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Looking for a good case


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I'm looking to build a new WHS box to replace my power-hungry old P4. The top contender right now is the new Atom 510 dual core platform. I'm also considering a Core i3 based system as well.

What cases are out there that people recommend? Ideally I'd like room to put three or four internal 3.5" drives in there. That seems to rule out a lot of the mini-ITX cases I've seen. What are my options?

If I go with an i3 system, any suggestions there?

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Top Posters In This Topic

  • diehard


  • Citezein


  • Octavean


  • pcdoc


Guest no-control

I'm not sure when the 510 atom will be availiable, or what you gain over a 330. WHS wont really stress an atom unless your name is diehard.

I'm assuming you want something small like a MSS?

For a mini-ITX w/ hotswap the Chenbro ES34069 is pretty hard to beat.

For a mATX form factor you can just what size case you find appropriate I like this Lian-Li for its small size and versitility. Wouldn't be hard to stuff it with with 7 or 8 drives using either a hotswap backplane or a drive caddy

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My two cents. I would not use the atom for a WHS as I belive there is not enough processing power there especially if you add a couple of add ins. Go with a core i3 or a low power core 2. Your power supply selection is far more critical in reducing power consumption then you will gain from the difference in an Atom vs a low TDP core duo. Also, since you need to plan for expansion, you might consider something with at least 5 drive bays. I have built three servers using this case below and they are awesome. The case is very silent, has three 120mm fans for great air flow, 5x3.5 inch bays and 3x 5.25 inch bay for future expansion. It is a little bigger than the ones listed by no-control which are all nice cases but I chose it for air flow and the abilty to hold a full size motherboard as I wanted a board with 8 sata ports. Good luck and let us know what you selected.


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The Atom 510 is available now, with the motherboard. I like its power-savings and cost ($75), and it performs reasonably well -- better than my current P4 in fact. Unfortunately, the only MB out right now has 2 SATA ports. Also, I don't want to save money on it and then pay $175 for the Chenbro case -- I might as well get an EX 495.

The i3 530 looks appealing as well. I'm not sure what boards are available, nor what the total power requirements of such a system would be. And I'd really like a small case. Basically, I want an EX 495, without paying the $$ for it. I already have WHS and a couple of 1.5 TB drives.

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Quite a delima. From your description, go with the HP as I think the form factor, sound level and power will be in line with what you are looking for. YOu can still use your drives and hang on to your copy of WHS till your are ready for your super server...

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Guest no-control

Well TBH you didn't specify a price range. And an Atom 330 is fine for file serving and some light transcoding. So I'm not in total agreement with pcdoc on this one, but if I were building it I wouldn't use an atom either. ;) Without a budget and some info about what you want to do with it, its pretty hard to recommend hardware for ya.

An i3 with just mobo,cpu,ram is going to be $300 min. Add in a decent mATX case, PSU, & system drive with shipping and any tax...$500+ is easy. Thats new MSS territory.

>>> " Basically, I want an EX 495, without paying the $$ for it "
I think your correct solution then would be to look for a used/refurb EX 47x or 48x. I've seen'em go from $250-$300. Usually already upgraded to 2gb of memory.

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The Atom 510 is available now see Intel Atom - D510MO (Olive Mount). The main difference between the 330 and 510 is power used by the board. The 510 is much more efficient and uses less electricity. As for its throughput, it's slightly better than the old 330. So uses less electricity and provides a bit more power (not much, but a bit) and has better graphics. see this article

I have a 330 in my WHS and for a WHS solution, it's great. Remember WHS is a server, it does not compile, or do any heavy work and when it does the 330 or D510 are capable. But since most of us are all geeks...then we all want to use i7's.

As for cases, have a look at these SilverStone Technology cases. They have a bunch of nice cases.

The Atom 510 has 2 cores and 4 threads offering faster computing power and drawing less power 13 max TDP.

Atom D510 Specs:

Status Launched
Launch Date Q1?10
Processor Number D510
# of Cores 2
# of Threads 4
Processor Base Frequency 1.66 GHz
L2 Cache 1 MB
Instruction Set 64-bit
Instruction Set Extensions SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3
Embedded Yes
Supplemental SKU No
Processing Die Lithography 45 nm
Max TDP 13 W
VID Voltage Range 0.800V-1.175V

Graphics Specifications
Integrated Graphics Yes
Package Specifications

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The chip sounds great however the board is limited to 2 sata ports which is a bit limiting for a WHS (in my opinion anyway).

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