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Thread: Best Home Server Case?

  1. #1
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    Best Home Server Case?

    With the growing popularity of home servers on the rise, I'm rather surprised that there aren't any threads on these forums that solely address home server cases.

    First of all, I already know that virtually any case (ATX/mATX) can be used for a home server. But we're all enthusiasts and don't want to use just "anything" do we?

    Here are some things I take into account when looking for a home server case:

    Optimal cooling - I believe that this is the most important of all because of the HDDs. With a large home server (Terabytes) you have little room for failure, so keeping HDDs as cool as possible is very important for ensuring long-term life expectancy of the drives.

    Ability to house 4-5+ HDDs - When it comes to small cases, finding one with large enough drive bays can become a hassle. It would seem that a HTPC case with several drive bays would be ideal.

    Small case dimensions - You won't be needing room for a monster graphics card. Small, sleek, and sexy is all you need, providing it can still sport enough HDDs.

    So my question is, what are you using for your home file server? Please share your thoughts if you have something that might meet this criteria. I'm essentially looking for a case that provides excellent cooling, plenty of HDD bays, and comes in a small and sleek form factor. It doesn't even have to have a 5.25" drive bay.

    What I'm considering so far:

    Antec Mini P180 (mATX) - This gaming case is relatively small, provides 5 drive bays, provides outstanding cooling, and appears to be a pleasure to work with (not to mention sexy). Newegg has it for $79.99 + ship. The only way this case could appeal to me more is if it were smaller and wasn't designed to house large GPUs.

    My ideal home server case: NSK1480
    If this case supported 4+ HDDs instead of 2, and provided really good cooling, I would be all over it. Does anybody have any suggestions? There are a lot of cases on the market and I would like some advice.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    I am Xtreme tiro_uspsss's Avatar
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    Antec 300?

    dunno what the price is, but its cheap, looks good & holds 6 HDDs - comes with 1x 120mm fan & 1x 140mm fan, plus room to mount another 2x 120mm fan at the front

    edit: thread: http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...=antec+hundred
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    Xtreme Cruncher HuffPCair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiro_uspsss View Post
    Antec 300?

    dunno what the price is, but its cheap, looks good & holds 6 HDDs - comes with 1x 120mm fan & 1x 140mm fan, plus room to mount another 2x 120mm fan at the front

    edit: thread: http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...=antec+hundred
    Agreed I have seen many people using that case plus its just a good case all around too. Cheap also
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    Personally, I love the look of the Lian li Vseries, and the V1000 holds 6 hdds while being pretty small.

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    Thanks for the replies everyone. The Antec 300 looks like it would be a good candidate for a home server as it is cheap and provides good airflow through the HDD bay.

    The only reason I was willing to spend a little more on the Mini P180 is because it's a much nicer looking case and probably easier to work with.

    I did a quick search on the Lian Li V1000 and found that it is too expensive ($200+). It seems rather large as well. Thanks sharing though.

    I guess I was looking for a specific case that everyone just happened to use for their file servers and was really happy with, but it appears that there is no clear winner out there.

    This thread is still very new though, so I hope you some of you other members could contribute.

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    Some of those seem like they would be good alternatives to the Antec 300 and P180 Mini. Thanks a lot for your contribution HuffPCair.

    I narrowed down your contestants to:

    COOLER MASTER Elite RC-332-KKN1-GP
    GIGABYTE Setto 1000 GZ-AX1CBS-SNB
    Thermaltake Element T VK90001N2Z

    It's just too bad that there aren't more home server cases on the market. I want something HTPC-sized yet having enough room for at least 4 HDDs. And of course, something styled for a home server!

    More suggestions welcome!

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    Xtreme Addict Scubar's Avatar
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    Ive not got a Lian Lia B-25 also known as the blue ring. I have the revsion that holds 6HDDs. I currently have a it all watercooled with 6 HDDS

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    I always like reading about server stuff... was kind of hoping there was a real server case in the works not just a plain old desktop case.

    Why don't you look at a real server case? i know they're generally not pretty to look at, but they're functional, can house a bunch of drives...

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    Xtreme Cruncher HuffPCair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scubar View Post
    Ive not got a Lian Lia B-25 also known as the blue ring. I have the revsion that holds 6HDDs. I currently have a it all watercooled with 6 HDDS
    Thats actually a case I was looking at and while its a great looking case it is overprices I think for its size.
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    Xtreme Cruncher HuffPCair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by relish View Post
    Some of those seem like they would be good alternatives to the Antec 300 and P180 Mini. Thanks a lot for your contribution HuffPCair.

    I narrowed down your contestants to:

    COOLER MASTER Elite RC-332-KKN1-GP
    GIGABYTE Setto 1000 GZ-AX1CBS-SNB
    Thermaltake Element T VK90001N2Z

    It's just too bad that there aren't more home server cases on the market. I want something HTPC-sized yet having enough room for at least 4 HDDs. And of course, something styled for a home server!

    More suggestions welcome!
    You're welcome on that and you did picked my favorites out of those cases actually minus the Antecs. I just seem to like all the Antecs in that area for some reason.
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    Xtreme Addict Scubar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuffPCair View Post
    Thats actually a case I was looking at and while its a great looking case it is overprices I think for its size.
    It is overpriced i agree, Unfortunately it was the only case that had exactely what i wanted for my server case build as i didnt want a giant full tower case.

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    Crazy timing! Today I find on SlickDeals that newegg is selling the P180 Mini for $69.99 FS! That makes it the SAME price as the Antec Three Hundred ($59 for three hundred + $10 ship). Is this a sign or what?

    The only problem is my current server is ATX and won't fit into this case. For this reason I will probably have to settle for the Three Hundred.

    Thanks again for everyone's contributions. I'm going to wait until the Three Hundred goes on sale again. By then there will hopefully be home server cases in the market!

  14. #14
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    Antec 300 is good!


    All systems sold. Will be back after Sandy Bridge!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scubar View Post
    It is overpriced i agree, Unfortunately it was the only case that had exactely what i wanted for my server case build as i didnt want a giant full tower case.
    Its a beautiful case though. I have looked at it several times and I always check to see if it is on sale on newegg lol. I want one badly just do not want to pay the price.

    Its small but seems to have great room in it.

    If you wouldnt mind would you PM me some pictures. You dont have to I just like to see what people have done with them and it doesnt seem to many people have them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lightning98 View Post
    I always like reading about server stuff... was kind of hoping there was a real server case in the works not just a plain old desktop case.

    Why don't you look at a real server case? i know they're generally not pretty to look at, but they're functional, can house a bunch of drives...
    They're also very, very loud. Quiet for a server case would be ~45dB while normal would rank over 60dB. Most people want something much quieter in their house, something they can hide in a corner and not think about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by relish View Post
    Optimal cooling - I believe that this is the most important of all because of the HDDs. With a large home server (Terabytes) you have little room for failure, so keeping HDDs as cool as possible is very important for ensuring long-term life expectancy of the drives.
    If a drive is too cool, it's life-span also drops.

    Quote Originally Posted by http://labs.google.com/papers/disk_failures.pdf
    We first look at the correlation between average temperature during the observation period and failure. Figure 4 shows the distribution of drives with average temperature in increments of one degree and the corresponding annualized failure rates. The figure shows that failures do not increase when the average temperature increases. In fact, there is a clear trend showing that lower temperatures are associated with higher failure rates. Only at very high temperatures is there a slight reversal of this trend.
    If I'm understanding the chart correctly, it's saying keep your drives at 30C or higher.

  18. #18
    Nerdy Powerlifter [XC] Synthetickiller's Avatar
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    Temps for HDDs are not really relevent (unless you're using raptors) since these drives are not made to run super cool, if at all "cool" if you know what I mean.

    What about an Antec NSK3480?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811129035

    You can buy a lian li or thermaltake 5.25" drive bay insert that'll hold 3.5" x3 HDDs where your two optical drives would go. You'd also have 1 HDD where the floppy would go and another slot for internal, making the case hold 5 HDDs.

    Its a tiny case and with an 80mm fan blowing cool air over the 3 drives and a 120mm exhaust, I don't see any issues, plus you get a 380w psu for $100.

    Unless the p180 mini is built better than the p180, I'd stay away from it. Mine is falling apart unfortunately.

    If you need more, I think the antec 300 w/ the same set up (1 optical drive and an insert to hold HDDs) would bring the capacity up to 9 HDDs total. You can throw 4 120mm fans as well as the included 140mm fan on low and it'll move so much air, you'll have issues keeping the case even warm.

    Then nsk3480 is smaller than the 300 by a fair bit. It depends on where you're putting it, etc.

    Personally, if you're looking to build a massive server (storage wise), you will want something that'll hold a heck of a lot of hdds.

    How much storage do you need? 6x1TB Drives will run you minimally $450, plus a raid card if you're going that route. Point is, I wouldn't go super cheap on a case and I'd allow for expandability in case you need 12TB or something and don't want two servers running concurrently.

    If you're intent on staying small (I can't blame you honestly), anthing bigger than than an mATX case is too big IMO, including the "
    mini" p180. Its nearly the size of a p180 itself.
    Last edited by [XC] Synthetickiller; 08-28-2009 at 06:24 AM.
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    Xtreme Cruncher HuffPCair's Avatar
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    As long as you have fans blowing air across them you seriously will be fine. Synthetickiller said only ones you ahve to worry about are the raptors and im sure you are not using those.
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    Xtreme Enthusiast sniperbob's Avatar
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    Best Home Server Case= Large Cardboard box+Large boxfan (can't argue with the price...)

    Seriously though, I am sure any of the CM mid-tower cases would perform valiantly. Through their refurb store you can get some for DIRT cheap too

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