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REVIEW: Zalman ZM-MFC2 Multi Fan Controller
The Zalman brand has become synonymous with silence. So it is fitting for them to breathe life into a product with the purpose of throttling fans. But the ZM-MFC2 is not just for throttling fans, it packs more than just that. Aside from that, the Zalman ZM-MFC2 did away with the rheostat filled panels and fully digital displays. How does this fare?
Having a sample of the product in hand, please allow me to share the experience of using this product with you. The product will be placed in a micro-ATX case and a working production rig.
Although, the packaging isnt meager nor extravagant it serves the purpose of protecting its contents. It introduces the product very well.
Installing the ZM-MFC2 in such a cramped space of the Focus Nemesis (the Aspire Q-Pack of our locale) is very much a challenge. But thanks to the short height of the ZM-MFC2 there is enough room for it to fit. All this is hidden by the facade of its front panel.
From another angle..
What makes the ZM-MFC2 unique is its ability to measure the overall power intake of the rig. In order to connect the "power meter" or in the MFC2 linggo, the Current/Voltage Sensor (CVS), to the front panel the ZM-MFC2 is equipped with a USB-like interface on the PCI bracket. Since the interface is USB-like, it can be mistaken for the real USB. Good thing the PCI bracket has the Zalman label on it.
The CVS module..
The CVS measures power consumption from 30W to 800W. So if your rig consumes electricity like a flat iron, the MFC2 is not for you.
Aside from power consumption, the MFC2 also has four channels of temperature sensors. Temperature range is from -9°C to +99°C. More importantly, the multi-fan controller has to control fan speeds. Another four channels of fan speed controls are present in the MFC2.
The problem with a lot of channels for sensors is the cable clutter that comes with it. And with the cramped space of the micro-ATX case, the problem is compounded. Patience is needed to route the cables for good case airflow.
But once the cables are arranged, it is time to test the fan controller and see it in action.
In the dark..
Success! The ZM-MFC2 fan controller indeed serves its purpose of fan speed control and temperature display. But its ability to display the rig's total power consumption and build quality is a big plus.
Kudos to Zalman for breathing life into a very innovative product in the ZM-MFC2. Addition of this will definitely pimp your rig. Consider having one when in the lookout for a fan controller.
Acknowledgments to mixmeister (of tipidpc.com) for reviewing the ZM-MFC2.