Seeing as how I only have one fan right now with the
3pin molex connector, I could only hook it up to the corresponding temp probe that monitors that area. I need to re-wire
some of my fans from the traditional 4pin to 3pin so I can directly hook them up to the DD5. You can also get (or make)
some adapter that will go from the 3pin to a 4pin if you don't want to modify your fans directly.
I'm sure I will be
moving some of the probes around just to see what kind of results I will get. Also, when placing the probes in your case, take
note as to which number the probe is plugged into, because you want to use a fan that affects cooling to that probe.
Each fan connector can support up to 1000mA (or 12 watts) which is plenty for any 120mm fan. Also you can monitor the
RPM of each fan and if one starts to slow down too much (die) it will sound an alarm. Have no fear though, if your fan
doesn't have an RPM sensing wire you can disable the RPM sensing feature (which is disabled by default actually).
Also if you don't connect a temp probe to the unit, it simply reads "OFF" instead of a default temperature like most
other units I've seen. However if you are thinking of buying this unit I don't think you will spend all that money just
so you can hookup a couple of the probes and not all of them. The DD5 also monitors your 12v and 5v line
and will beep if it exceeds a pre-set tolerance. The readout itself is very bright, with a backlit orange
color, which you can turn off btw (don't know why, but you can).
(Click on any image to get a close-up of the whole row)
It's Plugged In, Now What?
When setting up the DD5, your first choice is if you want the readout in Celsius or Fahrenheit, which is great because I
know the rest of the world uses Celsius but us Americans are still stuck on Fahrenheit. Each temperature reading is
measured to one-tenth of a degree, for both F & C.
Your next choices deal with setting the maximum
temperature you want for each probe before it engages the fan. If the temperature exceeds the maximum specified it will
start to beep at you (which you can turn off by pressing a button), and if it goes even higher it will beep at you
again. This is probably the step that will take a few days of fine tuning for your system if you want to have fans turn
on and off as the temperature changes in your system. This is a great option for helping keep your PC quieter, because
when it is idle it won't generate as much heat and hence you don't need all your fans on, but when you are playing games
and things heat up, it will kick in the extra fans to cool it back down.
After setting the temperature's
for the probes, the next step is to configure each of the fans, you can enable RPM sensing if you want, and you also
have the option to have the fan always on, instead of just being turned on when it crosses the temperature threshold. If
you must have certain fans always running, then this is a really important feature for you. Also, if you want to get
your DD5 up and running the quickest, you probably want to enable all the fans at first, then when you get the time to
tweak it you can have them turned on and off automatically by the DD5.
The buttons themselves do
different things depending on which combination you press them, it is all described clearly in the manual. Basically you
can display a single temperature, or fan RPM, or configuring the DD5. One button that is important however is the middle
one which will "force" all the fans on, for when you need the cooling or just want them all on for some reason.
Overall the DigitalDoc5 is a great product. I recommend using
some zip-ties to hold the probes in place and bundling the wires out of the way once you have everything set in their
places. Setting up the DD5 really wasn't as complicated as I thought it was going to be when I first unpacked the
product. It can be a bit overwhelming at first, but just follow the instructions and it's as easy as pie.
One complaint I have is the ratio of the bulb to flat style probes that is included. Having only two flat probes doesn't
seem enough to be, I would of rather had an even amount of each style. If you must / need to use more flat probes, most
online cooling stores carry extra's for $5 or so. Another *minor* complaint is not having any 4pin connectors, seeing as
how most larger fans use this style it would of been nice to include at least one adapter, or swapped out a couple of
the 3pin leads for the 4pin. Currently I haven't seen a 4pin to 3pin adapter, you would probably have to get creative
and make your own, which you can get the parts (i.e. connectors & wire) for pretty cheap.
The backlight is very bright and easy to
read, however you can't read it from too much of an angle, so if your case is on the floor you might not be able to read
the display easily from your chair. This happened to be my problem, but fortunately all I have to do is lean back in my
chair a little to read the display (and take a good stretch while I'm at it).
All the probes & power wires were plenty long for me to run all throughout my full
tower case, very nice to know they didn't skimp on the extra wire. I didn't measure them but if I had to guess I would
say they were about 18" long, so whatever excess you end up with you can use a zip-tie to bundle and tuck away in your
Once again, I would like to thank Heatsink Factory
for supplying the DigitalDoc5. They currently have this and many other items in stock for all your overclocking needs!
Very Neat Product
Fans Controlled By Temperature
Long Probe & Power Leads
Monitor Eight Temperatures!
No Batteries Needed
Not Enough Flat Probes
4pin to 3pin Adapter Would Be Nice
Kind Of Pricy
Rating: For The Average User: 6 / 10
For The Extreme Overclocker: 9 / 10
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