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

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Almost all the 5 bay units have 80mm fans. A few have 90mm. You cannot fit a 120mm fan in a 5 bay hot swap along with all the connections needed. From various testing and real world use they almost all perform fine. I have even added LNA's to some to slow them down and make them a bit quieter. I occasional get temp warning on a drive in summer during a parity check or 45-49 C but that typically clears up pretty quick.

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The SuperMicro 5in3s have 92mm fans.

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16 hours ago, Superorb said:

 

Do you have the cage or the hot-swap version? What do your temps look like for a parity check and what is room temp?

 

I have the hot-swap. Temp of the disk was around 34 during a parity check. I just put in a new HGST 6TB disk in that cage and during the preclear the temp didn't go over 34-35 degrees.

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17 hours ago, Sphinkx said:

Looking good indeed. But I don't like the 80mm fan. Maybe a bit small and smaller fans tend to make more noise and the cage can get hotter. Especially if you have 5 HD running in it..

I have been using a fully populated Norco SS-500 cage for a few years now, with a low noise 80mm fan in the Caribbean without ever experiencing temperature extremes in any of my drives. All things being equal-good case air flow, reasonable ambient temperatures, etc., you shouldn't have heat issues with a quality low noise fan in this cage.

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I use three 5-in-3 iStarUSA cabinets in a little different way.  My server case has five 120mm evac fans (technically six since my power supply vents out, not a pull-from-bottom config), and I removed the entire fan assembly from the iStarUSA cages.  This removed noise and allows all five case fans to pull air directly through the front venting on the drive cages.  The case is otherwise completely sealed, thus 100% of air that enters the case and is vented by the fans has to pass over the drives first.

 

I am presently modifying the case to instead use 4 220mm fans for evac, increasing airflow and reducing noise.  Will keep a very slow, quiet 120mm fan in the traditional rear position to vent CPU heat directly.

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, tucansam said:

I use three 5-in-3 iStarUSA cabinets in a little different way.  My server case has five 120mm evac fans (technically six since my power supply vents out, not a pull-from-bottom config), and I removed the entire fan assembly from the iStarUSA cages.  This removed noise and allows all five case fans to pull air directly through the front venting on the drive cages.  The case is otherwise completely sealed, thus 100% of air that enters the case and is vented by the fans has to pass over the drives first.

 

I am presently modifying the case to instead use 4 220mm fans for evac, increasing airflow and reducing noise.  Will keep a very slow, quiet 120mm fan in the traditional rear position to vent CPU heat directly.

 

 

 

 

Sounds like an interesting setup. How does it cool? I have a 92mm fan in each of 4 drive cages, pulling air in over the drives, and several case fans evacuating. My cooling is very good, with parity check temps maxing in upper 30s, and occasionally lower 40s on warmer days. (That's with 20 drives).

 

Your fans should be generating negative pressure in the case, but I'd be a little concerned that air would flow through least resistance and with air currents some of the tighter spots would have lesser flow. Do you have some drives that run hotter than others? Also, not all fans have enough umph to generate enough pressure to move a lot of air against significant resistance. And the ones that do are not the quietest. What is your criteria for exhaust fans?

 

My server lives in an unfinished basement and quiet is not so important. A beefy fan in each cage really works well. But many users need a very quiet server and your method sounds a good way to go! 

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6 hours ago, Sphinkx said:

 

I have the hot-swap. Temp of the disk was around 34 during a parity check. I just put in a new HGST 6TB disk in that cage and during the preclear the temp didn't go over 34-35 degrees.

What's the room temp during a parity check?

6 hours ago, ProfQ said:

I have been using a fully populated Norco SS-500 cage for a few years now, with a low noise 80mm fan in the Caribbean without ever experiencing temperature extremes in any of my drives. All things being equal-good case air flow, reasonable ambient temperatures, etc., you shouldn't have heat issues with a quality low noise fan in this cage.

What's the room temp during a parity check?

5 hours ago, tucansam said:

I use three 5-in-3 iStarUSA cabinets in a little different way.  My server case has five 120mm evac fans (technically six since my power supply vents out, not a pull-from-bottom config), and I removed the entire fan assembly from the iStarUSA cages.  This removed noise and allows all five case fans to pull air directly through the front venting on the drive cages.  The case is otherwise completely sealed, thus 100% of air that enters the case and is vented by the fans has to pass over the drives first.

 

I am presently modifying the case to instead use 4 220mm fans for evac, increasing airflow and reducing noise.  Will keep a very slow, quiet 120mm fan in the traditional rear position to vent CPU heat directly.

 

 

 

 

For a while I was actually doing the same thing with the same iStarUSA 5in3 cages and I removed the stock fans. My case only had two 120mm fans along with the 80mm PSU fan and it didn't work at all. Temps were terrible at 40+ with a room temp of 76F. Could have been that my exhaust fans weren't good for that purpose. I only had 8 drives out of the 15 available. It must be quiet because it sits next to my desk and I work from home.

 

What case are you using?

Edited by Superorb

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3 minutes ago, Superorb said:

 

What's the room temp during a parity check?

 

 

Room isn't that hot. Around 23-24 degrees.  In my previous case, an old CM stacker, all my disc's were hitting the high 40's during parity check with a top of ~50.

 

Since my new case I don't have these issues anymore.

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6 minutes ago, Sphinkx said:

 

Room isn't that hot. Around 23-24 degrees.  In my previous case, an old CM stacker, all my disc's were hitting the high 40's during parity check with a top of ~50.

 

Since my new case I don't have these issues anymore.

 

What new case are you using now? Those IcyDock cages could replace my iStarUSA cages.

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Just now, Superorb said:

 

What new case are you using now? Those IcyDock cages could replace my iStarUSA cages.

 

Fractal design R2 XL. At the moment 8 disc's in the std cages. I also have 3 in the IcyDock. With some adjustments you can add another 4 disc's below but you need to buy another cage.

 

I'm using the 3 standard 120mm fans that were included and added a 4th. I also have the one in the icydock.

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9 minutes ago, Sphinkx said:

 

Fractal design R2 XL. At the moment 8 disc's in the std cages. I also have 3 in the IcyDock. With some adjustments you can add another 4 disc's below but you need to buy another cage.

 

I'm using the 3 standard 120mm fans that were included and added a 4th. I also have the one in the icydock.

 

So even the drives in the stock slots stay cool? That's a nice case.

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32 minutes ago, Sphinkx said:

 

Fractal design R2 XL. At the moment 8 disc's in the std cages. I also have 3 in the IcyDock. With some adjustments you can add another 4 disc's below but you need to buy another cage.

 

I'm using the 3 standard 120mm fans that were included and added a 4th. I also have the one in the icydock.

 

Could you please mention the model of the icy dock that you use?

 

i wonder if i can mount 3 x RaidSonic ICY BOX IB-565SSK in the front of a Fractal design R2 XL and also use those front fans? or its a stupid question?

i have  Fractal design Define R3 and I'm very satisfied with that case but i would like the ease of those cages like the ICY BOX IB-565SSK.

 

 

38f2ab9e-51d9-4aa3-9222-3bd8f7a424f7

 

 

Edited by volume

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30 minutes ago, volume said:

 

Could you please mention the model of the icy dock that you use?

 

i wonder if i can mount 3 x RaidSonic ICY BOX IB-565SSK in the front of a Fractal design R2 XL and also use those front fans? or its a stupid question?

i have  Fractal design Define R3 and I'm very satisfied with that case but i would like the ease of those cages like the ICY BOX IB-565SSK.

 

 

38f2ab9e-51d9-4aa3-9222-3bd8f7a424f7

 

 

 

No sure. Icy Box black vortex has a regular one and a hot swap. I have the hot swap. A bit more expensive but not that much. 

 

The R2 comes std with 2 hd cages for 4 discs. But they are side loaded and not frontal. Easy plug in. But not hot swap. One icy dock can go in top. The other one maybe between the internal hd cages and power supply. But you will have to check that. The fan based in the bottem you'll have to move to the side. But the case is pre designed for that. 

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11 hours ago, bjp999 said:

 

Sounds like an interesting setup. How does it cool? I have a 92mm fan in each of 4 drive cages, pulling air in over the drives, and several case fans evacuating. My cooling is very good, with parity check temps maxing in upper 30s, and occasionally lower 40s on warmer days. (That's with 20 drives).

 

Your fans should be generating negative pressure in the case, but I'd be a little concerned that air would flow through least resistance and with air currents some of the tighter spots would have lesser flow. Do you have some drives that run hotter than others? Also, not all fans have enough umph to generate enough pressure to move a lot of air against significant resistance. And the ones that do are not the quietest. What is your criteria for exhaust fans?

 

My server lives in an unfinished basement and quiet is not so important. A beefy fan in each cage really works well. But many users need a very quiet server and your method sounds a good way to go! 

 

 

It cools very well indeed!  Mid 30s during a parity check, low 30s the rest of the time if all disks are spinning, 29-30 degrees if only a couple disks are spun up.  This is with an ambient air temp of roughly 75 degrees.  Server is presently in the open air, however will ultimately go in a closed cabinet at the bottom of my entertainment center.

 

To be fair, yes, some disk do run slightly warmer than others, but its a difference of one or two degrees, usually.  On a very hot day, or when the afternoon sun is on the side of the house with the room where the server lives, temps can creep up a little, but still stay below 33-35 degrees, and considering my electric bill every month, turning the air conditioning down isn't a feasible option.  That room has a ceiling fan, and I find that keeping the ceiling fan on helps a bit with overall temps of all the equipment in that room.

 

My criteria for exhaust fans are impossible -- massive air movement, no sound.  Ha!  I have a mix of SilenX models in there now (reds and whites) of the 120mm variety, and the new 200mm (my original post had the size incorrect) fans are Cooler Master Mega Flows.  

 

Ultimate plan is for four CM 200 fans in the server case, three fans (same size and model) in the bottom of my entertainment center, where the server lives, doing evac from the sealed lower cabinet portion.  Incoming air for the lower portion of the entertainment center will be filtered, and the server will rest on a raised pedestal above the air filters, on a rubber mat.  Disk seek noise was being transferred through the 5-in-3 docks, to the server case, to the wood of the entertainment center during testing.  Low hums and various vibrations were present.  

 

So with a little woodwork on the entertainment center, the server will ultimately live in a fully vented, clean, quiet enclosure space.  If fan noise penetrates through the air filter material, or through the three evac fan holes, I will simply install acoustic panels on the inside surfaces of the entertainment center cabinet to absorb some of the high frequency whirring from the fans.  That vented cabinet is also home to my pfsense firewall, a gigabit switch, my cable modem, and a few UPS's.  Those components will reside on an acoustically-isolated platform just above the air filters, so their own chassis fans will draw in cool, filtered air from the floor of the entertainment center, exhaust it into the cabinet, and then the three 200mm CMs will exhaust it from there.  They will be mounted on the upper-back wall of said cabinet, so the natural rising of heat will assist them in moving heat away from the electronics.

 

My case is an old Cooler Master Centurion 590.  The four 200mm fans will be mounted on a new side panel fabricated out of 1/8" MDF or acrylic.  Weather stripping along its edges will seal it to the server case, and the server case is already sealed completely from the previous build (rivet holes, screw holes, various useless vents manufactures insist on cutting into their cases, etc).  So again, as referenced previously, literally 100% of the air brought into the case will travel across the disks in the 5-in-3 cages first.  

 

Total compliment of disks will be 15 data in three 5-in-3s, two parity mounted in the top two 120mm fan slots, two SSDs mounted on PCI brackets, and two additional 7200rpm 3.5" and 2.5" spinners for other general use, the 3.5" mounted to the rear 120mm fan slot and the 2.5" on a PCI bracket.  I will use magnetic sheeting to partially or completely cover the 120mm fan holes to adjust vented airflow for the disks mounted in those locations, as necessary.  The spinner mounted on a PCI bracket has vent holes in the bracket itself, so air can move past the attached disk.  The SSDs I'm not worried about.

 

If heat becomes an issue with this setup, I will build a hood to cover the four 200mm case fans and redirect their output directly out the back of the entertainment center.  But as it stands now, I predict very high airflow for the new setup, and don't foresee and major issues with heat.

 

And now I realize I've strayed quite far from the original topic.  So, bottom line: removing the fans from the 5-in-3s, sealing my computer case, and having five (six) quiet 120mm fans exhaust air has worked marvelously well for the server sitting in the open air.  Four new 200mm fans will be used instead once the server is removed from the open air and placed into an enclosure, to (theoretically) maintain the same cool temperatures.

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Love the icydock design. I used to have the coolermaster caddies, similar large front fan design, and the cooling and noise combo was ideal. Now using the Norco, and temps do to 50C plus during parity check, so I have to stick a big house fan in front of the case during parity. If I saw those before I bought my 4 Norcos, they would have been mine.

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I've got a Norco RPC-450B case. Would the supermicro CSE-M35T-1B enclosures fit?

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On 8/17/2017 at 12:10 AM, PeteB said:

I've got a Norco RPC-450B case. Would the supermicro CSE-M35T-1B enclosures fit?

 

In case anyone is interested, the enclosures fit the Norco case. Just one small point the front cover of the case won't close with the drive cages installed but apart from that they are perfect. If you have the fan wall installed in the case, there is enough room between the back of the enclosure and the fans for cables.

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3 hours ago, stor44 said:

Hi there. Need advice on a 5x3 cage for my Fractal Design Define XL R2 case. I like the specs and price of the Icy Dock Black Vortex MB074SP-B, but I'm pretty sure the R2's front door probably wouldn't close with it?

Is there a better option for me?

Thanks for any help.

 

It is 4 - 5.25" bays, so 3 in 2 cage instead 4 in 3 or 5 in 3 should be better.

 

I haven't use any X in Y cage, I order 2 plastic plate for mounting 12 drive for Define S, plus 3 on back. So it have 15 drive in a case.

 

Something like below

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Edited by Benson

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19 hours ago, Benson said:

 

It is 4 - 5.25" bays, so 3 in 2 cage instead 4 in 3 or 5 in 3 should be better.

 

 

Thanks @Benson, I'll probably go with the Icy Dock MB153SP-B from that other thread you linked, looks like what I need.

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Anyone use the Silverstone brand cages?

 

Specifically, the FS304 and FS303?  I've got a Silverstone Temjin tower case collecting dust, I believe it has 9 front 5.25" bays.    The FS303 is 2x (5.25) 3x (3.5) and the FS304 is 3x (5.25) and 4x (3.5).. so I'd get 2 FS303 and 1 FS304.  They look high quality and decently priced.

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30 minutes ago, skrewler said:

Anyone use the Silverstone brand cages?

 

Specifically, the FS304 and FS303?  I've got a Silverstone Temjin tower case collecting dust, I believe it has 9 front 5.25" bays.    The FS303 is 2x (5.25) 3x (3.5) and the FS304 is 3x (5.25) and 4x (3.5).. so I'd get 2 FS303 and 1 FS304.  They look high quality and decently priced.

 

Based on the pictures I found online, I would bet two weeks' pay that those are made by iStarUSA, or whoever the OEM is for iStarUSA.  Except for the design on the drive doors, they look identical.  I have been using the iStarUSAs for years, and they are great.  I wouldn't hesitate going with the Silverstones.

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33 minutes ago, skrewler said:

Anyone use the Silverstone brand cages?

Yes, I use them.

Can recommend them, well made and working great (make sure you use good quality SATA cables too)

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