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What do you guys look for in a WHS case?


jvk
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So I am planning my next WHS build in anticipation of the next version of Home Server being released, although I'm not holding my breath... Anyways, I am struggling with what case I should use. Basically I have 2 requirements, it needs to look good and it needs to be quiet. I would also like it to have room for atleast 4 3.5" drives and probably two expansion slots in case I decide to hang a tuner card or two inside it. So far I have been looking at the Silverstone Fortress FT02, but the case is HUGE. What cases do you guys suggest? My current case is a chenbro, it looks great but it sounds like a small vacuum cleaner and as such, my girlfriend has banished it to the closet.
whs13.JPG

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  • ebkayes

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Lets see...

a motherboard, processor, memory, lots of storage drives, etc.

Sorry, I couldn't resist. To be honest, I am not to picky though. After building my last server, if I could change one thing it would be the drive orientation. My drives run perpendicular to the case. Thus, it is difficult to add/remove drives without opening both sides of the case. That annoys me. Especially given it isn't a Dell case that just pops open. I will probably never build another computer/server myself. I will just buy a Dell because I love their systems.

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My WHS is housed in an Antec P182. This case is very quiet and has plenty of room and may be the best case I have ever owned. There is room for 6 drives internal to the case, Plus I just added a Icy dock 4 bay hot swap to the case.

Now don

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Well like most, quiet, minimum 4 HDD, balance of processing power (transcoding on the fly) and low power. Low power because amp drawn equals heat.
As John says ..."we have a ton of power up here in Canada" john has Quebec power I have BC power.
Anyway I am different then most enthusiast in that I want to set it up and forget about it. I want it set up out of the way in a closet or cabinet somewhere so small is also a consideration.

So here is my suggestion, my two cents, for whats its worth.....
http://www.mini-itx.com/store/?c=64
atom-c2-rack-bundle-montage.jpg

Ted

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I use a lian-li A70 (see link below for pictures) and I love it. It is HUGE but who cares its a server and hidden. It has 6 120 mm fans to keep things cool and is very very quiet. Despite the number of fans, you cannot hear it if you are 2 feet away. The best part is that it holds 10 internal drives and using 5.25 to 3.5 adaptors you can add 6 more internally for a total 16 drives.

http://www.win7king.com/2.html

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Thanks for the ideas everyone, I really appreciate it.

@ebkayes - My buddy has the antec p182 case and loves it. I was actually looking at the Antec Mini p180 case in white... looks pretty slick!

@tbowland - I was actually thinking of setting up a rack at home, I thought that instead of a traditional rack, I could fabricate one out of wood so it looks like a piece of fine furniture... maybe a couple of builds down the road I'll tackle that project. I really like that 1U server though, thanks! By the way, maybe I'll look into running a long extension cord down to San Diego since you guys have a lot of electricity up North :)

@pcdoc - that is a pretty gnarly server and thanks for the video. Its a 12 TB monster! I think what ever I go with will need to have 120mm fans or bigger since everyone I talk to says that the bigger the fan is, the quitier it is since they generally opperate at a much lower RPM. You say that the fans keep the server very cool, but do they heat up the room :) Also, with a system that big, do you have a battery back up system?

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The server does not produce very much heat in the room (nothing I can measure anyway) which is not a claim I can make about my core I7 system. 9 of the 10 drives are WD greens which run very cool. The room its in is a good size so heat is not really an issue even though I live in socal. As for battery backup, I run a cyber power 900 VA on this unit which keeps it powered for more than 20 min. Despite the physical size and storage capicity, the system draws around 135 watts under drive balancing and less under normal operations. I am going to rebuild it soon and use a Core I3 and a more efficient power supply which based on my results with my HTPC should reduce about 30-40 watts of power. What you heard about the fan size is true. The fans I have in there spin around 700 rpm and move enough air to more than get the job done. The case is expensive but it will be with you for a long time. Lian li also make a cool adapter to add more storage using the 5.25 inch bays. It is probably the last case you will buy for a server or high end desktop.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductReview.aspx?Item=N82E16817988007

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Well, the question was what features you look for in a case. So, low power really isn't within the scope.

For me, the 2 top of the list things was adequate cooling and space for alot of drives. Cooling because that is directly related to reliability. Space for drives because well... ... duh.

Obviously, quiet is always a goal but not something I was willing to sacrifice for cooling. So, if you can find one that is quiet when it can be an really cool the snot out of your gear when it needs to, that would be a good mix if you can find it. Personally, I got a case with large, low RPM fans since that is quieter while still providing alot of cooling.

Price was somewhat of a concern and I was very very happy with what I got for the money. I was also really liked the hard drive slots being side mounted and easy-in/easy-out.

From Newegg on sale I paid about $60 delivered.
COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

My 2 cents,
Jaz

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As I stated earlier the Antec P182 case is the best server case that I have ever owned. The Antac case has 3, 120 mm fans and sits under my desk. With the fans on low or medium speed the case is silent. If I was to pick a case for an ATX mother board I would definitely pick this case again.

My problem with most rack mount cases is that they do not contain very much sound proofing and tend to be noisy. I am always amazed at the low rumble of sound when I walk into the main server room at work. There are over four hundred servers in each of the data centers. I don

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