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Tower cases with 5.25" drive bays top to bottom...

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On 4/30/2017 at 2:47 PM, neilt0 said:

I just put together a build with the new Silverstone CS380. I considered the 804,but went for this instead: http://silverstonetek.com/product.php?pid=709&area=en

 

It's been a while since your post.  I am thinking about buying the same case for my UnRaid, and was wondering if you had any additional opinions now that you've had it for a while?  Drive trays been reliable?  Cooling working well enough?

 

Thanks in advance!!

Stevbe

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On 11/2/2016 at 10:05 PM, FreeMan said:

 

Holy Cow! modDIY.com is still selling those cages at the same $40!!

 

Has anyone used them? Any comments on quality, reliability of the site, etc?

 

Now that it's been a bit over a year...

 

I bought 3 of those drive cages and installed them in my Zalman MS800 case. They were a tight fit to get into the case - I had to make sure that all of the regular drive supports were bent well out of the way. The drives were occasionally a bit snug going into the cages, but all in all, I'm quite happy with them. They're not hot swap, but since I installed everything, I've only had the case open once or twice for a dusting and didn't even power down for it, so I've had no issue with cabling.

 

They don't come with a fan at all, so you're free to put whatever 120mm fan in there you'd like. Drive temps have definitely dropped as well. I previously had a home-made "cage" from 2 pieces of bent aluminum that held the drives and had some holes for a fan on the front. The drive temps are down for those 5 drives, as well as for the other drives that had been sitting in their original individual mounted bays. Of course, each set of 5 drives now has a fan blowing directly on them, where only the 5x3 set at the bottom of the case did before.

 

For $120 for all three cages vs ~$100 per cage, I'm happy with these and they're suited to my needs. For those who swap drives more often, these probably wouldn't work since you've got to pull the entire set of 5 drives out to unscrew one, and that also means unplugging 10 cables (power & data x 5).

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Thanks for the list! it has been very helpful! I was able to find a Xclio Nighthawk for a really good price,

I have replaced the hideous side and top fans with a transparent gray acrylic sheet (3 mm), so now the case is slightly thinner and more elegant.

The shop that provided the acrylic material and did the laser cutting only charged me 20$ for the two transparent panels (I'll be happy to share the file that was fed to the laser cutting machine). 

The built-in 4-in-3 cages are surprisingly good because when you open the front cover you can see the serial numbers of the drives and pull each of the drives separately

(my Lian Li EX-23NB has a fan in front so you can't see the serial number of the drives, and you likely have to pull the entire thing out to get one drive out)

(p.s. It took me a while to realize, but the metal pins in the drive trays pop out, and you can use screws instead of the tool-less configuration which requires too much force to use)

 

The case is not very deep (473 mm including the front panel, 440 mm without the front panel),

I'm now waiting for a right angle molex power connector because without it I can't fit one of my Kingwin KF-3001-BK racks, I have 20 mm clearance from the motherboard power connector so a right angle connector is a MUST for me.

 

Xclio Nighthawk with side and top acrylic panels

Edited by tal.aloni

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This case is discontinued?

Aplus, as a manufacturer, is also not present on the net anymore?

You could fit a third of those "build-in-cages" as far as I can see from pics?

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AFAIK the Xclio Nighthawk case was never marketed under the A+ brand (other Xclio cases were), in any case, the manufacturer is no longer in business.

Yes, the case has 9 x 5.25" bays so you can fit an additional 3 x 5.25" cage for 3.5" hard drives.

Edited by tal.aloni

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On 22/01/2018 at 2:40 AM, 172pilot said:

 

It's been a while since your post.  I am thinking about buying the same case for my UnRaid, and was wondering if you had any additional opinions now that you've had it for a while?  Drive trays been reliable?  Cooling working well enough?

 

Thanks in advance!!

Stevbe

 

Yes, it's working well. I did have to add extra fans, IIRC. Otherwise it was too hot.

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This has been one of the most informative threads I've found on this subject. Very helpful. I'm looking to start a build soon and I was wondering if anyone has seen any newer cases in the wild with many external 5.25 bays, or something new with multiple hot swap cages without breaking the bank. Many of these cases in the earlier parts of the thread are discontinued and unavailable. I know they are getting fewer and farther between, and harder (and more expensive) to find, even used. My local craigslist is full of garbage, and although eBay has had some bright spots, I'm still not ready to pull the trigger on a case yet.

 

Form factor is not an issue for me. Just need space for drives. Looking to stay away from rack mount and would like to stay in a tower, or even cube format. I like the CS380 from Silverstone, but have seen some hiccups about the build quality and possible cooling issues. Also the backplane/cage is proprietary. If it dies, I'd need a new case. I absolutely love Fractal's Define XL R2, but not sure if I can cram cages/trays top to bottom in it without too much modification. The internal trays are sideways and I'd have to relocate fans. Ideally 8-12 external spaces for hot swap is ideal. Thoughts are appreciated.

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If anybody is looking for a spacious case, Newegg currently has Antec Nine Hundred on sale for $68.99 after $30 rebate. The case has 6 internal HDD slots, 3 external HDD slots + 1 3.5" slot. If you need more than that, you can convert the 6 internal slots to 8, using 2 of these 3-to-4 hot-swap cages (like I did).

Edited by izarkhin

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3 hours ago, izarkhin said:

Newegg currently has Antec Nine Hundred on sale for $68.99 after $30 rebate.

 

I got two of these and you can remove all  internal drives housings so that you have Nine 5-1/4" slots available.  I have NINE 3.5" hot-swap enclosures in mine but you could just as easily install  THREE 5-in-3 enclosures for fifteen 3.5" drives in this case.  And I suspect, you could still find room for a 2.5" ssd if you use double sided tape to mount it.  

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I am trying to find a case that would hold 15 drives or so but my issue is I have to fit in a cabinet that is 16" high and 19" wide. So that limits my choice of cases a lot.

 

Only two options I found would the Lian Li PC-D600 (but I would have to turn it on its side since it's too high) or the Caselabs S8S which is the perfect size but costs $500+ and takes two months to build.

 

Any other case with a lot of 5.25 bays that would fit my cabinet?

 

Thanks!

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2 hours ago, txenakis said:

but my issue is I have to fit in a cabinet that is 16" high and 19" wide.

 

You should also be considering the problem of heat dissipation If that cabinet space has six sides.  Even if it only has four, I would be concerned as you are going to pack a lot of heat producing devices in a very confined volume .   Even the 5-in-3 housings have presented cooling issues in the past.  You really have to move a lot of cool air through them to keep the drive temperatures down.  And that means that you actually have to plan out a air movement strategy for you case.  

Edited by Frank1940

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1 hour ago, Frank1940 said:

 

You should also be considering the problem of heat dissipation If that cabinet space has six sides.  Even if it only has four, I would be concerned as you are going to pack a lot of heat producing devices in a very confined volume .   Even the 5-in-3 housings have presented cooling issues in the past.  You really have to move a lot of cool air through them to keep the drive temperatures down.  And that means that you actually have to plan out a air movement strategy for you case.  

Yes I agree I will have to be careful and monitor my temps. I'll add as many fans as possible too.

 

Any thoughts on cases?

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I use that case together with disk cages, in my case it can hold 12x 3.5" drives (HDD) + 8x 2.5 drives (SSD) all reachable from the front.

It is a bit expensive but very well made.

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On 9/7/2018 at 1:53 AM, bonienl said:

I use that case together with disk cages, in my case it can hold 12x 3.5" drives (HDD) + 8x 2.5 drives (SSD) all reachable from the front.

It is a bit expensive but very well made.

I have 4-5x3 iStar cages, but only space for three in my case, so i was thinking of grabbing a new case for them all to fit in  :)

 

However I am already at 18 drives plus cache and parity. since the cache is not mounted in them I have one slot and that is reserved for a second parity and then im all filled up. For the price I may look into a 24 bay rack mount setup for a couple hundred extra...and then just think of playing around with my second license.

 

Thanks loads,

Ice

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On 9/8/2018 at 8:07 PM, icedragonslair said:

I have 4-5x3 iStar cages, but only space for three in my case, so i was thinking of grabbing a new case for them all to fit in  :)

 

However I am already at 18 drives plus cache and parity. since the cache is not mounted in them I have one slot and that is reserved for a second parity and then im all filled up. For the price I may look into a 24 bay rack mount setup for a couple hundred extra...and then just think of playing around with my second license.

 

Thanks loads,

Ice

 

An option is to hook up the 4th 5in3 externally. You just need to run the cables out the back of the case (including a power pigtail). Depending on where the server is stored, the aesthetics might be acceptable.

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Need recommendations for a tower case that fits:

 

X9DRI-LN4F+ (E-ATX)

(3) 3x5 HDD hot-swap enclosures (15 drives)

 

What's the latest? The Antec 1200 is sold out everywhere and also ancient, are there better options?

 

Also has anyone tried the Kingwin 3x5 here: https://www.amazon.com/Kingwin-Enclosure-Internal-Backplane-Optimized/dp/B01BMJ1WD6

 

Looks decent but hard to find reviews of it since Amazon mixes all their models up as usual in the review section.

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On 9/24/2018 at 10:10 AM, planetix said:

Need recommendations for a tower case that fits:

 

X9DRI-LN4F+ (E-ATX)

(3) 3x5 HDD hot-swap enclosures (15 drives)

 

What's the latest? The Antec 1200 is sold out everywhere and also ancient, are there better options?

 

Also has anyone tried the Kingwin 3x5 here: https://www.amazon.com/Kingwin-Enclosure-Internal-Backplane-Optimized/dp/B01BMJ1WD6

 

Looks decent but hard to find reviews of it since Amazon mixes all their models up as usual in the review section.

Following up my own post:

 

I first tried a Deep Silence 6 by Nanoxia, and while it was well built there's really no way to use more than 1 (3 slot) hot swap bay with it, the cooling wasn't great especially for the internal drive bays, and it is also enormous - not that I expected a small case, of course, given my E-ATX requirement and the number of drives I needed, but it was ridiculously big all the same and ironically, didn't make great use of all the extra space either - in fact I found it harder to work with than the case I ended up with. Luckily I was able to return it - Nanoxia support is pretty good.

 

Next, I found a Xigmatek Elysium Black on Ebay, new, for a good price. This case has 12x front bays, so 4x 3x5 hot-swap bays fit in it. It also fits E-ATX though I had to use 3 silicon motherboard standoffs at the top of my Supermicro X9DRE-LN4F motherboard - 6 mounts (including one in the center) fit but the holes didn't align for 2 at the top and 1 at the bottom. The silicon standoffs (old-school PC builders will remember those) worked fine and I didn't have to drill the case.

 

Good case overall, though I needed to add some sound deadening (SilverStone sells sheets of it for PC cases for $14) - not that it is loud with the right fans (I replaced all 3 stock case fans with Noctua PWMs controlled by my BMC), but the deadening helped quiet it all the way down. The case also has lots of open venting slots, particularly at the top, which made balancing airflow difficult and let the sound from the CPU fans at full rpm (also Noctua) escape easily. Cheap to remedy, at least, and not hard to install. Overall the case isn't outrageously big like the Deep Silence 6, has rubber grommets and plenty of tie downs, and overall was easier to get fitted out than the former in spite of being maybe 3/4 the size.

 

In fact, other than having to deaden it it'd be almost perfect for a large dual-Xeon tower case with all hot swap bays except for the fact they don't make them any more. You can find the remaining stock on Ebay (make an offer lower than advertised, they will take it trust me) but beyond that, you're out of luck. Which is too bad because tower cases like this that aren't obnoxious, fit weird Supermicro motherboards, and can handle 4 full hot-swap drive bays are unicorns these days.

 

Next, for the hot-swap bays I went with 4x Icy Dock Black Vortex MB074SP-1B and...well....

 

On the plus side, they have solid Sata III backplanes - power capacitors, sata power, no trouble with SSDs or large drives (I am using 10TB WD Reds) and the fans are in the front (and 120mm in size) so cool air blows in vs. being pulled in from the back of the cage. My drives run cool (37-40 under load - parity, preclear, etc. - and 29-32c idle), better than I've done with other cages in the past that have fans in the back. And the fans have removable dust filters in the front doors, which is convenient.

 

On the minus side, quality control is lacking with these; I had to swap one out for a dead drive light, and 2 of 4 filters didn't fit right, I had to bend the internal fan mounts out with a flat head. Also the stock fans are a little loud at full power and there's no temperature sensor/alarm, just a 3 position switch on the front. They are also blue LED, which I think looks dumb on a server (you can turn the light off, at least). I ended up replacing all 4 fans with Phantec high static pressure PWM fans; they are connected to my Supermicro BMC in a zone I set up just for the drives. Much quieter and same cooling performance, and also when the drives are idle you can't even tell they are on.  And if one of the fans dies I get alerted.

 

The cages also have a bit of a funky design to them, though I found they blended well with my Elysium case. If I did it over I might not go with them again but that could just be because I had to do a lot of modding work (including stripping part of the nice cable braiding Phantec has on the wires so they wouldn't impede the door, and a bunch of other little things like that).

 

In any case I now have a dual E5-2697v2 server with 128gb memory, 8x10TB storage drives, 2x1TB ssd cache pool, and 1x1TB SSD for a passed through Windows VM game drive, in a case that fits next to my desk (though it isn't small by any means) and doesn't sound like a vacuum cleaner when running at full bore.

 

I'll write up more on this later with pictures if anyone is interested, though this probably isn't the right thread for that.

Edited by planetix

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On 10/15/2018 at 7:58 AM, planetix said:

Next, for the hot-swap bays I went with 4x Icy Dock Black Vortex MB074SP-1B and...well....


I have two of those cages in my old Antec Nine Hundred. I will add a third one soon. No problems here but it could be pure luck. ;)
Running the fans at full speed (other stuff in my house drown out the sound from the fans) and I usually have the blue light turned off.

IMG_20190131_170132.jpg

IMG_20190131_170219.jpg

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Anything new on the market? It seems like the options are dwindling and I am looking for a case that is 17+ 3.5" drives and ideally 1-2 SSD slots that don't count toward the 17.

 

Antec Nineteen Hundred (17 3.5 bays with 1x5.25" swap) - Not sold

XIGMATEK ELYSIUM BLACK (20 with 4x5.25" swaps) - Not sold

LIAN LI PC-A79B (20 with 4x5.25" swaps) - Not sold

Nanoxia Deep Silence 6 (18 with 1x5.25" swap) - Sold still, but also $300.

 

So what are people using now?

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I found a used LIAN LI PC-A77 on Ebay, was not in the best condition, but it should work at the moment, I'm now looking into the HDD cages, I'll probably go with 2.5" only HDD to maximize silence operation, Silvertone makes 12 2.5" HDD cage in 3x5.25"

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Posted (edited)

Are there any Antec Nine Hundred (900) with Supermicro 5 in 3 cages owners still out there? I'm looking to do a build later this year with that setup (3 cages). I just wanted to see if the overall length of the cages interferes with an ATX motherboard. I know the fans on the back of the Supermicro cages poke out quite a bit and probably overlap the board. Anyone have any pictures of the cages inside their Antec 900? I don't want to purchase everything and then have problems getting everything plugged in.

Edited by ramblinreck47

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I have an Antec 1200 case with older horizontal 4 in 1 cages, I have an ATX board with a 16 port RAID controller, the cables that connect to the RAID controller plug in at the end of the card and my 4 in 1 bays hit them if I try and push them in all the way, so I have to leave them out a little which is ok as the server is a second back up server that is powered off most of the time. If you aren't using any HBA's that have cables that plug in at the end of the card, you should be fine.

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