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AMDboard.com Review Special - 06/01/05

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Multi-Function Panel Shootout

Multi-function panels are becoming more and more popular thanks to an increased number of very useful features like flash card readers, fan control, temperature monitoring, plugs and extensions. Today are gathered here the two market leaders, the
SUNBEAM 20-in-1 and the ENERMAX DELUXE UC-9FATR2 for an ultimate fight where every single of their little secrets will be revealed and evaluated in the ultimate multi-function panel shootout. Let's now start with a look at both panels package:

THE PACKAGE

SUNBEAM 20-IN-1 SUPERIOR PANEL

As you can see, the
SUNBEAM 20-IN-1 box is very attractive and gives good indication of what you will find in the box. Once this one is opened we can find a plastic tray with 2 slots where cables and front panel are well packed. As you can see below, lot of cables are delivered with the SUNBEAM 20-IN-1 and this is not going to help keeping the inside of the box clean and tidy ;)























Here what we have with the
SUNBEAM 20-IN-1:
1 x Multi-function panel
2 x SATA cable
1 x USB cable with 2 Standard USB plugs (for motherboard I/O panel)
1 x 1394 cable with 1 x 6-pin IEEE1394 plug (for motherboard I/O panel)
1 x A/V RCA cable with 1 RCA plug (for motherboard I/O panel)
1 x Audio cable with 3 jack 3.5mm plugs (for motherboard I/O panel)
2 x 2-pin fan extension cable
2 x temperature sensors (already attached to the panel’s header)
1 x 4-pin power cable (already attached to the panel’s header)
1 x Card reader USB cable (4-pin for motherboard already attached to the panel’s header)
1 x L type vented Bracket
User’s manual, drivers’ CD, sensor stickers, screws and plastic ties

























The first observation concerns the USB, IEEE1394 and audio cables which are available exclusively for a back I/O panel connection.

ENERMAX DELUXE UC-9FATR2 MULTI-FUNCTION PANEL

The
ENERMAX DELUXE UC-9FATR2 box is a little bit smaller than its counterpart but the attraction remains as high as this latter. In the box, we find the same kind of packaging and the same amazing mass of cables of all sorts. Here is the complete list of what we have with the ENERMAX DELUXE UC-9FATR2:

























1 x Multi-function panel
2 x SATA cable
1 x USB cable with 2 Standard USB plugs (for motherboard I/O panel)
1 x USB cable with 9-pin motherboard connector
1 x 1394 cable with 1 x 6-pin IEEE1394 plug (for motherboard I/O panel)
1 x 1394 cable with 1 x 7-pin motherboard connector
2 x 2-pin fan extension cable
2 x temperature sensors (already attached to the panel’s header)
1 x 4-pin power cable (already attached to the panel’s header)
1 x Card reader USB cable (4-pin for motherboard already attached to the panel’s header)
1 x L type vented Bracket
User’s manual, drivers’ CD, sensor' stickers, screws and a couple cable ties


























INSIDE BOTH MULTI-FUNCTION PANEL

Now that we’ve seen the box content, let’s have a look to the panel itself. Both of them are made on the same concept of three main parts assembled in one single box. Here they are:

- Display unit with Temperature and fan monitoring
- Card reader & LEDs
- Plugs, connectors & fan VR (voltage regulator) control






























Temperature and fan monitoring
This part controlling and displaying temperature and fan speed offers several settings, a LCD display, 2 switches.

The settings concerns:
The way temperature is displayed (°C or °F) – Jumper on both panel
The fan failure alarm threshold (1000 or 2000RPM) – by jumper on both panel
The temp alarm threshold (see chart) – by jumper on SUNBEAM 20-IN-1 and switch on
ENERMAX DELUXE UC-9FATR2
It is very important to set all jumpers the way you like before mounting the panels on the PC.
This remark goes especially for the SUNBEAM 20-IN-1 where the alarm temp is set by jumpers. Remember that when all will be in place it’s going to be pretty hard to remove the panel again just to change the jumpers setting.



















The LCD display
With a blue backlight the same 28x11mm panel is the same both panel. It displays essential information like monitored fan speed, monitored temperature.
















The buttons
Both panel offers the same two buttons: One for resetting the monitoring processor once settings have been changed and the other for displaying alternatively the two monitored fan speed, and monitored temperature.

The pin headers
2 pin headers are located on the display backside of both contenders: One for the 2 sensors (normally already attached at delivery), one linked to the plug card that brings power and fans speed data.
Setting Jumper
  Jp1 Jp2 Jp3 Jp4 Jp5
1000 RPM OFF        
2000 RPM ON        
°C Display         OFF
°F Display         ON
45°C   OFF OFF OFF  
50°C   OFF OFF ON  
55°C   OFF ON OFF  
60°C   OFF ON ON  
65°C   ON OFF OFF  
70°C   ON OFF ON  
75°C   ON ON OFF  
80°C   ON ON ON  
Page 2 - Mounting the panels
Page 3 -
Using the panels & Conclusion
Page 2 - Mounting the panels
Page 3 -
Using the panels & Conclusion
Except for SATA, SUNBEAM 20-in-1 offers no direct connection to motherboard headers.
5 jumpers on Sunbeam
20-in-1 for setting up the alarm temp alarm, fan alarm and temp unit (°F or °C)
Enermax Deluxe Panel has only 2 jumpers (below) and Temp Alarm is set by switch with only 3 positions (45°C 55°C 65°C) versus 8 for Sunbeam 20-in-1
Enermax Deluxe Panel's jumpers for fan speed and temp alarms.
First case with integrated A/C
First case with integrated A/C
Cool articles for hot northbridge...
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Make it silent!
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Find the right DDR for your Opteron processor and motherboard
First case with integrated A/C
Cool articles for hot northbridge...
Best Price Finders from around the World
Make it silent!
PSU best links are just a click away!
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