Chromatic Windmill full function fan controller review

Modding/Small Mods by SidneyWong @ 2005-10-10

Chromatic Windmill controls 7 fans NOT 4, and 3 temperature monitors. Just in time for those proud owners with more than 4 fans in their highly modded cases; Choice of Silver and Black cased in aluminum with colorful readouts. Let?s find out how it looks and performs.

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Testing and Conclusion

Testing & Conclusion:

The Windmill is very easy to hook-up. The black anodized aluminum case in "semi full" housing can be installed easily. While the temperature sensor alarm setting for CPU, HDD and System (or use where ever you prefer) is not often changed once decided, the fan speed for 7 fans may not be quite as static. This is where the Windmill is not proficient. Changing setting for Fan 1 is okay; changing the setting on the 7th (last) fan requires the hopping through the first 6 sequentially.

The Hard Drive indicator light wires allow the users to use both existing Panel LED and via the Windmill. However, it may be a little short for some full tower cases should the Windmill be mounted at the top most slot.

During the training of my 7 fans to stand up for photo shoot, I plugged and unplugged the fans with the power connected (my fans are not so well trained with verbal command) this caused the WindMill to "a sudden death". I reported to my editor in fear of "reprimand", luckily he was unable to read my report a day later and I found by removing the battery and have the unit unplugged for a few minutes (not sure exactly how long), the Millmill came back alive. Perhaps, Sunbeam will add the reset instruction in the manual. (editor’s note: “unplugging fans and sensors when the unit is powered is never recommended”)

There is a smooth transition in the increase and decrease of voltage to the fans connected; and the adjustment is instant (no wait time). The reading of fan RPMs rotates is also quick as temperature readings in CPU, HDD and System. The rotation time is in about 1.5 seconds interval.

Here are the photos with 7 fans trained to stand up for photo shoots -

Click to enlarge

Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c)


Madshrimps (c)


The screen has clean and clear viewing from different angles unlike some other products. All three temperature probes report identical readings under the same condition. The picture above showing the irregular screen edges is the result of optical distortion from the camera and does not reflect the quality of the product.


Thoughts & Conclusion-

While users are getting more noise conscious, the number of fans found in a case is not any less 120mm fan or not. If one 120mm is good, 2 are better and 3 is not a bad idea. Sooner or later, 7 or if more fans will be found in a PC system including radiator fan(s).

Windmill is the only front mounted controller with 3 temp sensors that can monitor up to 7 fans on the market, not a bad idea. The screen is surely colorful; useless if and when it could not be viewed from different angle, which is luckily NOT the case here. You can rest assure, the screen is clear from any angle of viewing.

The braided and shielded cables make installation easy; offer better look. If you have more than a handful of fans in your rig, the Windmill may well be able to tame the noise for you based on your need plus 3 temp sensors. I am not quite sure about the usefulness of DATE and TIME displays on the PC front panel.


PROS -
  • Control 7 fans up front + 3 temp sensors
  • Colorful but not distasteful
  • Can be viewed from different angles
  • Solid construction

    CONS -
  • No wiring for motherboard CPU sensor
  • Too many steps to adjust the fan speed

    Madshrimps (c)


    Our thanks to Sunbeamtech for providing the review sample.

    Question/Comments: forum thread
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