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Digital Doc 3 Review
Date : Tuesday, 10 October 2000
By : Wolfie
Product : Digital Doc 3 Review

I'm pretty dang sure that most of you have a hardware monitoring software of some kind, right? I know I have! You Asus freaks might have the PC Probe installed, for Abit users, the WinBond Hardware Monitor and tons of other softwares for different makes of motherboards and graphics card. Then there's the infamous Motherboard Monitor but if your mobo ain't listed in their list of supported mobos, tough luck! But all these softwares needs to be running on your system tray and they do suck up some resources from your puter. For those less fortunate, you could always get the Senfu LCD Temp. Probe and installed it into your case faceplates. But installing a few of those really takes up some space in your drive bays.

Now this is where the Digital Doc 3 from MacPower steps in! This nifty device allows you to not only monitor the temperatures of various peripherals in your PC, but can also monitor your fan RPM and your 5V and 12V lines from your PSU! And a whole lot more! Well, before I get to the whole shitz about the Doc, let me just tell ya what flavours it comes in!

  • MP-TC04AV with four independent sensors, 40mm fan, voltage monitor
  • MP-TC08AV with eight independent sensors, 40mm fan, voltage monitor

The one I got for review from MacPower is the later. It comes complete with a well-written manual, a bunch of screws and 8 thermistors. The Digital Doc 3 has an LCD Screen where the temperatures and fan RPMs are displayed. It also has an on-board buzzer that will sound off and warn you if the temperature of a monitored peripherals exceeds the limit that you set and also if your fans RPM drops to below 500 RPM or not spinning at all.

Apart from that, the unit also has a 40mm fan built in the front to blow air inwards. While it doesn't really help in your PC cooling, it's a nice touch. :) The thermistor cables is 31" long, or about 80cm. That's taller than my HX08 tower case, so no worries there about the thermistors not reaching the intended location of monitoring for most cases. Unless of course you have a wardrobe as your case!

The Packaging...

The 8 thermistors tape.

At the back of the unit, you'll find lots of wires with 3-pin connectors at the end of them, much like your mobo fan headers. Altogether, you can connect up to 7 fans to the unit. Fan Header No. 1 is already taken by the puny 40mm fan! But 7 is purdy plenty! 4 of it is connected to the unit by a daughter card to the PCB.

Although the connectors are fine, an adapter for those having fans with 4-pin Molex connector would be welcomed too. The fan connectors are clearly labeled too. You'll also find a Male Molex connector to connect to your PSU, this is where the unit gets it's power from.

The fan connectors...

Clearly labeled connectors..

A little caution : According to MacPower, the fan header can only take a max load of 0.2A. That's 2.4Watts of power. So if you're thinking of plugging in your monster 120mm YS Techs, Sunons or Deltas, you're outta luck! You might blow the header or worst still, the whole PCB of the unit! You've been warned!

The puny 40mm Sunon fan.

The daughter card for 4 more fan headers...

This are the plugs where you connect the thermistors to. The gratings for the 40mm fan can be pulled down and the filter can also be removed.

The plugs for the thermistors...

The 40mm fan filter and cover.

So, let's get to the installation and setting up part!

<< Back to Reviews Page | Page 2 >>


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