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Norco 4020 (or 4220 or 4224) Vs. standard case w/ 5in3 cages...


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I'm running out of room in my server and I need to think about upgrading my case.

I currently have 8 drives in my antec sonata with 4 of them in a 4 in 3 coolmaster cage.

I want/need to add more drives!


I'm toying with the idea of getting a Norco 20 or 24 drive box.  I'm also

looking into getting a regular tower with several 5 in 3 cages.


It almost seems like the Norco could be cheaper after I calculate the cost

of the 5 in 3 cages which seem to be about $100+ each!


Why wouldn't I just get the Norco?














  Incrementally up-gradable?







Right now the server sits in the basement.  I do watch TV in the basement occasionally.  Some day it will have it's own tiny closet

I can't see myself needing 20 or 24 drives in the near future! 10-12 seems more likely..




Thanks for your opinions...




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10-12 in the next year or two...  In the past I've been upgrading my server by replacing smaller drives with bigger ones.  But now my smallest drive is 1TB.  the rest are 1.5T and 2T's.  so I don't think I'll be upsizing the 1.5's and 2's anytime soon.  The 1T I'll probably replace as I believe that's my last non green drive. So..  I'll probably have to add disks in lieu of upsizing.  I imagine I'll upgrade the parity to a 3TB when I replace the 1TB.



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it is all personal preference.


The norcos seem to go on sale once every month or two, so you can hold out for a sale.


The tower style is much cleaner looking and media room friendly "usually" with minor fan mods.

the norcos tend to need more expensive fan mods in order to keep the higher density of drives cool at a reasonable audible level.


The tower style you can stagger your costs. you can buy the tower and 2 cages now. and get the 3 (and 4th?) at a later date. although you do gamble the style stays the same.


if you have a wife or mom factor to worry about, the tower sort of blends in and look like a PC and therefor sort of inexpensive. The norco sort of shouts "i'm expensive!" even if it is the other way around.. (shhhh.. we wont tell)


the norco does offer greater room to grow...


bottom line is, you have to look at it and hear it, what do you want?

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I'll preface by saying I've never actually seen or lifted a Norco, but it looks like a hulking mass that would be pretty hard to move around by one person. My tower holds more disks, and is easy to remove side panels and get a secure grip to carry it the 20 ft I need to have serious room to troubleshoot, replace a fan, or otherwise maintain the server. With the much wider grip required to deadlift the Norco off the floor, my back would be aching for days after ;)


If I had a rack with muliple servers I might feel different, but for Joe homeowner (me) I just prefer the tower design.

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I really should just go with the Tower and a couple of 5 in 3 cages to start.

I like the looks of the utgard case.  but the helios looks good too!

And at ~$50 ($65 w/shipping) not a bad deal if it's quiet enough.  Now I can get the Norco 5 in 3's for about $88 but I need two of them (to start)..

So $65 + 2x $88 = $241.

But for $60 more I can get the 4020 case!  grrr..  I hate these decisions!


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