At the current state of case modding and cooling, fan and bay buses are as common as screws in a case. Everyone knows the benefits of using these bay controlling devices to monitor and tune fans and other items within a case. With demand comes innovation, which is what Cobalt 3 has provided. They have created a fan device that automatically speeds up a fan when it is needed and speeds it down when it is not. Let's take a look at their Pyramid II.
The Pyramid II is simply a device that takes over the job of a fan/bay bus. Instead of manually flipping switches and turning knobs, this little device has a temperature probe at the top that controls whether to speed up or speed down your fans. Let's take a look at some quick specs:
Multiple fans can be controlled, up to 2.0 amps, ~24 Watts of total power (3-6 fans) chained together
Operating Temperature : 32° F to 122° F (0° C to 50° C)
Relative Humidity : 5% to 95% (non condensing)
Dimensions : 1.5" X 1.5" X 1.1" (W X L X H)
The Pyramid II is designed for use in personal computers, it is not recommended in heavily used server machines. Possible future revisions may be directed towards these environments.
In the box you get the device itself, a packet of alcohol wiping cloth and instructions.
The Pyramid is very light and can be placed just about anywhere within your box. Recommended areas include the top rear where heat passes through, or any region where heat is abundant.
A temperature probe is at the tip of the Pyramid. Avoid touching the tip of the sensor for better results.
The pictures in the manual are pretty dark and blurry so take note here as to how to install it. A female and male molex connector is attached to the Pyramid itself. The female molex from your 80,92 or 120mm + fan will connect to the male connector, pictured on the right above. Power the Pyramid by attaching a male connector from your power supply to the female connector, pictured to the left above. You can chain more fans this way controlling between 3-6 total fans not exceeding 24 Watts. Remember to do this after powering down your computer.
Once you finish the connectors, find a place to stick the Pyramid inside the case. For my quick test, I placed it at the bottom of my plexi case first. I used a 27CFM Sunon 80mm as a single fan test subject. Since each case and environment is different, your temperature results will vary.
From the product description, this device basically aids in silencing your noisy fans when the system does not need it. For example, if you are heavily using the system, more than likely CPU temperatures will rise which will also raise case temperatures. This rise in turn causes the sensor on the Pyramid to kick in and start the process of pumping more juice to the fan. As soon as case temperatures drop, the sensor sees the change in temperature and starts limited the amount of voltage, causing whatever fan that's attached to slow down. This minimizes noise when it is not needed without much human intervention.
In my test with the Sunon, it accomplishes what it states pretty efficiently. The test bed was our test rig that consists an AMD TBird 1.4Ghz with no fans other than the CPU fan. While the Pyramid was sitting at the bottom of the case, the fans were roughly at about half voltage. I ran another fan on a fan bus that had 7V controls, noise level was close in both situations. As soon as the Pyramid was moved upwards towards the CPU's heatsink, the Sunon fan spun up in about 13 seconds. Moving the Pyramid back down away from the heat caused the fan to spin down in about the same time.
To see how well it handles numerous fans, 5 80mm fans rated at 1.5V were hooked together, handled without any problems. This was a mixture of whatever fans that were available, which include Sunon and other generic models. A quick check with our thermal probe showed case temperatures did not change too much when the Pyramid was being moved to a warmer location. At most 1 degree C were noted on our probe.
Overall, the aim of this Pyramid Fan Silencer is quite simple. It aids in the control of case fans without any switches being flipped by the user. It also has a failsafe backup where if the Pyramid fails, it will automatically provide the fan with the maximum voltage. If you have some high power fans and want an automated solution, then the Pyramid II is the perfect candidate. On the other hand, if you are using low noise fans like Panaflos then there really is no reason to get this item. You will barely hear the difference with the use of low noise fans.
Thanks to Cobalt 3 for sending us this item, one of the more innovative items to come through lately.