The AeroCool Gatewatch 2 is a 4-channel, 6 watt per channel automatic/manual fan controller. It fits into 2 5.25″ drive bays and has several buttons to control the fans and temeprature alarms, as well as to brighten and dim the LCD display. As a discontinued item, it has been available sporadically on closeout, and you might be able to snag one under $30.
Installing the AeroCool GateWatch 2 is easy: find 2 free 5.25″ bays for the unit and the holes provided should line up with the screw holes in the case. If you have a tool-less case, then you may have problems mounting a 2-bay device. Power is provided via a Molex connector, which provides power for the fans and the GateWatch 2’s display. Mounting of the temperature sensors (there are 4, one for each channel) is done with the included adhesive tape. Unfortunately, the tape comes loose after awhile, but you can always use your own tape.
The AeroCool GateWatch 2 allows you to configure up to 4 different alarms that can be based on a temperature or a lack of sensing fan RPM input. You can set the temperature alarm for anything within the range 25 to 90 C, at which point the reading will flash and an audible alarm will sound. The alarms are reliable, but it sounds for only a few seconds, so you have to be near the computer when the alarm goes off to benefit from it. The reading on the display will flash for a while longer before it too stops. It should be noted that the GateWatch 2 cannot power down your system. You cannot set a target speed for when the temperature exceeds the alarm temperature, which is a bit of a drawback.
The GateWatch 2 comes with 2 USB ports, and audio output/input jacks, which could come in handy if your case lacks these on the front panel, or if the front panel location of said ports is inconvenient.
As with a number of the AeroCool fan controllers, there are issues with readibility of the display. There are 3 settings for the display: high, low, and off. On the high setting, the display can be read from quite a distance, but you have to be level with the display; viewing the display from above or below will make reading the LCD panel difficult. Putting the included plastic magnification lens over the display does not help much and actually distorts the display.
Another issue is with the fan RPM settings. The GateWatch 2 only allows changing the fan speed between 700-1000 RPM. I would have expected a greater range of control.
Ultimately, this is not a product I would recommend, simply because it lacks many of the features of similarly-priced fan controllers (e.g. the ability to set a target fan speed when the temperature exceeds the alarm temperature, the ability to have greater control over the fan speed). The AeroCool Gatewatch 2 has apparently been discontinued and may be available on closeout, but unless you can find it at a bargain basement price, I would consider other options.
AeroCool Gatewatch 2 Features:
Futuristic clip-on magnifier for an enlarged LCD screen effect
Detects and controls 4 sets of temperature and fan speed channels
Automatic and manual control
Temperature warning alarm
LCD backlighting dimmer control
Switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit temperature displays
High speed USB 2.0 and audio ports
AeroCool Gatewatch 2 Specifications:
Power: 4-pin Molex Pass-Through
USB Connection: Motherboard Header
Audio Connection: Motherboard Header
Fan Connection: 3-pin
Fan Channels: 4
Thermal Sensors: 4
Magnification Lenses: 2 (Clear and Blue)
Mounting: 2 Consecutive 5.25″ Drive Bays