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

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Finished quieting down the Norco SS-500 cage. Easier than I expected. Replaced the Zalman 80mm fan with a Coolink SWIF2-801 from QuietPC. The Coolink has a bit less airflow than the Norco fan, 22.4 CFM at 12V, but is rated at only 11dB. Zalman was 28CFM, but noisy. The Coolink is basically inaudible. Also opened the air sills in a couple of the empty drive bays of the SS-500. This seemed to help.

 

My server is back to near silent. Hitachi 2TB holding at 4 Degrees above ambient (27 C), 30 minutes after start up.

 

Hope this helps.

Ramon

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My server is back to near silent. Hitachi 2TB holding at 4 Degrees above ambient (27 C), 30 minutes after start up.

 

Hope this helps.

Ramon

 

Can you get the temp on the drive during your next parity check please? Be interesting to see how this may affect it. I run the stock fan with the one empty slot closed. The 4 drives in it right now are at about 30 C and during a parity check bump up to maybe 32C.

 

Shawn

 

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Really a bit off topic, bu have anyone tried this iStarUSA enclosure?

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816215246&cm_re=istarusa_trayless-_-16-215-246-_-Product

 

They are trayless with a 80mm fan, seems really solid.

 

Those are nice. I like them with what looks like a replacable 80MM fan.

I know the 5in3's supposedly ran a lil hit with 7200 RPM drives.

I bet these would run better.

 

I use the trayless/fanless open models.  9 in a CM590. With 3 120MM fans for exhaust.

The design works OK as long as all 9 slots are populated.

 

I would assume the same with this too. Otherwise the airflow will take the path of least resistance.

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My server is back to near silent. Hitachi 2TB holding at 4 Degrees above ambient (27 C), 30 minutes after start up.

 

Hope this helps.

Ramon

 

Can you get the temp on the drive during your next parity check please? Be interesting to see how this may affect it. I run the stock fan with the one empty slot closed. The 4 drives in it right now are at about 30 C and during a parity check bump up to maybe 32C.

 

Shawn

 

 

No worries, Shawn, will do.

FYI-the Hitachi drive's temp stabilized at 30 C after an hour or so under use w this new fan -ambient at 23 C. Drives inside the Fractal running at 32-37 C.

Will run parity again this weekend and report back.

 

Ramon

 

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ProfQ: I'm glad you found fans that are quiet enough, but I'm worried that the lower CFM rating will mean inadequate airflow when you fill the cage with 5 drives.  Do you have 5 drives you could test in there?

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ProfQ: I'm glad you found fans that are quiet enough, but I'm worried that the lower CFM rating will mean inadequate airflow when you fill the cage with 5 drives.  Do you have 5 drives you could test in there?

 

Hi Raj,

 

Very good point. Thought of that possibility yesterday and although this 801 Coolink fan flows at 23.4CFM, quite good for an 80mm, it is less than factory in the cage and it might not be enough fully populated. Thus, I've been planning up to test with green 2TB drives first. Can't actually go out and buy 4 more drives right now to fully populate the Norco cage with Hitachi greens, but the Fractal case is full of drives, so there's room to do some testing this weekend.

 

Just bought a couple more Hitachi greens to see how it goes (found them on sale in Melbourne-should be here in a day or two).

 

Once those new Hitachis get here will move two Seagate greens from inside the Fractal case and fully populate the Norco cage w Green drives to test temps and report back.  If that works and temps hold safely  in the Norco cage while running a parity check and/or preclears, might then try with the Hitachi 7200s currently running bet 35-37 C inside the Fractal case.

 

-Thanks.

 

Ramon

 

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CREATED WIKI

 

I created a Wiki article to allow us to pull everthing together. Rather then a new user sifting through pages of posts to find various reviews, still post them here as well, but also be sure to add them to the new Wiki section I created. That way we can centralize them. To add you review, go Here, click the link down under the heading "Benchmarks..." and contribute!!

 

If you have already added something, please be sure to update the Wiki with your info.

 

We can always come back here to comment on things. :)

 

Looking forward to yours Peter! ;)

 

Shawn

 

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Looking forward to yours Peter! ;)

 

Okay ... as you know, I'm just waiting for the combined forces of the USPS, the Philippines customs and Philippines post office to do their stuff!

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... The iStar and Icy Dock for me just don't cut it in the end...

 

Can you elaborate a bit on what make you feel this way?

 

Why certainly good sir. :)

 

ICY Dock issues where mostly around what I perceived to be cheap drive cages. To me, this did not justify the cost. Right now it is $25 more then the next two cheapest, the Norco and SM units. That along with what lookd like not the greatest airflow in the rear made me less than thrilled. Once I plugged in my Corsair Molex cables and then tried to plug in SATA cables, quickly realized that wouldn't work. Many of the modular Molex cables come with those tabs on them (here) and those won't work. Icy Dock layout places some of the SATA plugs right below the power plug. No other cage had this design. So have to go find a splitter... Don't get me started about the fan either. :)

 

iStarUSA - cheapest of the bunch, does have that going for it. But on the model I have at least, zero airflow openings in the front. Be really concerned with heat. I cannot test right now as I have already had to RMA the unit due to tray5 not working. I was turned off on the design of the locking mechanism for the drive cages. It seemed like the slightest pressure on them would pop it open, forcing me to use the itty bitty locking mechanism. Which is probably there because they know they pop open so easily.  ::) Unlike the Norco and SM, another custom fan connector on this one as well.

 

After working with all four, I can say these two are in the bottom of the pack. But, this is my opinion. :) I really liked working with the Norco and SM models. Now, at $95 you cannot beat the price for the iStarUSA unit and both it and the Icy Dock will more than meet most people needs. But, personal preferences and all, I would go for the other two.

 

Shawn

 

I use Icy Dock cages and power supplies with the type of connector you linked.  I have never had any problem getting them to work with the Icy Dock 5x3. 

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I use Icy Dock cages and power supplies with the type of connector you linked.  I have never had any problem getting them to work with the Icy Dock 5x3. 

 

Well sure, I could JAM them in. :) But honestly, on mine, there was no way it would work. Have you looked at the pics I posted? Do you have the same backplane as I do? I know the Corsair plugs peice is pretty large, maybe thats the difference, Corsair adds more plastic or something to make the grip easier...

 

Shawn

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ProfQ: I'm glad you found fans that are quiet enough, but I'm worried that the lower CFM rating will mean inadequate airflow when you fill the cage with 5 drives.  Do you have 5 drives you could test in there?

 

Ready to start testing the drive temps in my Norco SS-500 with the SWif2 Silent fan, as promised. Three New Hitachi green 2TB drives have arrived. Will populate the Norco and start with preclears of these new drives, then run parity over the weekend.

 

Should be able to report back with temps by Monday.

 

Ramon

 

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ProfQ: I'm glad you found fans that are quiet enough, but I'm worried that the lower CFM rating will mean inadequate airflow when you fill the cage with 5 drives.  Do you have 5 drives you could test in there?

 

Started testing Norco SS-500 with Coolink SWiF2 silent fan. Cage is populated with 4 2TB Hitachi green Drives in the cage. Slot E of the SS-500 is currently empty with vent closed.

-Intial testing conditions:

Cage- Norco SS-500

Fan- Coolink 801 SWif2 80mm

Ambient temperature 24 C

Temperature inside Fractal XL case 29 C

Temperature of 2TB drives 1 hour into preclear of new drives:

Hitachi serials AM0D, and VM3D are in slots A, and B of the SS-500, holding steady at 36 C.

Hitachi MY1D (also running preclear), holding at 37 C

Hitachi 83PD (Disk 9 in Array)- placed in slot C of the SS-500, holding steady at 37 C.

 

Encouraging as prelim results, I think.

Will finish preclears (couple of cycles), add these new drives to array, move a Seagate Green into slot E of the cage, run a parity check over the weekend and report back.

 

Edit: @6:30 Hrs of preclear, drive MY1D was at 39 C, others remained at 37 C.

 

Edit2: Due to an unrelated issue, had to restart all testing. Now at approx 9:30 Hrs of preclears (Zeroing step 2). Temps stable as before with Drive MY1D at 38 C, and the 3 other drives in cage at 37 C. Ambient temp at 23 C, temp inside Fractal case at 29 C.

 

Ramon

 

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Those temps look good, I hope they stay that way.

 

Thanks Raj,

 

It seems they have. As can be seen below, the Drive temps inside the Norco SS-500 stayed within acceptable limits with the Coolink SWif2 801 fan.

 

I had to change my testing protocol due to a data drive failure within the array. Data disk 8, an older 1TB Seagate drive in my array, failed. Although this need to rebuild a drive interrupted my original testing protocol, I saw in the forums that a drive rebuild tends to stress the server and temps increase.  So took this as an opportunity to take the tests up a notch.

 

As soon as one of the new Hitachi Greens in the Norco cage finished preclearing (drive VM3D in slot D of the Norco cage) I stopped the array, reassigned that new drive as Drive 8 and started the rebuild. Only one of the new drives in the cage (MY1D in slot B) hadn't finished preclearing at that stage. Preclearing was re-initiated for that drive, and is yet to finish.

Testing of drive temps in the cage were then during a drive rebuild and preclears.

 

New (modified test) results:

Norco SS-500 with SWiF2 801 80mm silent fan

Drives in cage- 4 Hitachi 2TB 5K3000 Greens

Ambient temp 23 C

Fractal XL Case internal temp 29 C

 

Norco cage:

Slot A - drive serial AM0D

max temp during preclear - 37 C

max temp during rebuild process - 38 C

temp stable at 34 C

 

Slot B- drive serial MY1D (being precleared)

max temp reported - 39 C

temps stable at 37 C (@12:40 Hrs into preclear)

 

Slot C - drive serial 83PD (drive 9 in Array)

max reported  during preclears or rebuilds of other drives in Norco cage - 37 C

temps stable at 35 C

 

Slot D- drive serial VM3D. Now drive 8 in Array with the required rebuild.

temps during preclear 38 C

temp during rebuild 39 C

temp now stable at 34 C

 

Slot E- still empty with vents closed.

 

Other temps of note during rebuild (inside Fractal case):

A few drives in the array reached 40 or 41 degrees during rebuild process. Both Parity (Hitachi 7K2000) and drive 4 (Seagate ST2000 Green) in array reached 40 C, drive 1 (Hit 7K2000) in array went up to 41 C. Now stable at 35, 34 and 36 C, respectively.

 

I'm thinking of moving Drive 4 to the Norco cage (for slot E), and then run the parity check.

 

What do you think?

 

Hope this helps,

Ramon

 

 

 

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Thanks for the info Ramon - good stuff!

 

Shawn

 

 

Thanks Shawn,

 

It was fun testing this little silent fan in the Norco SS-500. Now I have the cage fully populated with five 2TB green drives. It remains virtually silent and temps of all 5 drives steady at 33 and 34 C. I think we have a winner in this Coolink SWiF2 801 80mm fan. I would recommend this Coolink fan as a safe swap for the Norco factory 80mm fan without hesitation.

 

Best,

Ramon

 

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iStarUSA BPN-350V2-SS Trayless 5in3 drive cages.

 

When I started building my unRAID server (more than one year ago, now) I always planned that it would support up to 15 drives, using 5in3 disk cages, although I was starting with only two data drives.  With that in mind, I started off with a Thermaltake V5 case, sporting 9 unobstructed 5.25" drive bays.

 

By April this year, I had grown the system to five drives and adding further drives would require purchasing additional hardware to mount them.  It was at this point that I decided to purchase my drive cages - after much online research, I decided that the specification of the iStarUSA BPN-350 met my requirements.  I already had experience of a trayless drive enclosure in my Popcornhour media player, and was attracted by this feature for my unRAID server.  An added bonus is that the trayless designs tend to be shallower than those which include trays.  However, a major disadvantage is that I am living in the Philippines, and the only drive cages I could find available here are the SuperMicro units (at the equivalent of USD200 each).  Thus, the SuperMicro would be a 'long-stop' solution, but I really wanted to try the iStar units.  I found a few reviews online for the original BPN-350, but none for the V2.  The reviews of the older model seemed to have three main criticisms - poor cooling, fragile plastic parts for the drive bay doors, and insecure catches on the doors.  Now, I reasoned that, in a domestic environment, where I would be the only user, the last two issues could be addressed simply by exercising care.  The first issue is much more critical, especially since ambient temperatures here frequently go into the low 30s celsius.  However, I could see, from the pictures on the manufacturer's website, that the V2 includes air slots in the door which, according to the reviews, were lacking on the original design.  A further possible disadvantage is that the iStar units use two 60cm fans for forced cooling, and these could be the source of a significant noise nuisance.  However, I had already proven that, with a few simple case mods, it is possible to force all cooling air to enter the V5 cage through the disk slots.  This had already shown great thermal benefit even with the standard disk mounting arrangement, lowering drive temperatures by 3 to 4 degrees celsius.  I believed that it would be possible to obtain sufficient cooling even with the fans removed from the iStar cages.  At the same time, I opted to add an eight port SATA interface card, selecting the Supermicro AOC-USAS2-L8i to fit in the PCI-e x16 expansion slot.  In order to achieve the full 15 drive capacity, I will need to add a further port - I plan to add a two port card, at some time in the future, which will fit in one of the x1 slots.

 

I then went through several traumas attempting to get the iStar units, which are only easily available in USA, shipped to me.  Much of the frustration centered around PayPal - the preferred payment method for many online retailers.  Another problem is that many iStar retailers do not hold stock, but arrange shipping directly from the factory - this also seemed to cause great problems when I tried to use a third-party purchasing/shipping agent.  Eventually, Rackmount Chassis Plus, who seem to be the only retailer who holds stock, added wire transfers to their accepted payment methods.  Now I was all set but I discovered that Rackmount normal shipment method was via USPS, which gave me cause for concern because the Philippine post office is not reliable (it took eight months to deliver one package I sent from UK).  At my request, Rackmount obtained pricing from DHL/UPS but these were horrendously expensive (much more than shipping agents had quoted me for the same shipment method).  So it was that I placed my order for three units, accepted USPS shipping and made the wire transfer.  The units were shipped on July 11, with an advertised delivery time of 5-10 business days.  Time passed, and I became more and more impatient.  Eventually, after correspondence with Rackmount, I visited the local post office on August 10, to find that my parcel had been sitting there since July 26!  For more than two weeks, no one had bothered to inform me that my delivery was available for collection!  Still, the good news was that the Philippine customs hadn't shown any interest in my parcel and all I had to pay was the standard post office handling fee of approximately one US$.

 

Anyway .. on to my review of the product :

 

The BPN-350V2-SS is delivered in a plain white carton, measuring approximately 11" x 9" x 8" and weighing 4lbs 14.3/4ozs.  It has a slot-through plastic carrying handle on the top.  Inside the carton is the cage itself, wrapped in a plastic bag and supported in cellular white polyethylene(?) foam packing pieces.  Also included is a small piece of paper detailing the warranty conditions (1 year, USA & Canada only).  There is also a small 'zip-lock' plastic bag containing the very small and brief user manual, two keys to operate the drive bay door locks, and 12 mounting screws.  No further accessories, such as cables, are included.  The drive cage measures approximately 7.1/2 x 5.3/4" x 5", and weighs 4lbs 3.1/8ozs.

0N2LT.jpg

mlSMA.jpg

 

The main frame of the BPN-350, like most other cages, is made of aluminium.  Examining the drive bay doors, it is clear that most of the parts are plastic but they give the impression that you would have to be rather heavy-handed in order to cause any damage.  The locking tongue is metal and engages with a metal bar, so there is no cause for concern there.  I could see, immediately, why there might be criticism of the security of the door latches.  The door can be closed, and remain closed, without the latch engaging.  In this condition, it would be possible for the door to pop open in response to a slight nudge.  When the latch is properly engaged, it takes a very definite pull on the handle in order for the door to open.  I don't feel that either of the criticisms are founded - certainly not of the V2.  

10zaV.jpg

 

The back panel of the cage sports two 60mm fans, 10mm thick.  There are two molex-type four pin power connectors, and between them are ten SATA/SAS data connectors.  Five of the connectors are yellow, and designated as SAS, the other five are black and designated as SATA.  Now, I suspect that there is really no functional difference between the connections, but I've not tested my theory by testing the yellow connectors.  The connectors do accept latching SATA plugs, and they do lock in securely.

lZgHy.jpg

 

Looking into the empty drive bays, it can be seen that there are sizable apertures for cooling air to flow through the backplane.

TEmhJ.jpg

 

 

Installation

Installation in my Thermaltake case involved:

 

Removal of side panels.

Removal of front bezel.

o3yGn.jpg

Removal of external drive slot blanking pieces from the bezel.

9BaLv.jpg

Removal of the machined-in drive slot blanking plates, and all installed drives/mountings.

Removal of the 'tool-free' drive fixing devices.

Flattening of two out of every three drive support ledges - using the largest G-clamp I could find (as advised elsewhere in this forum), although, perhaps, a 12" clamp was overdoing it!  As aware as I was that only two out of three ledges needed to be flattened, I did find that I started to flatten one of the ledges that I wanted to leave in place.  Now, with a half-flattened ledge, it is impossible to install a cage - I can assure you that flattening the ledges is child's play compared with trying to reinstate one which has been partially flattened!

7ZISV.jpg

 

Anyway, with the ledges flattened, the cage slid in very easily, without binding or jamming - no force necessary.

2e5Aa.jpg

 

Now, I refitted the bezel, in order to determine how far the cage needs to be inserted to fit level with the front bezel, and which screw holes to use.

NlfgN.jpg

 

 

In fact, the best position was obtained by using the furthest forward screw holes.

bfl04.jpg

Bq5rl.jpg

No prizes, but who will be the first to say what is wrong with the photo above?

 

When mounted like this, there is ample clearance between the back of the cage and the motherboard.

igI1k.jpg

 

I felt that it wasn't necessary to use all 12 fixing screws to fasten the cage into the case and that 8 was more than sufficient.  Screw alignment was spot on.

iebAg.jpg

 

I installed the first unit intact, as intended by the manufacturer.  The other two were installed with the back/top panel, including the fans, removed - a simple operation involving the removal of 12 screws and disconnection of two fan connectors.

olI6A.jpg

 

I have connected all five bays of the lowest cage to mobo ports, with the sixth mobo port connected to the e-SATA port on the top of the case.  The other two units have the first four bays connected to the four connections from each port on my AOC-USAS2-L8i interface card.  This leaves the fifth bay in each of the top two cages unconnected - awaiting a 2-port SATA card.  I installed three drives in the top cage, and three drives in the bottom cage.  I swapped the modular cables on my Seasonic PSU, from the SATA cables to the molex type cables and they connected very easily.  The connectors on my PSU are the type which have 'squeeze-to-remove' grips on them, and these did not cause a problem.

vTFCY.jpg

 

In use

 

Installing drives into the cages is so very easy - just rest the drive on the door spring, line it up with the bay separator guides and slide it back gently until it contacts the ejector arm.  Now, simply close the door, and the drive is pushed fully back, engaging with the electrical connections.

 

On powering up, the noise from the fans in the top cage was very noticeable - not unpleasant, but definitely there.  Whereas I normally have to be within three feet of the machine in order to hear any noise, I can now hear it from 15 feet away.  Once a movie is playing, I doubt that I would be troubled by the noise but the perfectionist in me wants to eliminate it.

 

I observed that the fan light on the top cage shows green while the lower two cages show red - not surprising really - the lower two are notifying fan failure (because I have removed them).  Below each drive bay is a legend HD1 - HD5, from left to right.  On the occupied bays, the legend is lit with a blue light.  When the drive is in use, the blue is supplemented by a red light, giving a split red/blue indication.  The legend is not lit on the unpopulated bays

 

After a short play to gain confidence that there was no major problem playing movies, I started a parity check.  After half an hour, the temperatures of the drives in the fanned cage were no different to those in the cage with fans removed - the highest temperature was only 8 celsius above ambient.  The temperature of the hottest drive peaked at 39 (ambient 31), then fell back as ambient temperature dropped.  Thus, I am convinced that the air flow from the case fans alone is sufficient to cool the drives, and the cage fans are unnecessary.  Also, I think that it is extremely unlikely that drive temperatures will ever exceed 45 celsius.  However, as a precaution I want to investigate the possibility of controlling the fan speeds according to drive temperatures.  Although I wouldn't expect it to ever be necessary, in an extreme situation I would rather have a slight increase in noise than to have an overheated drive.

 

I confidently left the non-correcting parity check running and went to bed (3am).  However, during the early hours, we had a power cut and, because I had not connected the usb from the UPS before the machine was started, the UPS was unable to initiate a controlled shutdown.  When power was restored, one of the data drives red-balled.  I still need to investigate that fully, but I don't believe that the cages have contributed to the failure in any way.

 

================================================================================

Edit: It turned out that this drive failure was caused by some interaction between my SATA expansion card and the newly installed cages.  The problem was cured by a firmware update to the SATA card.

================================================================================

 

I swapped the drive ... so easy - simply stop the array, open the bay, pull the drive out, insert new drive, close the bay door, re-assign the disk/drive and start the array.  The rebuild has completed without incident.  Again, the temperatures were perfectly controlled, never exceeding 40 celsius during the middle of the day.  I have now removed the top/back panel, with fans, from the top cage.

 

 

Conclusion

Would I recommend the iStarUSA BPN-350V2-SS to others?  In a domestic environment, the answer is a resounding 'YES' - in a professional environment, it might be worth training any operators to use a light hand when servicing the cages.

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Great review PeterB - thx very much for that. I wonder how loud the system would be with all three of the fan assemblies on the threee cages intact and running. :) Also, replacing them with some quieter ones may be a pain - 60mm is a non standard size. Can you detail the fan connector for me, in case someone was interested in replacing them? Thanks! Also, maybe i missed it, with the cages installed and under pressure, how smoothly did all the drives slid in and out of the unit?

 

Shawn

 

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Great review PeterB - thx very much for that. I wonder how loud the system would be with all three of the fan assemblies on the three cages intact and running. :)

 

I suspect that it wouldn't be very much louder - our hearing sensitivity is logarithmic and the sound source is in the middle of the case.

 

Also, replacing them with some quieter ones may be a pain - 60mm is a non standard size.

 

That is certainly true - perhaps they could be sourced from cpu coolers, or something - but 10mm is very thin, too.  For me, by far the best solution is to rely in the case fans to draw air through the drive cages.

 

 

Can you detail the fan connector for me, in case someone was interested in replacing them? Thanks!

 

The fan connection is an in-line 2-pin layout, on a standard 0.1" spacing.  The socket is attached to the drive cage, the plug attached to the fan - unlike standard fans which have the socket attached.

 

 

Also, maybe i missed it, with the cages installed and under pressure, how smoothly did all the drives slid in and out of the unit?

 

Okay, I've added a short paragraph.  However, there is nothing remarkable about installing the drives - it's just so easy.

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Nice build!  If you are getting enough airflow through the drives without needing the 60mm fans then you are doing EXTREMELY well!

 

But to get that airflw you must have sealed up the case vents pretty effectively, because air will take the path of least resistance, and pulling air through the drive cages is normally NOT the least resistance!  Maybe skipping the trays lakes it an easier "pull" than with other cages.

 

Still don't understand why they would use dual 60mm fans instead of one 92mm fan?  Dual 60mm are probably more expensive, louder, and move much less air.  ???

 

As for the comment of logorithmic hearing - a loud fan is a loud fan.  I once installed a 40mm fan on my chipset.  So proud of myself for the clever mounting technique.  Computer was a little loud, but I had several large fans and figured some noise was the cost of good cooling.  6 months later the 40mm fan was screaming like a banshee and I had to pull it.  When I pulled it out, I couldn't believe how quiet the computer was.  All along that 40mm fan was creating a lot of extra noice - right square in the midde of the case.  

 

I can promise that 6 60mm fans (3 cages), if you used them, would be far from silent!

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I was thinking the same thing - the 60mm just seem very weird when you can go a bit bigger, get better air flow and be much quieter.

 

I can only think there is some techinical issue with using the 60mm as some of their other cages use 92mm...

 

Shawn

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Nice build!  If you are getting enough airflow through the drives without needing the 60mm fans then you are doing EXTREMELY well!

 

But to get that airflw you must have sealed up the case vents pretty effectively, because air will take the path of least resistance, and pulling air through the drive cages is normally NOT the least resistance!  Maybe skipping the trays lakes it an easier "pull" than with other cages.

 

Sure, but the Thermaltake case does make it relatively relatively easy to seal up.  I have two 120mm fans and one 170mm fan, all extracting.

I have made several posts here, recommending that effective cooling is achieved by a design which controls the flow of air - not by simply filling the case with holes.

 

Subjectively, I could feel that the airflow into the fanned cage was similar to that of the un-fanned cages, simply by placing my fingers in front of the perforations in the drive bay doors.  This was borne out by the thermal behaviour of the drives.

 

Still don't understand why they would use dual 60mm fans instead of one 92mm fan?  Dual 60mm are probably more expensive, louder, and move much less air.  ???

 

I suspect that this may be in an effort to achieve equal flow across the width of the cage, while not having sufficient available height to install larger fans, without having to build in ducting which would increase the depth of the cage.

 

As for the comment of logorithmic hearing - a loud fan is a loud fan.  I once installed a 40mm fan on my chipset....

 

Sure, but my comment was in relation to the change in noise level when going from 2 fans to 6 fans.  At most, the actual noise level should not be more than treble, but that is a relatively small change in a logarithmic scale.

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Great review!  Love that massive C-clamp...

 

No prizes, but who will be the first to say what is wrong with the photo above?

 

The drive is inserted the wrong way!

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