When you’re really all up about keeping your PC cool, you’d have a tons of fans in there. But what do you when you’re board only has 3-4 fan headers but you need more? What you need is a doctor for your extreme paranoia about temperatures. Kidding aside though, users that demand high-airflow utilize many fans in their rigs and this is where a fan controller comes in. Fan controllers vary right now with some model serve their purpose straight up with slide toggles for precision control but the growing trend right now are LED-lit, touch display capable of various other things like displaying fan speed, temperatures, etc. BitFenix wants to extend this functionality and their BitFenix Recon fan controller now comes with a mobile app that can control the Recon anywhere, anytime.
We’ve served up some BitFenix chassis reviewsÂ over the last weeks and we’ve really gotten to known the company and what they offer to the market which is a good balance of good build quality along with affordable options up to premium offerings all of which bear that distinct BitFenix touch. Speaking of touch, that’s exactly what the BitFenix Recon offers: a touch-capable LED-lit display for monitoring as well as controlling your cooling system.
|Materials||SofTouchâ„¢, ABS Plastic, Steel|
|Dimensions (WxHxD)||147 x 43 x 67mm|
|Form Factor||5.25″ Drive Bay|
|Fan Channels||x 5|
|Temperature Channels||x 5|
|Max Watts / Channel||10W|
|Measurement Frequency||Every 0.1 â€“ 0.4 Seconds|
|Temperature Alarm Range||30â„ƒ-90â„ƒ|
The BitFenix Recon is packaged in a colored box with a black/emerald motiff. Nothing really special in the packaging style. One side of the box highlights the features of the Recon.
Inside the packaging we have the main unit, fan header connectors, thermal probe pads, and some screws for securing the unit.
The BitFenix Recon is a single 5.25″ drive bay accessory with the main display highlighting current fan RPM and temperatures for 5 different channels and fans.
The BitFenix Recon uses an array of flat cables and and probe wires to link to the necessary spots. The cables can be routed at the back of the case for cable management but the probes will vary depending on location.
BitFenix rates the Recon to supply up to 10W of power per channel. While this is plenty enough for many fans out right now, high static pressure and high RPM fans will easily gobble of more power so make sure you take note of that when hooking up fans.
Once lit, the display of the Recon shows a bluish, white glow. Quite bright and distinct, you can easily navigate the controls even in a well-lit room.
Overall, the Recon has a simple,clean look to it and you can easily match it with any build you may have.
Moving over to the BitFenix Recon app which is available via the Google Play StoreÂ and also cloud-service from the recon host, we can see the same basic controls that we have for the primary unit. You can setup the Recon app to connect to a certain IP for remote access even outside of your network. The same can also be applied for the cloud-service version. Note that you will need a static IP and knowledge about port-forwarding for this to work… unless you are running an unsecured network.
User Experience & Conclusion
Hooking up the BitFenix Recon to our system, the first thing we noticed was it was really good-looking regardless of where you placed. While it does take some time to learn the control and find out how limited you really are in terms of control options, the fact that BitFenix has chosen to keep it this simple makes the Recon a kind of set-it-and-forget-it accessory. While we did have fun tweaking and programming it via the touch control, it was via the cloud-service web app and smartphone app that we really found the value of the Recon. If you’re like me that have a wide work area and have their PC in an always unreachable place but the whirring fans still makes it way to your eardrums, then the remote options of the Recon are exactly what you need to keep that racket down.
All in all, we are very pleased with the BitFenix Recon and at $39.99 or around Php1800, its not priced bad either. If there’s anything we can fault the Recon for, it could be the temp probe cables but there’s really only so much you can do with the limited length of the cables when you have to monitor varying areas. I’d say this is an acceptable a trade-off if you really just need to see what’s going on. If you are way beyond paranoid and need to check each and every fan though, we suggest a laser thermal gun and keeping the side panel of your chassis removed.
In all seriousness though, BitFenix has come up with an ingenious little gadget that provides a good balance of unique features for a reasonable price. It does it job and does it elegantly but goes the extra mile by providing remote control features. Now if you’re asking what person would have a need for this, let me give you MY own example: my PC at home is always-on and is used by my brothers and cousin to play games. My 780Ti would always reach really high temps and my bro would say the system would just shutdown occasionally. With the Recon’s remove feature I can glance at my home system’s temp even when I’m away at work. If that doesn’t work for you, it just looks cool. That’s all you need to know.