SilverStone DS380 8-Bay Server/NAS Chassis

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Assembly of the DS380 is fairly straightforward but the spacing inside is incredibly tight — exercising some forethought is highly recommended. In particular, plug in all the connectors that will be positioned at the bottom and rear of the case before mounting the motherboard itself, as it will be very difficult to access them later on. In our case, pre-connecting the 4-pin AUX12V plug and all the SATA cables saved us a lot of trouble.

According to SilverStone, the CPU cooler height limit is 57 mm but the 58 mm tall Scythe Big Shuriken 2 fit just under the drive cage, with the plastic portion touch the rim of the fan.

For our testing we used a slim tower, the Prolimatech Panther. Though not officially supported, it can be installed if the fan is removed or placed on the exhaust side. Keep in mind this isn't ideal for our test motherboard as the CPU socket is close to the PCI-E slot and a SATA controller card is required to take advantage of all eight drive bays.

Cable management is essentially nonexistent in the DS380. There isn't much room to hide wiring and SilverStone provides just a single plastic hook with adhesive. We found the area around the fans to be a suitable choice for keeping some of the front panel cables out of the way.

The drive caddies are surprisingly thick compared to most cases with hot-swap bays. That being said, they are somewhat loose once installed.

Putting the drive cage back on magnifies how little space is available. Though not visible, the power supply used was a SilverStone ST30SF. It's only a 300W 80 Plus Bronze unit but the fan only spins up on heavy load, and in fact stayed off throughout our testing.

Our CPU cooler of choice is the Noctua NH-U12P, but it turned out to be too deep. The Panther is just 50 mm thick and barely fit in the available space..

As long as it doesn't interfere with the drive cage, a taller heatsink can be employed. There was 27 mm available above the Panther, making the total clearance approximately 187 mm.

The tiny power LED is of the blinding blue variety while the hard drive activity LED is a more demure red.

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