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Dec 03, 12 at 5:27pmleochan


The BitFenix Hydra Pro fan/LED controller eschews the touchscreen controls of the Recon and sticks with the trusty old sliders for manual adjustment of fan performance. It still supports five fan channels at a maximum of 30W each, and it even lets you control the LED lighting on supporting BitFenix brand fans. We take a quick look at the Hydra Pro to see what it has to offer.

BitFenix Hydra Pro Fan/LED Controller Review

Thread Recap (last 10 posts from newest to oldest)

Dec 07, 12 at 11:10am
nleksan


I have a Hydra Pro in my water-cooled Switch 810 (white). I am absolutely 100 percent pleased with the unit, and I have a good number of fan controllers including the Lamptron FC2, FC5-v2, FC-Touch, and FC-9, the Sunbeam RheoSmart6, all of NZXT's models, the G-VANS 100W/ch model, and others (including some of those "AeroCool Touch" garbage).
I was looking for something that was not flashy, and also highly functional. I will be putting 4 of the BitFenix Spectre Pro PWM 140mm 122cfm fans in my case to replace the stock NZXT RF-FN140RB 140mm 62cfm fans, as the rad fans consume a TON of air. Thus, the ability to control the LEDs is a huge bonus.

First, if you have an NZXT Switch 810, this is literally the absolute best fan controller in terms of aesthetically matching it to the case; the SofTouch finish is a 99.9% match to the black "rubberized/plasticized" trim on the case, so it looks absolutely stunning in its subtlety.

Also, the 30W/ch is, if anything, a conservative estimate. While I don't recommend surpassing that amount per channel, I did just to test the unit, and I was able to chain 21 Yate Loon DH120SM fans together on a single channel and the unit could power them all without issue. The power regulators on the controller's PCB barely even got warm. I also tried daisy-chaining the following sets of fans, but not all at once (so I only loaded one channel at a time, and for example the "- 5x San Ace.... *space*" was tested separately from the next line of fans), and obtained min/max speeds (slider at top for max, bottom for min), the total electrical load on the channel, the Voltage Max/Min of each, and the temperature of the PCB MOSFETs (via laser-assisted infrared thermometer) both at min and max speeds...
- 4x Delta 120x38 4400rpm 191cfm fans (2071/4539rpm - 49.7W - 5.45/12.8V - 39.1C)
- 5x Sanyo Denkei San-Ace 120x38 3800rpm 140cfm fans (1492/3912rpm - 47.3W - 5.35/12.8V - 37.3C)
- 6x Bgears Blasters 140x25 1800rpm 103cfm fans (972/2032rpm - 21.8W - 5.21/12.8V - 32.5C)
- 6x Koolance 120x38 2800rpm 118cfm fans (1480/2972rpm - 27.3W - 5.09/12.8V - 34.2C)
- 19x Scythe GT AP15's 1850rpm 56cfm fans (962/1930rpm - 54W - 5.23/12.4V - 42.8C)
- 25x Yate Loon DH120SM 120x25 fans (no RPM data - 43.1W - 5.47/13.3V - 39.5C)
- 3x Koolance 120x38 4000rpm 180cfm 2A/each Fans (1938/4109rpm - 61.74W - 5.11/12.4V - 44.9C)

Those results should giveyyou a very good idea of what this is capable of, and all those were done with just one channel per test, so you could theoretically increase the number of fans anywhere from more than 7x the amount to maybe 3x with some of the really High-Amperage Delta/Koolance/SanAce and similar fans. Still, going 50 percent beyond its rated range, and not exceeding 45C? That's amazing!

I run, for the rig its setup in: 6x Bgears Blasters 140x25 1800rpm 103cfm/3.5mmH2O for push/pull on an EX420 rad split between two channels (push on Ch1, pull on Ch2), 4x Koolance 120x38 2800rpm 118cfm/6.5mmH2O for p/p on a NeXXos UT60 240 rad all on one channel (Ch3), 4x NZXT RF-FX140RB 1-2krpm 98.3cfm/2.2mmH2O Case Fans with 2 front intake + 1 interior fan + 1 rear exhaust fan flipped around to intake air to cool MB and get cold air right into the top rad (Ch4), and then 2 80x15 29.5cfm/6.5mmH2O pump-heatsink fans + 1 Silverstone FM141 140x38 170cfm/3.7mmH2O fan blowing air into case hidden in the ODD bays + 2x Yate Loon 120x12 Slim High Speed 47cfm fans cooling the HDD cage by sitting between drives + 4x Delta 80x38mm 5600rpm 74.6cfm/31.7mmH2O used in custom-made RAM coolers built from 6mm-thick C110 Copper Sheet + 9mmID/16mmOD C110 Pipe + "Crystal Acrylic" + Modders Mesh and some matte-white paint and clear coat (Ch5).

This fan controller is not fancy, has no touchscreen (a good thing to me, as I don't want to have to be in just the right place to see the info), and is inexpensive.
However, this is a true rival to the likes of Lamptron's FC-9 or other similar controllers 3x the price. It works, and it's built so well that I simply couldn't overload it under a single remotely realistic condition. Plus, it will allow full control over LEDs!

9.8/10!!!



Dec 06, 12 at 3:08am
Cryonicstate


Thank you bobbyg!



Dec 04, 12 at 3:53am
harbin


Might be because it looks completely out of place on that case. Alot of Bitfenix products are designed with their own cases in mind since all their cases use their SofTouch finish. It will look tons better on one of their own cases like a Shinobi or Survivor but will stick out like a sore thumb on other cases.



Dec 03, 12 at 10:02pm
bobbyg2


I don't think it looks bad, but I've never really cared much about what my computer looks like, to me function is leagues above form when it comes to computers.

Nice review!



Dec 03, 12 at 7:41pm
Cryonicstate


The Hydra performs extremely well, a little shy on the looks side of things but its got it where it counts. NZXT manufactures some really nice products as well.



Dec 03, 12 at 6:30pm
BlackLabel


Not a fan of how this looks. I know it is a very usable and very accurate fan controller thanks to the use of physical controls over touch screen, but when it comes to things like this I do sacrifice performance for looks. I have the NZXT Sentry 2 in my case and it's purely only there as a talking point and to look good. If I'm ever in the market for a functional fan controller I will be sure to get this one.



Dec 03, 12 at 5:27pm
leochan


The BitFenix Hydra Pro fan/LED controller eschews the touchscreen controls of the Recon and sticks with the trusty old sliders for manual adjustment of fan performance. It still supports five fan channels at a maximum of 30W each, and it even lets you control the LED lighting on supporting BitFenix brand fans. We take a quick look at the Hydra Pro to see what it has to offer.





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