Review Index:

Vantec NEXUS Fan and Light Controllers

Author: Lee Garbutt
Manufacturer: Vantec

Vantec NEXUS-205 Fan Controller

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The NEXUS-205 Fan Controller is a 3.5” bay version of Vantec’s very popular NEXUS-201 unit.

NEXUS-205            NEXUS-201

It comes packed in a plastic tray insert inside a traditional blue Vantec box. The controller’s features, specifications and installation instructions are all printed on the outside of the box.

  • NEXUS-205 fan controller
  • Power extension cable
  • (4) Fan extension cables (with 3-pin to 4-pin adapters)
  • Mounting hardware

Initially I was expecting the NEXUS-205 would be a miniaturized version of the NEXUS-201. But after comparing the two circuit boards it became quickly apparent that the smaller 205 uses a slightly different circuit with different components than its big brother. In fact the individual fan speed control circuits used on the NEXUS-205 look almost identical to the circuits used on the NEXUS-301 Fan and Light controller.

NEXUS-205          NEXUS-201

The NEXUS-205 exhibits clean styling in a compact package. There are four speed-control knobs mounted across the front panel, each surrounded by a blue backlight.

Installation was a snap – slide the controller into position and secure it with the included screws. I found it easier to connect the power and fan extension cables first though. Just like on the NEXUS-301, the fan extension cables required quite a bit of force to fully seat them into the circuit board connectors. I used a flat blade screwdriver to “back-up” each connector while I pushed the mating cable connector on. The big advantage of this unit is that it mounts in a spare 3.5” drive bay and doesn’t take up one of the typically more valuable 5.25” bays.

There are five connectors mounted across the back edge of the NEXUS-205 circuit board. The large Molex power connector is on the left and the four 3-pin fan connectors are on the right.

Once again Vantec has supplied all the extension cables you might need. The fan cables are terminated with both 3-pin and 4-pin connectors, just like the cables supplied with the 301.

Once installed the unit added welcome functionality to my PC. I have five medium speed case fans in my custom Lian Li PC-60 enclosure (not counting the PSU and CPU, GPU and NB HSFs). The NEXUS-205 provides easy access to dial-in whatever combination of airflow and noise is appropriate. The blue LED lighting is attractive without being too bright.