BitFenix Hydra Pro Fan/LED Controller Review

Author: Roger Cantwell
Editor: Howard Ha
Publish Date: Monday, December 3rd, 2012
Originally Published on Neoseeker (http://www.neoseeker.com)
Article Link: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Reviews/bitfenix_hydra_pro/
Copyright Neo Era Media, Inc. - please do not redistribute or use for commercial purposes.

A few months ago I had the pleasure of reviewing Bitfenix's Recon. Today I will be taking a look at another one of their fan/LED controllers, the Hydra which has a total of 5 fan channels with a rating of 30 watts per channel, as well as 5 fan LED connectors. Instead of using a touchscreen as seen on the Recon, BitFenix utilized sliders for the actual fan control. Not as stylish, but touchscreens can become temperamental and may even burn out after a short period of time.

Fan controllers traditionally have been used by enthusiasts wanting more control over the cooling aspect of their systems. However, there seems to be an increasing number of mainstream users turning to fan controllers as they offer a higher degree of temperature control over the BIOS itself and are a little easier to configure than software solutions such as Speedfan.

The packaging for the Hydra uses the standard BitFenix color scheme of black and white, with a photo of the Hydra on the front of the box as well as BitFenix's logo. Flipping the box around you can find a list of the features.

 

Materials
Steel & Plastic
 
Dimensions
147 X 43 X67mm
 
Form Factor
5.25" Drive Bay
 
Channels
5
 
Watts Per Channel
30W
 
Fan LED Connectors
5
 
Power Input
4-Pin Molex
 

Lets take a closer look at the Hydra fan/LED controller itself. Looking at the front, you can see the LED on/off button to the left side. In the center we find the five independent fan control sliders, and each channel is rated at 30 watts. On the right side you can see the power indicator light. Flipping the BitFenix Hydra around reveals the individual fan headers, each labelled for convenience. You can of course unplug any of the fan cables that are not in use to help reduce cable clutter. BitFenix's Hydra is capable of handling the LED lighting through the on-board LED lighting controller; not only does it control the LED's, giving you the option of turning the LED on and off on the BitFenix Specter Pro/Specter Pro series of LED fans, it will also dim the LED if you decrease the speed of the fan itself.

In the photos below you can see that the BitFenix Hydra has a total of 6 mounting holes, making it easier to use in a wide variety of cases, or in any mods you may think of. The Hydra's bundle of accessories contains the mounting screws along with a detailed installation manual.

BitFenix has delivered another solid product in the Hydra Pro, which was as equally impressive as the BitFenix Recon. The Hydra has a slight military style appearance to it thanks to the flat black finish made possible by the unique Softouch surface treatment along with the grey sliders. One advantage the Hydra has over the Recon is that it utilizes sliders versus a touchscreen for fan control. The low profile sliders are another cool feature because they reduce the chance of accidentally lowering the fan speed on a critical component, especially your CPU fan. Another feature I like about the Hydra Pro is the fact that you can control the lighting on the BitFenix Specter Pro/Specter Pro LED fan series.

Of the fan controllers I have used in the past, this is hands down the absolute best yet. With a retail price starting roughly around $35 dollars, I would recommend this fan controller to anyone who is in the market for one.

»Neoseeker.com

Copyright Neo Era Media, Inc., 1999-2014.
All Rights Reserved.

Please do not redistribute or use this article in whole, or in part, for commercial purposes.