Fan controllers are often lower down on the list of things to buy when considering a new computer or a chassis upgrade. These devices offer you more control and flexibility over the standard controllers found on your motherboard, but their scarcity in most rigs means that prices for quality fan controllers remain high. Still, if you’re an enthusiast PC owner, there’s no better way to show off and enjoy extended functionality than with a good-looking fan controller, and the Lamptron CW611 water cooling controller will be right up your alley.
The CW611 fits into a 5.25-inch drive bay and features a replaceable brushed aluminium front plate, two switches which have a high-quality feel to them (one is a rotary dial), and enough circuitry in the back to make this product feel like overkill. The front is dominated by a backlit LCD display that has some static UI elements layered over it. Accessories in the box include a lint-free fabric cleaning cloth and a mass of extensions for your cables and probes for the six temperature sensors. If you’re using custom water cooling, the CW611 can interface with your pump to control flow rates.
Installing the CW611 in your chassis is as easy as any DVD drive, but I would recommend using care when plugging in the fan connectors and the Molex plug, as the PCB that houses all of the electrical components doesn’t have a metal brace to prevent bending when plugging or unplugging connections. Plug in all your extension wires and sensors before installation, as doing this isn’t easy when it’s already inside your chassis.
The CW611 offers several modes of operation, which includes a manual setup and an auto mode with three presets – 40% voltage, max voltage and minimum voltage. Manual speed control is offered using the rotary dial and can adjust individual fan speed through tuning the voltages in steps of 0.25V.
In my testing, the reported voltage on the display was usually about 0.2V away from the actual reading on my multimeter, but there were larger gaps at 52% voltage and 24% voltage. The measurements taken at these steps had slightly more than a 0.5V discrepancy, and the fans didn’t start spinning up until setting the controller to 52%, which measured 6.35V. Adding more fans to the controller didn’t change the measured voltages at all.
Over extended periods of time running four fans at full blast the voltages never wavered more than by 0.1V and I have no doubt in my mind that the 36W limit per channel would be enough for adding one or two pumps to your loop, as well as two or three fans sharing a channel. The price is a tad high, but when you’re dealing with a niche market and looking at a product as solid as this one, I don’t think the cost will be too much of an issue for prospective buyers.