Aerocool Strike-X Front Panel Display

Search form

Promotions

Posted by on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - 4:03pm

Aerocool Strike-XAerocool has hit the market with a new model that is more visually striking than the FX6T. The new Strike-X offers full ability to control up to five fans and monitoring five different temperature probes. The Strike-X obviously gets its name from the big red ‘X’ display in the front. That big red ‘X’ can be replaced with a black one as well to better match your case and personal preference.

Introduction to the Aerocool Strike-X Panel

Over the years we have seen Aerocool emerge as one of the industry leaders in cases, cooling fans and front panel devices (which we especially like). The styling and functionality of the various models we have seen from Aerocool have been some of the best on the market. The last model we reviewed was the F6XT was not as visual as some of their others, but it did what it was intended: control six channels worth of fans. 

Aerocool has hit the market with a new model that and it is more visually striking than the FX6T. The new Strike-X offers control for up to five fans and monitoring of five different temperature probes. In addition to that there are two audio and USB ports. The Strike-X obviously gets its name from the big red ‘X’ adorning the front. If red isn't really your cup of tea then fear not! Aerocool made it so you can pop it off and be replaced with an included black one. So click on over to the next few pages and we'll show you how this new contender functions.


Specifications

  •  
    • Dimension: 150 (W) x85 (H) x 73(D) mm
    • LCD viewable area: 108 (W) x 47 (H) mm
    • Connectors: 5 x 3-pin connectors / 5 x heat sensors
    • Material: ABS front bezel w/ steel bracket
    • Maximum power per fan channel allowed is 8 Watts(0.66A@12V)
    • 2 extra 3 pin cable; 2 extra Thermal probe; 5 Thermal probe stickers; 8 screws; 1 user Manual included.

Features

  •  
    • Sleek X theme design with Innovative "Touch" LCD technology.
    • Monitors and controls 5 sets of temperature and fan speed individually.
    • LCD backlight on/off .
    • Switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit.
    • Overheating alarm temperature warning.
    • Fan working display.
    • "Lock “function provided to prevent careless miss-touch.
    • 2xUSB , Mic & Headphone (AC'97 / HD audio)

Closer look

We were surprised to see just how sturdy the Strike-X is. So often do we see devices like these with rather flimsy sides and cheap plastic trim. Not the case here. The metal which makes up the frame and sides of the Strike-X is pretty thick, and with that trim being made of ABS plastic it is some tough stuff.

The Strike-X consists of five separate channels, each supporting up to 8W (.66A @ 12v). Ideal for those that want to be able to adjust fan speeds when interacting with the PC for different purposes.

The first thing that you will notice about the Strike-X is the bright red plastic ‘X’ that surrounds the LCD display. For those that don’t like red Aerocool does supply a black replacement. Displayed on the ‘X’ is the Strike-X logo and in the lower right are the MIC and headphone jacks.

Below the screen are two USB 2.0 ports. Many will mark the Strik-X down due for the fact that it doesn’t have USB 3.0 support, but one must remember there are few motherboards that do have USB3 headers. Reason for this is that the popular NEC controller only can support 2 ports and they are used on the rear I/O panel. That is why any cases with a USB3 port up front have a long cable that you run out the back and into the port. Many simply do not want to have bright blue cables strung through the inside, sticking out the back, all in order to get USB 3.0 upfront. Our keen eyed readers have likely already noticed, but there are no firewire or eSATA ports on the Strike-X either.

Here we have the side shots of the Strike-X we are focusing on this once again to show you just have thick the metal that makes up the Strike-X. This is no cheap piece of crap here.

The Strike-X consists of five separate fan channels that can support fans up to 8W (.66A @ 12v) and can adjust the RPM of each fan connected to it individually. Also the Strike-X has the ability to monitor temperatures from 5 probes at any location you chose to place one, but ideally it would be near the corresponding fan which the readout is under. Having said all of that, the circuitry consist of all the components that one would expect to find in order to build a device with these features.

Here you can see, from left to right, the 4pin Floppy power connector, Fan 5, Fan 4, down to Fan 1. The next image you see where the temperature probes are soldered in (connected via that ribbon cable as depicted above) and the piezoelectric buzzer for the over-temperature warning. An alarm to indicate a fan failure triggered by a 0RPM reading would be nice that could be, but perhaps in a future model.  


Installation

The process is really easy when it comes to the installation of the Strike-X since comes with all that is needed: there is a set of screws for mounting, jumper wire for the USB and audio, extensions cable for fans and the temperature probes. All that is required from the user are two empty 5.25” drive bays, possibly a screwdriver (if you don't have tool-less bays) and a little time.

 

Testing

We tinkered with the Strike-X for a couple of days and I can say that it is really simple to use. You press area on the screen of the function you wish to change and use -/+ touch points to change the value; fans in 100 RPM increments. The touch screen is about as responsive as you can get. The only thing that I found was that for me, instead of using my fingertip to work the display, it is easier to use my fingernail. To indicate what you have selected and to make sure that is what you wanted, the onscreen option will blink.


Conclusion

The Strike-X continues Aerocool’s quest for giving the user the perfect front panel fan controller. The unit is very attractive and itches to be part of a gaming or enthusiast rig build. Black is the new beige when it comes to case color and the Strike-X fits right in. If the pre-assembled combination of red ‘X’ on black frame doesn't fit your system color scheme, then it can easily be replaced with an included black ‘X’ instead.

The display of the Strike-X is bright, well lit, and very responsive. I found that having some fingernail made it easier to navigate around the screen. For those that have huge fingers no nails may find it a little more complicated. (Wish you had listened to your mother all those years when she told you to stop biting your nails now huh? :P)

The Strike-X also come with USB 2.0 and AC'97/HD audio jacks. Which is a nice addition, especially if the ones on the back of your case are inaccessible, or if you just want more USB ports on the front of your tower. And be it intentional or not, the fact that Aerocool placed the USB ports far apart was a good design choice. By doing so they don't interfere with each other when populating both ports at the same time, such as the case with some fan controllers when you need to plug in two flash drives.

{aseadnetadblock|Aerocool Strike X|Aerocool} 

Category: