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Time to Move My Server

3579 Views 22 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  ruffhi
Some strange things have been happening with my server. The very bottom hot swap bay in my Kingwin KF 4001 bk stopped working. And then a different one lost all connection with the motherboard.

So ... I have decided to step back from hot swaps in my production server. To be honest, I haven't needed the flexibility of the hot swap feature enough.

I just pulled the trigger on a Phanteks Enthoo Pro 2 case. I am going to stack it full of their stackable HDD cage / bracket ... but I am not going to stack them like Phanteks' suggestions ... no way, no how.

Further, I ordered a pair from Amazon (they arrive tomorrow) to get the measurements, look at feel, etc, etc. But before it gets here ... I asked this question on Amazon ...

How many of these can i stack? enthoo pro ii has a stack of 4 ... can i stack ... 8?

... and got these responses ...
  1. In theory the limit is 2 sets of 2. However nothing would stop you from stacking higher assuming you have adequate clearance with your mobo and expansion cards
  2. They are all the same case so you can stack as many as you like
  3. they simply slide and lock together, stacking 8 will not be very stable though, and you may hay have a heat build up problem
So ... motherboard clearance, heat and stability might be issues.

Motherboard clearance ... in the Enthoo Pro 2? If I have motherboard clearance issues ... then something is really messed up.

I also found a youtube where someone had put these (in a stack) in a Coolermaster Matrexx 55(I think). They quoted temps of 45° to 50°C (too hot for me!) but I didn't like the direction they had their stack. I will have my fans blowing into the HDD gaps, and not into the walls of the bracket.

Hopefully, that will take care of the heat. I already love the Phanteks 140mm white fans ... the first and only 140mm fans that I buy. I will be adding a few of these to the front.

I am still thinking about the stability. I think that something like these might come into play.

drone stand offs
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
PCPartPicker Part List
  • CPU: Intel Core i3-6100 3.7 GHz Dual-Core Processor ($0.00)
  • CPU Cooler: CRYORIG H5 Universal 65 CFM CPU Cooler ($0.00)
  • Motherboard: Supermicro X11SSL-CF Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($0.00)
  • Memory: 4 x Crucial 16 GB (1 x 16 GB) DDR4-2666 CL19 Memory ($0.00)
  • Storage: 8 x Kingston A400 120 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($0.00)
  • Case: Phanteks Enthoo Pro 2 ATX Full Tower Case ($138.11)
  • Power Supply: SeaSonic FOCUS Plus Gold 550 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($0.00)
  • Case Fan: Phanteks F140XP 85.19 CFM 140 mm Fan ($17.20)
  • Case Fan: 4 x CRYORIG QF120 Balance 49 CFM 120 mm Fan ($0.00)
  • Custom: 2 x 0.5M CableCreation Internal HD Mini SAS (SFF-8643 Host) ($0.00)
    • 4x SATA (Target) Cable to HDDs
    • SFF-8643 (controller) to 4x SATA Cable
  • Custom: 2 x SATA III Cable, CableCreation [5-Pack] 8-inch SATA III 6.0 Gbps 7pin Female to Female Data Cable with Locking Latch, Blue ($8.06)
  • Custom: 3 x Phanteks - Stackable 3.5" HDD Bracket Duo Pack Cases PH-HDDKT_03 ($35.02)
  • Custom: 10 pack of uxcell Hex Aluminum Standoff Spacer Column M3x30mm,for RC Airplane,FPV Quadcopter,CNC,Black,10pcs ($10.61)

Items that were $0 were reused from my old server or from my 'parts' cupboard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The HDD brackets came today. I inserted some spare HDDs in them to get a feel for them. There are some little 'supports' (red squares) that support the HDDs. There are also screw holes so you can attach the HDDs to the bracket. The HDDs can go in one of two ways (see bottom part of picture). One way is correct, one way is wrong. Which is which?


The top part of the picture has both HDDs in the right way. You can see how snuggly the HDDs fit into the bracket. An extra hint is that the middle hole (green circle - one side of the bracket only) lines up with the middle hole in the HDD if you insert the HDD the right way.

The purple box shows the gap between the top HDD and the bottom bracket. This is where you want the air from your fans to travel.

Dimensions ...

length - 6 inches (not counting the little tags sticking out ... see right side of right picture)
height - 2 7/8 inches (for two brackets) ... it might be 15/16ths ... call it 3 inches
width - 4 3/16 (not counting the screws ... they probably stick out 1/8 inch) ... call the total 4 7/16 ... or 4.5 inches

How many can I fit in the front of the case? The Phanteks web site says that you can put a 480mm radiator in there ... easily. 480mm is 18.9 inches. The height of 2 brackets is 3 inches ... so that is 6 double brackets ... or 12 HDDs in a single stack.

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Question for you ... 4 fans at the front ... or 3?


And a big, fat NO to RGB. This is a basement server for goodness sake. The only pics I can find are of RGB fans.
 

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The Pro II its pretty much the single worst case you could have bought and the stackable mounting system is the worst system ever designed by a human being
I used to have 719 which is the same case just with a another front and top panel and i hated that case and i consider it the worst case i have ever bought

You would have been far better off with Fractal Design Define 7 XL or the Meshify XL
There are so many problems with the HDD cages that i could go on for hours its god awful and you made a mistake buying a Pro II and those cages

Like i said i used to have a 719 and i used it as my sever besides my PC with 5x HDD´s in it and i had so many problems with noise vibration noise and drives getting too hot and that was besides that despite the case being so big you dont have room for anything there is jack s... room above the motherboard there is little to no room if you have a large PSU with lots of cables

The single worst thing was the HDD cages which dumbest idea ever its fine if you have 1 or 2 drives but as soon as you have more it becomes the worst system ever and everything is 2 to 4 times the work it needs to be
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
shilka ... so, no opinion re 3 or 4 front fans?

sorry - had to ask. Thanks for your post and comments. As they say in the classics ... I will take them under advisement.

I mean that in this definition instead of the one (see spoiler).

Does the idiom "I'll take that under advisement" in a non-legal context always (or usually) mean "I'll ignore your advice"? i.e. is it a polite (or not-so-polite) way to snub someone? For example, the following quote I found on IBDB, which is from the movie Die Hard (emphasis added):

Hans Gruber: [after bad guys hit police ram with rocket]
[in radio to bad guys]
Hans Gruber: Hit it, again.
John McClane: [in radio to Hans] Hans you mothertrucker, you made your point! Let them pull back!
Hans Gruber: [in radio to McClaine] Thank you, Mr. Cowboy, I'll take it under advisement.
[to bad guys]
Hans Gruber: Hit it, again.
 

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I currently have a 719. Virtually the same case as stated above. I too use it as a server and it is currently populated with 12 hdd. 8 in front and 4 in the back in the designated hdd locations.

I have had zero issues with noise, Temps or vibration in this configuration.

I run 3 x corsair 140mm fans in front and every other fan slot is filled with 120mm Thermaltake fans. So 2 bottom, 3 top, 1 rear, all exhaust.

Hdd Temps max out around 35c.

Only issue I could see with stacking like your talking about is a lack of airflow around the drives. The stock mounting stacks 2 drives then leaves a gap, then 2 more and so on. This allows airflow to go around all the drives. 12 stacked would fit, but would be one hot brick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Thanks for the post MasterTrixter!

Excellent ... the discussion on the case and the HDD cradles continues. I am going to load this case up with old HDDs, motherboard, etc and run some temp tests. I might have some pics up this weekend.

Here are some pics I lifted off Amazon where someone used these cradles and a Matrexx Case ...


They have the sides of the cradles facing the fans. Same orientation that Phantek's assumes. I am going to rotate my HDDs 90° so that the fan air is not blowing into the solid side of the cradle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I picked up the Enthoo Pro 2 today. Feels like a big case ... but it doesn't feel that it will be impossible to fill. I must say that, while I like the front cover parts where they suggest you put some SSDs like good ... but only from the front. They look horrible from the rear.

 

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I picked up the Enthoo Pro 2 today. Feels like a big case ... but it doesn't feel that it will be impossible to fill. I must say that, while I like the front cover parts where they suggest you put some SSDs like good ... but only from the front. They look horrible from the rear.

i have my 2 cache drives mounted on the rear of those. they just kinda snap in.....not super secure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Those Phantek drive cages where $13 on Amazon and are now down to $10. I picked up another 2. Now I have 4 (from case) + 2 (previously purchased) + 2x2 (on their way from Amazon) = 10 HDD slots. My production server only runs 8 HDDs and 2 SSDs (system drives). The two SSDs will be going behind the motherboard. So ... 8 HDDs into 10 cages ... that will give me two blank (open) cages that I will use to experiment with air flow.

If you sit the cage on the floor of the PC, the power cable to the bottom drive will be a tight turn if the cables exit from the bottom. I am still thinking about how to run power to these drives. My solution at the moment is ugly as sin (I might post a pic this weekend).

I have also loaded 4 x Cryorig 120mm Balanced fans into the front of the case and ordered one new Phantek 140mm fan

I think that the 120mm fans have to go on the inside of the front grill (not 100% sure about this ... will look at it more tonight). I don't think they can do on the outside due to the dust filter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
i have my 2 cache drives mounted on the rear of those. they just kinda snap in.....not super secure.
I might reverse one of those covers and put my fan hub there. I would like nice, easy cable access to the fan hub and don't want to deal with the ugly plastic ridges on the back. That would mean those ugly ridges are exposed in the front of the case ... but this is a server, with no open side panels ... so function over form will win the day all the time for this build.

I say function over form now ... knowing full well that I do actually want it to look nice ... and I am planning some approaches that will help with that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I cobbled together enough of a server to run this in the Enthoo overnight. I installed FreeNAS which enabled me to track HDD temps.


Dotted lines are temps for individual drives (5 in total), solid line is the average of the 5 drives.
Data points at the top of every hour (except 7:13pm last night when I kicked off the test).

Qs ...
  1. At what point did I put the side panel on?
  2. At what point did I rotate the cages 90° so that the fans were blowing into the side?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Today ... I worked on the base of the HDD tower. Here is a pic of the bottom of the Enthoo Pro II with the radiator support removed.



The radiator support makes a perfect template for cutting out some plexiglass / Perspex / acrylic. I had to trim it a little to get it to fit in that area ... but it turned out pretty well.

Then I drilled some holes in the acrylic and one of the HDD cages ... and bolted that cage to the acrylic.



Next step is to add the actual cages that are holding HDDs ...



And here we see the HDDs with their butts to the fans. Or is it their face to the fans? Either way ...

 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Here is the full stack of 10 cages. Two blank (bottom one and 5th one) for airflow reasons. I have also labelled the cages with the SN of the HDDs so that it is easy to find a drive when it fails. It is a little unstable, even while empty so I will need some support. Current thinking is some stand-offs (see straw) to attach the stack to the case. I will have to experiment with placement. Last thing I want is a nice stable stack of cages that I can't insert an HDD into due to a misplaced standoff screw.

 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I decided to attach some acrylic to the case as current area that I was considering for HDD Case Support is an open slot for a radiator. Here is a front and back shot ...



The back is now super clean and my fan hub will be attached here. I will be drilling holes in the acrylic for the stand-offs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Some more HDD cages came today. I can get one more in this stack ... but I can only add it after I have inserted the stack into the case.



I think this is enough ...
... for this stack
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Stability Solved with the aid of some 30mm standoffs and anchor points on the cages and the new, acrylic side of the case.

Background shows the standoffs attached to the cages, left is a sneak peak through the fan front showing the standoff anchored to the acrylic, right is the new screws in the acrylic.

 
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