Jump to content
ProfQ

Norco SS-500 cage silent fan tests

9 posts in this topic Last Reply

Recommended Posts

A Quiet fan for the Norco SS-500

 

Back in July (2011) I wanted to expand the drive capacity of my unRAID server. I use a 10-drive Fractal Designs XL case and I wanted five more drive slots in my server. Key requirement was to still keep my unRAID server quiet enough to place the server near my desk in my home office. That's when I ran into Whaler_99's tests of the 5in3 drive cages. I bought my Norco SS-500 drive cage after seeing his tests of the 5in3 cages. Being a quiet PC builder, it didn't take long to notice just how loud the factory 80mm fan was in the SS-500. That prompted testing a few possible replacements for the little 80mm fan in the Norco. For these tests, I tried a 7 Volt fan resistor with the Norco factory fan, a Zalman 80mm fan with and without the resistor, and a hi-flo lo-noise Coolink Swif2-801 Silent fan purchased from QuietPC. The Coolink fan was installed at a full 12 volts. As shown below, the Coolink Swif2-801 80mm Silent fan  proved to be an excellent low-noise, high flow option to use in the Norco SS-500. As shown below, after three months of continued use, the Coolink fan keeps working as expected in the Norco SS-500.

 

Replacing the factory fan-

 

The Norco SS-500 uses an 80mm fan mounted inside the cage. Replacing the original fan in the Norco cage is easier to do before installing the cage in your case, but can be done even after it's in place. To replace the fan, you need to remove the aluminum backplane of the 5in3 cage (4 screws). Just unscrew and then pull the aluminum backplane straight out to disconnect the backplane's electronics. The 3pin cable for the cage fan can then be disconnected. The fan is mounted inside the aluminum backplane. To remove, just unscrew the fan from the aluminum backplane you just removed. To install your new fan, reverse these steps. Be sure to align the electronic connectors before pushing the aluminum backplane in place and tightening.

 

Objectives- Quiet down the SS-500, but keep drive temperatures at safe levels.

 

Test Conditions-

 

Testing was performed during normal drive operation, Preclear cycles, parity check and drive rebuilds. A Norco SS-500 drive cage fully populated with Green 2TB hard drives, four Hitachi and one Seagate drive. Ambient temperatures during testing steady at 24 Degrees C.  Coolink Swif2-801 fan flows at 23.4CFM at 12 volts. This is about 2/3 of the Norco SS-500 factory fan. Due to an unrelated drive failure in my Tower the fan testing was conducted during parity test, two preclear cycles, and a drive rebuild. This provided for stressed conditions that should more closely resemble real life conditions. All reported noise levels are subjective measures.

 

Initial testing parameters-

 

Cage- Norco SS-500

Drives-2TB Green drives from Hitachi and Seagate.

Ambient temperature 24 C

Temperature inside Fractal XL case 29 C

The four Hitachi drives were precleared two full cycles. The fifth drive in the cage, a Seagate Green drive was an existing drive. Thus it was not precleared for these tests.  All five drives in the cage were checked for parity during the tests.

 

 

Fan Tests-

 

Tested three different 80mm fans in the fully populated SS-500 cage, the Norco factory fan, a Zalman quiet fan, and the Coolink Swif2-801 Silent fan. Tests were done with same drives and with a steady ambient temperature.

 

Fan1- Norco factory fan-deemed Loud- not acceptable

Reducing the speed of the Norco fan with a fan resistor quieted the factory fan of the SS-500 but was still unacceptably loud.

 

Fan2- Zalman 80mm quiet fan- considered Still loud

The Zalman 80mm fan was quieter than the Norco fan. Although drive temperature remained low, it was deemed still not good enough for a quiet PC level of noise. Reducing the fan speed on the Zalman to 7 volts reduced air flow in the SS-500 to a level that drive temperatures were raised beyond acceptable levels. No further testing was done with the Zalman fan.

Fan3- Coolink Swif2-801 Silent fan-virtually Silent

Coolink SWif2-801 80mm at 12 Volts.

 

Coolink fan Test Results-

 

Temperature of 2TB drives in the Norco SS-500 drive cage during preclear of new drives, and then during the parity check and rebuild. Reported per slot of the drive cage:

Slot A- Hitachi serial AM0D, new drive precleared, drive temperature steady at 37 C during preclear, and 38 C during rebuild and parity check.

Slot B- Hitachi MY1D,  new drive precleared, temps for this drive fluctuated between 37 and 39 C for all tests.

Slot C- Hitachi 83PD placed in slot C of the SS-500,  new drive precleared, temperature steady at 37 C.

Slot D- Hitachi VM3D, new drive precleared, steady at 38 C during preclear, and 39 C during rebuild and parity.

Slot E- Seagate V4YP, existing drive-thus not precleared again, parity and rebuild temps held steady at 38 C.

 

Temperature of all five 2TB Green drives in the Norco SS-500 steady at 33 to 34 Degrees during normal server operation.

 

Coolink Swif2-801 Fan deemed virtually silent in the SS-500.

 

Update- October 2011

 

After three months of continuous duty in the Norco SS-500, the Coolink Swif2-801 80mm fan remains quiet, drive temperatures remain at 33 to 34 Degrees C in the cage, with reported ambient between 23 and 25 Degrees to this point, and the Fractal case inside temperature holding at 27 to 29 Degrees.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post

ProfQ ,

 

thanks for such a clear and detailed report.

I have a couple of ssh waiting for installation.

having this will give me good direction for implementation.

 

Cheers,

R

Share this post


Link to post

ProfQ ,

 

thanks for such a clear and detailed report.

I have a couple of ssh waiting for installation.

having this will give me good direction for implementation.

 

Cheers,

R

Thank you!

Although I conducted these tests back in July, and posted some results within Whaler_99's 5in3 thread as part of the conversation, this post wouldn't have happened without Rajahal's recent encouragement to do so.

I hope it helps.

 

Excellent report. I've been closely following your build as I will probably end up copying most if not all of it.

Thanks!

Glad to hear that.

If you do so, you will be satisfied with your build. Mine has performed very well with one exception- the MB has an Atheros NIC. If you go with a similar Asus MB, be sure to avoid the LE version. It was a simple fix, but one that in hindsight, should have been avoided.

 

My rig is about to grow- Although I am at less than 40% utilization, will go up to 14 data drives in the next few days. No other changes planned. Seems I need a bit more space in a couple of my shares, and the rest  need their currently assigned drives.

 

Be sure to post about your build when the time comes.

Anything, just let me know.

 

Cheers,

Ramon

Share this post


Link to post

Great post ProfQ, thanks for sharing your test results!  I've added links to this thread in the wiki.  I've also thanked you and linked your test results in my blog post announcing the Quiet Fan upgrades now being offered with Greenleaf servers!  You can read the blog post here.

 

I'm also recommending these fans in the Recommended Builds section of the wiki (5 Drive miniBox and 12 Drive Budget Box US Version) as well as several of my Prototype builds that use Norco SS-400 and SS-500 drive cages.

Share this post


Link to post

Great post ProfQ, thanks for sharing your test results!  I've added links to this thread in the wiki.  I've also thanked you and linked your test results in my blog post announcing the Quiet Fan upgrades now being offered with Greenleaf servers!  You can read the blog post here.

 

I'm also recommending these fans in the Recommended Builds section of the wiki (5 Drive miniBox and 12 Drive Budget Box US Version) as well as several of my Prototype builds that use Norco SS-400 and SS-500 drive cages.

 

Thanks a lot Raj,

 

As discussed, it was my pleasure to have an opportunity to contribute to the unRAID community. Also, thank you very much for your blog posts and the wiki entries.

 

I am really glad you had the opportunity to run tests in your lab to try and confirm my findings with these Coolink fans, as an SS-500 Quiet fan upgrade.  It is very encouraging to see that these 80mm fans also performed well in your 5 drive minibox, and others. It seems we found a winner.

 

Cheers,

Ramon

Share this post


Link to post

Anyone have a good source for these fans? I just installed my SS-500's and was.... surprised with the volume of the fans. I'm in Canada, and I'm finding most place won't ship those fans here, or want like $30 to ship them.

 

Why doesn't Newegg sell every product known to man?

 

Cheers,

 

whiteatom

Share this post


Link to post

Hi,

 

You should check out QuietPC in Canada. Site: http://www.quietpc.ca/

 

They seem to have the fans in stock. They seem to operate same way as for us here in Australia-Canada is serviced by their USA store. Our orders to AU arrive from New Zealand.

 

Cheers

ramon

Share this post


Link to post

Anyone have a good source for these fans? I just installed my SS-500's and was.... surprised with the volume of the fans. I'm in Canada, and I'm finding most place won't ship those fans here, or want like $30 to ship them.

 

Why doesn't Newegg sell every product known to man?

 

Cheers,

 

whiteatom

 

ProfQ and I both source them from QuietPC.

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.