Guides related to quieting your computer are popping up in every forum on the net. After reading several complaints about loud computers I rushed over to FrozenCPU.com. Why would people bother with the ?sound proof matting? which is just a heat insulator and a waste of money? We wanted to get right to the source of the noise problem ? the fans! Our pal Mark, at FrozenCPU.com gave us the chance to look at his new revised 6-port fan bus. I am not sure what the revisions have been from the previous version, but that?s really not the point! This fan bus is dual voltage, 7V low to 9V high. I was so impressed with this fan bus just by the pictures because I remember reviewing a 4-port PCMods fan bus in the past which was awful. The fans on the PCMods fan bus had to be installed and uninstalled by removing the PCB from the face plate then screwing in the fan and securing the PCB back to the faceplate ? a complete MESS! The pictures of this product on FrozenCPU?s website showed that the fans could easily be added and removed from the rear of the PCB which means a simple removal of the faceplate would be almost the entire task.
A quick shot of the rear of the PCB
Upon arrival of this new product, I noticed the actual PCB was secured in thick cardboard tubing. I was almost certain no damage was done in shipping with such heavy duty packaging! I proceeded to pull the contents from the tubing and noticed the PCB itself, a 1/4? acrylic template, six led mounting clips and a Y power splitter. No instructions were included with the kit, but there is a how-to on FrozenCPU?s site. I was able to guess at the installation from previous installation knowledge of the PCMod?s fan bus without either instructions or a guide. The PCB itself was excellent. All of the switches were in line and the LEDs in place. There was nothing bent or unusual and as I mentioned previously. At this time, I noticed that the fans could be installed or removed from the rear of the PCB. The piece of acrylic included in the kit is used as a template for drilling holes in the 5.25? bay filler that you will be installing on.
For this kit, I decided to pull out our previously reviewed Nikao Union chassis, and pulled out a random 5.25? bay filler. I removed the sticky tape from both sides of the acrylic and stuck it evenly onto the 5.25? filler. Then, I broke out my drill. A drill makes this mod much easier. The dremel does not make a nice circular cut for the LEDs and switches to fit through. Once I finished drilling all 12 holes in the front of the bay filler, I peeled off the template and saved it for later use for this fan bus. I then took the small ?nuts? off of each switch by twisting in a counter-clockwise direction and set the six of them aside. Then I simply took the PCB (after cleaning up the edges of the drilled holes) and slid the switches/LEDs through the holes. A perfect line up between all holes and components?not one problem at all! Once all the switches and LEDs were poking through the front of the bay filler, I screwed the nuts back onto each switch and pulled out my LED clips. The LEDs clips offer a nice clean and tight feeling and also help secure the PCB to the actual face plate so it is a good idea to use them! Once I had finished drilling the holes and securing the PCB to the faceplate, the most time consuming part was just ahead?installing the fans. I had to clip off all the MOLEX and 3 pin connectors from each of my fans and screw them into the back of the PCB, kind of like speaker wire. I had a hard time parting with those connectors, especially with my expensive fans, but it was for the good of the review :) . Once six of my fans had been screwed into place with the ?black? and ?red? wires, I hooked up an empty molex connector from the power supply and put the bay filler back into its place. I turned on the computer and started flipping switches like a maniac!!!
The important thing to remember is that if you are running a lower wattage power supply (350watts or below) and a high power consuming computer, try to keep all the fans off at startup and gradually flip them on once the system has booted. Failure to do so, in some cases will cause a blue screen, system reboot or just plain dead power supply.
Once I powered on my system, I flipped on the first three 80mm fans. All seemed to work exceptionally well, but since they are 12v fans running at 9v, they weren?t pushing as much as I wished! Then I turned on the tornado exhaust (which didn?t even move, even at high voltage) and another 80mm exhaust. The higher speed fans from Sunon, Delta and Vantec will not work with this fan bus. These fans require the full 12volts to start since they spin at such high speeds. The last fan was left off because it was a tornado as well and I already knew it wouldn?t work. Once all fans were running at 9v, I did notice a case temperature increase of 3 degrees Fahrenheit, but it was not enough to worry me. At the start of the review, I knew that temperatures were going to be sacrificed for noise reduction. Running the fans at 7v is running them at almost half their usual 12v which means about half as many fan rpms. I would only use this feature if the case is in a cool room or when I require an Uber quiet environment, like sleep. Running at 7v will reduce the noise incredibly, so you won?t have to worry about putting a pillow over your head anymore! Another cool feature of the fan bus is the dual LEDs. While the switch is at low voltage, the led turns blue. When it??~?at the high voltage setting the led turns red. This adds a great deal of color to any boring case!
According to FrozenCPU, this fan bus is extreme enough to hold up to 84W of power consumption across the fan bus. This is WAY more than enough to run your everyday 80mm fans and possibly even 92mm fans. Since we really have no way of testing this function, we will just the peeps at FrozenCPU. On their website it reads; ?1 year warranty against defects?. This definitely impressed me. FrozenCPU is so confident in their custom built products that they are going to stand behind it through 1 full year/12 months/365 DAYS of abuse.
The FrozenCPU fan bus was very impressive. Although I was hoping for a great performance across the board, the fan bus was unable to run my higher speed fans. This is one thing that might keep me from buying this product. Other than the usual missing instructions (from almost every product of every company), this product had no other flaws visible. Everything from the easy installation, fast modding and custom look, this product has great potential of quieting or ?silencing? you pc. Why would you go out and waste 60 dollars on a couple of sound dampening kits when the problem can be fixed for less than half that cost at $29.00?! If you are having troubles sleeping or you are going deaf from listening to your computer day in and day out ? check out this great improvement!
Sidenote: Rheobus' on FrozenCPU.com with blue/red leds are manufactured by FrozenCPU. If it has green/red leds, it is only resold by FrozenCPU.