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 Cobalt3 Pyramid V Fan Silencer - Page 1 of 1

Posted:  July 30, 2003
Author:  Jason Kohrs
Manufacturer:  Cobalt3
Source:  Quiet PC

Fan speed controllers come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and technologies, all focused on maintaining a safe balance between system temperature and noise level. One of the most unique products in this market is the Cobalt3 Pyramid V Fan Silencer available from Quiet PC.  It doesn’t look like most other fan controllers on the market, and it doesn’t quite function the same, either...

Click Image For Larger ViewThe entire Pyramid V unit is pictured in the image on the right, and noticeably absent from the typical fan speed controller are any switches, or knobs you might look for to make your adjustments.  The Pyramid V is full automatic, and relies on a built in temperature sensor to vary the speeds of the fans connected to it as necessary.  The basic physical features of the Pyramid V include: 1) the pyramid shaped housing that contains all of the necessary electronics, 2) Two 3-pin power connectors to connect to system fans,  3) A 4-pin power lead to receive power from your systems power supply unit, and 4) A 4-pin power lead to connect to system fans. The device features a power rating of 4 Amps, which translates to 48 Watts of power available to fans. By daisy chaining fans to the one 4-pin connector, one should easily be able to power eight 4-pin fans, in addition to the two 3-pin fans with just one Pyramid V Fan Silencer.

Click Image For Larger ViewClick Image For Larger View

The images above give a more detailed look at the Pyramid V housing... In the above left image, the small black knob at the top of the pyramid is the thermal sensor.  The blue wire connects it to the Click Image For Larger Viewsmall pcb which also features the units microprocessor, the audible alarm (the black cylinder on top of the pcb), and for Pyramid V+ models, colored leds. Quiet PC offers the Pyramid V with no led lighting, as well as led color choices of blue, green, red, and yellow to help add to the  aesthetic flair of the device.  As pictured in the above right image, there is an adhesive pad on the bottom of the Pyramid V that should hold its 1.5” x 1.5” footprint securely in place. As pictured in the image to the left, the Pyramid V comes in descriptive retail packaging that provides detailed information on the product, and includes both the fan silencer and a thorough instruction booklet.

Official Specifications of the Pyramid V Fan Silencer:

4Sensor Temperature Response Range : 65° F to 90° F (18° C to 32° C)
4Operating Temperature : 32° F to 167° F (0° C to 75° C)
4Relative Humidity : 5% to 95% (non condensing)
4Power Requirement : 12 V
4Internal Power Consumption : 0.025 Amps (0.3 Watts)
4Maximum DC Fan Current : 4 Amps (48 Watts)
4Dimensions : 1.5" X 1.5" X 1.1" (W X L X H)

Key Features of the Pyramid V Fan Silencer:

4Smart Device:  The pyramid V only speeds up the fans when required to dissipate excessive heat.  A microprocessor in the Pyramid V controls fan speed in a variable fashion, with far greater control than some of the low/medium/high type devices.

4dPOD Technology (Dual Power Output Driver technology): “This design provides for a N+1 type redundancy in the system under its continuous load rating of 4 amps. The Pyramid™ V achieves this high power rating with an inline power loss of only 25 milliamps of driving current, making its own heat generation negligible.” The 4 Amp rating is a hefty number, which according to Cobalt3, equates to upwards of eight 4-pin fans daisy chained together plus two 3-pin fans running off of 1 Pyramid V Fan Silencer!

4Fail Safe: If the internal processor of the Pyramid V should happen to fail, the fans connected to it will all revert to maximum speed, instead of just coming to a halt.  In addition, the processor will attempt to restart fans it detects that have stopped responding.

Installation of the Pyramid V is quite simple... All you need to find is an area in your case that may be a hot spot (such as near the power supply, the processor, or the exhaust vents), and that has enough surface area to mount the device using the adhesive backing. As shown in the pictures below, the bottom of my power supply provided a convenient location for running the wires, and should be one of the warmer spots in my case, as recommended in the instructions. The blue leds on the version I received make the Pyramid V look cool, but lets see what it does to keep a computer cool...

Click Image For Larger ViewClick Image For Larger View

Once installed, the device was connected to two 80mm exhaust fans (12V, .13A, 2750 RPM each) for testing. The power for the fans was provided by the Pyramid V, and the speed sensing leads on the fans were split off and connected directly to the motherboard for data acquisition.  Testing was then conducted on the following hardware and software:

4AMD Athlon XP2200+ CPU (overclocked at 166MHz fsb and 11.5 multiplier)
4Asus A7N8X Motherboard
4Motherboard Monitor (all temperature / rpm / voltage readings)
4SiSoft Sandra Max3! (for stress testing)
4Folding@Home 3 (for stress testing)

Testing consisted of comparing the temperatures in my system at both idle and load conditions without the Pyramid V installed, and then with the Pyramid V installed.  Idle conditions were achieved by not running any applications but Motherboard Monitor for a minimum of 30 minutes.  Load conditions were achieved by running both Folding@Home 3 and SiSoft Sandra Max3!’s “Burn In Wizard” for a minimum of 30 minutes.  For optimal stress testing, only the CPU Arithmetic Benchmark and CPU Multimedia Benchmark modules of the "Burn In Wizard" were selected. These programs provide 100% cpu utilization, which in turn generates more heat for the fans to dissipate.


Without Pyramid V

With Pyramid V



The table above shows screen captures from Motherboard Monitor during all four stages of the testing.  As you can see, the Pyramid V significantly reduced the case fan speeds, which in turn reduce the noise emanating from my system... and the case and cpu temperatures remained unchanged.  During idle conditions, the fans were able to run at about 65-75% of full speed, providing a noticeable drop in noise. Even during load conditions, the fans only ramped up to about 75-90% of full speed, and still maintained the same temperatures as before the device was installed.

The Cobalt3 Pyramid V Fan Silencer from Quiet PC is a very cool little device...  pun intended! It provides an extremely simple solution for effective fan control that looks cool while keeping your system cool and quiet. The 4 Amp rating is also impressive, allowing a user to connect numerous fans to just one device, and not having to worry about fan control on any of them again.  Available for $17.95 without led lighting, or $19.95 in your choice of four colored leds, the price is very attractive when compared to your typical rheobus (these are listed as sale prices and may change without my knowledge).

The only downside I can see with this device would be for people who may want to have some kind of manual control over their fans.  Although the full automation of the device is very convenient, the lack of manual fan speed control or adjustable thermal set points will not appeal to all users.

I have to admit that I was skeptical about the capabilities of this device before the review began, but after seeing it in action, I give the Cobalt3 Pyramid V Fan Silencer from Quiet PC 4 out of 5 stars...

     4Automatically controls fan speed for up to 8 fans with one unit.
     4Significantly reduced fan speed and noise, while maintaining same case temperature.
     4Failsafe, if the unit becomes overloaded fans go to full speed instead of being turned off.
     4Attractive little device that becomes a case mod thanks to the colored LEDs.
     4Installation is quick and easy.

     4No manual control for fan speed, thermal set points, or audible alarm set point.

Special thanks to Quiet PC for providing the Cobalt3 Pyramid V Fan Silencer for review!

Please drop by the BigBruin.Com Forum and feel free to discuss this review.


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