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

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6 hours ago, ashman70 said:

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.

I actually have one that has the plugs at the end. I’m thinking about probably just buying a bigger case with 9 x 5.25” bays. Going by measurements, I’ll probably roll with a used AZZA Solano 1000 or a Cooler Master Storm Trooper/Stryker if I can find one when the time comes. Either that or get a different HBA card or just buy 3 more of the Icy Dock MB153SP-B and those should easily fit without any changes in the Antec 900. I was really hoping the SuperMicro cages would fit without issue though.

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The Antec 1200v3 is 9 years old, I've sent a tweet to Antec asking if they could make a 10 year anniversary edition with all the current mod cons.


If anyone fancies retweeting this for visibility I'm hoping they might see it and maybe it might happen.
 

 

Hoping they can fix the two flaws which weren't a problem 9 years ago..

They need to make it 10mm taller above the back 120mm fans so you can fit an AIO in there without having to brute force the chassis a bit, they also need to make it 30mm deeper as the current 1080ti etc doesnt quite fit when you have the 4in3/5in3 hotswap bays in the front and 30mm-50mm would be ample clearance

 

 

Edited by helin0x

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I think this list needs to be updated for 2019.  There's some real nice cases here in the original list but none of them are made anymore.  I'm looking for a mid-tower chocked full of 9 5.25's and can't find any of them. :(

Edited by Syndacate

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7 hours ago, Syndacate said:

I think this list needs to be updated for 2019.  There's some real nice cases here in the original list but none of them are made anymore.  I'm looking for a mid-tower chocked full of 9 5.25's and can't find any of them. :(

There is not that many cases with 5.25's made in 2019 now the trend in cases has changed. Server chasis seem to be most viable option now unless you find used older cases. I looked and all I can find thst is available new with 9 5.25's is ATX Full Tower No mid-tower at all: SilverStone Temjin Series TJ11B-W Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case & ZZA CSAZ-GT 1 Black SECC ATX Full Tower Computer Case.

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16 hours ago, jpowell8672 said:

There is not that many cases with 5.25's made in 2019 now the trend in cases has changed. Server chasis seem to be most viable option now unless you find used older cases. I looked and all I can find thst is available new with 9 5.25's is ATX Full Tower No mid-tower at all: SilverStone Temjin Series TJ11B-W Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case & ZZA CSAZ-GT 1 Black SECC ATX Full Tower Computer Case.

Yeah it's a damn shame that the trend in cases has shifted.  I wanted the 5.25's for the hot swap bays, like most people.  If I don't stick strictly to a stack of 5.25's, there's some stuff.  There seems mostly to be lots of options with the Mini ITX form factor such as the Norco Mini-ITX or the Node 304, both of which have high amounts of easy to access 3.5's, but I have an ATX mobo + I7 just taking up space, so seems like a super waste not to use it.

There are in fact some ATX options available, the Antec 900 is still made with its 9x 5.25's, but with all that raised plastic it has on top (unlike the 902) the specs say the height is only 1" shorter than my 1200, which is crazy tall, to me.

Another option I found was the SilverStone Case Storage Series SST-CS380 - which has 8 hot swap bays in front, which looks good, but I hear some woes about drive cooling & you can't use a good bay with a fan, need to use their deal.  It seems to be in a league of its own, though, I don't see any other ATX cases with hot swap bays.

I mean hell, even 6 5.25's can give 10 hot swap bays, which is more than enough of a place to start with, but even they seem few and far between.  The case market really sucks right now for this specific niche.

EDIT:  Looks like Newegg has their specs mixed up on the 1200, the H and the D are switched, it's actually 20.X" deep and 23" tall, I just measured mine, but Newegg has them flip-flopped.  At least that explains why the 900 was looking only 1" shorter than the 1200.  Maybe that's what I'll go with. I dislike my 1200, but I think the 900 will work well for the NAS scenario with some hot swap bays in it.

Edited by Syndacate

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I got an Antec 900 back in the day. I bought it because it was cheaper than the 1200, but now I'd be in the market for a 1200 and they just don't make anything even like it anymore.  I like my 900, got 3 hot swap bays in it. 

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My dream chassi for unraid would be a Lian Li D600, it has 9 front 5.2 which you can convert into 3x5 3.5mm hotswap slots, so just that is 15 hdds for hotswap, then if you modify the chassi internally i believe you can get a 15+ hdd cage into the chassi behind the motherboard section, which means you have a chassi that has 15 hotswap drives, 15 internal drives with great cooling and also amazing looks.

 

I found some guy in texas who had the D600 chassi new but he wanted 1100$ for it, i simply could not do it because i am not 100% certain i could do the modfiication needed to add the internal hdd's but i am very sure it is pretty easy to do.

 

Here's an image of the chassi:

 

d600-001.jpg

 

here is the inside compartment where you could modify to add more hdd's with a self built hdd cage ( behind the motherboard )

 

d600-006.jpg

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7 hours ago, je82 said:

My dream chassi for unraid would be a Lian Li D600, it has 9 front 5.2 which you can convert into 3x5 3.5mm hotswap slots, so just that is 15 hdds for hotswap, then if you modify the chassi internally i believe you can get a 15+ hdd cage into the chassi behind the motherboard section, which means you have a chassi that has 15 hotswap drives, 15 internal drives with great cooling and also amazing looks.

 

I found some guy in texas who had the D600 chassi new but he wanted 1100$ for it, i simply could not do it because i am not 100% certain i could do the modfiication needed to add the internal hdd's but i am very sure it is pretty easy to do.

 

Here's an image of the chassi:

 

here is the inside compartment where you could modify to add more hdd's with a self built hdd cage ( behind the motherboard )

 

 

That Lian Li case looks to be a bit shallow.  The Thermaltake Core W200 looks big enough.

 

 

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16 hours ago, Spotswood said:

That Lian Li case looks to be a bit shallow.  The Thermaltake Core W200 looks big enough.

 

 

Damn, i think you're right, it looks very deep when you see it in pictures but once i looked at the video i realize the back plate inside the chassi isn't where you'd think it would be... That's sad because if the chassi had another hdd cage behind the 5.2 cages it would make for the perfect server chassi (outside of a rack) in my opinion.

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On 10/1/2019 at 4:33 AM, patm95 said:

I got an Antec 900 back in the day. I bought it because it was cheaper than the 1200, but now I'd be in the market for a 1200 and they just don't make anything even like it anymore.  I like my 900, got 3 hot swap bays in it. 

The 1200 is my desktop system and I absolutely hate it.  In terms of capacity it's good I guess, it's got the volume, but:
A.  It's heavy as fu*k
B.  Where my EVGA mobo puts the SATA ports works horrifically with this case if you want to wire tuck
C.  It's gigantic

So I have some case (I forgot which, something mundane) that I'm going to transplant my desktop into, but for building my server I just bought the 900 because it's significantly smaller (the 1200 is hard to pull out from under my desk), significantly lighter (I gotta haul its ass outside to clean it), and I can't foresee myself wanting more than 12 3.5 HDD's in my NAS setup; my goal is like ~5, but extensibility if need-be, I only bought 1 (3x 5.25 -> 4x 3.5) cage to start with.

So my 1200 is going to be idle once I build/move/transplant all of this.  Personally I want to drop this 1200 off the tallest building I can find because it's given me so much grief hauling it around, but maybe somebody can make use of it.

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I got a  old Nexus Edge case that I don't use anymore, it has 9x5.25" which could turn into 15x3.5". And then it has another 9x3.5" internally.

Maybe that case could work?

 

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I do believe that the Antec 900 is Manufacture Discontinued item.  You will have to look at places like Ebay. 

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Very interested in a tower with 12 bays (no need for hot swap), but everything in this thread has been discontinued :(

 

Are there really no good towers for 8+ bay unraid setups?

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Posted (edited)
On 12/17/2019 at 3:19 PM, unham said:

Where are you guys seeing the Antec 900 for sale? Can't seem to find any available.

Oh wow, I just bought mine here in mid-October '19, very recent:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000I5JHB0/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Now it says 'unavailable', so they must have JUST discontinued it.  I *believe* Newegg sold it in October, too, but I went with Amazon because it was cheaper.  I guess they finally discontinued it starting in 2020 or late 2019..


Think you'll need to dig around for it and see who has stock left, it seems some people do, this is $150 shipped new via Ebay:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Antec-Nine-Hundred-Black-Steel-ATX-Mid-Tower-Computer-Case-with-Upgraded-USB-3-0-/153764530849?_trksid=p2385738.m4383.l4275.c10

 

4 hours ago, unraidun said:

Very interested in a tower with 12 bays (no need for hot swap), but everything in this thread has been discontinued :(

 

Are there really no good towers for 8+ bay unraid setups?


Yeah, the pickings really suck now, it's crazy.  The Antec 900 can give you 12, but apparently just discontinued, so pick one up while you can find one.

I've never heard of it before, and know nothing about it, but there's an "Antec One" which has 8 bays, which could give you 10 3.5's with the 4->3 bays, or 12 drives if you go with one of the few 5->3 options.

https://www.amazon.com/Antec-Mid-Tower-Computer-Pre-Installed-Mini-ITX/dp/B006TVQU6C

 

Also, since you don't care about hot swappable bays, you can go with the Antec three hundred, which will give you 9 bays w/o any additional drive bays:
https://www.amazon.com/Antec-Three-Hundred-Gaming-Computer/dp/B000GQMHBI

 

This is the one I like the best if you don't want hot swappable, the P101, 8 bays native, easy to remove them:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07LBXP8KZ/ref=twister_B082HRQ9B2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1


All these Antec options I feel like a fan boy, but they seem to have many of those style cases for it.

One case I almost bought instead of the 900 was this Silverstone which is cheap and has 8 hot-swap bays built-in for low $$, the only reason I didn't go with this one is because I didn't want to be tied to a particular back plane if it didn't work out for some reason (ie. say a port died).  Though that's just me being kind of paranoid I think, it looks like a very good case for NAS purposes:
https://www.amazon.com/SilverStone-Technology-SST-CS380B-USA-Computer-CS380B-USA/dp/B07KTCSWPP

Edited by Syndacate

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I know a lot of workstations have kits to rack mount them, and with the disappearing 5.25" bay trend, I am starting to wonder if there is a way to convert a rack mount chassis to tower? Just thinking about it i cant see why not, though im not dying for yet another custom fab project, hopefully there is a kit out there 

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1 hour ago, ozzyc said:

I know a lot of workstations have kits to rack mount them, and with the disappearing 5.25" bay trend, I am starting to wonder if there is a way to convert a rack mount chassis to tower? Just thinking about it i cant see why not, though im not dying for yet another custom fab project, hopefully there is a kit out there 

I've begun to recommend this very thing to people that want a case that can hold a lot of hot-swap drives. Buy a Supermicro CSE-846, put it on its side, then put it on two of these: https://www.amazon.com/HumanCentric-PC-Stand-Computer-Adjustable/dp/B07RGRV1VX/ref=sr_1_7?keywords=desktop+computer+cart&qid=1578443780&sr=8-7 . Problem solved.

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13 hours ago, ramblinreck47 said:

I've begun to recommend this very thing to people that want a case that can hold a lot of hot-swap drives. Buy a Supermicro CSE-846, put it on its side, then put it on two of these: https://www.amazon.com/HumanCentric-PC-Stand-Computer-Adjustable/dp/B07RGRV1VX/ref=sr_1_7?keywords=desktop+computer+cart&qid=1578443780&sr=8-7 . Problem solved.

That's pretty much exactly what I did. Put my CSE-846 on it's side. However, I had no idea that anyone was making a little cart like that so I made my own that actually looks rather similar. (Except mine is made out of wood.)

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On 1/7/2020 at 6:39 PM, ramblinreck47 said:

I've begun to recommend this very thing to people that want a case that can hold a lot of hot-swap drives. Buy a Supermicro CSE-846, put it on its side, then put it on two of these: https://www.amazon.com/HumanCentric-PC-Stand-Computer-Adjustable/dp/B07RGRV1VX/ref=sr_1_7?keywords=desktop+computer+cart&qid=1578443780&sr=8-7 . Problem solved.

 ''ADJUSTABLE WIDTH: Fits computer towers / pcs / CPUs with a width of 4.7” – 8.2” and supports a maximum weight of 22 lbs" - not problematic? I dont know much about rack mount stuff, it says max width of 8.2", how many rack units do u think that is?

or what about just a piece of wood to keep the rack ear from digging into the floor?

Edited by ozzyc

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17 minutes ago, ozzyc said:

how many rack units do u think that is?

One rack unit (1U) is 1.75″  IE: 4U = 7"

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A 'U' is 1.75 inches.  You do the math.  When one is talking about a 4U case, it should fit in that space.  (By the way, 'U' actually goes back to the days of Electro-mechnical  telephone equipment when the height of the mounting plates for all relays and other "apparatus"/components were multiples of 'U'.  The standard equipment frame height was eleven feet and standard width of the plates was 19 inches.)

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Unfortunately, the trend in 2020 computing does not favor our collective need for a reasonably sized, quiet, mid/full-ATX chassis with LOTS of mounting locations to accommodate mass storage solutions.  It simply doesn't exist ... and really, TBH, it never really did.  Fitting 3x 3.5" to 5.25" bay cages for 15 total drives in a tower has always been a workaround, and a pretty expensive one at that when each cage can cost $50-$150!  By the time you configure the chassis with the required bays and cooling, you're looking at, at least, $350 ... and that's if you really try hard not to overspend!  That's more than I'm willing to drop on a bad solution to a niche problem, but I can't speak for everyone.

 

Also, IMHO, most of the chassis that accommodate these builds are ugly!  Even if they were/are reasonably priced, I would not want to build in them even if it is going to sit in the corner or a closet.  The notable exception, the Silverstone Temjin TJ11.  But at $350 when it was released ~2014 ... and $750 now for the few places that have 1 or 2 left in the back of the stockroom, this was ALWAYS an expensive build.  And to uglify it with hot-swappable cages, to me, seems like a sin.  Also, a nod to @Harro's functional build. I'd love to find an original Cooler Master Centurion 590 in a dumpster or Good Will somewhere 🤣!

 

Going forward I think we all need to bite the bullet and realize this is just not going to happen unless the winds change direction and personal storage solutions that don't include overpriced and under-powered systems (*cough* Synology) become common place.  I think most people that find this thread know that there are server grade racked solutions out there with reasonable second hand prices.  But, for someone that really wants to keep their build to a workstation, this is not an option. It even bugs me a little when people flippantly post something like, "just buy a used 4U server ... 24+ bays, problem solved."  Not helpful ... at all!  If "we" wanted a 26"-30" deep, 100+ lb. tank with jagged corners and awful non-racked standing solutions that sounds like a jet engine ... then yes, problem solved!  But, "we" don't.

 

I don't intend to ignite a flame war here ... but after all, this thread is for tower cases.  It says it right in the title.  Why are people even bringing up rack solutions?  I'll give a pass to those recommending casters for rack chassis though.  Not what I'm after, but OK.

 

I contacted 45 Drives about their Storonator Workstation.  I was pretty sure they only sell them as a configured solution, and they don't post the chassis dimensions, but it couldn't hurt to ask when it has space for 11x 3.5" and 8x 2.5" drives on a single back-plane 🤤.  But alas, they don't offer it bare 😭.  Here's to hoping that one day they change their mind or make something better to fill this dearth in our niche market segment.  For a reasonably sized average 45L volume chassis, with a full back-plane for 10+ drives ... I would pay a premium!

 

There are still some options in production by Fractal Design, Phanteks, and Rosewill that will support 10+ drives without breaking the bank only costing ~$200-$250 all in.  Here are some as of January 2020:

 

Fractal Design

 

Phanteks

 

Rosewill

  • Rosewill Thor v2 (Might actually be out of production ... but currently available (in white) for $120 USD from Newegg)
    • 6x 5.25" + 6x 3.5" = 16x 3.5" drives (with 2 cages)

 

Also, as other's have reported, you can still find semi-reasonable prices on some second hand towers from the early-2010s.  This is the option I am going with for my server.  I just bought a NZXT H440, which is a hell of a nice case (IMHO), with lots of space for fans and breath-ability for keeping the drives cool.  I plan on doing a simple mod to mount a total of 11x 3.5" drives in this platform.  Actually, the last mounting location is odd, sitting on the bottom of the chassis, and I probably will not use it.  But this will leave a good amount of "free space" which I was thinking about filling with a 6x 2.5" drive cage if I can find/tap a good mounting solution.  I haven't built in it yet, so this is still TBD.  But, for $80 shipped (after some hunting ... and sniping) ... DONE!

 

-JesterEE

Edited by JesterEE
Thor v2 Spec incorrect / @Harro

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Like the rest of you of this thread, I have also been searching for the thing - a tower with 5.25" bays top to bottom(*). 

I've bumped on this on eBay and grabbed one. They seem to still have a few left. They are NIB.

This one has 9 5.25" bays, all exposed. You can fill them with 5-in-3 or 3-in-2 of your fancy, to get a nice 15 or 12 hotswap 3.5" drives. It's a bit of a beast (full tower, deep, tons of cooling options).

It allegedly supports E-ATX mobos but unfortunately does not fit boards like X9DR3-F (which is E-ATX by spec) - the I/O plate and PCI/E slots do not align. Weird. It does take ATX (and smaller FF) boards happily.

Thought some of you might find this interesting.

 

(*) I was looking at using a CSE846 but dropped it due to its sound signature - too noisy for its designated location.

Edited by doron

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