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The Prominent is a mid-tower case series from Nexus targeted to users looking forward to building a quiet PC. We’ve already reviewed the Prominent 5, and today we are reviewing the Prominent 9. Both cost the same, which leads to the automatic question, “what are the differences between the two?” That is what we are going to answer in this review.
As in the Prominent 5, both side panels of the Prominent 9 are solid, and although it is a steel case, the two edges of the front panel are made in aluminum. This helps the Prominent 9 to have a very sober, professional look.
[nextpage title=”The Front Panel”]
One of the main differences between the Prominent 5 and the Prominent 9 is the front panel. The Prominent 9 has nine external 5.25” bays, which are used to hold the two hard drive cages, each one taking up three 5.25” bays. These cages can be moved or removed, as we will show later. In its default configuration, the Prominent 9 has three available external 5.25” bays. The Prominent 5 comes with five 5.25” bays, but doesn’t offer the same configuration flexibility.
The Prominent 9 comes with two USB 2.0 ports, one eSATA port, and the traditional audio jacks. The Prominent 5 comes with one FireWire port as well, and on this other model these connectors are located on the top panel and protected by a small door.
The Prominent 5 comes with a 120 mm sleeve bearing fan (Nexus D12SL-12, 1,000 rpm, 36.87 cfm, 18 dBA) attached to the bottom hard drive cage. One of the cool things about this fan is that it is attached to the hard drive cage 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. Since it is attached to one of the hard drive cages, you can move this fan by changing the position of the hard drive cage to where it is attached. You can install an 80 mm, 90 mm, or 120 mm fan to the second hard drive cage, if you want.
[nextpage title=”The Top, Bottom, and Rear Panels”]
In Figure 6, you can see the top panel of the Prominent 9, with cooling vents. The case comes with one 140 mm fan installed on its top panel (Nexus DX14SL-12, 1,000 rpm, 46 cfm, 18 dBA), and an additional 80, 90, 120 or 140 mm fan can also be installed. 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 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 9 are not painted, which differs from the Prominent 5. The power supply is installed on the bottom part of the case, and it comes with seven expansion slots with solid covers. There are two holes protected with rubber covers for passing through hoses of liquid cooling solutions, a feature not available on the Prominent 5.
Like the Prominent 5, the Prominent 9 doesn’t come with a rear fan installed, so we 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.
The Prominent 9 comes with a tab for you to add a padlock or warranty seal to its left-side panel, preventing unauthorized people from opening the computer. This feature is also available on the Prominent 5.
Let’s now take a look inside the Nexus Prominent 9.
[nextpage title=”Inside the Nexus Prominent 9″]
Both panels of the Prominent 9 are fastened to the case using silver thumbscrews. Both side panels come with a sheet of foam installed on them, to absorb noise and make the computer quieter. This feature is also available on the Prominent 5.
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 three 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. T
he motherboard tray doesn’t touch the disk drive bays, making it easy to route and hide the hard drive cables.
In Figure 13, you have another overall look inside the case. Expansion cards are fastened to the case using individual plastic tool-less mechanisms. The Prominent 9 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 rubber foam that goes between the power supply and the rear panel, helping to absorb vibrations and, thus, noise.
[nextpage title=”The Disk Drive Bays”]
The Nexus Prominent 9 comes with nine external 5.25” bays and two hard drive cages that have four 3.5” bays each. Therefore, in its default configuration the Prominent 9 has three 5.25” external bays and eight internal 3.5” bays available. You can move the hard drive cages, so you can place the hard disk drives at the top of the case, if you want. You can also remove one or both hard drive cages to increase the number of 5.25” bays available, while reducing the number of internal 3.5” bays. The hard drive cages are fastened to the case using two silver thumbscrews each.
While five of the nine external 5.25” bays come with tool-less installation mechanisms, you need to use regular screws to attach hard drives. The internal 3.5” bays have rubber rings to absorb vibrations and, thus, noise.
The Prominent 9 comes with a multi-purpose adapter installed in its top-most 5.25” bay. This adapter allows you to convert any 5.25” bay into a 3.5” bay (compatible with both internal and external devices) or to add a 2.5” device.
[nextpage title=”Main Features”]
The main specifications for the Nexus Prominent 9 case include:
- Style: Mid-tower
- Application: ATX and smaller form factors derived from this one
- Material: Zinc-coated steel (SECC) with aluminum edges on the front panel
- Power supply: Doesn’t come with the product
- Available colors: Black
- Side panel: Solid
- Dimensions: 18.9 x 8.2 x 20 inches (479 x 207 x 508 mm) (H x W x D)
- Net weight: 21 lbs (9.6 kg)
- Gross weight: 25 lbs (11.4 kg)
- Bays: Nine external 5.25” bays (three available, in the default configuration), eight internal 3.5” bays, one external 3.5,” internal 3.5” or internal 2.5” bay if the included adapter is used
- Expansion slots: Seven
- Maximum video card length: 11.8” (300 mm)
- Maximum CPU cooler height: NA
- Fans: One 120 mm fan on the front panel (Nexus D12SL-12, 1,000 rpm, 36.87 cfm, 18 dBA) and one 140 mm fan on the top panel (Nexus DX14SL-12, 1,000 rpm, 46 cfm, 18 dBA)
- Optional fans: One 80 mm, 90 mm, 120 mm, or 140 mm fan on the top panel, one 80 mm, 90 mm, 120 mm or 140 mm fan on the bottom panel, and one 80 mm, 90 mm or 120 mm fan on the rear panel
- Additional Features: Tab for padlock or warranty seal
- More Information: https://www.nexustek.nl
- Average price in the US*: USD 145.00
* Researched at Google Shopping on the day we published this review.
Even though the Prominent 9 offers some nice options, it is too expensive and has too many features missing for a case in its price range.
- The 5.25” bay covers are meshed featuring air filters
- Silent fans
- Noise-absorbing foams on the side panels
- Supports one 2.5” device
- Supports eight (or nine, if the included adapter is used) hard drives
- Holes for routing cables behind the motherboard tray
- Cable organizers
- Tool-less mechanisms for installing expansion cards
- Anti-vibration mechanisms for the 3.5” hard drives
- No air filters on the meshes located at the bottom panel
- No cut-out for accessing the retention mechanism of the CPU cooler
- Comes with only two fans
- No vented slot covers
- No USB 3.0 ports
- Interior and rear panels aren’t painted
- Doesn’t come with the rear fan