Rated 4.1 out of 5 by 7
Rated 3 out of 5 by cojms1 Idea is good but there are pitfalls...
So I bought this case to replace the Fractal Design Node 304 case that I had. I needed more room for storage and was already almost maxing out the Node 304.
This one seemed to fit the bill. I fitted the motherboard (ASRock Rack C2750D4I) and PSU (Silverstone 450W SST-ST45SF-G). Then proceeded to fit the 4 x 2.5" drives into the rear caddy. It was at this point that I realised that as nice and compact as that caddy was it didn't leave a lot of room for putting power cables into the drives (certainly using those supplied with the PSU). So, I duly bought a SATA power splitter in the hopes that it's cables would be more flexible. They were and the power cables all fitted. Time to put the SATA cables in now, both for the backplane on the main caddy (which has WD Red drives in) and the rear caddy. Another problem came to light now... As a previous review mentioned things became a little tight. So tight in fact that the top SATA port became damaged (I'll come onto this later). So, ignoring the advice about using straight cables, I switched the rear caddy to using right angled cables whilst leaving the main caddy on straight ones. Now, as long as I angled the main caddy correctly I could manoeuvre it in to place and get it working.
So I left this for a few days and decided that I really did need the top SATA port working. Contacting Silvestone directly, I was informed that I could purchase a replacement backplane. Well, this worked out cheaper than replacing the case and considering that it was my fault it seemed like the best option. I waited for the replacement to come from Germany (and it did in good time). Went to replace and found that the new one I'd been sent was an earlier revision of the board than the one I had. Undeterred, I proceeded to make the switch. Even with the knowledge I had before I found that the top SATA port still seemed to flex more than any of the others - seems like a design flaw to me.
The case was still noisy (the stock fans spinning constantly at 1200 RPM was meaning that I was getting grief from the other half). So, I decided to switch out the fans and replace with 3 x Akasa AK-FN058. This seemed to do the job. The PWM is meaning that I know have them spinning at 800 RPM which is much easier on the ears (both from grief and the noise).
I still thought more needed to be done to improve the cable management and airflow. The SATA cables were causing a fair amount of mess and blockage in there. So, I hoped that Silverstone SST-CP11B-300 would help. Bought these, and they're really neat. Cable management seems much easier now. There is one slight issue though; the penultimate SATA port has two capacitors in the way so these cables won't fit in that port. Had to switch back to a standard straight SATA cable for that one.
So, aside from the change of fans, the tightness problem and the issue with damaging the top SATA port, all is going well. I like the idea of the case. Build quality of the case itself is good, backplane aside.
27 February 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by Andy3252 Nice case for my NAS/Media Server
Great little case that can fit my 8 Hot Swap HDD's as well as 4 SSD's. Only gripe is that it would have been a little easier to fit out if the case was just another inch deeper as fitting the sata cables and everything was tight on the back plane of the caddy holder. I had to also dremel a small nick into the plastic video card facility for the 3rd HDD bay to fit my 8 sata port PCIe card. Only a 2mm slot but like I say above, if the case was 1/2-1inch deeper I wouldn't have had to do that, and the sata card is pretty standard size, not like a long video card.
29 June 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by JBExeter Vastly under-rated NAS box
Get either a mini ITX mobo with 6 x Sata, or a mini ITX with 2 x PCIe slots, add one or two highpoint 640 4 x sata cards, a bunch of thin 50 cm sata cables, a copy of windows 8 and run stablebit drivepool and drivescanner.
You can put 8 x 6TB WD Reds in the front 8 bays, and a couple of SSD's (RAID1) in the internal rear slots, you'll get up to 48 TB of online storage.
I built one of these with a lowly socket 1150 celeron in an Asus H81I, and I get sustained write speeds over the network in excess of 95 MB/sec.
The backplane to the 8 front bays has both sata and sas connectors, and two old style 4 pin molex 12-0-0-5 volt connectors to power the drives.
If your mobo only has one chassis fan header get a couple of 2-1 fan cables and run all 3 case fans off the single chassis header.
You can use all 8 front bays with small PCIe cards like the highpoint 640 L
This is one of the best DIY NAS cases I have ever seen, at any price, at this price, it is an absolute must buy.
22 May 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by SteveNG24 A solid, compact box almost perfect for NAS.
This lovely case provides home for up to 8 3.5" and 4 2.5" drives - perfect for a small NAS build.
I've populated mine with the AsRock Rack C2750D4I which will soon have 32GB of ECC unbuffered DIMMS (4x 8GB) and eventually 8 6TB WD Reds in RAID-Z2 (two disk redundancy).
As was to be expected, the mainboard installation and fan cable management was relatively straight-forward if slightly fiddly due to the small size of the box.
I removed the front I/O completely as the mainboard does not have USB 3.0 or audio support - it would have been nice to have had a bare plastic I/O plug to fill the holes left but, as they are hidden behind the aluminium door they can't be seen anyway - minor niggle.
The drive cage which holds the SATA/SAS backplane unfortunately has full sized capacitors that protrude into the case - it's a shame that solid state caps weren't used as they would be less easy to damage/break. Again, a minor niggle.
Airflow seems to be OK so far (albeit with only two WD Reds installed) but the two intake fans and single exhaust fan (above the SFX PSU) are quite noisy - I may well replace them before long with some quieter ones.
Overall I'm very happy with the case. I appreciate it's kind of a niche market as you could quite easily use a standard PC case to build a NAS but there aren't many of this size with up to 12 drive capacity.
23 April 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by Snapshot Good high capacity NAS/home server case
I'd have bought one of these years ago if it had been in the ITX cases section. I only found it in NAS Accessories by accident.
It's a Silverstone case so don't expect the easiest of builds but everything fits properly and feels like it should last.
The manual doesn't show the two screws securing the drive cage to the bottom of the case but you'll soon find them when the cage won't come out....
Don't ignore the suggestion to attach the cables to the mobo and any controller card before replacing the drive cage as finger space is very limited with the cage in place.
Don't use the bottom slot in the 2.5" cage if possible as the connectors will clash with one of the molex connectors on the backplane.
Consider your PSU carefully as there's not much space for unused cables. I went for the fully modular 450W Silverstone Strider but it's really overkill and the 300W Strider would probably be all that's needed. The SFX Striders have short cables so work well with ITX cases.
I've got an i3 4130T and a Highpoint RR2720SGL controller driving 8 WD 3GB Red HDDs. It's remarkably quiet considering there are five fans and eight HDDs. I might actually be happy with my home server for a while......
22 December 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by Rupert Great NAS case - a little noisy
This is a great NAS/server case with lots of flexibility and expandability. The build quality is good and is looks nice too. The supplied fans aren't the quietest in the world, but they do a good job of keeping everything really cool. I've got a full compliment of 3.5" HDDs in and they're stable at under 40degC even when being pushed hard.
01 October 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by TurboTech Well thought out case
This is a fantastic little case, about the same size as a subwoofer of a home cinema sound system, it really is tiny, yet packs in so much storage room.
Since I used one of the new ASRock C2750D4i boards with integrated atom CPU (pretty much made for this case!), I removed the front USB and audio headers since they would be unused and space is at a huge premium in this case for cables and airflow.
I replaced the stock fans since they are far from quiet. Decent fans, but I was going for a completely silent build, and have some Antec TrueQuiet Pro 120mm fans on instead. Even having them on their low setting (600RPM i think), totally silent, this case still remains nice and cool. Very well thought out design and quality fine cloth filters over intakes means very little dust in the case.
The panels are nice and thick and solid, with only one removable being a very tight fit, so no rattling from nearby bass (something the case this replaced did a lot!).
The HDD bays feel a little less tight fitting, and some rubber insulating the drive from the caddy would have been a nice addition to eliminate any drive vibration transmitting to the case. However, if you use some WD Red HDDs like I am, they're slow spinning, low vibe drives and this is still silent even with 8 in whiring away.
Front door is lockable, though it's not at all secure, it's just a hexagonal peg on a keyring, and could be opened with anything to fill the hexagonal hole, so a flat screwdriver. It's still useful for keeping the door shut when moving the case, since there's no magnets or clips for that, just friction. Also on the door, the branding is optional and comes in the bag of bits, so if you want a minimal case (as I do), you can leave it off so you just have a depressed area in the middle of the door around the power button. That button is lockable, so no errant foot or mindless button pressing will switch off your box (though I just didn't connect it internally since the motherboard supports remote power control).
Overall, this is an asbolutely brilliant case, and I am glad I didn't go with my original big mainframe style tower case. You won't find a smaller case that can fit in 8 HDDs and 4 SSDs, and supports a mini-itx motherboard.
15 July 2014