The front 120mm will help bring in fresh air while cooling off your hard drives at the same time. This will be your only intake fan, so be sure to clean the filters covering it regularly.
The top and back panel sport 140/120mm fan and a 120mm fan respectively. Unless you’re running a heavy overclock, these fans, in conjunction with the PSU, ought to be sufficient to exhaust the excess hot air from the case.
The bottom also has an optional intake fan area, but as you saw in our installation pictures, this area will most likely be obstructed with wires unless you have a fully modular PSU to mitigate the clutter.
The Nexus Prominent cases are fitted with a noise absorbing foam material which does a good job. It is a premium dense foam-rubber-like material fitted on the panel behind the motherboard and a nice wave foam layer on the opposite side panel. These materials will add the extra bit of quietness people could be looking for in their system. It will not suppress a 70dB fan and make it silent, but it will take an already quiet system and hush it further. If you’ve got a drive that whines, the Prominent will help alleviate that sound from drilling slowly through your skull.
From the decibel testing, we found out the Prominent 5 does a great job and ties for the quietest case we have ever tested.
Overall, the Prominent 5 has a lot of good ideas built into it. The tool-free installation is always an added plus. The simplistic design fits in with the theme of the case, which is quietness during use. The sound dampening foam gives the Prominent 5 the extra little-bit-of-quietness which people need who are looking for this type of a case. The dust filtration system installed in the front panel was first class all the way. It is nice to see that type of quality put into a good case like this one.
Unfortunately, there are a few shortcomings. The Prominent 5 does not support USB 3.0, which, while not a huge deal, but it is starting to become more and more prevalent, so hopefully, Nexus will soon fix this. The one thing that did give us pause was the lack of effective wire management. We understand that the case is made for quiet operation; however, we felt this was overlooked during implementation. You can spend some extra time with zip ties and other wire management options and somewhat clean up the bottom of the case. Also, a modular PSU would be something else to look into when building a system for this case. Simply making the rig more spacious, either taller, deeper, or wider, would allow for a less-intrusive solution to cable management, too.
As this case is geared toward quiet operation, we can let the minor problems we had with the case slide a little. We were more focused on how well the noise dampening foam was installed and how well the foam subdued the noise inside the case. It tied for first place in the quietest case we have tested, which is proof enough that Nexus has hit its design target.
The Nexus Prominent 5 receives the TechREACTION.net Gold Silicon Award!