Nexus Prominent 5 Case Review
By Gabriel Torres on March 9, 2011
The Prominent 5 is a mid-tower case from Nexus targeted to users looking forward to build a quiet PC. Let’s take a look at it.
Both side panels are solid and, although it is a steel case, the two edges of the front panel are made in aluminum. This helps the Prominent 5 to have a very sober, professional looks.
The front panel of the Nexus Prominent 5 can be seen in Figure 3. It has five 5.25” bays, all with meshed covers with air filters. The top-most bay comes with a 5.25”-to-3.5” adapter, allowing you to install an external 3.5” device (floppy disk drive, memory card reader, etc).
At the bottom of the front panel the case comes with a 120 mm sleeve bearing fan (Nexus D12SL-12, 1,000 rpm, 36.87 cfm, 18 dBA). One of the cool things about this fan is that it is attached to the case using rubber pegs instead of screws. These rubber pegs will absorb the vibration of the fan and, therefore, reduce the noise level. This fan is attached to a standard peripheral power plug and to a three-pin fan power connector, so you can choose between installing it directly on your power supply or on your motherboard.
In Figure 6, you can see the top panel of the Prominent 5, with cooling vents (no air filters). The case comes with one 140 mm fan and an additional 80, 90, 120 or 140 mm fan can be installed. We will discuss more about the top fan later.
The connectors and reset button are located on the top panel, under a small door. The case comes with four USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire port, and one eSATA port, plus the traditional audio jacks.
The bottom panel, seen in Figure 8, has a mesh for the power supply fan and a mesh for an optional 80, 90, 120, or 140 mm fan. Unfortunately these meshes are not equipped with air filters.
The rear panel and the interior of the Nexus Prominent 5 are painted black. The power supply is installed on the bottom part of the case, and it comes with seven expansion slots. A small mesh is available to improve the ventilation of the case. There are no holes for passing hoses of liquid cooling solutions, but since the Prominent 5 doesn’t come with a rear fan installed, we are to assume that the manufacturer designed this case to be used with a small sealed liquid cooling solution, installing its radiator on the mesh for the rear fan. This mesh supports 80, 90 and 120 mm fans, if you decide to install one.
Let’s now take a look inside the Nexus Prominent 5.
Both panels of the Prominent 5 are fastened to the case using black thumbscrews. Both side panels come with a sheet of foam installed on them, to absorb noise and make the computer quieter.
The motherboard tray has a mesh for cooling the bottom part of the CPU, but there is no hole for you to access the backplate of the CPU cooler without having to remove the motherboard from the case. The motherboard compartment comes with five plastic cable holders for you to organize cables inside the case.
The motherboard tray has one hole for you to route cables behind it and some metallic clips for you to fasten cables using cable ties. The motherboard tray doesn’t touch the disk drive bays, making it easy to route and hide the hard drive cables.
In Figure 14, you have another overall look inside the case. Expansion cards are fastened to the case using individual plastic tool-less mechanisms. The fan that comes installed on the top panel is a 140 mm sleeve bearing model (Nexus DX14SL-12, 1,000 rpm, 46 cfm, 18 dBA). This fan uses a regular peripheral power connector and a three-pin fan power connector, so you can install it directly on your power supply or on your motherboard.
The Prominent 5 supports video cards up to 11.8” (300 mm) long.
Note that the power supply can be installed with either its bottom fan facing up or facing down, so you can decide if you want the fan of your power supply pulling air from inside the case or from outside of it.
The case comes with a rubber foam that goes between the power supply and the rear panel, helping to absorb vibrations and, thus, noise.
The Nexus Prominent 5 comes with five external 5.25” bays and five internal 3.5” bays, all featuring tool-less installation mechanisms. If you pay attention, screws are stored screwed on the 5.25” bays, which is a nice idea.
The top-most 5.25” bay comes with an adapter that can be use to install an external 3.5” device, an internal 3.5” device or an internal 2.5” device.
Each 3.5” bay is actually a drawer, which has rings to absorb the vibration (and, therefore, noise) generated by the hard drive.
The main specs for the Nexus Prominent 5 case include:
The Nexus Prominent 5 is a beautiful option for users looking for a high-quality, feature-full case and are worried about noise. We could complain that the case doesn’t come with a rear fan, but it seems that it is targeted to users that will used a small sealed liquid cooling solution that requires you to install the radiator on the place of the rear fan. In summary, it is a good case, but a little bit too expensive, in our opinion.