SunbeamTech Chromatic Windmill

Written by Patrick Ng    Wednesday, 06 July 2005 11:00
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SunbeamTech Chromatic Windmill
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Overclocking just isn't the same anymore. Where is the fun in performance with no eye candy? We've had the chance to review modding accessories from Sunbeam Technologies, but their initial batch did not look promising. The moment they sent me the 20-in-1 Superior Panel, I noticed a shift in their ideas. They wanted to give consumers something pre-modded, but useful.

At first glance, SunbeamTech's Chromatic Windmill looks to be plain and lacking in options. However, it combines the idea of a rheostat and a system temperature monitor to form a function panel for better control of your system. How does this product stand out when compared to other function panels, such as the Superior Panel? I had high expectations for the Superior Panel, so hopefully the Windmill is the same.


 

 


 

 

Packaging

The Chromatic Windmill features a fan controller that supports up to 7 fans and temperature sensors, monitoring your CPU, HDD, and system temperatures. Each channel of the fan controller can support up to 10watts, for a total of 70watts. Fans like the Delta Extreme High Speed would not be suitable for this function panel, as they use 16.2watts. There is an alarm in the unit that works together with the sensors and will ring when temperatures reach the mark you set. The Windmill will fit in a 5.25" bay and does not have any extra pieces sticking out, so it will fit snuggly in a case with a front cover.

The Packaging:

The Windmill comes packaged with two bags of cables, an instruction manual, two batteries, and a few screws. For every port on the Windmill, there is a corresponding cable. Each of these cables are labeled for your convenience. The instruction manual is simply a function sheet that provides the description of each button or option.

 

 


 

Chromatic Windmill

The Windmill unit is very small for a 5.25" function panel. It has a brushed aluminum look and feel. On the front of the panel, there is a protective film attached to the acrylic plastic. To the left is the dial to increase or decrease the values that can be set once the panel is powered. To the right are the buttons to set the time, control fan speed, lock the keys, and change the temperature mode between Celsius and Fahrenheit. Right in the middle is the LCD screen.

Located on the back of the unit are the connectors for the fans and temperature sensors. There is a reset button to return the functions back to default. Under the reset button is a blank hole, which seemed to be a missing Celsius/Fahrenheit button. The battery compartment allows the unit to store the time and date.

 


 

Interior

Taking a look inside the unit reveals a spacious area. The Windmill could be even smaller than it is, as the interior is mostly empty space. Shifting over to the connectors circuit board, I noticed that there is a Celsius/Fahrenheit button sign right under the reset button. My first thought was that the button was missing, but there is a button on the front for it already. This was somewhat confusing at first, but just disregard it because it doesn't do anything.

Operation:

Making the Windmill work is self explanatory. Hit the desired key and set the desired values with the dial. The following diagram will explain the LCD screen.

 

 


 

Conclusion and Thoughts

 

 

 

SunbeamTech has come a long way in a short period of time. From their premature mod accessories to the Chromatic Windmill, they have evolved into an innovative company. The Windmill stands out from other function panels, in that it can control up to seven fans while monitoring the temperatures of several different parts of your computer. Aside from that, the LCD screen has a nice mix of colors that simply make it a beautiful addition to your system. The only things I didn't really like about it were the 'cheap' feel that you get when you see the plastic dial and buttons and the cables creating a huge mess. If you plan to use both the Windmill and the Superior Panel, the cable mess is greater. Lastly, the consumer must once again pay attention to the price tag. The Windmill costs about $30. As a fan controller, it would be of great use. However, if you're not looking to control that many fans, you'll get more use out of the Superior Panel, which costs about the same price.

Pros:

  • Beautiful colors on LCD
  • Brushed aluminum unit
  • Comes in two different colors (silver and black)
  • Able to control up to seven fans
  • Can monitor temperatures with sensors

Cons:

  • Cheap feel from the dial and buttons
  • Confusion caused from extra button under reset
  • Can not control high powered fans (only up to 10watts)
  • Cables can be messy
  • Time and date only ranges from year 2002-2009

We would like to thank Sunbeam Technology for providing us the sample.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free to hit us up in the forums. You can also check out more of our latest reviews on the front page.

 

 

 

 

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