Nexus Prominent R Case Review
By Gabriel Torres on November 16, 2011


Introduction

Hardware Secrets Golden Award

Nexus is a Dutch manufacturer with cases that focus on quiet computing. Its latest release is the Prominent R, a mid-tower case with eight expansion slots and a 3.5”/2.5” docking station.

Nexus Prominent R case
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Figure 1: Nexus Prominent R case

Nexus Prominent R case
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Figure 2: Nexus Prominent R case

The Prominent R has a very sober look, and both panels are solid.

The front panel of the Nexus Prominent R has four external 5.25” bays, with the bottom one coming with an adapter for you to install an external 3.5” device. They use meshed covers with air filters.

Nexus Prominent R case
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Figure 3: Front panel

The Prominent R comes with a 120 mm fan on its front panel, cooling the bottom hard drive cage. A second fan can be installed in case you want to cool down the top hard drive cage and increase air flow inside the computer. This fan uses a three-pin power connector; you can install it on your motherboard and monitor its speed. The case comes with a “power hub” where all fans can be powered through a single standard power connector coming from the power supply. We will talk about this device later. Unfortunately, the manufacturer doesn’t say what the technical specifications are of this fan.

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Figure 4: Front fan

The Top Panel

The top panel of the Nexus Prominent R is meshed, with an air filter. It supports two 120 mm or 140 mm fans.

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Figure 5: Top panel

One of the highlights of the Prominent R is the 3.5”/2.5” docking bay located at the top panel. See Figure 6.

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Figure 6: The 3.5”/2.5” docking bay

The case comes with two USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, and one eSATA port. The USB 3.0 port uses an internal connector, so make sure you install a motherboard with an internal USB 3.0 header. They are located on the front part of the top panel.

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Figure 7: Buttons and connectors

The Bottom and Rear Panels

The bottom panel is completely meshed, and comes with an air filter. The case supports the installation of one 120 mm or 140 mm fan on the bottom panel. A second fan can be installed if you remove the bottom hard drive cage. We will talk more about this later.

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Figure 8: Bottom panel

The rear panel and the interior of the Nexus Prominent R are painted black.

The power supply is installed on the bottom part of the case.

The Nexus Prominent R comes with another 120 mm fan installed on its rear panel, identical to the one used on the front panel. Again, the manufacturer doesn’t reveal its technical specifications.

Another highlight of the reviewed case is the presence of eight expansion slots, allowing you to install three or four dual-slot video cards, if your motherboard supports these configurations. Usually, cases come with seven expansion slots. All slot covers are vented.

This case has five holes for hoses of liquid cooling solutions, all using rubber covers. The three holes located at the top are 0.8” (20 mm) in diameter, while the two located at the bottom are 0.63” (16 mm) in diameter.

Nexus Prominent R case
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Figure 9: Rear panel

Let’s now take a look inside the Nexus Prominent R.

Inside the Nexus Prominent R

Both panels are attached to the chassis using black thumbscrews, and they have a sheet of foam glued to them in order to absorb the noise produced by the computer. See Figure 10.

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Figure 10: Dampening foam

The motherboard tray has a huge hole for you to access the backplate of the CPU cooler without having to remove the motherboard from the case, several holes protected with rubber covers for you to route cables behind it, and several metallic clips for you to fasten cables using cable ties.

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Figure 11: Overall look

Nexus Prominent R case
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Figure 12: A view behind the motherboard tray

In Figure 13, you have another overall look inside the case. Expansion cards are fastened using individual tool-less plastic fastening mechanisms. The Nexus Prominent R supports video cards up to 11.4” (290 mm) long, but if you remove the top hard drive cage, this clearance is increased to 16.7” (425 mm).

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Figure 13: Overall look

Inside the Nexus Prominent R (Cont’d)

The power supply is installed at the bottom of the case. Note that it 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.

If you install a power supply up to 6.3” (160 mm) deep, you can install a 140 mm fan on the bottom panel, or if you install a power supply up to 7.1” (180 mm) deep, you can install a 120 mm fan. A second 120 mm or 140 mm fan can be installed if you remove the bottom hard drive cage. As already shown, the case has an air filter for the power supply and these optional fans.

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Figure 14: Power supply compartment

The case comes with rubber pads for the power supply, which helps reduce its vibration and, thus, noise. A Velcro strap is also available for you to fasten your power supply as tightly as possible, preventing it from vibrating and generating noise.

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Figure 15: Velcro strap

The case comes with a “power hub,” a central location for you to install all the fans and power them using a single peripheral power connector coming from the power supply.

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Figure 16: Power hub

The Disk Drive Bays

The Nexus Prominent R has four external 5.25” bays, one external 3.5”/2.5” docking bay, and six internal 3.5”/2.5” bays, and you can convert one of the external 5.25” bays into an external 3.5” bay. They all have tool-less installation mechanisms.

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Figure 17: Disk drive bays

The six internal 3.5”/2.5” bays are available inside two hard drive cages. You can remove the top cage in case you need to install longer video cards or in the event that you want to increase air flow inside the case. The bottom hard drive cage can be removed if you want to install a second fan on the bottom panel and increase the air flow inside the PC.

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Figure 18: Top hard drive cage removed

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Figure 19: Hard drive cage

Each 3.5”/2.5” bay is actually a small drawer, each one featuring rubber rings to absorb vibrations from 3.5” devices.

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Figure 20: One of the 3.5”/2.5” bays

Main Specifications

The main specifications for the Nexus Prominent R include:

* Researched at Amazon.com on the day we published this review.

Conclusions

The Nexus Prominent R provides virtually all features the savvy user is looking for in a case, and extra attention was given to make sure the PC will be as quiet as possible.

Strong Points

Weak Points

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Nexus-Prominent-R-Case-Review/1431


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