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Good case for 12+ 3.5" Drives OR MicroATX case (x2) for 6+ drives??

post #1 of 97
Thread Starter 
So I'm building a NAS box with 8 3.5" drives and I'd like the ability to add at least 4 more down the line if need be. This isn't going to be a very powerful server (i3-4130 CPU) other than the need for the large amount of drives (I won't be using any optical drive bays at all). However all I see are these humongous cases out there. I don't need something like the Cosmos 2 considering I'll be using a MicroATX board with onboard video and only one expansion card (HBA card). Am I just delusional to think that there are any cases out there that will fit many HDD's without needing tons of spaces for say graphics cards, watercooling, etc?

Btw I've considered rack mountable cases which I'd certainly love to use but it's probably not an option right now unless I can find the space somehow.

I also have a Switch 810 (in new condition) that's from a build I just sold but I cant' use that since it doesn't fit nearly enough 3'5" internal drives.



EDIT: Here's my priority list in terms of what's most important to me when it comes to choosing a case.

  1. Drive Bays: Lots of at least 10-12 3.5" (2.5" does nothing for me) drive bays without the need for 5.25" bay adapters/hot swap bays. I don't mind needing to use 5.25" drive bays down the road if I need to expand but I want the ability to mount at least 10-12 internal drives right off the bat.

  2. Size: Can't be any deeper than 24" and the smaller the better since the only thing that really is going to take up space in this build is all my drives. No point in having all this wasted space in the case that will be completely unused. The rest of my build is as follows:

    • CPU: Intel i3-4130 3.4Ghz CPU
    • MoBo: SuperMicro X10SLM-F-O Micro-ATX MoBo
    • RAM: 16GB Kingston ValueRAM DDR3-1600 ECC RAM
    • HBA: IBM ServerRAID M1015
    • PSU: Seasonic SS-400FL2 400W Platinum Fanless PSU

  3. Looks: Looks still mean something to me. Not to show off to others (no side window or anything) but just for my own personal viewing pleasure biggrin.gif. But seriously I enjoy simple sleek streamlined looks but also very much enjoy some of the more modern looking cases.

  4. Noise: Yes out of all these factors noise is the least important as long as the case doesn't sound like a wind tunnel. I have to be realistic since I want my drives to have very good cooling so I know that will add some noise. I have 12 Yate Loon D12SL-12 fans I can use in this case.



EDT: So I'm not considering build 2 separate 6 drive NAS boxes instead of one large 12 drive NAS box. So if there are any really good MicroATX 6-drive cases (ideally ones that allow push/pull fan mounting on the hard drive cages) I'm open to suggestions there.
Edited by PuffinMyLye - 10/25/13 at 3:32pm
post #2 of 97
12 is a decent size number going for a normal tower, most cases that support 10 natively are full towers and the Cosmos II will do 13. Although it only holds 8 to begin with the Define 4 gets my vote. Some other 8 bay options would be a Source 210 orthe Arc Midi R2 (can usually find for $60 somewhere on the internet).

I'd see if between a combination of a smaller size PSU and an extra 3-4 drive caddy you could fit in the middle of the cases on the bottom. I would've said a server chassis but you ruled that one out lol.
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post #3 of 97
Maybe this (a little pricy)

http://lime-technology.com/components/

I use this norco case in my utility room (good for 24drives):

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811219038

but this is more your size for 10drives

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811219030

For regular tower, the cheap when onsale Fractal Arc Midi R2 is always great
Edited by ForceD - 10/22/13 at 4:05pm
post #4 of 97
Thread Starter 
I think I just found a good candidate drive wise but damn is it big.

http://www.lian-li.com/en/dt_portfolio/pc-a75/
Edited by PuffinMyLye - 10/22/13 at 4:06pm
post #5 of 97
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ForceD View Post

Maybe this (a little pricy)

http://lime-technology.com/components/

I use this norco case:

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811219038

but this is more your size for 10drives

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811219030

For regular tower, the cheap when onsale Fractal Arc Midi R2 is always great

Yea as I said rack mountable is out of the question right now. When I move into a new home in a few years that's def. the route I'll be going.
post #6 of 97
Thread Starter 
Man this case would be perfect if the I could install all my hard drives up the front of the case like they are in the bottom. Tall I can make space for but deep I can't. Max depth I can probably fit is 24".

http://www.lian-li.com/en/dt_portfolio/pc-x2000fn/
Edited by PuffinMyLye - 10/22/13 at 4:15pm
post #7 of 97
I was going to say lol, that first Lian-Li you listed is bigger than any of those server cases.

I'd get the Norco and stand her up somehow if you can accommodate the second Lian-Li case as they're roughly the same size give or take an inch or two on some of the dimensions for both. Wouldn't have to buy a server case later too.

Also via Newegg the 20 bay Norco is $150 cheaper.
Edited by Azefore - 10/22/13 at 4:24pm
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post #8 of 97
If you can still get one, the xigmatek utgard is perfect for this, cheap and nicely made too. 9 x 5.25 bays all usable at the front. It's also super suitable for this use - ie. you could use it as a budget end case for a gaming build, but really, it's quite barebones and perfect for a fileserver.

Mine is full of a bunch of startech hot swap bays. I have 3 of them which fit 3x 3.5" HDDs horizontally in 2 x 5.25 bays each, so that's 9 HDDs in 6 bays, that leaves 3 bays open at the bottom, which are filled with another (I think startech again) 5-in-3 which takes 5x HDDs mounted vertically in 3 x 5.25 bays. So I've got 14 HDDs worth of bays in a reasonably compact case.

If I was doing it again though, considering the cost of all the startech hotswap bays, I'd probably just try to get a norco or something. That said, if 14 HDDs is definitely going to be enough for you for the forseeable future and you don't have any desire to rackmount it, the utgard does make a nice compact solution with a small footprint.
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post #9 of 97
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Azefore View Post

I was going to say lol, that first Lian-Li you listed is bigger than any of those server cases.

I'd get the Norco and stand her up somehow if you can accommodate the second Lian-Li case as they're roughly the same size give or take an inch or two on some of the dimensions for both. Wouldn't have to buy a server case later too.

Also via Newegg the 20 bay Norco is $150 cheaper.

Still too deep. The case has to sit on the floor next to a desk and not come out past the desk otherwise it will look ridiculous and block the view of my TV. Not really keen on standing a server chassis upright either. I do care SOMEWHAT about what this looks like as it's out in the open for all to see.
post #10 of 97
What this guy is doing with a Case Labs pedestal for a friggin huge TX10 build.

Buy just the pedestal and grab a few of the hdd cages, and you're good to go !
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