Jump to content
Whaler_99

The 5X3 Cage review - Norco, SuperMicro, iStarUSA and Icy Dock

446 posts in this topic Last Reply

Recommended Posts

Anyone used the other 5x3's sold by xcase?

 

AN-D35:

 

I dont know if they're a brand new product, but they're out of stock until July, and am just considering them vs the normal V2

 

I like the idea of a trayless setup - as I imagine that would allow for more airflow. It also markets it fan as being ultra-quiet, which would be a factor for me

 

From a quick google, it looks like it might be a brand new product, but I cant be sure

 

You can also check one of my other review posts here - http://lime-technology.com/forum/index.php?topic=24258.0

 

I had a chance to test out a trayless unit. My only issue with it, as detailed in the review, is making sure the power/sata connecters line up properly when sliding the drive in, esp if you have a "thinner" then normal 3.5" drive. This is where a drive tray helps, making sure the fit is always proper. Just pay attention though and you shouldn't have any issues.

 

Share this post


Link to post

Anyone used the other 5x3's sold by xcase?

 

AN-D35:

displaycut_7__1.jpg

 

I dont know if they're a brand new product, but they're out of stock until July, and am just considering them vs the normal V2

 

I like the idea of a trayless setup - as I imagine that would allow for more airflow. It also markets it fan as being ultra-quiet, which would be a factor for me

 

From a quick google, it looks like it might be a brand new product, but I cant be sure

 

 

 

 

I have two (with a third on order) of these five-drive units, and one single drive unit.  Love them, they're all I'll use.  I take the fans off of them.  My tower case has five 120mm fans all pulling air out, and the entire case is sealed, so incoming air only flows over the drives.  This makes the system very quiet, and my drives never go above 30C during parity checks.

 

I wanted a trayless design for ease, although I rarely swap drives, so in retrospect either would have worked.  I know its trivial, but they are (in my opinion) the nicest looking units available.

Share this post


Link to post

Anyone used the other 5x3's sold by xcase?

 

I bought some last year and rather pleased with them 8 months on. Review here http://blog.ktz.me/?p=145

I have 3 of the caddy's revived by ironicbadger and I and very happy with them. No issues at all, would recommend with out any hesitations.

Share this post


Link to post

 

Yes, they do almost look identical, especially the rear. My only concern, as you pointed out, limited air intake in the front. At $104 on Ebay they aren't even that much of a deal either...

 

Share this post


Link to post

seems like that my Norco SS-500 V2 has a faulty port. I moved the cables and the drives around and it always stays with that port, I took it apart but cannot see a blown capacitor or anything like it. I blew all the dust away which was there but the port will still not work. Any other way to be sure?

Share this post


Link to post

seems like that my Norco SS-500 V2 has a faulty port. I moved the cables and the drives around and it always stays with that port, I took it apart but cannot see a blown capacitor or anything like it. I blew all the dust away which was there but the port will still not work. Any other way to be sure?

 

If you have switched drives and SATA cables, probably pretty safe with the fact that it is a bad port...

Share this post


Link to post

I too had a bad port on a Norco.

 

First the drive appeared but unformatted, attempting to format it caused unRAID to loop and become unresponsive (however, formatting a bunch of disks at the same time, unRAID correctly recognised the problem and skipped over that port - note, probably a bug in unRAID).

 

In diagnosing the fault with new disks (it was actually a brand new system), it trashed the filesystems on the disks.  The disks were actually blank, but formatted for unRAID.  When putting the disks back in other slots, unRAID started normally, but then hit a write error attempting to write to any disk that had been in that faulty Norco slot.  All those disks needed formatting with something else first or pre_clearing again.

Share this post


Link to post

Just building my first server and came across these 5x3 cages (i'm in the Asian) - anybody have any experiences with these

 

http://www.servercase.co.uk/shop/components/hard-drives/hot-swap-drive-modules-sata-sas/3x5.25-to-5x3.5-sassata-6.0-gbs-trayless-hotswap-cage-isgand35silver/

 

the hard drive cages are the last items I need to buy (3 of them)and am split between these and the icybox 5x3 cages

 

The first option seems to be a winner but would like some input before spending £300 plus !

Share this post


Link to post

Just building my first server and came across these 5x3 cages (i'm in the Asian) - anybody have any experiences with these

 

http://www.servercase.co.uk/shop/components/hard-drives/hot-swap-drive-modules-sata-sas/3x5.25-to-5x3.5-sassata-6.0-gbs-trayless-hotswap-cage-isgand35silver/

 

the hard drive cages are the last items I need to buy (3 of them)and am split between these and the icybox 5x3 cages

 

The first option seems to be a winner but would like some input before spending £300 plus !

 

Those ones you linked are either knock off or an oem version of the iStar ones we get here in North America.

You can read a review of my 3x2 cage of theirs here - http://lime-technology.com/forum/index.php?topic=24258.0

 

Overall, iStar make good quality products. Both them and Icy are great options. I would look for pics of the back of the units, find which one works better for your build, and maybe aesthetics from the front. Go with that choice.

 

Share this post


Link to post

Does anyone know on the Supermicro 5x3 cage, can the fan speed be changed OR is there a quieter fan that can be swapped on this drive cage? The fan on the one I just installed is far louder than the other fans in the server and I would love to be able to get the noise level down due to the server is located in a quiet office space.

Share this post


Link to post

Does anyone know on the Supermicro 5x3 cage, can the fan speed be changed OR is there a quieter fan that can be swapped on this drive cage? The fan on the one I just installed is far louder than the other fans in the server and I would love to be able to get the noise level down due to the server is located in a quiet office space.

 

If you read the original review, I do indicate that the fan should be pretty easy to swap, 92mm fan. 4 pin connector. Just verify on yours that it is still a 92mm fan. My review unit is a few years old and they may have changed this, but should be fairly easy to swap for something quieter of the same size. Just make sure you use something with good static pressure values, as it needs to pull that air through the cage filled with drives.

Share this post


Link to post

All 4 fans of my SM cages were swapped to 92mm silent fans with no issues. I used Noctua NF-B9 PWM.

Noisblocker fans are also great and cheaper then Noctua.

Share this post


Link to post

Newegg has Norco SS-500 on sale for $59.99

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816133030

 

Not that is totally unfair, we Canucks get shafted. :)

 

I've been deciding to get removable cages for a while now and your thread has been helpful.

 

The Norco SS-500 is on sale for $65 plus 20% code right now. SM and other cages are also on sale now. Still trying to decide Norco or SM.

Share this post


Link to post

Newegg has Norco SS-500 on sale for $59.99

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816133030

 

Not that is totally unfair, we Canucks get shafted. :)

 

I've been deciding to get removable cages for a while now and your thread has been helpful.

 

The Norco SS-500 is on sale for $65 plus 20% code right now. SM and other cages are also on sale now. Still trying to decide Norco or SM.

 

I like the SM ones. The aluminum cages surround the drive (think horseshoe) and allow air to flow over all the hot surfaces providing exceptional cooling. The Norcos conver the bottom of the drives where heat is at its highest with a metal plate that prevents good airflow on this the hottest surface. The SMs fans are larger and provide better airflow. Some complain they are noisy, but they are easily replaced with quieter ones if desired.

Share this post


Link to post

One of these days I changed my server from one-80mm-fan-per-enclosure to four-120mm-whole-system setup.

 

This was made removing the fans from my enclosures, sealing unused case vents and let four 120mm fans create a negative static pressure environment, so the air is mainly sucked from the enclosures.  The case used for this was an old CoolerMaster RC-590. SATA enclosures are two iStarUSA BPN-DE350SS and one Norco SS-500 v3.

 

I couldn't make an environmental controlled test, but clearly the  BPN-DE350SS is way less obstructed than the Norco, and the drives are up to 10ºC cooler on the iStarUSA during a parity check. This mean you can use less powerful/more silent fans to keep your drives cool.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post

Wow, I just replaced the fans in the SS-500 with Noctua RF-8, what a huge difference in noise, the thing sounded like a jet engine with 2 or 3 (third is disconnected right now, I decided to remove some of the older drives). I turned it on and had to check if they were even spinning. Much more reasonable now, even though it's in an unused room you could still hear it outside the door. Also added a couple 120mm to as exhaust on the top of the case to help alleviate some of the load on the enclosure fans. Since I had to mess with cables I'm running a parity check, ambient temp is around 70F, drive temps holding around 30-34C. One is 36C, that's probably the cage with 3 empty slots, so all the air is going through the empty bays instead of between the drives, need to block those off. 

 

Changing the fans was much easier than I thought it would be. Pop the back, unhook old fan, unscrew it, push it out in a star pattern to get them off the pins, replace.

 

I'm happy.

Share this post


Link to post

Noctua fans are amazing.  All I ever use, not keen on the colour though!

Share this post


Link to post

Just working on the newly arrived SM unit and a pleasant surprise. The drive trays all come with pre-installed filler panels, so those trays without a drive installed won't have air pulled through them, aka, dust. Very nice addition.

 

SM_tray_01.jpg.1f54522bad9cd621a80ab34cf3d007fa.jpg

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now