BitFenix Hydra Pro Fan Controller Review
Performance Testing and Conclusion
BitFenix have already made a name for themselves not only by offering quality products at decent prices but by offering the consumer something perhaps a little bit different. We still remember the first BitFenix products to come through our hands here at OC3D and can reflect on how well made we thought they were. We're pleased to say that unlike so many firms (and not just PC hardware manufacturers) as the company has grown they haven't let their quality standards slip.
So why all this talk of quality? Well in today's age of austerity we want to be sure that our hard earned £££ is buying us a decent product, and not some pile of crap that will fall apart in a few weeks. This applies to even the cheapest and least significant of our purchases. And this is where the Hydra Pro comes in. It's only £25. Yes I know you can get fan controllers for less than that, but if that's what you're thinking then you obviously haven't cottoned on to the point i'm trying to make here. At just £25 you're close to the very bottom of the fan controller price band however for the money you're still getting a 5 channel fan controller, built to high quality standards and finished in soft touch plastic. It's able to control compatible LED fans as well as offering 30W per channel meaning multiple fans can be strung together, or even used to power a WC rig. Combine these main points with generous cable lengths and simple operation and you've got a winning formula.
In conducting a review it's important to find good and bad alike in a product. Sometimes this is easier than others either because the product is very bad, or in this case because the product is very good. In cases such as this finding fault can often feel like nit picking, but nit pick we must if we want to be fair and even. For us, the gun metal sliding control knobs both look and feel to be the weak point of the controller. They don't feel as sturdy as perhaps they could and don't have the soft touch coating, which would have been nice, especially as this is the bit you will be touching. Now don't go thinking this is a major fault, it's not, remember we said we were being picky here, and remember this is a £25 controller after all. On the plus side, as they are sliders as opposed to knobs, you're not going to have any problems fouling case front doors.
If the Hydra Pro does have a real problem it's that the there are an awful lot of very good fan controllers that cost only £5-£10 more than it, including a whole raft of Scythes and the soon to be reviewed BitFenix Recon which offers remote control via a web attached device for just £5 more.
If you're strapped for cash then the Hydra Pro represents one of the best fan controllers you can buy for the money. If however you can stretch just that little bit further then a hole world of options opens up to you. That said, I still think you might find yourself being drawn back to the Hydra Pro as it is plain and simple a cracking little 5 channel fan controller.