BitFenix Hydra Pro Fan Controller Review

Up Close: The Controller

BitFenix Hydra Pro Fan Controller Review 

 

Up Close:  The Controller

There's not really a lot to tell about the face of the Hydra Pro.  Suffice to say it is coated in the same soft touch rubber as BitFenix coat their cases in.  This in itself adds a feeling of class and quality.  A simple array of 5 sliders enable the user to control the speed of the connected fans.  I hasten not to say "5 fans" as although there are 5 channels each of these channels is rated at 30W.  this means of course that the Hydra Pro has the necessary Oomph to provide power to a whole string of fans on each channel.  For that matter, 30W is plenty enough to provide control for a great many watercooling pumps, essentially enabling you to vary the speed of your pump should you wish to go for performance or silence.  Don't go thinking though that the Hydra Pro is a simple fan controller.  It does have another trick up its sleeve.  Those that own Spectre fans will know that they have an additional connection them.  This connection is compatible with the Hydra Pro, enabling it to offer control over the Spectre and Spectre Pro LEDs.  So it's a fan controller and a fan LED controller. 

BitFenix Hydra Pro Fan Controller Review     BitFenix Hydra Pro Fan Controller Review       

 

Round the back we can see that as usual BitFenix have plumped for quality componentry.  The PCB is clean and uncluttered and the quality of the soldering is good.  Connectivity wise we do of course have 5x3 pin headers and associated headers for the Spectre LED connections.  A 4 pin Molex with a piggy back enables connection to the PSU without robbing you of a valuable power outlet.  All of the included cables are of ample length and certainly long enough to make it form one sideof our Storm Trooper test case to the other.

BitFenix Hydra Pro Fan Controller Review     BitFenix Hydra Pro Fan Controller Review  

 

As you might expect, in use the controller is simplicity itself.  With just 5 sliders and a button to control the LEDs it could hardly be anything else but.  The sliders move easily and although there's no visual display to tell you by how much the speed has increased or decreased it appears to be roughly a 50% alteration in speed between maximum and minimum.  The Hydra Pro is seen here installed into the front of the Storm Trooper, with the Bitfenix soft touch rubber being a perfect match in touch and appearance for that of the Cooler Master case.

BitFenix Hydra Pro Fan Controller Review    BitFenix Hydra Pro Fan Controller Review  

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Most Recent Comments

31-08-2012, 05:54:08

tinytomlogan
http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...115926373l.jpg

Able to handle 30W and control 5 channels, the Hydra Pro forms part of the new range of fan controllers from BitFenix

Continue Reading

31-08-2012, 08:51:05

AverageNinja
Great review!
Looks good in the CM Storm Trooper

31-08-2012, 10:16:11

Pholostan
I have one of those. Cheap, simple and sturdy enough. I've used it for a moth or so. No problems, works as advertised.

31-08-2012, 13:36:06

ruairi.C
^So how did it work with the moths? :P jk

02-09-2012, 08:51:00

Pholostan
Oh hilarious. And there is no way to edit? Oh well.

02-09-2012, 13:42:49

Master&Puppet
Looks good to me - I was in the market for a fan controller with at least 4x 20w channels. I ended up getting the Lamptron touch which I really like but it is nice to have more alternatives and this looks good at a much lower price.

02-09-2012, 15:54:22

wassupdoc
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pholostan View Post
Oh hilarious. And there is no way to edit? Oh well.
haha it did make me giggle that, we do like to jest the newbies :P you'll be able to soon

03-09-2012, 11:38:23

Pholostan
Quote:
Originally Posted by wassupdoc View Post
haha it did make me giggle that, we do like to jest the newbies :P you'll be able to soon
The spell checker isn't smart enough to know what I mean

Anyway, the fan controller is a steal for the price. Sure, no fancy functions, but basic good ones. It can handle one of those monster 1,6 amp Delta fans just fine.

08-09-2012, 00:24:36

CPMFW
great review as usual...
i really like the simple look of it.

15-11-2012, 20:00:44

Whaler_99
I have one question on this as I contemplate my new build. Hopefully someone will have an idea...

Will be using a NZXT Switch 810 White. So, I have the issue of the front fan on my 360 rad being blocked by the plate in the 5.25" cage (As TTL shows in his review). I am planning to dremel out a bit of that to allow unrestricted airflow. But, with this fan controller, I wonder if it would fit in that 5.25 bay partially taken up by the rad and fan. Then just tuke all the wires in behind. I am wondering if the PCB board and connectors would have enough space. Be great use of that bay.

Thanks,
Whaler

16-11-2012, 02:12:50

rossi94
I don't like the design - thanks for testing

16-11-2012, 03:19:59

Master&Puppet
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whaler_99 View Post
I have one question on this as I contemplate my new build. Hopefully someone will have an idea...

Will be using a NZXT Switch 810 White. So, I have the issue of the front fan on my 360 rad being blocked by the plate in the 5.25" cage (As TTL shows in his review). I am planning to dremel out a bit of that to allow unrestricted airflow. But, with this fan controller, I wonder if it would fit in that 5.25 bay partially taken up by the rad and fan. Then just tuke all the wires in behind. I am wondering if the PCB board and connectors would have enough space. Be great use of that bay.

Thanks,
Whaler
Yea that would work - I have the lamptron touch which looks like it has a very similar profile. You should have 1-2" spare behind the fan controller's PCB to fiddle with wires. It will be a little bit tight to work with the wires whilst the radiator is in but I think it would work.

16-11-2012, 07:28:27

Whaler_99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Master&Puppet View Post
Yea that would work - I have the lamptron touch which looks like it has a very similar profile. You should have 1-2" spare behind the fan controller's PCB to fiddle with wires. It will be a little bit tight to work with the wires whilst the radiator is in but I think it would work.
Thanks very much for the info!

Whaler

16-03-2013, 01:35:40

hood6558
This is very similar to the NZXT Sentry Mesh that I have installed in my 400R - same 30w specs, # of channels, and price. If it works as well as the Mesh, the Hydra should be a solid value and good enough for 95% of systems with multiple fans. I only wish that they both came with a double handful of splitters so you can use the full potential of the design. As it stands, you're only able to use 1 fan per channel, and each channel can easily handle 4 to 12 fans (typical .25 amps (Corsair AF-120 Perf. Series). So thats 12 of Corsair's highest flow/static pressure fans on each channel (.25a x 12 = 3a - each channel handles 3.75a). That's a (theoretical) total of 60 fans! Yes, I'd say these are good for large water cooling setups.

16-03-2013, 04:53:08

Master&Puppet
Quote:
Originally Posted by hood6558 View Post
I only wish that they both came with a double handful of splitters so you can use the full potential of the design. As it stands, you're only able to use 1 fan per channel, and each channel can easily handle 4 to 12 fans (typical .25 amps (Corsair AF-120 Perf. Series). So thats 12 of Corsair's highest flow/static pressure fans on each channel (.25a x 12 = 3a - each channel handles 3.75a). That's a (theoretical) total of 60 fans! Yes, I'd say these are good for large water cooling setups.
http://www.specialtech.co.uk/spshop/...pid-11831.html

17-03-2013, 14:26:34

hood6558
Thanks for the link, these look like high quality, and the 6-into-1 is perfect for 360/420 rads in push/pull. Never saw more than 4-into-1 before this. I am now using 2 of the cheap unsleeved 2-into-1 kind that look like they could short against something if you're not careful (all that's available locally). I will order some online soon and get my rig looking a little cleaner. Thanks again!
Reply
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