Nexus Caterpillar

Silent Computer enclosure.
Author: Jouni 'Jipa' Vasama
Published: 10.09.2007
Manufacturer: Nexus
Product Group: System enclosure
In English In English
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In detail


On the top of the front panel there's a hatch that hides the USB- and audio connectors when they are not used. Almost the rest of the front panel is covered by metal mesh. This is a bit strange material choise for a quiet case as the metal mesh will not blok any noise coming from inside the case. But at the same time it gives the case a nice look. And atleast the mesh shouldn't block the airflow like a couple of holes on the bottom of the front panel might do.

The upper part of the mesh can be slidden down to reveal the 5,25" external bays behind it. Sliding the door could feel smoother as currently it makes the whole mechanism feel bit cheap.



On the bottom there are four soft rubber feet. These are also one of the noise-blocking features as they prevent any vibrations from getting to the table or what ever there is under the case, thus causing more unwanted noise. Also some ventilation holes can be seen around the HDD-area. These are designed to help keep the HDDs cool by providing them with cool air, but still I find this design a bit odd. Usually when you're designing a quiet case, the best way to achieve it is to eliminate any un-necessary holes. On the other hand the holes are located on the bottom of the case, so most likely they have no major effect on the overall noise level.



From the rear it's easy to say there's something strange in the internal layout of the Caterpillar, the PSU is on the bottom and the I/Os of the motherboard are on the left side of the case.

The right sidepanel is held in place by two quick locks. This is even better method than using thumb screws because they can pretty easily be lost. The only concern I have about these is how easily they can be broken.



The Caterpillar is the first case reviewed in that has an upside down design. This means that the motherboard is installed upside down and faces the right side of the case. It'll be interesting to see how easy the installation and the wire-managing is.

It seems like there's no reason why the HDD-cage couldn't be another 5-10 cm closer to the front panel. This would allow larger power supplies to fit in to the case and also make the HDDs be better on the path of the airflow from the frontal fan.

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