Thermaltake’s Commander FT fan controller isn’t something I’d typically buy or look for. It was only during my purchase of the Corsair Carbide Air 540 case that I decided to purchase a reasonably priced fan controller. I did this for two reasons. Firstly I knew my case would contain more than just the number of fans provided as stock and my motherboard couldn’t power them all. Secondly, I just wanted something flashy for the front of the case, yes really. This is my first Thermaltake product.
The fan controller comes in a fairly small box. The device fits into any 5.25″ bay you may have free. The fan controller includes a 5.5″ coloured touchscreen, thermal monitor, 5 x 3-pin/PWM fan connectors and this is all powered using a 4-pin molex. Also in the box are fixing screws but the Commander FT works well with any toolless case mechanisms. The majority of the controller is made up of thin air in that it’s only the screen and back connectors that need the room. Great for cable routing as much of the excess can be tucked away.
Each of the five connectors can provide up to 10W of power meaning there will be more than enough power to drive your favourite fans efficiently. As of this review, my case contained 3 x Corsair AF120’s as intake in the front of the case and 1 x Corsair AF140 in the rear as an exhaust. If you find yourself with less than 5 fans you needn’t fret, the controller simply disregards the connector not in use.
The controller is navigated using the 5.5″ coloured touchscreen. Simply press firmly down on the option you wish to select. I have found that under some instances the end of a pointed finger, or nail for us ladies, works better. You may also notice ‘screen smudge’ when you press like you would when pressing a monitor or laptop screen too hard. Whilst slightly negative point, it’s not enough to cause a concern in the build quality. The are several options available to the user: light dimming, auto fan control, manual fan control, 2 x manual fan selectors, temp gauge, RPM speed, and a performance and silent mode selector.
The light dimming option allows you to select one of two brightnesses for the screen: full brightness or dim. Unfortunately, there isn’t an option to turn the screen off, something some users may like. The auto and manual functions allow you to either let the device do the donkey work through the use of the thermal monitoring device or you can manually adjust fans on the fly. The speed selector lets you adjust the fan speeds from low to high, using the fan selector (middle option or individual numbers) you can adjust speeds individually for full control. The performance and silent modes allow you to adjust all fans at once to either performance mode for ultimate cooling or silent mode for those quieter moments. Finally, you can keep an eye on RPM and choose between Celsius or Fahrenheit for your temperature readings for more control.
The quick installation, easy controls, and great price point make this a must for a PC user who wants that little bit more control over their rig. At a price point of £29.99 (as of this review), the Commander FT is reasonably priced for many. Apart from some small mishaps with the screen there really isn’t much I can say to persuade people not to purchase this puppy. So far it has been a delight to use.