The main advantages of a mid-tower case over a SFF case for a file server are...
- Potentially mount a larger number of hard drives for greater storage capacity. The SFF file server we detailed has room for six HDDs, giving us 12 TB with 2 TB WD GP drives... but now that WD has released a 3TB version, the maximum potential capacity of that system just jumped to 18 TB. Presumably, you'll want to have at least 8-9 HDD capacity if you're going for a bigger case for a maximum potential capacity of >24 TB with 3 TB drives. We don't know how people fill such storage space... but they seem to.
- Have the system be just as quiet (as our 20 dBA SFF 6-HDD file server) by mechanically decoupling the HDDs. This is the goal, anyway. We'll see if it can be achieved.
- Possibly run a serious gaming rig with a high power video card, given the extra space and airflow potential of a bigger case. While still being ultra-quiet, of course.
So... the first order of the day was to get our hands on an appropriate case. A few, mostly by Antec and Silverstone, have come through the lab; alas, they are no longer with us. A spate of emails to potential sample providers resulted in the prompt receipt of a NZXT Tempest EVO, which we had identified from web photos to be suitable. It was the first suitable case sample to arrive, so we jumped in.
As you can see from the above series of photos, the NZXT Tempest Evo proved to be a perfectly suitable canditate. The sheet metal was a reasonably sturdy 0.8 mm thickness, and the only place where it seemed a bit flimsy was on the side panels. All the edges were rolled, and amazingly, not a single cut or drop of blood was exacted by the case in the course of this project and there was ample opportunity!
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