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file server cases for home users (possibly motherboard too?)

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I have a home server with 7 HDDs in and currently just use an ATX tower case (with half the HDDs shamefully plonked outside the case). Since I'm having to re-home my server (the existing location is being turned into another bedroom), I'm going to need something a little less vulnerable to store my HDDs.

Ideally I'd want something that supports hot-swapping HDDs (like many a datacenter cases do; eg the HP Proliant rack mounts), however low cost is a big requirement so if I need something a little more laboured (ie if I need to open the case and manually unscrew the disks each time) then so be it.

I already have a case full of components, so I'm not looking to upgrade that; but again, if anyone finds a good deal for a complete build then I'm open to the suggestions (it's not as if I can't re-purpose the current hardware in a new project).

So the requirements in order or priority are:
  1. Space for -at the very least- 7 HDDs, however I'd prefer more bays if possible
  2. Price (ie, can I justify this cost to my wife laugher.gif)
  3. Noise (cannot be too loud as it's going to live in the hallway)
  4. (joint 4th) Easy access to remove HDDs a bonus but I'll make do if it drives the price to high
  5. (joint 4th) And components optional (I already have a CPU, mobo, RAM, etc, but if you can find a full build cheap enough then I'll still consider it)

One last thing, I live in Europe (UK) so I'd rather not import items from America. However if feel free to link to American sites if that's what you're familiar with because if I like the case then I can do the shopping around myself smile.gif

Thanks in advance guys smile.gif


FYI, the current build is:
  • 6x 1TB HDDs (ZFS raidz)
  • 1x 200GB HDD (FreeBSD boot drive)
  • 8GB RAM (4x 2GB sticks IIRC)
  • 1x SATA controller
  • Gigabyte motherboard + AMD Phenom 3core CPU
  • +5 Linux and BSD virtual machines.

Edited by Plan9 - 8/21/13 at 2:14am
post #2 of 21
Some of the full towers hold 10-12 hdd and can be justified to the wife! (75 quid+), you could also use a 3 5.25" Bay to 4 3.5"

The issue i found was unless you went for a more expensive one, the cheap ones seem to be quite.........ugly and "gamer"

They would be toolless? (however you spell not needing to use a tool) to remove them after you unplug SATA and power cable
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post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
I'm looking at this one currently: http://www.fractal-design.com/?view=product&prod=54
Still open to other suggestions though smile.gif
post #4 of 21
Same case i have though they now only do the Define XL R2, check my Yggdrassil thread for pics of the case and such (mine is the titanium grey) its a lovely case, loads of cable management so easy to keep tidy
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Sapphire R9 290X 8x Samsung 8GB DDR3 1333 ECC 3TBx2 in Raid 1 Noctua NH-U12DO 
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120mm Fractal Design 1200rpm Case Fan Silent Se... Windows 7 Pro x64 1x24" 2x22" Corsair Professional HX1050 
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120mm Fractal Design 1200rpm Case Fan Silent Se... Windows 7 Pro x64 1x24" 2x22" Corsair Professional HX1050 
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post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norse View Post

Some of the full towers hold 10-12 hdd and can be justified to the wife! (75 quid+), you could also use a 3 5.25" Bay to 4 3.5"
I hadn't considered that. But since I'm going to be buying something anyway, I might as well get one more geared towards my needs. Thanks for the idea though smile.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norse View Post

The issue i found was unless you went for a more expensive one, the cheap ones seem to be quite.........ugly and "gamer"
Aesthetics are one thing that I don't care in the slightest about. Plus the machine will be kept in an under-stairs cupboard so it wouldn't be visible anyway (though even if it was on show, I still wouldn't care about it's aesthetics)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norse View Post

They would be toolless? (however you spell not needing to use a tool) to remove them after you unplug SATA and power cable
I don't really mind either way.
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norse View Post

Same case i have though they now only do the Define XL R2, check my Yggdrassil thread for pics of the case and such (mine is the titanium grey) its a lovely case, loads of cable management so easy to keep tidy

Sorry, it was the R2 version I was looking at. redface.gif
Just out of interest what's the difference between the R1 and R2?
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan9 View Post

Sorry, it was the R2 version I was looking at. redface.gif
Just out of interest what's the difference between the R1 and R2?

Er i am not actually sure, Scan only had the R2 so that is what i bought, it is a lovely case though over the next week or two its going to have my raid moved into it (5x2TB Raid 5)
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120mm Fractal Design 1200rpm Case Fan Silent Se... Windows 7 Pro x64 1x24" 2x22" Corsair Professional HX1050 
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Ragnarok
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Yggdrassil
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GraphicsRAMHard DriveCooling
Sapphire R9 290X 8x Samsung 8GB DDR3 1333 ECC 3TBx2 in Raid 1 Noctua NH-U12DO 
CoolingOSMonitorPower
120mm Fractal Design 1200rpm Case Fan Silent Se... Windows 7 Pro x64 1x24" 2x22" Corsair Professional HX1050 
CaseAudioOther
Fractal Design XL R2 Titanium Grey Asus MIO 892 Purple and white Braided/sleeved cables 
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post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norse View Post

Er i am not actually sure, Scan only had the R2 so that is what i bought, it is a lovely case though over the next week or two its going to have my raid moved into it (5x2TB Raid 5)
Nice smile.gif


If I was to upgrade my motherboard, would you have any recommendations? I really don't need a high powered CPU, but ideally it would need to be quadcore. So I don't think the CPU socket matters too much.
post #9 of 21
Your current mobo MIGHT support a phenom x6 how much ram can it handle?
Ragnarok
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GraphicsRAMHard DriveCooling
Sapphire R9 290X 8x Samsung 8GB DDR3 1333 ECC 3TBx2 in Raid 1 Noctua NH-U12DO 
CoolingOSMonitorPower
120mm Fractal Design 1200rpm Case Fan Silent Se... Windows 7 Pro x64 1x24" 2x22" Corsair Professional HX1050 
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Fractal Design XL R2 Titanium Grey Asus MIO 892 Purple and white Braided/sleeved cables 
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Ragnarok
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Yggdrassil
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CPUCPUMotherboardGraphics
Opteron 6272 Opteron 6272 Asus KGPE-D16 Sapphire R9 290X 
GraphicsRAMHard DriveCooling
Sapphire R9 290X 8x Samsung 8GB DDR3 1333 ECC 3TBx2 in Raid 1 Noctua NH-U12DO 
CoolingOSMonitorPower
120mm Fractal Design 1200rpm Case Fan Silent Se... Windows 7 Pro x64 1x24" 2x22" Corsair Professional HX1050 
CaseAudioOther
Fractal Design XL R2 Titanium Grey Asus MIO 892 Purple and white Braided/sleeved cables 
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post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norse View Post

Your current mobo MIGHT support a phenom x6 how much ram can it handle?
All the VMs already run snappy enough even just on a 3core Phenom with less than 4GB of RAM assigned between 5 VMs. The virtual machines are all low footprint Linux and BSD systems (eg web server, some streaming daemons such as subsonic, etc) so I'm not looking to assign them more power. Plus I'm likely to upgrade the host OS and switch over to containers (FreeBSD jails) when I switch cases - so I should gain some performance there anyway.

What I'm more after is the convenience of having more onboard SATA ports as currently I have 4 plus a 2 port SATA controller - which does the job for now, but isn't all that future-proof. Getting a beefier CPU with a new motherboard is more of a fortunate side effect. laugher.gif
Edited by Plan9 - 8/21/13 at 4:48am
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