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


Whaler_99

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UPDATE - July 12, 2011 - I created a Wiki article to allow us to pull everthing together. To add you review, go Here, click the link down under the heading "Benchmarks..." and contribute!!   Updat

I recently moved and had to find a place for my server. I settled for a closet off my living room for the server. . I have three Norco 5x3 cages in my server and have never modified them. So

These are superb units.   The front-mounted 120mm fan provides EXCELLENT ventilation ( the drives run much cooler than they do in units that have offset rear-mounted 60 or 80mm fans).   The lights can

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I don't see mention of Startech's cages.

 

I have 2 SATABAY5BK and was quite happy with them except I learned trayless is much easier for swapping,

Temperature of fans is adjustable with L/M/H and I had no problems with them. Discontinued now.

 

I also have a SBAY5BK (just been discontinued) which is trayless. Works great but no fan control. The two 3" fans are not enough and I found my drives going to 35-40C compared to 27-35C for other drives in the case.

 

Even though they are both discontinued now, their website has no 5x3 replacement for them.

 

EDIT: modified post to include links to the products.

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  • 4 weeks later...

The new SS-500 are SATA III (link)

 

some images from the newer sataIII version: http://greenleaf-technology.com/new-norco-ss-500-5-in-3-drive-cage-review/

The main reason why I'd had to have the sataIII version is for the shorter depth of the cage along with the sata ports being laid out in a row rather than having to guess.

 

just FYI, if you try and buy the SS-500 from Amazon, the default seller is 'Better Choice Online' and they only have the SATA II version.

I reached out to them to check if they had the newer model and was told:

We only have the SATA2 version in stock, but purchasing has an inquiry in with our vendor to see if we can get you the SATA3 version.  Thank you for your patience, and have a great day!

After waiting a few days I gave up on them and just went ahead with my order at Newegg.

 

If you order the SS-500 from Newegg, you should get the SATAIII version (but you may get different revisions of it).

I ordered 3 cages from newegg and while all are the newer SATAIII variant I had one in the original revision (orange pcb with 3 pin fan) and two are (green pcb with 4 pin fan)

 

For a shot of what they look like with the fan removed (note that the molex power have been flipped, 4 vs 3 pin fan, and then the sata ports are labeled 1-5 vs 4-0 now)

http://i.imgur.com/iLrUaqB.jpg

 

And I highly recommend replacing the fans in the SS-500 as they are way too loud for what they do.

Per Raj and other forum suggestions they say that the Coolink SWif-802 are the way to go.. which is great if you live in Europe where you can find them. But if you live in america they are out of stock.

 

Per QuietPC USA:

We are affiliated with Quiet PC in the UK , however we operate as separate companies.  They might still have a few of the fans left in stock, however if you were to purchase from them you would have to pay for overseas shipping.

 

Our purchasing department as not been able to obtain any information regarding the Coolink fans from Noctua.  Normally when this happens it means that a product is EOL (end of line)  We have not however been notified of this by Noctua.  It would probably be a good idea to start considering a different fan.

 

We have sold out of the Coolink SWiF2-801 fans.  Coolink is actually a sister company to Noctua.  Noctua being the top brand and the Coolink products with less items included in the box and shorter warranties being priced less.  Noctua has not confirmed to our purchasing department if or when more of the Coolink SWif2-801 fans will be available.  Unfortunately, the only option that we have would be to substitute a different fan.  We do have some of the Coolink SWif-801 fans in stock.  They are a good fan at a bargain price.  The SWiF2 model has better SSO type bearings which will last longer, the SWif model has two ball bearings.  The Noctua NF-R8 fan is better than both of the Coolink fans.  It has a 6 year warranty and adapter + resistor cables, however it would cost more.

 

So in the end I ended up trying out the Noctua NF-R8 for my SS-500 and they work great (I use the Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.) cable option). I picked up a 3 pack of the R8 fans on Amazon for cheaper than I could find two of the R8 fans alone.

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I just installed the supermicro 5in3 case in my server.

 

Wanted to let people know that installing it was very easy, there are several threads on it fitting very badly but I cannot confirm this, worked great in my Fractal Design Define XL USB 3.0 Black Pearl. Although you have to be carefull in removing or bending the drive tabs in the case, I can imagine that if you do that to quickly you will bend the casing and THEN it willbe difficult to fit stuff..

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So in the end I ended up trying out the Noctua NF-R8 for my SS-500 and they work great (I use the Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.) cable option). I picked up a 3 pack of the R8 fans on Amazon for cheaper than I could find two of the R8 fans alone.

 

I've also used the Noctua NF-R8 as a replacement fan in the Norco SS-500 (I have the second generation SS-500, the one with the flat back).  Works great.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Do you have to use the trays?

 

I would love a 5 in 3 where you could just drop the drive in, and have a bungie hold it there, so you can read the serial numbers!

No screws to mess with. Hhow well does Unraid handle hot swapping drives?

 

That is what I like on the backblaze pods, the simple drop. I noticed on version 3 they talked about how import vibration is for longevity of the drives, and they added an anti virbation bracket.

 

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Yes, you have to use the trays if you want a reliable server. Without the trays, the drive bay is too large for the drive and it will likely come loose and have an unreliable connection. I've seen trayless 4-in-3s and 3-in-2s, but no 5-in-3s unfortunately. Plus, the drive's serial number typically isn't written on the end of the drive, so even in a trayless cage it wouldn't be visible. You can print out some stickers and label the drive trays yourself, or just organize your trays in a logical manner (parity in tray 1, disk1 in tray 2, disk2 in tray 3, etc.) so that you can easily identify a failed drive.

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So in the end I ended up trying out the Noctua NF-R8 for my SS-500 and they work great (I use the Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.) cable option). I picked up a 3 pack of the R8 fans on Amazon for cheaper than I could find two of the R8 fans alone.

 

I've also used the Noctua NF-R8 as a replacement fan in the Norco SS-500 (I have the second generation SS-500, the one with the flat back).  Works great.

 

I've started using the ARCTIC F8 PWM as a fan replacement for the Norco SS-500 and Norco SS-400 units. Fairly cheap, and it works well.

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You can print out some stickers and label the drive trays yourself, or just organize your trays in a logical manner (parity in tray 1, disk1 in tray 2, disk2 in tray 3, etc.) so that you can easily identify a failed drive.

 

With the help of another unRAID user, I use Excel templates for disk cataloging. I can send along the blank template to whoever wants it. Just send a PM. Once I input the serial numbers, I snip the relevant section, and save the file to server\flash\unmenu\images\ and MyMain displays the exact layout of all installed disks.

 

This works best with a hard disk serial number file. Mine is in Excel so I can sort by warranty expire.

 

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MyServer.jpg.7468b827386ded092406a0c39fe01b4d.jpg

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go with the norco 5x3

Thanks prostuff. That was quick. I figured the norco would be the no brainier due to the case. Have you had any experience with the rpc 470?

No direct experience but we build a lot of servers in the norco 4224 and 4220.  We use the norco 5x3 in all our builds.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

go with the norco 5x3

Thanks prostuff. That was quick. I figured the norco would be the no brainier due to the case. Have you had any experience with the rpc 470?

 

I own an rpc470 and have just added two supermicro 5x3s.

They fit,  not much room between the center case fans and the supermicro but its no problem.

 

I can send you a photo if wanted.

Also i had to remove the iron tray holding the filter in the door because it hits on the trays,  but thats not an issue for me.

 

Sent from my GT-P5110 using Tapatalk HD

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

So in the end I ended up trying out the Noctua NF-R8 for my SS-500 and they work great (I use the Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.) cable option). I picked up a 3 pack of the R8 fans on Amazon for cheaper than I could find two of the R8 fans alone.

 

I've also used the Noctua NF-R8 as a replacement fan in the Norco SS-500 (I have the second generation SS-500, the one with the flat back).  Works great.

 

I've started using the ARCTIC F8 PWM as a fan replacement for the Norco SS-500 and Norco SS-400 units. Fairly cheap, and it works well.

 

When you use the NR-R8 on the Norco SS-500 does the norco use the PMW on the fan? How you have it hooked up?

 

I have not read all posts but the stock Norco fan is loud? Thank you.  ;)

 

Ahhhh great review!

http://greenleaf-technology.com/new-norco-ss-500-5-in-3-drive-cage-review/

 

So would you recommend changing the fan from the start or not?  :o

Been wanting to upgrade to a cage it's either the Norco or a iStarUSA BPN-DE350SS

 

But from your review i am leaning towards the Norco. Thanx for the review.

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When you use the NR-R8 on the Norco SS-500 does the norco use the PMW on the fan? How you have it hooked up?

 

I have not read all posts but the stock Norco fan is loud? Thank you.  ;)

 

I've swapped the the stock fans in my Norco SS-500 for non-PWM Noctua NF-R8 fans.

I run them at full speed, so don't use the included fan speed controllers.

 

Take a look at this review, gives a really good run-down of the cages and the process for swapping the fan.

http://greenleaf-technology.com/new-norco-ss-500-5-in-3-drive-cage-review/

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had hard time trying to find any of the recommended 5in3 cages available back here in Europe/Finland at least at a reasonable price. Finally found these:

http://www.xcase.co.uk/product-p/caddy-53v2.htm

 

I'm planning to order two of these. The total price (incl. postage from UK to Finland) per cage is 90eur (115$).

 

If I have understood correctly these are re-branded Norco SS-500 V2. The next thing to find out is a fitting replacement fan. None of the recommended fans are locally available and I would hate to order anything this cheap over-seas. Could I use one of the following:

http://www.nxstek.com/NXS-80mm-pwm-fan-ultra-quiet.htm

http://www.coolermaster-usa.com/product.php?product_id=2943

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