP4.

    The installation insofar has been painless.

    Test Bed -

  • P4 2.6C 255 FSB
  • Stock Intel HSF
  • ABIT IS7
  • X-Dreamer II (Blue)
  • Window XP Pro SP2

    USB, Firewire and SATA setup prior to installation -

  • 1 Pair of USB connected to lower front, provided by the case
  • In/Out Audio jacks connected to lower front, provided by the case
  • Rear PCI slot contains 2 USB and 2 Firewire ports
  • Rear I/O plate contains 4 USB and 1 Firewire ports
  • 2 SATA connection on board

    In summary, the IS7 has 8 USB and 3 Firewire ports. In order for me to utilize Superior Panel, I disconnected the front USB port and connected it to the Superior Panel. I decided to route the 2 USB ports and the single Firewire from rear I/O to Superior Panel.

    Madshrimps (c)

    The wiring/cabling aren't that bad after all. I could do more cleaning up later on. Since I have both SATA open, I connected both of them to the Superior Panel.

    Madshrimps (c)Madshrimps (c)

    ABIT IS7 and IC7 series board do not have RCA Audio/Video (A/V) connection is the reason you don't see it here. After the photo was taken I found the missing "8-pin to A/V" converter for the video card, which I connected the A/V to the front panel.

    Madshrimps (c)

    Window XP and Window 2000 do not require the driver CD provided, all 4 removal drives are well received by the system.

    I ran a few checks on some of the features and functions. I only tested Smart Media card because that's all I have around, which tested out A Okay and so do the USB and Firewire. I did plug in a spare SATA drive just to see what would happen and said to myself how nice if a 4-pin power connector could be right up front too.

    Both temperature probes show very little discrepancy, they differ ~0.5 C with each other. And, the temperature reading is also within 0.5 C to another digital temperature readout I have around.

    The two fan controllers fall short of my expectation. They seem to response quite slowly to the turn of the knob. In addition, the RPM reading is about 3-4% lower than other controller I have, with which the result corresponds to MBM5 and BIOS.

    The last test I did was to listen to a few songs from the front output via a headphone and fool around with the microphone jack. The display readout is as expected and acceptable due to the size, the numbers show up clearly.

    Madshrimps (c)

    The entire finished product, 20 in 1 Superior Panel look kind of neat with the case.

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