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Mid-tower case recommendations? RRS feed

  • Question

  •  

    I need to find a case for my future WHS system. I already have all the other hardware figured out but need to find a good case to put it all in.

     

    This is my requirements

     

    1. must hold six HDDs

    2. must be quiet or as quiet as possible

    3. good interior air movement especially around the HDDs

    4. has to sit on the carpet floor so dust and junk being sucked in must be addressed.

     

    I am not looking for a 'bling bling' case so panels with windows or lighted fans are not on my list.

     

    I was thinking of using the CoolerMaster Cosmos 1000 case (full tower) but wanted to check to see if there is another case comparable in design, construction, and maybe at a lower cost.

     

    http://www.coolermaster.com/products/product.php?act=detail&tbcate=168&id=2684

     

    I already own a CoolerMaster 830 case for my gaming kit so I know the work CM does.

     

    Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

    Friday, February 1, 2008 2:25 PM

All replies

  • You will not find a case that will meet all your requirements, I suspect, since the first and third requirements are directly opposed to the second. You could take a look at the Apex Supercase LX-800, which will potentially accept as many as 9 internal drives. But with that many drives and the required cooling, you'll find that it won't be a quiet case.
    Friday, February 1, 2008 4:05 PM
    Moderator
  • Ken, I looked at that case but I couldnt see the sense of having the PSU right below the HDDs. It seems to be an issue with keeping the HDD temps down.

     

    I dont plan on installing six HDDs at first but wanting a case that I can expand into. I was only going to put in two 500g HDDs at first and then install newer HDDs as disk space gets eaten up. However with the fast pace way the HDD manufacturers are coming out with bigger and bigger drives, I wonder if I can just get by with only four slots instead of six?

     

    The big issue about being as quiet as possible is because the only place I can put the WHS is next to my gaming rig which is in my bedroom. I cant sleep with 24 hours of white noise running or flashing LED fans. LOL

     

    Since my MOBO (Gigabyte GA-G33M-DS2R w/ Intel C2 Duo E4500 chip) has video onboard (only to be used on WHS install & setup), the only thing I need to keep track of is the temps of the HDDs (WD Greenpower 500g). I plan on using a E85 400w PSU as well.

     

    Friday, February 1, 2008 4:55 PM
  • I have the antec P180 for my gaming rig and it does all that and more, but its pricey. Its has a 3 hdd cage with a 120mm fan in front of it and another 3 drive cage in the bottom with a fan behind it inline with the psu. Its quiet with good airflow and washable front filters that remove easily.

     

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129154&Tpk=antec%2bp180

     

     

    Friday, February 1, 2008 5:32 PM
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    Craig, I also looked at that case but the reveiws were not nice about the workmanship of the door.

     

    I think I need to go look at one in person and see for myself.

    Friday, February 1, 2008 5:49 PM
  • With that case, the power supply will exhaust it's own heated air (out the front); it shouldn't be a big problem, especially if you fit the case with a couple of 120mm front fans for the drives.
    Friday, February 1, 2008 6:03 PM
    Moderator
  • I have the Antec P180 case for my server.  Frys occassionally has them on sale. 

     

    http://shop4.outpost.com/product/4843800?site=srTongue TiedEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG

     

    I specifically like this case becuase of the expandability, quiteness, cooling, and ease of working with it.  I recommend it.  I have purchased three of these cases so far, one of my main rig, one for the server, and one for my future media computer.

    Friday, February 1, 2008 6:22 PM

  • I just picked up an Antec nsk6580.  It comes with a 5 hard drive cage, and if you need more drives you can put them up in the 5" drive bays.  In addition it comes with a power supply that should be enough to power the hard drives.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129033&Tpk=nsk6580

    It replaced an Antec p160 that was getting a bit tatty (and was missing some of the hard drive trays).

    Friday, February 1, 2008 9:25 PM
  • First Recommendation

     

    Don't let how silent a case is affect your decision.  Get whatever case that fits your other logistical needs, even a cheap noisy one, and then make it silent.  Assuming you are handy and have the time, for $10 or so in materials you can make something just as quiet, if not moreso.

     

    It is not possible (or at least very difficult) to buy a high-quality, ultra-quiet case very cheaply.  It is however possible to buy a high quality case, and make it quiet, on the cheap.  But you get something for what you pay...the luxury of not having to do the work yourself vs. spending the money for somebody else to do it.


    Second Recommendation

     

    Look for a mid-tower with (4) 5.25" bays if you can live with an external DVD drive, or (5) if you have to have a full size (ie half-height) 5.25" optical drive.

     

    The reason?


    You are looking @ 6 drives.  Given the WHS architecture, 6 drives fits very nicely with with a physical deployemnt of HD0 internal, and HD1 thr HD5 data drives in a backplane installed to the (4) 5.25" bays.  Couple this with a case that has a (optionally lockable) door covering the 5.25" drives, and you've got a very nice setup that is convenient, and quiet.  Plus, since the backplane has it's own fan (typically), your requirement regarding airflow around the drives will be met.  The supermicro backplan I reference below has excellent airflow around the drives.

     

    This is a completely different approach vs. trying to find a case w/ 6 internal HD bays.  Those are going to be in a vast minority of availale cases; especially mid-towers.  But mid-towers with 4 open 5.25" bays are everywhere, and they always have at least 1 internal 3.5" HD for your HD0.  So if you go this route, you'll probably have more to choose from.

     

    Example

     

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811226005

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817121405

     

    Total setup (w/o PSU): $190 after rebate.

     

    Yeah, it does have a bit of bling, but like I said finding a mid-tower case wih (4) 5.25" spaces with a front door is easy.

     

    Summary

     

    Save the money you would otherwise spend on a "silent" case, and get a cheap case, quiet it  yourself, and spend the money saved on a 5-drive backplane.


    Ryan

    Saturday, February 2, 2008 2:59 PM
  • I've been looking at the Cooler Master RC-690-KKN1-GP found here (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119137). It's got 5 internal 3.5", so it's just short of your requirements, although you could get the 4 to 3 SATA backplane mentioned in one of the earlier posts.

    One of the reasons that I'm looking at this particular case is the sheer number of 120mm fan slots -- 7 total. Although I'm planning to use a thermally efficient AMD BE-2400 processor with this system, I'm going to keep it in a closet so I want to make sure that it stays cool even under the worst of circumstances.
    Saturday, February 2, 2008 10:07 PM


  • Doesn't quite fit your requirements (4 internal 3.5", but you could use the 5.25" if you had to) but for my WHS build I went with the inexpensive  COOLER MASTER Centurion 534 RC-534-KKN2-GP.  I like my Lian Li PC-61 (very nice and it has 5  3.5"  internals....$79 on Black Friday) and I also have a Antec 180.  But for the price and to funnel the $ to a better MB I went w/ the Cool Master for my WHS - not bad at all for and at a nice price....I think I got mine for $29 afer rebate - I just couldn't resist.
    Sunday, February 3, 2008 10:12 AM