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TODDLT

Case or cage Recommendation

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I currently have 10 HDD's and 4 SSD's plus 2 - hot swap HDD's in my case.  I use and Antec 1200 with a 4th factory cage installed.  The SSD's are in racks that mount in expansion card slots.

 

The case has been great, very well built, awesome at keeping everything cool during parity checks (except SSD's), but my only functional issue is it's a PITA to change out any drive.  Opening the case is one thing, but you have to remove both side covers, completely unplug fans and 3 drives, then remove a cage to get one drive out.

 

I'd like to try and find a solution that just makes this easier to deal with:

 

Option 1 - use hot swap 3x4 or 3x5 cages.  

Does anyone have experience putting cages in an Antec 1200?  What cages work or don't work and which ones are most effective at cooling during parity checks.  From the photos a lot of the cages have circuit boards at the back of the cage and appear to greatly restrict airflow between the drive and the fan.  I also hear some cages are too deep for some cases, though the 1200 is reasonably roomy.  Also if 3x4's get me where I need to go should I bother with 3x5's?  They appear as if they would make airflow for cooling a bigger challenge.

 

My thought was to use 3 each 3 x 4's and a single 2 x 4. then use a 1x4 SSD cage at the top (12 5.25 slots total).  That would give me 2 additional HDD bays even having two hot swaps.  Below are some links to examples of cages I was looking at any any thoughts or suggestions for other products are appreciated.  Does anyone know these will fit the 1200?  The biggest issue here is the $350+ expense just on cages.

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816215367&ignorebbr=1

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816215245&ignorebbr=1

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA2W08HW8050&ignorebbr=1

 

Option 2 - with $350 in cages, is there a better case out there with drive access for similar money.  They really dont need to be hot swaps, I just want to access without pulling everything apart.  Removing one cover or door is fine.  However, I've looked at other cases and can't find anything that gets to my current capacity and has a decent layout inside with HDD cooling in mind.  Some take lots of drives with no direct airpath to a fan, which makes zero sense.  There are cases with good access/cooling for a half dozen or so drives and then you jump to rack mounts for 20 or more drives and nothing I do justifies that expense.  

 

Thanks in advance!

 

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You could look at the Define R6, just make sure you can buy the additional 5 caddies as it only comes with 6, but can support up to 11 spinners in the front stack.  I use one for my gaming box and I've NEVER seen a better built case...the airflow is insane and the panels are easy to remove whenever needed....don't need the thumb screws to hold them in place unless the box is being moved.  the mount is on the "Back" where the drive cables are, so you can open one side, pull the cables and then unscrew and remove the drive without even opening or really having any exposure to the other side with the MB...less chance of unintended consequences ;).

 

The two 2.5" holders on the back of the motherboard tray are nice, but IMHO...just use M.2 (via MB or via PCI-E cards).  Using 2.5s is really pointless unless you already have them (as is the case for you I believe).  For now you could use the 2 mounts on the back and get a 2x2.5 to 3.5 adapter and mount the other two in the top bay.

 

Just a thought!

Edited by Tybio

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On 12/28/2018 at 4:32 PM, Tybio said:

You could look at the Define R6, just make sure you can buy the additional 5 caddies as it only comes with 6, but can support up to 11 spinners in the front stack.  I use one for my gaming box and I've NEVER seen a better built case...the airflow is insane and the panels are easy to remove whenever needed....don't need the thumb screws to hold them in place unless the box is being moved.  the mount is on the "Back" where the drive cables are, so you can open one side, pull the cables and then unscrew and remove the drive without even opening or really having any exposure to the other side with the MB...less chance of unintended consequences ;).

 

The two 2.5" holders on the back of the motherboard tray are nice, but IMHO...just use M.2 (via MB or via PCI-E cards).  Using 2.5s is really pointless unless you already have them (as is the case for you I believe).  For now you could use the 2 mounts on the back and get a 2x2.5 to 3.5 adapter and mount the other two in the top bay.

 

Just a thought!

.. and thanks for the thought.  That case is definitely more compact that the 1200 and looks easier to get drives in and out.  It probably is a bay or two short of giving me the hot swap capacity, but its definitely a great option.  If i'd just buy one more 6 TB and consolidate a couple 3 TB's that would get my drive count down too.   

 

On the consideration board, so thanks for taking the time to put it out there.

 

Edited by TODDLT

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Still looking for any assistance on cages or other cases.  Thanks again.

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On 1/3/2019 at 5:07 PM, TODDLT said:

Still looking for any assistance on cages or other cases.  Thanks again.

I've actually been searching for relatively large capacity cases with some hot swap abilities. This is what I've narrowed my list down to for my build I plan do late this year or early 2020.

 

Fractal Design Define R5 => 2 x 5.25", 8 x 3.5", 2 x 2.5"

- Personally, this is my favorite so far. I like that you put the drives in on the opposite side you put the SATA power and data cables. Although you have to open the other side, you have less chance of knocking a power or data cable loose from another drive. Most 2 x 5.25" cages will work and I have a ICY DOCK MB153SP-B that will go perfect to give me a possible 11 x 3.5" drives.

 

Antec P9 Window => 3 x 5.25", 8 x 3.5", 2 x 2.5"

- Decent case that is a little old but pretty darn cheap if you can find them on eBay. The 3 x 5.25" cage would be perfect to get an additional 4 or 5 3.5" drives.

 

SilverStone CS380 => 2 x 5.25", 8 x 3.5", 0 x 2.5"

- Has 8 hot swap spots built directly into the case which is pretty cool. I don't like that you have to mod it to get decent cooling and there are no designated spots for 2.5" SSD's. I guess you could tape some above the hard drive cage but yeah, pretty limited.

 

Corsair 500R => 4 x 5.25", 6 x 3.5", 0 x 2.5"

- Decent room to add a 4 or 5 additional 3.5" drives with a large 3 x 5.25" cage and I could add an additional 4 x 2.5" drives with my ICY DOCK MB994SP-4SB-1 which only takes up 1 x 5.25" bay. 

 

Phanteks Enthoo Luxe => 3 x 5.25", 6 x 3.5", 2 x 2.5"

- Appears to be a decent case but I haven't researched it a whole lot

 

SilverStone Raven RV03B-W => 7 x 5.25", naturally 6 x 3.5" that take up 6 of those 7 x 5.25" bays but also 4 x 3.5" behind motherboard, 2 x 2.5"

- This is probably my second favorite case and it's probably the most different out of any of them. Lots of airflow with a tremendous amount of opportunity to add several hot swap cages but also nice that it can do 10 x 3.5" naturally without any other hardware. I'm not 100% if airflow would be okay with a 120mm fan on the side panel but it looks like it would be enough. This one isn't pretty but it's got a ton of character.

 

Hope that helps. I can only speak for ICY DOCK cages but I've really enjoyed them so far.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, ramblinreck47 said:

SilverStone CS380 => 2 x 5.25", 8 x 3.5", 0 x 2.5"

- Has 8 hot swap spots built directly into the case which is pretty cool. I don't like that you have to mod it to get decent cooling and there are no designated spots for 2.5" SSD's. I guess you could tape some above the hard drive cage but yeah, pretty limited.

I put this in one of the 5.25" bays in the CS380.  Now I have 4 hot-swap SSD/2.5" slots in addition to the 8 HDD slots.  Yeah, I did all the mods for better airflow and there are a few other small complaints I have with the case, but, it works for my needs.

 

It looks like you have several good options.

Edited by Hoopster

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Posted (edited)

How about DIY option, my previous case was Fractal Design Define S, I put 12 drive in water-cooling area by 2 plastic, so plus 3 in back, total have 15 3.5" drive. And I build all SATA powercable too.

 

I don't like cages and never use.

 

HDD mount.jpg

Edited by Benson

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I also have the Antec 1200 and was looking at the Icy Dock Fatcage 5 in 3

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817994155&cm_re=FatCage_MB155SP-B-_-17-994-155-_-Product

 

But I am waiting to see if there is any February promotion:

https://www.icydock.com/promotions.php?type=monthly

 

 

That said... I'm open to any reason to NOT do that too.  This Norco server case sure tempted me. 

Norco RPC-4224  https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811219038&Description=Norco RPC-4224&cm_re=Norco_RPC-4224-_-11-219-038-_-Product     This video review of it is from 8 years ago, but it appears the case is still available:

 

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I still use an Antec 1200 with four 3x4 Rosewill hot swap cages (Link below). They are reasonably cheap, have good air flow, and you can use any standard 120mm fans (I use Noctua).

 

With this configuration I use the 16 hot swap bays for 3.5" drives, and my 2.5" SSDs are mounted internally (which I never need to access, but if I do just remove a side panel). You could use hot swap bay for 2.5" SSD if you want/need.

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DGZ42SM/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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I'll recommend the Lian Li D600 it has 9x5.25" slots that you can fill with cages for 3.5" and 2.5" HDD as you prefer and is still in production.

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44 minutes ago, Melandir said:

I'll recommend the Lian Li D600 it has 9x5.25" slots that you can fill with cages for 3.5" and 2.5" HDD as you prefer and is still in production.

Where? Got any links?

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Posted (edited)
Where? Got any links?

I was considering the D600 a while ago.  It's discontinued and no longer available anywhere in the US, even on eBay.  You can find a used one on Amazon, but, it is a whopping $576.50 w/shipping.

 

It's a HUGE case.

 

I eventually went with the Silverstone CS380 which, in my configuration, has room for 8 HDDs, 4 SSDs and one optical drive.  Probably not a great option for OP's needs as it has less capacity than he is seeking but it met my needs and I really like the fact that all the drives are hot-swappable (although I never really do that) and easily accessible from the front of the case.

 

Edited by Hoopster

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, ramblinreck47 said:

Where? Got any links?

I'm sorry I forgot to check availability in US, on this side of the pond there are still a few left around, I plan to grab one before they go away, no manufacturer is currently producing any case with lots of 5.25 slots, I was lucky to pickup a used Lian Li PC-A77 off Ebay even if it was not in the best conditions.

I was inspired by this built and I plan to follow it for what is possible

 

 

Edited by Melandir

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I have the Norco 4224. It's a decent case. The video that you have in your post shows redundant power for the drive backplanes. That's not available any more. The case is damn heavy. The drive caddies feel a bit cheap, but they're solid enough. Make sure your CPU fan isn't taller than 92mm, or it won't fit in the case.

 

The complaints I have about the case:

1) there's no instructions with it. It's fairly straightforward, but there are 6 pins on the fan array that aren't labelled. I'm assuming they're fan header pins, but without docs, it's hard to say. 

2) the fans in the thing are loud. Consider swapping them with Noctua's. 

3) There are led's for LAN1 and LAN2, but there's no connector for LAN2 coming out of the front panel.

 

Having said that, I'm pretty happy with the case.

 

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Personally I use 3 of these. Easy to access from inside and the drives slide out. I opted not to get the Hot Swap model simply because I don't want to ever deal with a failed board and have to worry about swapping out the entire Cage again. Plus I put in some pretty decent Noctua fans and they run nearly silent.

 

https://www.amazon.com/ICY-DOCK-MB074SP-B-Backplane-INTERNAL/dp/B00LGNV27U/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=icy+dock+black+vortex&qid=1554954341&s=gateway&sr=8-1

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I went back and forth on a ton of options and originally settled on the Node 804 but that ended up not working out as I couldn't get proper cooling with my particular setup. After agonizing a lot more because I needed a case I could fit between rack rails and < 8u height lay on its side but didn't have the rack depth for a proper rackmount case. I ended up with the Define R6, I was originally going to go with the R5 with a 2x5.25 to 3x3.5 cage since I wanted to be able to hold 10 3.5" drives but the R6 nets the same number of hard drives (technically 2 more 2.5 SSDs) and still gives you a single 5.25 bay to do something (or nothing) with. The extra drive trays are available on Amazon for $15 for a two pack. If the hot swap capabilities aren't a big deal and it's within your budget I would recommend the R6 over the R5 because of the greater flexibility.

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Posted (edited)

I'm actually in a similar situation in terms of drive numbers and trying to find a replacement case. I currently have 11 data, dual parity and want to add a cache disk for a total of 14 X 3.5" disks. I'm currently using a custom modified case (old server case very heavily modified) which supports up to about 17 disks but several of them are incredibly difficult to swap out.

 

I was looking at potentially the Fractal Design Define XL, though the current revision (the XL R2) supports one less disk than the original.

 

Edit: I just jumped to another post after writing this and found someone who built one of these with 17 disks. You can buy an extra 4-bay drive cage from FD as an optional extra. This means 12x3.5" and 4x5.25" even without getting creative for those last couple disks.

 

 

Add the fact that I live in Australia, cases like the Norco 4224 or even the 4220 are super expensive to ship from the US and/or hard to find.

31503c15-02ae-463c-9513-ae220c4d44a9.jpeg

Edited by chickensoup
More information regarding case drive support

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