The name Sunbeamtech used to be synonymous with LED fans and other computer lighting gadgets. In the past year, things have really changed. They now offer a wide range of products, including a line of cases, coolers, input devices, and fan controllers, among other things. The fan controller category is of interest to us today, as Sunbeamtech has a totally new product to add to their line up, the Theta TP-101 software based fan controller.
Sunbeamtech has offered the typical fan controller (rheobus) in a variety of styles in the past, but the software based Theta TP-101 is much different. Instead of using knobs to mechanically vary resistance, a Windows interface is used to automate this through software, while providing on screen information for up to 8 fans and 8 thermal probes. Software based controllers are still quite uncommon, and the only other one we have reviewed at BigBruin.com is the mCubed T-Balancer covered in December 2004.
Before getting into the specifics of the item provided for review, let's take a look at some published data on the Theta TP-101 taken from the Sunbeamtech website.
• Maximum Power Per Channel: 10W
• System Requirement: Windows 98 / ME, 2000, XP
• Input / Output Voltage: 12Volt / 6-12Volt Recommend
• Display Resolution: 1024 x 768 or higher
• PC software control design.
• Settings of fans can be saved / loaded in PC.
• Fan settings schedule.
• Supports up to 8 channel of output. ( Max 10W per channel )
• Supports up to 8 thermal sensors.
• Fan error and overheat alarm.
• Fits in PCI slot.
• Connect to PC via USB
The review sample shipped directly from Taiwan, and well, the packaging looked like it had one wild adventure. The box shown below was beat up a bit, but the outer pouch it was traveling in looked much worse. Perhaps an unpadded pouch wasn't the best choice, but hopefully US retailers will ship from their stores in a rigid outer box in order to protect the contents.
Despite the cuts and dents in the packaging, you get a good overview of the Theta TP-101 from the images above.