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Sunbeamtech Rheobus-Extreme Fan Controller (Personal Review)

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I personally was looking amongst the market for a decent fan controller and trying to maintain a budget that I was shooting for. I decided since I almost never post here on OCN and always read up on the useful information on the forums. I thought I should contribute back with information of my own experience with this product.

Some have purchased fan controllers such as the ZALMAN ZM-MFC1 which has a nice exterior finish, but lacks the watts per channel for high voltage fans. Others have bought the Sycthe "KAZE MASTER" for around 42 USD retail with tax/shipping and it easily becomes almost 50 USD. At the same time I did not want a digital screen since it was my personal preference and wanted a minimalistic look. I also looked around to see what others recommended such as the Vantec's, but hear problems of buzzing noises unfortunately. Finally, I saw the sunbeam's original Rehobus that was a cheap alternative to what I ultimately purchased (its predecessor), but I chose to experiment with the newer model as it had the specs and capabilities for what I need now and possibly in the future.

There are a lot of different products (fan controllers) and they all seem to have their pros and cons. Yet, in my opinion most do not have the power nor flexibility that I needed in the longevity as most of the popular products seemed to have some type of disadvantage (obviously no product is perfectly engineered). I was hoping for the best of both worlds at an affordable price without fancy screens or digital displays.

Knowing the so-so manufacturing of the original Sunbeamtech Rheobus, I rolled the dice and bought the newer model. I am glad to say that I made this purchase and would like to give a brief review of this product so it may help you in your endeavors for purchasing a fan controller.
Here is a picture of the box as it is shipped and it is quite small in reality. It is actually black, but the box has the product in a silver color.




Packaging state what is included when you purchase the Sunbeamtech Rheobus-Extreme.




Brief specifications are on the side of the box; Maximum of 30 watts per controller channel.



What's inside the box itself.



This is a so-so panoramic shot of the entire front of the controller. As you can see the text and letters are barely visible at certain levels of light/angle(s). The next picture will show you more detail as it is taken at a different angle and much closer.



Now, this is a picture of the first control knob and the text showing the simple low to hi. The knobs also have a black dot to indicate where the potentiometer is pointing towards.



Top down view of the board and the heatsinks on the board and its 3 pin connectors.



In this picture you can see the "quality" of their manufactoring of this product. The 3rd channel heatsink is slightly off and is tipping to the right. It in no way affected my performance of the actual fan controller and even the 3 pin connectors were bent in different directions as well. Although I am disappointed after I spend around 40 USD that this type of quality was the end result; it's performance made up for it.



3 pin connectors along with this own power connector attached with that snap-in shield.



Once you remove everything out of the box I started to bolt on the slide in arms for my Antec P180.



Take a look; it fits perfectly flush in the Antec P180 5.25' drive bay!



After it is installed it looks like it's an add-on of the P180 itself which looks great.



Now after I plugged all my fans in I tested to see if the LED's would blind me to death like the original Rheobus. Luckily, it did not give me cataracts and the pleasant blue glow was well admired. (Some may not like the blue color)



Lastly, I matches the HD activity light color EXACTLY. What were the chances of that happening.



In the end I enjoyed the performance of the product and the easy installation of the Rheobus-Extreme too.

techPowerUP had a good review on this as well indicated voltages and other photos if you are looking for even more detail.

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/S...Extreme/1.html

Bottom Line:
This is a fan controller for those who are looking for:
-A potentiometer fan controller only
- High wattage per channel (really 29-28 watts)
-Minimalistic Design
-Affordable price range of around 40 USD
-Comes in Silver and Black

Cons:
-Quality of the board and heatsinks (It was kind of scary looking at them tilted)
-Blue color (some may not like it)
-Tint of text is too dim and may not be visable
-LED Brightness (Really not that bright)

Overall I would recommend this product for anyone who needs a fan controller for their high powered fans and do not want to break their funds exponentially. It looks like I got my wish and did get the best of both worlds; minimalistic style and sheer power.

I hope this review helps those who are scouting for information and I will try to answer any questions regarding my experiences and the product itself.

Poochi - Thanks for reading!
    
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post #2 of 11
I was on the fence with this controller, but I opted for the Scythe Kaze Master myself. I was a bit hesitant about the display, but now that I've seen it in action, I really like it. I might be in the market for another fan controller soon though - and it's between the MFC1 Plus and this. I don't really need the extra amps per channel (since the Kaze Master has enough amperage for all my high-performance fans), and I'm looking for something a little more toned down even than the Rheobus Extreme.

Do the lights increase in intensity when the fans are turned up or down, or are they at a fixed brightness?
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post #3 of 11
Very good review! Rep+
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post #4 of 11
Great review! Thanks for that
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayvinAzn View Post
Do the lights increase in intensity when the fans are turned up or down, or are they at a fixed brightness?
Yes, they do change in light intensity as you turn the knobs up and down.
    
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post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by igob8a View Post
Great review! Thanks for that
Thank You very much! I hope you got a lot of useful information out of it.
    
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post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhillyOverclocker View Post
Very good review! Rep+
Thank You for the rep!
    
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post #8 of 11
How many 12v fans can you put on a single 30w channel? Simple conversion but I cant figure it out.
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post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sistum Id View Post
How many 12v fans can you put on a single 30w channel? Simple conversion but I cant figure it out.
If I remember correctly I did this calculation; its a simple physics equation.

Formula: 12v(MAX SPEED) or 5v(MINIMUM SPEED) (Input Current of the fan) X Current (Current in ampere(A) = Total Watt Power

For example: Let's hypotheticaly say that I had 3 Antec Tricool fans on one controller channel. We already know that 30 watts is are maximum limit. It's specs on the Antec website state that the input current is 0.24 Amperes and at its fastest RPM of 2,000 revolutions per minute (RPM). It also states that its input power is already calculated, which is 2.88 watts. Then, by putting 3 of these fans at their maximum settings you would be using exactly 8.64 watts of power off the 30 watt channel you are using.

Formula Check:
Single Tricool Antec Fan: 12v X 0.24A = 2.88w
Three Tricool Antec Fans: 2.88w X 3 fans = 8.64w


If you were to use let's say a Silverstone FM-121 which is rated at 0.45A then it is a bit different. If we we're to continue the three fan setup with this type of fan at max power. Then, we go back to our formula:

Formula Check:
Single Silverstone FM-121 (Fastest Setting): 12v X 0.45A = 5.4w
Three Silverstone FM-121 (Fastest Setting): 5.4w X 3 = 16.2w

As you can see from the math, the silverstone obviously take a lot more wattage. Yet, the beauty behind this controller is that you have 15 watts of more power left over leading to much more possibilities. Usually, websites of manufacturers will have the specs on their website. Before you buy a controller or anything for that matter. Do your scouting for information and your calculations to make sure everything goes in order.

Hope this helps..Poochi
    
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post #10 of 11
I have 2 of those in a Mountain Mods Cube and they work fine so far
Nice review
    
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