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-- Hardcano 8 VR by Thermaltake
-- Price: $19.99 USD
-- 10.30.2003
-- By: merlinicorpus
-- Page: 1 2 3 4 5

   Before installing the device, I decided to run a few quick tests to see how the unit preformed.  I broke out my mulitmeter and a spare Sunon 80mm fan I had sitting in my tool box and hooked up everything to my computer.  Keep in mind that my computer was putting out a rock solid 12.03V throughout the tests.  I tested in the following manner.  For each channel I tested the voltage with the fan running at full speed, at the half way point on the dial, and when the dial was set to its minimum position.

   The results I got were not very encouraging.  The first channel put out 11.93V at full, 9.52V at half, and 8.51V at the lowest point.  You expect a slight drop of top voltage with any rheobus due to the way they work, but there didn't seem to be much adjustment.  It almost immediately fell to the 9.5V mark as I started to dial down, and then hovered there until it nose dived again to 8.5V.  In my opinion it behaved more like a 3 position switch than a actual rheo.  Things got even worse as I moved on to the other three channels.  All of them followed the same basic pattern.  They only managed to eek out 11.15V at full, which dropped like a stone to 7.5 at the halfway point, and then only fell to 7V at the low point.  Even after playing with it for an extended period of time, I was unable to get a reading that was not approximately 11V or 7V.  There was almost no control whatsoever over the voltage.  It didn't matter whether the dial was at 3/4 or all the way off, it still put out more or less 7V.  The top voltages where not with in the rated specs either.  At the full on setting, the ratings dictate that it should put out 12V with a tolerance of 5%.  The output of 11V was off by about 9% of the rated voltage.  This isn't something that will probably impact performance in a significant fashion, but its not within specs.

   Installation was pretty strait forward, once you get the wires figured out.  Plug all of the included molex to 3 pin adaptors together, plug all of those into the bay, plug in the resulting mess of wires into your power supply, and then hook your fans up to the remaining plugs.  All that's left is sliding it into an open drive bay like you would a CD drive.

   For some reason, the Thermal Take designers decided to make the front of the bezel in a wave shape.  No matter how you position it, you cannot get it to mount flush with everything else.  You will ether have something sticking out,  being recessed, or both.  Here you can also see why most companies choose either black, silver, or beige for their products.  Even though I have a blue case, the rheobay sticks out like a sore thumb because its a different shade of blue.  Of all of the thousands of blue colored cases out there, they are all a slightly different shade of blue, and it is simply impossible for it to blend in with all or any of them.

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