Atamido

Case Suggestion For Whs + ~9 Drives

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I currently have a Windows Home Server with 7 drives in it, but I'd like to ability to add more drives. I'm actually not very confident in the cooling capabilities of my current case, so an new case really seems like the way to go. The clincher is that I'm looking to do this on the cheap, so around $100 for the case. The power supply I have seems fine, so I'd just transfer it to the new case. 9 drives seems like a good minimum, although I'd certainly like more. And this will sit in the office, so noise is also a factor. I also don't need any 5.25 bays.

I like the basic idea behind this Antec Twelve Hundred, but I'd like something cheaper.

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That Antec is pretty nice...the $100 price point is tough. What about this Cooler Master HAF 932?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119160&cm_re=Cooler_Master_HAF_932-_-11-119-160-_-Product

Looks like it can be had for $100+/- after shipping on eBay too, if you're up for that route.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Cooler-Master-HAF-932-Full-Tower-ATX-Computer-Case-/260657239936?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cb061d780#ht_9277wt_1137

Expansion

External 5.25" Drive Bays 6

External 3.5" Drive Bays 1

Internal 3.5" Drive Bays 5

Expansion Slots 7

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The 1200 is big, but DAMN that is a lot of venting and LEDs :ph34r:

Have you ever used a Kill a WAtt to see what the power consumption of the rig is, or the idle HD temp?

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Unfortunately that CoolerMaster case only has 5x 3.5" bays, which doesn't get me far.

I like the venting, although I'd probably just disable the LEDs. It makes sense to set hard drives so that there is a 120mm fan blowing on sets of three. I'd love a case with 4x 120mm fans blowing onto 12x 3.5" drive slots.

I did use a Kill-A-Watt when I first set it up, and it idled at 78W, with a max of 100W. I posted some details here. I've since replaced an old power hungry 250GB drive with one of the 2TB green drives, so it might be a little lower now. According to SpeedFan, the drive temperatures range from 36C to 43C.

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In that case cooling doesnt sound like a huge issue. Most of those cases were designed with SLI graphics cards shedding off 500-600w of energy while gaming, plus any other equipment at high load. A handful of hard drives with a processor sitting at or near idle not going above 100w might need a 80mm fan in front of each HD cage to keep drives at or around room temp.

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Unfortunately big cases mean big price - but a couple searches on newegg came up with this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811103022&Tpk=watx%20case

rather over the top for the bling factor, but with 12 drive bays, it could work for you

then there is this one:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112224&Tpk=watx%20case

"only" 10 3.5 bays, and some 5.25 external ones as well, but not cheap.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811146051&cm_re=watx_case-_-11-146-051-_-Product

much better price than the other 2, but this has 9 bays

And if you can find one on ebay:

http://www.xpcgear.com/sc762420.html

these are nice too. the specs say 2 3.5" bays, but it actually has 4 if you include the floppy and a hidden one in the top corner. For a total of 10 drive bays.

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I recently expanded my 4 disk raid 5 into an 8 disk raid 6 and I replaced my old case with a Cooler Master Centurion 590. It comes with an internal mounting ("4-in-3 module") for 4 hard drives in 3*5.25" bays with a 120mm fan blowing over it. The case itself is pretty cheap (no PSU) and you can buy a slightly different 4-in-3 module for $20. 2 of those would fill up all 9 bays and give you space for 12 hard drives. I use 2 iStarUSA hot swap backplanes in my system (specifically the BPU-350-SA-SILVER) which gives me 10 drives in 6 5.25" bays. They're $100 a pop, which would definitely blow a low budget case, but I love being able to hot swap...

My gaming system has a CM HAF 922. The Centurion 590 isn't quite as roomy, but it's just as nice inside.

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I'd looked at the XClio case, but the comments weren't encouraging. A lot of people had the fan controls just die on them. And it uses 180mm fans which cost quite a bit more to replace, which isn't encouraging given the failure rate some people are seeing. Other than that though, it's pretty close to ideal.

Lian Li's are basically out of my price range. But I did look at the picture, and I can't figure out how 10x 3.5" drives would fit.

The NZXT Whisper looks pretty promising. I suppose the drives would get enough air flow, although I wonder how quiet a pair of 80mm fans would really be. In my experience the 120mm fans tend to be much more quiet.

Not sure what I'd do with that Supermicro case. My current one is actually pretty close to that. A lot of drive bays, but not enough for 3.5" drives.

I'm considering chopping up my current full tower and building something similar to the XClio, but with 4x 120mm fans in front.

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It looks like I could pick up that Coolmaster with the 2 drive cages for $120 shipped. This is a real possibility. It's a shame they don't sell the cage included with the case as all of the comments mention how cheaply made the other cage is. But that would be 12 bays, and I suppose that beggars can't be choosers.

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Yeah, that is strange. The one that comes with the case seems pretty solid to me and it has more of an open design compared to the one you can buy.

file1203072994393.jpg

It looks like you can take off the plastic front if you wanted to keep it behind the 5.25" bay covers like the included one.

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If you wanted to save some money on shipping, I see Amazon has the Centurion 590 (for $60) and a similar looking Thermaltake drive cage (for $15), both with free super saver shipping. They also have the Cooler Master 4-in-3 module, but it's not from or fulfilled by Amazon, so no free shipping option. Super saver shipping says 5-9 days, but the stuff I order there usually ships out within a day or two and comes ups ground, so it's closer to 5 than 9. If nothing else you could get the case from Amazon (says only 4 left) for the free shipping and the modules from Newegg.

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Well, I got the 590 along with the 4-in-3 modules and got all of the parts transferred over to it. I generally like the case design, although if anything there are too many places for fans. Both sides come off of the case so cables can be routed out of the way under the motherboard.

It does produces an annoying hum that my old case didn't make. I'm assuming it's because it is so much more open and so a lot more sound it getting out (versus the old super heavy steel case with sound padding on the inside). I'll need to try unplugging fans and/or drives to isolate what is causing the most noise.

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