Digital Fan Controller Final Thoughts
I wasn’t expecting to receive a fan controller with the recent delivery of a NZXT S340 “Designed By Razer” edition ATX case, but it makes sense considering the main difference between the S340 and H440 (other than the size and greater water cooling capabilities) is the distinct lack of a fan controller.
I grew to really appreciate the strengths of a device like the GRID+ V2. It was compact enough to fit in any case, which is especially important for those tiny ITX enclosures (doubly so, since most ITX motherboards only contain one additional fan header at most). It has the potential to “grow” with your system and can be transplanted from one build to the next; something that can’t be done with a built-in fan controller (for those with the constant “upgrade” bug, this is a very valuable quality). It simplified fan wiring and helped with overall cable management – rather than routing fan cables across a motherboard or from one side of a case to the other, all fan wiring could go to one central location.
NZXT GRID+ V2 Conclusion
The GRID+ V2 performed exactly as expected. No complaints here. I suppose it may be possible to bump up against that 30W capacity if using high-amp, high-end fans all running at the full 12V, but I’d expect most users to invest in a fan controller to avoid that very situation. 30W is about perfect for six typical fans at 12V and ~0.40A.
The GRID+ V2 follows the same design language as other NZXT products. For a device that isn’t really meant to be seen or displayed the GRID is a pretty good looking little box. Again, no complaints here.
The plastic housing seems durable enough to house an internal fan controller PCB; the construction of this device is perfectly adequate for what it is designed to do. I’m sure there would be ways to improve this even further, it just really wouldn’t be necessary for a device that will be hidden in a corner somewhere. Perhaps a stronger material could enable thinner construction?
CAM enables quite a bit of functionality in the GRID+ V2. There’s nothing stopping someone from using it just as a simple fan hub, but those users would be missing out on all that the GRID+ V2 could offer. Some may lament the lack of physical/analog controls – after using the enhanced functionality of the GRID+V2 with CAM, I couldn’t imagine going back to a 5.25″ bay device.
The GRID+ V2 is shipping now for $34.99 (Newegg | Amazon). While that’s easily approaching a third of the price of many cases that a user would want to add a fan controller to, it’s also priced directly in the thick of many other bay devices and accessories. The GRID+ V2 stands relatively on its own as far as a device; even among the logical competition it offers just as much or more than most fan controllers on the market. It increases the total cost of an enclosure but adds a healthy amount of capabilities in doing so. Overall, I feel like it is a great value.
There’s really not much to say about the GRID+ V2 – it does exactly what a fan controller should do (and more), and it does it very well. I would easily recommend the GRID+ V2 to anyone looking for more control over a range of fans – it’s a simple, relatively inexpensive way to add high-end fan controls (or just simplify fan wiring/add fan headers) to any system. For all of these reasons, I feel the GRID+ V2 is one of the best picks on the market for a fan controller with these types of capabilities.
+ Surprising amount of functionality with CAM
+ Easy to use
+ Small size fits practically anywhere
+ Fits in any chassis
+ Easy way to add high-end fan controls
+ CAM actively developed with more features releasing over time
– Can approach 1/3 or even 1/2 the cost of chassis that would benefit from a fan controller (or that don’t include one stock)
– Max amount (6+) of high-RPM fans could potentially surpass 30W limit