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Control Your PC Fan Speed With Hardware or Software

By Will Greenwald

This almost certainly qualifies as overkill, but it's still one of the best-looking fan controllers available.

This almost certainly qualifies as overkill, but it's still one of the best-looking fan controllers available. The NZXT Sentry LXE external fan controller lets you monitor your computer's temperature and adjust the various fan speeds with a color, touch-sensitive LCD display. The controller connects to an included PCI-E board, which adjusts up to 5 fans and measures temperatures from up to 5 temperatures at once. While it uses up a PCI-E slot, it doesn't take up the usual 5.25-inch device bay most hardware fan controllers occupy. At $60, it's an affordable, if overbuilt, way to make sure your custom-built, hyper-tweaked computer stays at the appropriate temperature.   


 
Aerocool, Lian-Li, Scythe, and Zalman all make several different fan controllers, ranging from simple dials to complex touch-sensitive LCDs. 

 Zalman's ZM-MFC2 Fan Controller

 
Intel Desktop Utilities, a free system utility that can track temperatures and fan speeds. For older Intel systems, the company has Active Monitor and Desktop Control Center. AOpen, Asus, and MSI motherboards can respectively use their companies' SilentTek, Q-Fan, and CoreCenter utilities. If you don't want to use first-party software, the free third-party SpeedFan utility works with several makes and models of motherboards. 
 
Do you actively monitor and control your PC's case fans? If so, do you use a hardware or software solution?