Nexus was founded in 2000 by a group of experts specialising in heat conductivity and noise reduction. Over the last 10 years the founders have worked closely with many of the large companies in the industry to build up a vast knowledge of thermal characteristics and conductivity. This has enabled nexus to produce a wide range of products with a focus on great thermal performance and low noise.
Enter stage right the Nexus Edge which offers, in their own words, "great airflow, silence and plenty of space for a whole lot of HDD's and optical..." So lets move on and see the on paper specifications:
|ATX, Full ATX, Micro ATX, Full ATX|
|Noise absorption wave foam|
|3x 140mm | 1000RPM|
|E-SATA, 2x USB 2.0, MIC and AUDIO|
5.25" bay exposed
|8 tool less|
3.5" bay exposed
|1 tool less|
|9 tool less|
|7 tool less|
|64,2 x23,9 x 57,6 (L x W xD)|
|Front cover:||Aluminum + ABS|
|Chassis material:||SECC 1.0 t|
|Water-cooling:||4 pipe holes for liquid cooling|
|Feet:||Rubber adjustable feet|
Head over the page for our first look of the Edge.
First things first. The Edge is massive. One of the tallest cases we have ever had in fact. Second thing this is no gamer case. It has definitely been designed for the professional or those among us who don't require landing lights and something that looks like it belongs in an episode of Doctor Who.
Opening the full length lockable brushed aluminium door it becomes obvious why the case is so tall. There is a total of 9x 5.25" drive bays in the top section alone with a 140mm Nexus fan as an intake which has a dust filter. Talking of dust filters all of the front panel covers have dust filters fitted.
The side panel is also lockable but once removed with get our first glimpse of how much you could possibly cram inside this. The 9 drive bays dominate the front of the case. At the back there are 4 water cooling hose grommets and a space for what we would call the usual 120mm exhaust, although this is strangely not supplied. Between the upper and lower level there is a 140mm exhaust fan, again in the roof yet another 140mm exhaust. There are a couple of things here I must point out. 1, there is no rear exhaust fan in the 'usual' slot near the motherboard I/O. 2, there is no intake fans what so ever in top section of the case where the main hardware would be.
If you look at the picture of the case on its side, and cast your eyes to the front part of the case you should notice a small opening. When the door is shut this is all of the ventilation for the intake of the case, so not only does this case not have front fans for the upper section but airflow is hardly abundant either. While we are gazing around the bottom of the case its easy to see the large feet which can be moved outwards to give extra stability.
This case's party trick is the fact that out of the box it has the ability to support up to 9 hard drives. These are all also tool-less. All the cases fittings actually came in a box the same size as a 3.5" hard drive so that you can store the spare parts in one of the drive bays should you have any spare!
There are some cable management holes between the two layers but sadly none in the motherboard tray meaning that most things will be on full display. It pains me that a manufacturer sees the cpu cut out a priority, yet a small hole for the 8 pin psu power at very least is not. Sound deadening foam on the backs of the doors is yet another hint at the fact this case is not for gamers.
Let's move on to testing, as its not straightforward with this case.
We recently simplified our case testing procedure here at OC3D, mainly because all you want to know is if it cools well and if it's quiet. That's normally very easy to write about with a few temperature readings and a comment of the fans - job done.
The Nexus is not so simple sadly. For starters we fitted a Xigmatec 120mm fan in the back of the case as it did not come with one, and we ran all the fans at 12v. Staying with the Nexus mantra it was very quiet, but that's where it stops. My concerns with the lack of airflow were well founded and the main system in the top of the case was struggling to breathe. The small opening at the front of the case, with no fans didn't even try to pull any air in. Just not good enough to keep our test equipment cool. Opening the front door definitely helps but if I'm honest anyone looking to buy this case must also factor in the costs of a bracket to fit a fan in the drive bays to aid the airflow. If you have a really hot system the door would also need to be cut or removed all together.
On a brighter note the lower section kept our hard drives and psu very cool. The hard drives mount with the cables all at the 'front side' of the case which is great for easy access, but definitely not great for aesthetics.
With more and more enthusiasts now looking to build a dedicated server for home, or even the office, our ever increasing demands for storage means we need more and more space to house our drives.
The Edge out of the box supports 9 hard drives, but with the tower of 9 optical bays you could easily get SATA back planes or hard drive mounts to add in a further support for another 9, making a staggering total of 18! That's a possible 36TB worth of storage!
Hard drive adapters with a fan would help this case no end as airflow in the top half of the case is minimal at best. It really does need a fan or two helping the air IN the case, not just out of it and our test temperatures reflected this. The front door does look great, also to a degree helps with noise, but massively hinders airflow so when considering this case you must clearly decide what its use will be as in stock form cool & quiet do not go hand in hand.
For £135 you do get a lot of features, but I cant help but think that an intake fan in the upper section is not to much to ask as anything but the most basic system will struggle. Raid cards rely on good airflow as they can get very hot as they are normally passive cooled, and for a case aimed at professionals who need large storage this is a silly oversight.
To round things up its great to see a case offering lots of optical bays and lots of HDD bays, but I cant help but think that the Nexus doesn't seem the whole package. If this case was £150 with better airflow and better cable management Id have scored it highly. But out of the box its almost like its an unfinished design, or I didn't receive some of the accessories needed.
- Support for 9 hard drives out of the box
- Lots of room for expansion
- Proffesional clean look
- Perfect for an office server or large NAS
- Needs an upper level intake fan
- front door really hinders airflow
- A high spec system will suffocate in this in standard form
Thanks to Quiet PC for the sample today, you can discuss our findings in the forums.