Full tower case that has 12+ internal hdd 3.5


optiman

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I'm looking for a new case.  That isn't as easy as I thought it would be.  Most case recommenations / information on this site is old.  I even read several case reviews dated 2017, most of the cases are old there too.

 

I was hoping to get something new, 2016 or newer, needs at least 12 internal 3.5" hdd and it must have awesome cooling to keep all those hard drives from over heating.

 

The only good option I have found that meets my requirements is the Antec nineteen hundred, which came out in 2013 (pushing 5 years old technology).  It's missing the esata port on the front, which i use to preclear drives.  My main concern is cooling those hdd's.  My previous case, Rosewill B2 Sprit,  This case is way too big and heavy, and after loading up the 12 hdd's, it was way too hot inside for the drives, most were running about 51C.  You can add more fans to my existing case, but it requires you to remove the small hdd cage, taking you down to only 9 hdd slots - and that won't work for me.

 

I would appreciate any advice.  I've been reading case reviews for the past 3 days and from several manufacturers - really not thrilled with any of the options.

 

Thanks!

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45 minutes ago, tdallen said:

This was a recent post on a similar topic.

Have you considered something like the Antec 1200 with externally accessible hot swap bays?

 

 

Yes I looked at moving the 3 drives to the external bays, but there is no fan option to put in front of them and the air from the other fans won't reach the top section, means they will run too hot.  Those slots are more for optical drives or non heat generating ...IMO.

 

@ ashman70 - thanks for the offer, but I'm looking for new only and I live in California. :)

 

There are also some options I have seen on the newer cases that I really like, again the newer cases don't have enough hdd slots for me.  I just wish I could find a new 12+ bay case that has the newer options.  I really liked  the PWM hub, the esata port on the front panel, and the other option is some cases now have the fan/light control switches.  I'm not sure I would need those, as I run PWM fans.  Easy access dust filters are another hot feature.  And the smaller foot print and the lighter in weight is even better.

 

As a short term solution, I could just buy top of the line replacement fans for my B2 and see if it will cool the hdds and not be too loud.  The B2 is way too big, so either way, it needs to go.

 

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I have several of the Vortex cages => they are by far the best ones I've used for keeping drives cool.   The 120mm front-mounted fan pushes plenty of air over all 4 drives.    You can control both the fan speed and the intensity of the LEDs (off, low, or hi).

 

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I suspect you'll order more in the future :D

 

One note r.e. any of the hot-swap cages:   The airflow is better if you have all slots filled.   What I do with any "empty" slots is install an old (bad) drive with the PCB removed  (this can be an IDE or SATA drive, as once you remove the PCB it's not going to do anything except fill the space).

 

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I suspect you'll order more in the future
 
One note r.e. any of the hot-swap cages:   The airflow is better if you have all slots filled.   What I do with any "empty" slots is install an old (bad) drive with the PCB removed  (this can be an IDE or SATA drive, as once you remove the PCB it's not going to do anything except fill the space).
 


Gary does that make a measurable difference or is it just "best practice" according to logic.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I definitely follow the logic but just wondering if it translates to a real world difference.

On the other hand, one other factor is geographical location, tends to be on the cooler side where I live compared to where some Unraid users live which I can definitely imagine playing a part.

Sent from my LG-H815 using Tapatalk

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It definitely makes a difference in the drive temps -- especially on units with rear fans.   I've still got a few 5-in-3 Icy Dock units that have rear fans, and the temps dropped notably (3-4 degrees) once I filled the unused slots a few years ago.    I haven't tested the Vortex units, but I suspect it wouldn't make as much difference with the large, front-mounted fan, but it's still true that the pressure would be more uniform with all slots filled, so I suspect it's still an improvement.

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8 minutes ago, jonathanm said:

Some units ship with plastic drive sized blanks to put in the empty slots. I don't think they would go to the expense of doing that if it didn't make a measurable difference.

 

Agree.   Equalizing the air pressure in the unit absolutely results in better cooling.    As I noted above, ANY old drive you're not using anymore works perfectly for this as long as you remove the circuit board => it will then fill the space without any connections to the unit; and it doesn't matter whether the drive is IDE, SATA, SCSI, etc. since the connectors won't be on the drive anymore.

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1 hour ago, NAStyBox said:

 

I've been running a pre-clear for over 7 hours in this cage, and the temp has been rock solid at 82 degrees fahrenheit. https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817121405

 

These are the best 5in3s there are IMO. SuperMicro CSE-M35T-1B. $99 is a good price for new, but I have used in the $50 - $65 range, and they work well.

 

The fans are 92mm, so provide considerably better cooling than 80mm. They pull air from outside past the drives and into / through the fan, providing best cooling. Fans that try to push air between drives don't work nearly as well.

 

They are not silent, but are full ball bearing fans and last forever. They are easily replaced if so desired with something quieter. The sound they make is a somewhat satisfying sound of strong airflow, no squeaks or clicking noises.

 

But the thing that really differentiates these is the locking mechanism. It is rock solid. If the drive clicks into place - the contacts are secure. I bought a cheap Rosewill 4in3 for a portable application. For the cost no complaints, But they require an extra shove after the drive is clicked in place to get good contact. And more than once I've forgotten and had an issue. I'd say there is 1/4", maybe bit more of play. But the SuperMicros have none.

 

I have 4 of these stacked on top of one another. Max out around 40C parity checking on a hot summer day. But normally they are in the low to mid 30s. 

 

Great choice NASty!

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5 hours ago, bjp999 said:

 

These are the best 5in3s there are IMO. SuperMicro CSE-M35T-1B. $99 is a good price for new, but I have used in the $50 - $65 range, and they work well.

 

The fans are 92mm, so provide considerably better cooling than 80mm. They pull air from outside past the drives and into / through the fan, providing best cooling. Fans that try to push air between drives don't work nearly as well.

 

They are not silent, but are full ball bearing fans and last forever. They are easily replaced if so desired with something quieter. The sound they make is a somewhat satisfying sound of strong airflow, no squeaks or clicking noises.

 

But the thing that really differentiates these is the locking mechanism. It is rock solid. If the drive clicks into place - the contacts are secure. I bought a cheap Rosewill 4in3 for a portable application. For the cost no complaints, But they require an extra shove after the drive is clicked in place to get good contact. And more than once I've forgotten and had an issue. I'd say there is 1/4", maybe bit more of play. But the SuperMicros have none.

 

I have 4 of these stacked on top of one another. Max out around 40C parity checking on a hot summer day. But normally they are in the low to mid 30s. 

 

Great choice NASty!

Thank you. Yeah I didn't pay $100 each either :-) The price is a little steep new. I bought the pair I have for $110 off ebay. I'm still stalking the listings looking for a 3rd. The only issue with my case is due to the location of the locks they have to go in upside down. It was either that or put'em on a drill press to make tiny holes for the locks right side up. The drives don't mind, lol. So upside down it is. 

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