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Crystalfontz Crystalfontz CFA-631 3.5" LCD Review
Date Posted: Mar 10 2006
Author: Joe
Posting Type: Review
Category: Thermal Management Reviews
Page: 1 of 3
Article Rank:5 from 1 Readers
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Crystalfontz CFA-631 3.5" LCD Review By: Joe
Crystalfontz CFA-631 3.5" LCD and Thermal Management system

The intro to the Crystalfontz CFA-631 will be sort of short. This is because the SCAB board being used is the same board I used on the CFA-635 Review. You can read that review to get more in-depth details about the management software (Crystal Control 2), and anything I may skip here regarding the SCAB board.

The CFA-631 in all its small glory:

Isn't it cute? It shares most of its features with the CFA-635, such as the ability to run just off the USB port, programmable buttons, and the ability to remotely connect a SCAB board for fan and temperature control. In this case we aren’t mounting the SCAB board to the device, but remotely mounting it in the case with the optional 13" cable. The LCD is a 2x20 format, meaning it has 2 rows of 20 characters.

In the above pic is the SCAB board. You can see the mounting holes it would go on if we were mounting it on the device.

What is a SCAB board?
This is short explanation about what the SCAB board is. For specs on the temp probes, and a more in-depth explanation please read the CFA-635 Review.

The SCAB Board is a fan control board that can control 4 fans. It also supports Dallas One Wire temp probes (32 of them), with accuracy depending upon the probes. The board connects to the CFA-631 via a 16 wire cable, and can be mounted locally or remotely. To access the SCAB board functions you use the Crystal Control software from Crystalfontz.

Pretty straight forward isn’t it? Ok lets move on.

So why is this LCD device special?

Well I think its special because its saved me lots of cutting to get a LCD on the SilverStone LC17 HTPC Case I just reviewed. But it's also the most powerful fan control and temperature management device available in this form factor. Most of us have little use for floppy drives anymore, so there’s ample of room for a device like this in our systems.

The CFA-631 sports a less impressive LCD than the one on its big brother the CFA-635, but then again it's half the size! The CFA-631 packs all the other features and control power of the CFA-635, though, which to me is one of the biggest benefits.

Here’s the target that the CFA-631 will replace:

The front ports from the SilverStone weren’t needed on my HTPC. But I do use the LCD potion quite a bit to keep an eye on disk space, and general machine health.

So... lets go to the next page and get this install done
Next Page: Putting it to Use >>
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