Aerocool GateWatch 2
Like many peripherals for your PC the Aerocool GateWatch 2 is designed to give you information while at the same time being functional. In this case we have a fan and temperature monitor as well as controller. The GateWatch 2 uses an LCD to display readings and settings and allows you to monitor up to 4 fans and 4 different temperatures. The GateWatch 2 is the update to the original GateWatch which was a true fan controller. We will explore the controls and features of the GateWatch 2 shortly but for now the main difference lies in layout and in the ability to actually control fan speeds easily.
The GateWatch 2 comes with 4 fan power connectors, 4 thermal probes, and extensions for front audio as well as 2 USB connectors. The controller itself has 7 buttons on the front that allow you to swap between current temperature readers, current fan RPM, and alarm settings. Additionally multi-functional buttons to dim or brighten the LCD are included that also serve to allow the user to set multiple temperature triggered alarms or vary fan speeds from 700-1000 rpm. We did get inconsistent fan speeds between identical fans leading us to believe that the voltage being supplied is not consistent across each of the four power leads. On 1 power connector we read 11.49V and 4.3V for the 12V and 5 V rails. On the second power connector we read 11.51V and 4.34V which is close enough to the first reading that any differences in rpm must be due to the particular fan and not the GateWatch 2.
Installing the GateWatch 2 is easy enough. You will require 2 free 5.25 inch bays for the GateWatch 2 and holes are provided which should line up to existing bay screw holes. Those with tool-less cases where the drives are mounted differently may encounter some issues mounting a 2 bay device. Take this into consideration when purchasing. Power is provided to the GateWatch 2 via an inline molex connector which supplies power for your fans and the LCD. Mounting of the 4 temperature probes is done with the included thermal tape. Having had experience with this kind of tape in the past we knew what to expect and unfortunately were not proven incorrect. The included tape is meant to hold the thermal probe to whatever position and device you want to monitor. Unfortunately this tape always comes loose in a short period of time. We would suggest you use something with a bit more holding power if you want to measure temperatures on a bit more permanent basis. We attempted to mount the thermal probes using the tape to the CPU, VGA, HDD, and CASE/Mobo and in each case the tape lasted only a matter of days before the thermal probe fell off. We suggest you be careful before applying glue or a substitute tape as your VGA card can get hot enough to cause flammability issues with certain substances.