The Lamptron FC5V3 is a 6-channel, 30 watt per channel manual fan controller. It has the many of the same features as the FC5V2, but adds a few more features, the most notable of which is that it increases the number of channels from 4 to 6. It is available in black anodized aluminum and silver and fits into a 5.25-inch drive bay. The product is not yet available, so we can only speculate on what the price will be, but Lamptron’s website lists an MSRP of $89.99. Since Lamptron’s controllers usually sell for less than the MSRP, and the FC5V2 sold for about $55, we can probably assume a price between $55 and $89.99.
The FC5V3 includes 6 temperature probles, 4 3-pin extension cables for the fans, a Molex cable and mounting screws. There is also a braided extension cable provided for the power connector. Since the maximum power required by the controller is 180 watts (6 x 30 watts), a 500 watt or greater PSU is recommended. Each channel provides the full range of 0V-12V meaning you can switch fans off at will, distinguishing the FC5V3 from many other fan controllers. One of the new features of V3 of this fan controller is “start boost voltage”, which means that each fan gets an initial 12-volt boost, which should enable you to quickly find the lowest voltage for each fan. This can be disabled using a jumper on the PCB.
The circuitry of the FCV3 is ontained on a single PCB, which contains the 6 3-pin fan headers and 6 2-pin temperature probe connectors, the cables for the fans and the temperature sensors are included in the box, and the fan cables are braided.
Temperature can be toggled between Celsius and Fahrenheit, and, as with the FCV2, current voltage, RPM and temperature are displayed simultaneously for each channel. The far right dial also acts as a control button to toggle the alarm function (the V3 boasts 3 different alarm modes). The FC5V3 has a wider display than the FC5V2 to accommodate the additional two fan channels. The FC5V3 doubles the number of available colors for the display from 8 to 16, and they can be toggled using the first dial, which can be pushed in flush with the front of the panel when it is not needed. This is an improvement over the FC5V2, which requires the use of jumpers on the PCB to change the display color.
The Lamptron FC5V3 looks to be another reliable Lamptron product, and offers enough improvements over V2 (most notably, 2 extra channels, 16 display colors instead of 8, and the start boost voltage feature) to make it a compelling offering. Consumers looking for a budget model, however, would probably be better off with the Sunbeamtech Rheosmart 6, my favorite budget fan controller, or the Bitfenix Recon, which is not only moderately priced ($39.99), but can be controlled via the Internet. Consumers just looking for a basic manual fan controller and who are not put off by the Lamptron’s (projected) higher price will undoubtedly like the FC5’s simple-yet-elegant look (no cheap plastic here; the front is either brushed aluminum or silver). Those consumers should give the Lamptron FC5V3 consideration.
Lamptron FC5V3 Specifications:
- Dimension: 148.5mm*42.5mm*63mm(5.25″ Bay)
- LCD Dimensions: 136mm*19mm (wide screen)
- Power Output: Up to 30 watts per channel
- Control Channel: 6 Channels
- Panel Color Available: Black Anodized / Silver
- DC Input: +12v (Standard 4 Pin Molex / “D” Connector)
- DC Output: 0V- 12V DC
- Connectors: 6 X 2510-3pin connectors
- Recommend PSU wattage: 500w or higher
New Features compared to the FC5 v2:
- Start boost voltage
- New wide LCD display
- 16 colors to personalize the display
- Commands on the front
- 3 different alarm modes
Other Great Features:
- 6 channels
- 30 W per channel
- Sleeved cables
- Black PCB
- CNC milled aluminium face-plate