A closer look at the Sentry 2
Taking the Sentry 2 out of the packaging one thing becomes immediately clear, that this is definitely designed well. The touch screen is protected with a plastic cover that is sticky enough to not come off, but not so sticky that it leaves residue. The Sentry 2 itself is finished in a lovely matt black that should fit in with all but the shiniest chassis. It perfectly blends in with my ATCS 840.
Moving around the side we get a better look at the cables. They are all well labelled which nicely circumvents the normal problem with fan controllers that they create more spaghetti than the rest of your case combined. Cable lengths are perfectly fine for top or front mounted fans, but a bit of a stretch for the exhaust fan on very large cases. Certainly you wont be able to cable route it without an extension, so be aware of that if you're a neat-freak with a window.
The headers themselves are on a ribbon initially, which helps keep the initial mess to a minimum and makes it easy to keep track during installation. Each header comes with a 3 pin and molex header, ensuring maximum compatibility. The thermal probes are equally on a ribbon and well protected by a hard plastic cover. Anyone who has had experience with a thermal probe before will recognise them, but if you haven't they are very thin indeed. Not thin enough that you could place them between the chip and the heatsink, but otherwise they'll fit anywhere you choose.
The installation is very simple. Turn off the PC, put the Sentry 2 in a spare drive bay, screw it in, attach a molex to the power in on the Sentry 2, plug your fans in, place the thermal probes in a nearby location to each fan should you wish to use the auto function or temperature display, and turn the PC back on. It's fantastically simple.
The first thing to test was that the displayed temperature from each thermal probe matched the sensor built in to the hardware. With the CPU it was one degree out on the low side (thinking the CPU was cooler than it was), but on the graphics card it reported two degrees higher than the sensor temperature. However this was because with a 4870X2 you have two GPUs on the one board and with the probe in between them it combines the heat from both. When the thermal probe was moved to next to one of the GPUs it also demonstrated a 2 degree variance from the reported temperature. I feel this is within tolerance though and close enough to the one degree variance NZXT claim.
The meat of the device is the touchscreen features themselves, so over the page and we'll take a close look at the NZXT Sentry 2 in action.