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Thread: NZXT Grid+ V2 Fan Controller

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    NZXT Grid+ V2 Fan Controller

    I recently moved my main rig to a new case - a Cooltek W2 - which meant that my long serving manual fan controller (a Scythe Kaze Master) could only be mounted at the rear of the case which is obviously a right pain on the odd occasion I want to run my fans faster. My PC is 'tuned' to be quiet most of the time but I occasionally game, run benchmarks or stress tests and I don't like leaving my fans at 900 RPM when I do that. I tried going back to motherboard fan control but SpeedFan doesn't have good support for my motherboard (a Gigabyte G1 Sniper*) and Gigabyte's fan control software is frankly crap on my board too - the headers have different control methods and the software itself isn't reliable so I needed "something else". The idea of software control really appealed and after a bit of research I narrowed the choices down to one of the following:



    The NZXT arrived today from Scan:


    This is a "new and improved NZXT Grid+" fan controller (hence V2) which promises independent software control for 6 channels (6 fans or more if you use splitters) and is a fairly small and discrete box that can be mounted pretty much anywhere within my case, which should help with the rat's nest in the PSU section of my case.

    This is the motherboard side of my W2 as was - with 7 fans connected:


    Which are / were:

    • 2 x Thermalright TY-147 fans (140mm, 1,300RPM, 4 pin PWM) in the front.
    • 2 x Scythe Gentle Typhoon fans (120mm, 1450 RPM, 3 pin) in the bottom of the case.
    • 2 more Gentle Typhoons (same spec) on my heatsink (Scythe Ninja 4).
    • 1 x Scythe GlideStream 120 (120mm, 1500RPM, 4 pin) as an exhaust fan - mounted outside the case. This is the fan that came with the Ninja 4 - it's not sold separately as far as I know.


    With the Grid+ I've kept the first 6 and dropped the exhaust fan - I might put it back later but if I do I'll need to use fan splitters - which means moving things around so that I have 2 fans of the same spec on the splitter.

    This is the PSU side of my W2 - with a rat's nest stuffed into the 5.25" bay:


    When I took the case apart it had just been turned off and I noticed the rat's nest was rather warm. As I don't need the 5.25" bay for anything with the new fan controller I took the bay (and the old fan controller) out and have split the cables up to (hopefully) reduce the amount of warm air sitting behind the motherboard's CPU area:


    The GRID+ is currently only held in place by the various cables - I might tidy it up later but it's pretty firmly held in as it is.

    To control the fans you need to install both the drivers and NZXT's CAM software. Before the drivers are installed you see this in device manager:


    After:


    The CAM software itself seems quite good, though it's typical fare by current standards in as much as it:

    • Asks you to create an account and login (you can log in as a guest and tell it to never ask again)
    • Has extra crap I don't really want (FPS monitoring, etc) though you can turn this off


    It also has a non-standard ("skinned") graphical interface. It's fairly logically laid out but could definitely be better - it's a shame you can't see the profile settings and the current RPMs side by side for example. Functionality wise:

    • You tie each individual fan to either the CPU or GPU temperature.
    • Each fan can have it's own profile - or you can use the same profile for multiple fans.
    • Each profile maps fan speed to temperature - the temperature and fan levels are saved in the profile, but the associated sensor (CPU or GPU temp) is tied to the fan - so you could have the same profile (same set of speeds and temperature level triggers) for multiple fans, with some fans tied to the CPU temperature and some to the GPU temperature. This seems odd given that in most PCs (especially 'enthusiast' PCs) the GPU temperature is likely to be quite different from the CPU temperature.
    • It's a shame you can't link a single fan to both sensors (both CPU and GPU temperature) using either the same profile (the same trigger points) or two different profiles.
    • It's a shame CAM can't control other fans (e.g. GPU fan speed)


    At the moment I have tied:

    • The two front intakes to the CPU temperature (though it would make more sense for the lower front intake to be GPU related) using a single profile.
    • The two bottom intakes to the GPU temperature using a single profile.
    • The front heatsink fan to the CPU temperature (duh!) using a single profile.
    • The rear heatsink fan to the CPU temperature using a different profile so that I can leave it off when the CPU is cool enough - I've done this as I get reverb from either the heatsink itself or the case when both fans are running. At some point I will take the fans off the heatsink and put some padding between them and the heatsink and try again.


    Which looks like this in CAM:


    As above, when configuring the fan modes / profiles you can't see the current RPMs (similarly, you can't see CPU and GPU temperature in the above Grid+ tab):


    The "dashboard" view does a little better - you can see CPU and GPU temperatures and loads as well as the fan speed - for a single (selectable) fan only:


    Testing with FurMark and Prime 95 shows that it's working as expected - changes in fan speed are being made according to the temperature of the GPU and CPU and the configuration in CAM - it's a shame CAM can't control the GPU fan speed as well.

    Running just FurMark sets the two bottom fan intakes to 100% (as requested) with the remaining fans still tied to CPU temperature (and hence still running slowly):


    Running just Prime95 does the opposite - only the fans tied to CPU temperature speed up:


    The fan speed control seems consistent enough - in that the Grid+ reacts quickly and controls the same fans to the same degree. The variation in fans speeds shown between the "same" fans above has settled out and reflects what I saw on my old controller - i.e. it's variation between the fans.

    Setting the fan speed to 0% does turn the fan off - though this may depend upon the fans used. The percentage levels don't tally with the fan ratings - though this isn't a surprise, as I wasn't expecting a linear response. For example, the Thermalright TY-147s run at around 1,300 RPM at 100%. 1020 RPM at 75%, 840 RPM at 50% and 690 RPM at 45%. Anything less than 45% and the fans stall. If a fan stalls the Grid+ spins it up then slows it down again - stalling the fan again - which makes an annoying noise (quick / slow / quick / slow / quick). All of my fans seem to stall at 40% but are fine at 45%. Again this isn't surprising but expected behaviour based on past experience of other fan controllers. It would be impressive if the CAM software could calibrate each fan and allow you to set RPMs rather than percentages but it isn't necessary - it works - it changes fan speeds depending upon temperature - and the rest is up to the user.

    The CPU temperature shown in the CAM dashboard (and presumably used by the CAM profiles) seems to be an average of all cores (not the motherboard socket sensor). GPU temperature is the same as shown by FurMark, etc - i.e. it's the right one.

    * I won my motherboard in a competition some time ago (thanks to Scan, Hexus and Gigabyte). It's a good board but it was bloody expensive new and it looks daft so I'd have never bought it myself.
    Last edited by malfunction; 18-09-2015 at 03:13 PM.

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    Treasure Hunter extraordinaire herulach's Avatar
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    Re: NZXT Grid+ V2 Fan Controller

    this looks interesting, but as far as I can tell still relies on motherboard sensors for temperature control? I'd be really interested to know whether you can have some profiles linked to GPU temp and others to CPU, would make it ideal for my WC loop.

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    Senior Member Spreadie's Avatar
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    Re: NZXT Grid+ V2 Fan Controller

    I'm interested to know if the "independent" control means you can split the fan channels across multiple temperature curves. I really like my Grid+ V1, but you can only create a fan profile against either the GPU or the CPU - you can't split the fans between the two. It isn't a big deal, but it does mean CPU intensive tasks will spin up the fans on the GPU radiator unnecessarily, and vice-versa.
    Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes; after that, who cares?! He's a mile away and you've got his shoes!


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      • CPU:
      • Xeon X5670 (6 core LGA 1366) @ 4.4GHz
      • Memory:
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    Re: NZXT Grid+ V2 Fan Controller

    Quote Originally Posted by herulach View Post
    this looks interesting, but as far as I can tell still relies on motherboard sensors for temperature control? I'd be really interested to know whether you can have some profiles linked to GPU temp and others to CPU, would make it ideal for my WC loop.
    Quote Originally Posted by Spreadie View Post
    I'm interested to know if the "independent" control means you can split the fan channels across multiple temperature curves. I really like my Grid+ V1, but you can only create a fan profile against either the GPU or the CPU - you can't split the fans between the two. It isn't a big deal, but it does mean CPU intensive tasks will spin up the fans on the GPU radiator unnecessarily, and vice-versa.
    Yes is the short answer, long answer above.

    All done for now - any more questions or requests please let me know. Hopefully this 'restores my karma' following the 750 Ti I won here and never reviewed (short version: it runs nice and cool and quiet but isn't really capable of running modern games with all the bling turned on - made a lovely card for my HTPC though).
    Last edited by malfunction; 18-09-2015 at 02:27 PM.

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      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte G1.Sniper (with daft heatsinks and annoying Killer NIC)
      • CPU:
      • Xeon X5670 (6 core LGA 1366) @ 4.4GHz
      • Memory:
      • 48GB DDR3 1600 (6 * 8GB)
      • Storage:
      • 1TB 840 Evo + 1TB 850 Evo
      • Graphics card(s):
      • 290X
      • PSU:
      • Antec True Power New 750W
      • Case:
      • Cooltek W2
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell U2715H

    Re: NZXT Grid+ V2 Fan Controller

    For what it's worth I stumbled upon this link for the Grid+ (V1) while researching fan controllers:

    https://rizvanrp.com/2014/11/nzxt-gr...trol-software/

    ...which details the commands and responses sent to and from the controller. From a quick port dump the V2 seems to use exactly the same protocol and commands - the only difference being that the "set fan RPM"* (44) and poll voltage (84) commands have a fan number in the 2nd byte of the command, e.g.

    44 01 C0 00 00 0C 00
    44 02 C0 00 00 0C 00
    44 03 C0 00 00 0C 00
    44 04 C0 00 00 0C 00
    44 05 C0 00 00 0C 00
    44 06 C0 00 00 0C 00

    84 01
    84 02
    84 03
    84 04
    84 05
    84 06

    The responses seem the same as detailed in the link - no fan number included, just "C0 00 00 [xx] [xx]"

    * "Set Fan RPM" is how the above links describes it - though it appears to be controlling voltage, hence 0C being "100%" (0C = 12 = 12V)
    Last edited by malfunction; 22-09-2015 at 10:00 AM.

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    Re: NZXT Grid+ V2 Fan Controller

    That is an interesting read, thanks!
    Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes; after that, who cares?! He's a mile away and you've got his shoes!


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      • Xeon X5670 (6 core LGA 1366) @ 4.4GHz
      • Memory:
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    Re: NZXT Grid+ V2 Fan Controller

    The first 'formal' reviews have appeared (nothing to do with me in case anyone's wondering):

    http://proclockers.com/reviews/cooli...troller-review
    http://www.thinkcomputers.org/nzxt-g...troller-review

    ...couldn't find any before I ordered it!

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    Senior Member Spreadie's Avatar
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    Re: NZXT Grid+ V2 Fan Controller

    I may upgrade, although it'll have to wait until October - I've spent far too much money on my server over the last week and, if another piece of tech appears in our house this month, my wife might break out the rolling pin!
    Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes; after that, who cares?! He's a mile away and you've got his shoes!


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    bored out of my tiny mind malfunction's Avatar
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    Re: NZXT Grid+ V2 Fan Controller

    Random update:

    You can use more than one in the same PC if you want to (not that I plan to, long version below).

    I'm currently testing out using another controller (another Grid+ V2) as a means to control the fan speed in my VM server, which will require pass through (or maybe even a bit of coding) as CAM only supports Windows. As a temporary testing measure I've plugged the USB connection for the new Grid+ into my main PC and CAM shows and allows me to select between the two Grid+ devices.

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