As with most of these multi-function panels we come across, the installation for the SunbeamTech Chromatic Windmill remained simplistic. After connecting the power, HDD LED, thermal sensors, and fan cables we powered up the device. With the Chromatic Windmill powered up, we proceeded to set the proper date and time followed by the few other settings. Luckily, after making all of these adjustments and having the computer go through a power cycle we were pleased to see the settings remain untouched. Next up, we checked the temperatures against the motherboard reported temperatures through LM_Sensors and the fan speeds against their theoretical stated speeds and that previously reported by the motherboard. As expected, the values stated by the Chromatic Windmill stayed close to the values reported by LM_Sensors. The unique feature about the Chromatic Windmill is the unique LCD feature of showing a rotating windmill in the bottom right hand corner of the display.
Overall, SunbeamTech's Chromatic Windmill is quite an innovative display, although not quite original as many other multi-function displays currently on the market already offer identical items. The unique item that the SunbeamTech display does offer, the spinning windmill, doesn't serve any real purpose. It would have been quite interesting if SunbeamTech were able to make this windmill actually serve a real purpose such as indicating the status of the CPU or HDD by the windmill's spin rate but unfortunately we didn't see anything like that. Nevertheless it offers support for monitoring/controlling of seven different fans, three thermal sensors, and hard drive activity. All in all it was a fairly great display although there are improvements to be made with the windmill and its features.
· Support for 7 fans
· Support for 3 thermal sensors
· Displays date and time
· Reasonable price (~ $40 USD)
· Standard Multi-function control support
· Great performance
· Windmill serves no true purpose
· Lacks any other multi-function support (i.e. card readers, USB/Firewire ports, etc...)
· No support for fans over 10W
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Phoronix Product Rating: 7 / 10