Vantec Nexus (NXP-305-SL) Review

Admin - 2007-08-08 04:09:17 in Input Devices, Modding
Category: Input Devices, Modding
Reviewed by: Admin   
Reviewed on: September 23, 2003
Vantec USA
Vantec USA
Price: $39 USD +/-

Introduction

Today we'll be taking a look at a new Nexus product from Vantec; The Nexus 305. What makes the 305 so different from the 205, 201, and 101 models that we have reviewed in the past? Unlike the others that only contol fans, the Nexus 305 is a "Fan & Light Controller". That's right, in addition to controlling your fans, you now have the ability to adjust 2 Cold Cathode Florescent Lights (CCFL).

Company Profile

Founded in 1994, Vantec is recognized as one of the premier thermal solutions leaders. They are devoted to manufacturing and developing total PC solutions for every computer user, from mainstream to enthusiast. Utilizing their technical expertise and innovative designs, they are constantly expanding their product line to offer advanced computer peripheral to meet the personal and industrial needs of modern computer users. Their primary goal is to create viable solutions to satisfy the consumer’s needs. Offering complete and affordable ways to upgrade and maintain your personal computer, Vantec is a name you can trust for quality and reliability.

At Vantec, their mission is to produce the best thermal solutions on the market.

Adhering to the theory of both form and functionality, Vantec has the end-user’s best interest in mind. Though the computer scene is constantly changing, you can rely on Vantec to provide quality components to improve, enhance, and insure your computing experience.

Fan Controller Specifications

Material: Aluminum

Input Voltage: 12V

Output Voltage: 0V ~ 12V

Output Current: Up to 1.5A

Optimal Wattage: Up to 18 Watts

Outline Dimension: 102 x 25.5 x 120 mm

Weight: 120 gm (0.002 lbs)

Cold Cathode Light Specifications

Output Voltage: 0V ~ 580V

Output Current: 5.00 � 0.03mA

Optimal Wattage: Up to 2.9 Watts

Outline Dimension: 323 mm (12.72 in)

Luminance: 5800 nit

Life: 15,000 hrs

Color: Blue

Nexus 305 Features

3 Channel Aluminum Fan Controller

18 Watts per Channel

Control Voltage From 0V to 12V

Manually Adjust From Full Speed to Off

Great For Vantec Tornado Fans and Other High CFM Fans

Built-In Dual CCFL Inverter With Light Control

Adjust CCFLs To On, Off, or Sound Activated

Compatible With Vantec Spectrum Cold Cathode Lights

Stylish Aluminum Housing With Ultra-Bright LED Lights

Fits In A Standard 3.5" Drive Bay

A Closer Look


The Nexus 305 Package


Here you see the box that the Nexus 305 comes in, everything is packed away nicly inside.


The Nexus 305 Package


The Goodies

Included in the Nexus 305's package was:

*

3.5" Nexus Fan & Light Controller

*

2x Blue CCFLs

*

1x Power Extension Cable

*

3x 3 Pin/4 Pin Universal Fan Cable

*

4x Double Sided Tape

*

4x Screws

Here we can see all the wires, and other items that come with the nexus. - One of the draw backs to the previous models of the nexus, is it came with a couple 4 pin connectors and a couple 3 pin connectors. Vantec has rectified that problem, by making all of the fan connectors a 3 pin/4 pin mix.

The Goodies - Out of The Box

Here you can see a close up of the 3 pin/4 pin connectors. In the instruction booklet, Vantec states to use only one of the ends. Meaning use the 3 pin or the 4 pin, not both. I used both, and as long as you don't hit the 18W mark, you should be safe.


The 3 pin/4 pin Connector

The nexus we are looking at today is the NXP-305-SL, which as you might have deciphered is the silver model. There is also a NXP-305-BK, which uses a black aluminum face plate.

Front View

Back View


On the back view, you can see the 5 connectors. They are for (left to right) 2x CCFL, 3x Fan, and lastly power. The PCB is a pretty blue, and runs the entire length of the aluminum housing. At the very end of the PCB is the power inverter used by the CCFLs, notice it's protected by a plastic shell. You do not want to touch this.


Angled View

Top Down View
Here we see the knobs to the Nexus. The fan controller knobs are all painted silver, while the CCFL controller knob is chrome. This was probably done to help identify it better, but in my opinion it takes away from the look. It says "Light Control" under the CCFL controller knob, that's the only thing I need to identify it. The two small holes next to the CCFL controller knob is for the sound sensor.


Both Knobs

Around each knob is a plastic ring. This ring in addition to the 5 super bright LEDs helps produce a brilliant, even glow.


LEDs

Conclusion



Once again, Vantec USA has created another great product. It's ability to control fans from off to full speed is a great ability that was missing from the other Nexus models. Add that to the ability to control case lighting and you've got a winner. If you were to buy a 12" dual CCFL kit and a fan controller separately, you'd be spending in the upwards of $50.00, with the NXP-305-x you get the dual CCFLs and a fan controller for about $40.00, it is really a great deal. Like always, Vantec has produced a silver version as well as a black version for those of you with black cases. Also, for those of you who own Vantec's spectrum CCFLs, they will work with the NXP-305-x, allowing you to go from the included blue CCFLs to red, blue, green, or ultra-violet.

As with any product, there is always some down points about it, and the NXP-305-x is no exception. The main downside, which some people may actually like, is the strobe effect caused by fans. This of course is less of a problem as the fans are moved further away form the Nexus. I managed to run 2x 80mm Tornado fans in my Lian Li PC70 case with only a small strobe effect.

Pros

Looks Great

Bright

Includes 2x CCFLs Unlike Most Other Light Controllers

Fits in a 3.5" Drive Bay

Ability To Use Other Vantec CCFLs

Adjust Fans From Off To Full Speed

Works With High CFM Fans (Tornado, Sunon, Delta)

Available In Black Or Silver

Cons

Strobe Effect By High Noise Fans

Only Available In Black Or Silver

Only Sold With Blue CCFL

Only Available With Blue LEDs

Only Able To Adjust CCFLs At The Same Time, Not Separately