I would like to thank Silverstone for supplying the test sample for review.
This is how Silverstone describes the CMD01 ESA module on their website:
To enable more users to enjoy the ability to monitor and control their system’s thermal performance; SilverStone created a module called Commander 01 ESA. When connected with an ESA certified motherboard, it can provide full system monitoring and thermal control for support up to 5 fans, 3 lamps (optional) and 4 thermal sensors. Operating under NVIDIA’s control panel software supporting ESA, an user no longer needs to go through complicated BIOS setup to make system performance adjustments. For enthusiasts, it is the best choice to have precision control of their system parameters.
|Model No.||SST-CMD01B-ESA (Black)|
|Material||Aluminum front panel, steel body|
|Max fan power||5 channels, 0.5A per channel|
|Operating system support||Windows XP, XP-64, Vista, Vista-64|
|Application||5.25” drive bay, works with ESA motherboard|
|Connectors||3 x 4pin peripheral connectors (300mm)|
1 x USB connector (600mm)
4 x thermal sensors (600mm)
|Fan control function||Adjustable speed or thermal control by NVIDIA control panel|
|Max lamp power||3 channels, 0.8A per channel|
|Lamp control function||On/off function control by NVIDIA control panel|
|Thermal sensor & range||4 sensors, 0°C ~ 90°C|
|Controller Board Dimension||130mm (W) x 35mm (H) x 55mm (D)|
|Dimension||158mm (W) x 42mm (H) x 145mm (D)|
ESA stands for "Enthusiast System Architecture", which has been created by NVIDIA. Instead of trying to explain it myself, let me quote NVIDIA:
The Enthusiast System Architecture (ESA) is the industry’s first open-standard PC monitoring and control protocol for real-time communication and control of system thermal, electrical, acoustic and operating characteristics.You will need ESA components to take advantage of this system. This means that you will require a modern NVIDIA mainboard as a base. You can then control various aspects of the system with the freely available nTune System Monitor software from NVIDIA. Such parts include cases & power supplies, which carry the ESA logo to be able to access the vitals. You may wonder, how a chassis can be "controlled" by software. Not cases, but the installed fans are of interest in such enclosures. An ESA enabled case, already has the controller preinstalled, to which the fans are connected.
ESA-certified components and applications allow enthusiasts and power users to diagnose component-specific issues and tune their systems to meet their individual needs—whether it be reaching peak performance or modifying for a whisper-quiet home theater operation.
With ESA, PC and component manufacturers can deliver differentiated and value-added products, giving their customers unprecedented visibility and control over their systems and allowing them to achieve the highest possible performance.
Such parts are scarce and you don't have completely free choice if you are looking for such a case and this is where the Silverstone Commander comes in. This way you can buy any enclosure you wish and add full ESA functionality to it.