Introduction

REEVEN was established with a simple concept in mind: creating “Perfect user experience” in the computer market. It all started at a small office in Taiwan back in 2009, with a group of experienced and passionate engineers. Today, REEVEN is one of the most well-known suppliers of high performing computer components, holding numerous top-grade reviews and ratings. REEVEN stays true to the founders’ ideas of creating and designing products with a Profession, Quality, and Value, and always being open to ideas and suggestions from the customers.

Today, I will take a look at Reeven’s Polariz RFC-04. POLARIZ is a stylish fan controller with a design concept similar to that of a car dashboard. Using the big knob fans can be controlled individually. The big display conveniently displays all important information needed by users. Its 36W power output is suitable for most fans on the market, and the metal housing gives the controller a solid structure and elegant design. It even goes beyond being a simple fan controller to the extent that user can monitor the temperature of different surfaces/areas like VRM, Chipset, CPU etc using the supplied thermal probes. The unit also has the capability to report the temperature in C or F.

Specifications

Model No RFC-04
Overall Dimension 148 x 42.5 x 98mm (W x H x D)
DC Input 5V and 12V
DC Output 4V to 12V +/-10%
Output Ampere 3.0 Amp per channel
Temperature Range 0 to 99C
Fan Speed Range 0~9990 RPM
Weight 330g
Fits into 5.25” Drive Bay
Compatible Fan 4-Pin PWM and 3-Pin

 

Packaging and Contents

The Reeven Polariz comes in a black color cardboard box. On the top side, The model name and the model no are printed in white color. Salient features are pictorially printed right above the picture of the unit. The Reeven brand name is printed on the bottom.

The folding part of the top cover has the model name printed in white color on the top. Readings on a knob have been labeled to help user understand what they are for.

The contents of the package are printed on the left side along with the EAN and the UPC info labels.

The unit’s design concept is highlighted on the right side of the box.

The far back side has the specifications of the unit printed in 8 languages.

Important instructions and cautions are printed on the bottom side of the box. Users are strongly advised to read these and the user manual before putting the unit to use.

Opening the box would reveal Styrofoam padding around the contents and there is a foam piece on the top as well. Taking the top foam piece apart, we can see the unit and the tied-up cables.

Accessories

The Reeven has provided 3 fan extension cables, 3 thermal sensor cables, 4 M3 screws and the tape bundled with the unit. All cables are braided and will not hinder in good cable management. The fan extension cables have approximately 712mm of length, whereas the sensor cables have approximately 718mm of length.

Closer look

The Reeven Polariz RFC-04 is a stylish 3 channeled Fan Controller designed on the concept of the car dashboard. The previous fan controllers from the Reeven featured 4 and 6 channels respectively, but they are following a traditional look and feel to them as compared to the Polariz. With upto 36W per channel, this beautiful unit has still got the same power to drive your fans like its predecessors. Let’s dive in and see what magic the Reeven has done with the Polariz to make it stand out.

The unit frame is made of the metal. The front side of the unit has all the beauty summed up into it. There is a metal face plate covering the entire front. If you would look closely there is an inner section right in the middle of the faceplate that is more inset than the frame of the body. It is designed to match the diamond grip texture on each knob and contributes towards the overall symmetry and look and feel of the unit. The unit does not have a power on/off button.

We have got three knobs, each of 48mm diameters if that gives you an idea how big they are. The front side of the each knob has an LCD which displays the fans speed in RPM, Temperature in C/F and the Voltage being supplied to the fan in that order from top the bottom. Rotating the knob rightwards will increase the speed of the fan and leftward will reduce the speed by 0.5V at a time.

Each knob has a metallic ring across the body in the black color. There is a diamond grip texture on the rotating parts of the knobs. There is a silver colored ring right above the textured portion. The overall design is symmetric and well laid out. The Reeven brand name is printed on the top right section of the front faceplate in white color.

The left and the right sides of the unit are same. They are held using a single screw on each side. Please note that in order to access the PCB or the circuitry of the unit, there is no need to remove the left and the right side screws. There are two holes on the far right side of each side. These are standard mounting for 5.25” quarter bay drive. Essentially, this is a 5.25” drive. Take a note that many modern chassis, these days lack front bay for 5.25” drives so do check the chassis before buying this unit for compatibility and installation.

 

The top and the bottom sides of the unit are plain and in black metallic. The bottom side does not have any screw on it. The PCB is mounted on the bottom side using 4 screws. Their ends can be seen from the bottom side of the unit.

Let’s take a look at the backside of the unit where all the connectivity is. The top side of the back cover is vented for air flow. A close inspection would reveal that the top cover and back cover are a single body held by total 4 screws with two on the top and two on the back. The unit is tested to comply with FCC Standards as can be seen printed on the top right side.

Let’s start looking up the various connectivity options that we have at the backside of the unit. Starting from the left side of the unit, there are three 3-Pin fan headers labeled 1 to 3 from right to the left side. This fan controller can be used to monitor and regulate the 4-Pin (PWM) and the 3-Pin fans only. Any other type like 2-Pins fan will not be registered with the unit. It is mentioned in the manual that any other type of the fan will be reported as malfunction by the unit.

Next to the fan headers is the power source of the unit. This unit takes power using SATA connector which is 5V and 12V DC. This DC power is converted into DC output of 4V to 12V with upto +/-10%.

Next, we have three headers for the thermal sensor cables. They are labeled 1 to 3 from the right to the left side. The Reeven has provided the three sensor cables for this purpose. The length of each cable is approx. 718mm which is enough for most of our needs.

Right next to these sensor headers, there is a dip switch panel. We have 4 dip switches. These are provided to set the alarm threshold. They are numbered from 1 to 4. The No 1 dip switch is used to toggle between the degree C or degree F units of the reported temperature.  Setting the switch to the upward position (default one) will report the temperature on the konbs’ LCDs in degree C. Sliding it downward will change the thermal unit to the degree F.

Reeven Polariz RFC-04 Fan Controller

The combination of the Dip switches 2, 3, and 4 will determine the maximum temperature after which the alarm beep sounds on. The default setting has all 3 switches in downward position making the maximum temperature setting of 90C. The above picture has shown all the possible configurations along with their corresponding temperature threshold values.

The last option on the right side of the Alarm Setting is a jumper to mute the sounding alarm. One would need to remove the jumper to mute the alarm. Keep in mind that you would need to open the chassis to access this portion in case unit starts beeping. This is not a handy implementation.

Let’s take a quick look at the circuit of the unit. In order to access the circuit board, you would need to remove the two screws on the top cover of the unit and the two screws on the backside of the unit. The circuit is well and clean laid out. We can see choke and capacitors per channel.

Testing

Now that we have looked at the design of the unit, let’s put it to some testing. Following fans were used to test the unit:

  • Corsair ML Pro 140 Red
  • Noctua NF-F12 iPPC-300 PWM
  • Thermaltake Riing White 120

The Corsair AX1200i was used to power the unit. I only used one thermal sensor cable which was attached on the top of the chipset area on the Asus ROG (Republic of Gamers) Rampage V Edition 10 motherboard.

As this unit takes power using SATA (5V and 12V DC) it is important to connect all the fans and the thermal sensor cables before connecting the SATA cable otherwise unit will not detect any of the attached components. Just to demonstrate this, have a look at these two pictures.

I connected the SATA power cable without connecting any fan or thermal sensor cable. The unit turned on with — line for the RPM, C for the temperature and the 0.0 V for the voltage being shown on the LCD. No value or reading was shown as nothing was connected with the unit. Then the Thermaltake Riing White 120mm fan was connected with the unit already powered on. It did not detect the fan. I wish, the Reeven had adopted the power on/off button mechanism but it makes sense as they have designed the unit to be used inside the chassis so the user would be required to connect all the cables and the fans before using it.

Next, I connected all the three fans with the unit and powered it up. The RPMs of the fans and their corresponding voltages were shown on the LCDs of the knobs.

Turning the knobs rightwards would increase the speed and leftwards would decrease the speed by 0.5V at a time. Just to show the effect, I set one fan at the max, one at the 5.0V and the other at 8.0V. Above pictures shows that with corresponding RPMs of the fan. In case you are wondering which knob corresponds to what numbered header on the backside, the left knob is numbered 1, the middle knob is numbered 2 and the right knob is the third one. Fans configuration is as under: –

  • The Thermaltake Riing White 120mm fan is connected on the first header.
  • The Corsair ML Pro 140 is connected on the second header.
  • The Noctua NF-F12 iPPC 3000 PWM is connected on the third header.

The LCD on the left knob is displaying the Thermaltake’s fan info. The LCD on the middle knob is showing the Corsair’s fan info and the right knob is displaying the Noctua’s fan info. 2700 at 11.9V for the NF-F12 which is rated at max 3000 RPM! Seems like unit failed to deliver the required performance? Well, don’t jump to the conclusion and read ahead for this is not the case at all.

Fan Rated Max Speed (RPM) Max speed as reported by the Polariz (RPM) Max Speed as reported by the SpeedFan (
RPM)
Thermaltake Riing White 120mm 1500 1470 1456
Corsair ML Pro 140 2000 1710 1689
Noctua NF-F12 iPPC 3000 2700 2606

 

I tested the fans one by one by connecting them on the motherboard 4-Pin PWM header and setting that header to run the connected fan at 100% of the speed in the BIOS. SpeedFan version 4.52 was used to monitor the speed of the connected fan.

Out of all the fans, only Thermaltake Riing was reaching closer to the rated speeds. The other two could not pull the rated speeds. The Reeven Polariz RFC-04 definitely did the better job than the on-board fan controller. This testing eliminates any doubt that unit could be faulty for not being able to reach near to the rated maximum speed of the fans.

Thermal Testing

Next up, one thermal sensor cable was attached on the topside of the Asus ROG Ramapge V Edition 10 motherboard’s chipset cover. It was connected with the Sensor header numbered 1 on the unit. To do that, the unit had to be powered off by disconnecting the SATA cable.

41.8C was reported as the chipset’s temperature. Next two pictures will show the change in thermal unit by toggling the dip switch number 1.

A few words on the alarm side of the unit. It is mentioned in the user manual not to leave the fan(s) in non-moving operation while the power is still connected with the unit as this can cause a fan damage or possible fire. Please make sure that the fan is in operation mode or the fan stop feature is in effect.

To check for this thing, I deliberately rotated the knob of the Thermaltake Riing White 120mm fan to the left until it stopped. Unit immediately started to sound alarm. In order to stop the alarm, the user would need to remove the jumper from the Mute Beep header as this would disconnect the connection. But to do that, the user would need to open the side panel of the chassis and access the unit to remove the jumper. Not only that, I also made another observation. When the fan was stopped and the unit was sounding, I tried to power the fan on by rotating the knob rightwards to no use. Again, the power on/off button would be handy for these scenarios. Something for the Reeven to think about the design as the user will eventually have to reset the PC or power it off and on.

Alarm will sound as well when the temperature threshold set by the dip switches 2 to 4 combination is crossed.

Conclusion

Time has come to wrap it up. The Reeven is known for producing high end cooling solutions in the air cooling category, though the company has ventured into the market of CLCs recently. It is not uncommon if the same company produces accessories to be used in conjunction with the cooling products. Today we have tested the Reeven Polariz RFC-04 fan controller. This fan controller takes on the concept of the car dashboard design. The Reeven has definitely achieved their goal for this design element. Polariz is one heck of a bold design combining both the pure aesthetics and the performance under one roof.

Though going that way has seen the Reeven reducing the no of channels in their Polariz fan controller but it has all the bells and the whistles that any user would look for. We have 3 channels, meaning we can connect upto 3 fans with the controller. It supports the 4-Pin (PWM) and the 3-Pin connector fans. Full chassis is implemented in metallic and in black color. There are 3 knobs on the front side with each being 48mm in diameter. There is an LCD on each of the knob. Each LCD displays the speed of the fan in RPM on the top followed the temperature reading of the connected surface/area if any in the middle and the voltage reading of the fan on the bottom in blue color. This color can’t be changed.

The unit is powered by the SATA cable (5V and 12V DC). Its ouptut range is 4VG to 12V with +/-10%. Maximum RPM that can be measured upto is 9990 RPM. The unit comes with the three fan extension cables. The Reeven recommends connecting the fans with the cables and attaching these cables with the unit. Though I have tested the unit with and without the cables and there was no performance degradation at all.

There are three sensor cables with stick sheet. These are actually thermal probing cables that can be used to read temperature on the surface of any unit. The Reeven Polariz has the functionality to monitor the temperatures, which is a big plus for the users. Unit also has an alarm system in it. Alarm can sound on if the fan stops spinning or the temperature threshold as set by the combination of the dip switches 2 to 4 is crossed. There is a jumper which can be removed to silent the alarm.

Let’s conclude it:

Reeven Polariz RFC-04 Pros:

  • Powerful 3 channel control
  • Upto 36W per channel
  • Max of 3Amps per channel
  • Beautifully designed metallic knobs
  • LCD digital display of the Speed, Temperature and Voltage
  • Functionality of monitoring temperature of upto 3 surfaces/areas
  • Alarm Beep feature
  • 25” quarter bay compatibility
  • 700mm+ length on the provided cables for ease of access
  • 3 fan extension cables included
  • 3 sensor cables included
  • Better fan control as compared to the software based control
  • 2 years warranty

Reeven Polariz RFC-04 Cons:

  • Jumper needs to be taken off to mute the alarm for which user would need to open the side panel of the chassis and access the unit.
  • No provision to power on the fan if the fan stops spinning during the operation. User has no option than reseting the PC Power or unplugging and plugging the SATA cable of the unit.
  • Lack of Power on/off button to cover above two observations

Tech4Gamers Editor's Choice Award

REVIEW OVERVIEW
VALUE FOR MONEY 
9.5
PERFORMANCE
9.8
DESIGN OR LOOKS
8.0
COMPATIBLITY
9.5
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