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 Post subject: Best case for silent NAS / backup server.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:19 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:39 am
Posts: 3
Hi everyone,


I'm new here but I've been reading SPCR for a few years now. I've built several PC's but never one with a serious focus on acoustics, so I was hoping for some advice for my latest build. I'm building a NAS / home server with as much space for HDD's as possible. Because I'm a light sleeper and the computer will be in my room, it needs to be the right size and as quiet as possible (i.e. the case can't be too big).

I've had my eye on a Nanoxia DS1 as it has a decent bult-in fan controller, it ticks a lot of boxes appearance wise, it's quiet and could house upto 18 HDD's (with an mITX mobo+SATA card, 2x extra HDD cages and 3x 5.25" to 3.5" adaptors). I know it's a bit of an extreme example but I couldn't find another case of a similar size, that had the potential of getting anywhere close to housing that many HDD's without serious modding and not all of the HDD's will be plugged in... I'll be using the case to store them. So unless I've missed it, there is no other desktop (excluding behemoth, practically a condominium, mega cases) that could house that many HDD's.

That just leaves noise. My aim is the get the case somewhere below the mid 20's (dBA's). Is there anything out there that'd be quieter than the DS1 and suit my needs (below) better?

    1. The main requirement is a minimum of noise, this trumps all else (within reason),
    2. Room for 10 or more HDD's without modifying the case, again this is essential but I'd make do with 9 HDD's if it meant a significantly quieter case,
    3. Understated, minimalist design. Think Lian Li or the Corsair 900D.


[EDIT] I'm also considering the Fractal Design XL R2. It's a bit bigger than I would have wanted but it would enable me to put a 120mm in the 5.25" bays so there's direct, uninteruppted and hopefully quieter airflow to the heatsink.


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 Post subject: Re: Best case for silent NAS / backup server.
PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:48 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:24 pm
Posts: 8
At the end of the day, a system is only as quiet as what you put into it. If you want a system with that many hard drives to be quiet, I think your first concern should be how and where the drives are mounted. Sturdy metal drive cage and soft decoupled mounts is what to look for there.

Basically, if the drive mount/sleds are bad then the entire case can vibrate audibly. I actually had that problem in an Silverstone Raven RV02-e which disappeared when I moved the rotating media to one of these:

http://www.silverstonetek.com/product.php?pid=249

3x 3.5" drives in 3x 5.25" bays isn't the most efficient way to mount drives, but the grommets on that one are very big and soft. I'd definitely recommend that part if you need some extra drive slots.

Also, storing unused HDD's inside the case IMO would be counter productive for airflow reasons. If you need some drives for intermittent use then I'd look at USB enclosures for them or consolidating on to fewer, larger drives.


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 Post subject: Re: Best case for silent NAS / backup server.
PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 3:38 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:47 am
Posts: 438
Location: Bratislava, Slovak Republic
I have a 14-drive system in Nanoxia DS1 (+1 SSD). Case itself is good, fans are relatively quiet, but the biggest noise maker will be the drives. With RED and Green drives it could be heard in a silent room or at night, but i could sleep in same room, so it wasn't bad. The only real alternative i see to DS1 is DS6 :
http://www.nanoxia-world.com/product/1/ ... Silence+6+

10+3 bays in default, and i would say you can easily add 6-8 more plus something in the four 5.25" bays.


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 Post subject: Re: Best case for silent NAS / backup server.
PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:15 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:39 am
Posts: 3
First of all, sorry for the slow reply. I thought I'd setup an automatic email notification but apparently not.

celondil wrote:
At the end of the day, a system is only as quiet as what you put into it. If you want a system with that many hard drives to be quiet, I think your first concern should be how and where the drives are mounted. Sturdy metal drive cage and soft decoupled mounts is what to look for there.

Basically, if the drive mount/sleds are bad then the entire case can vibrate audibly. I actually had that problem in an Silverstone Raven RV02-e which disappeared when I moved the rotating media to one of these:

http://www.silverstonetek.com/product.php?pid=249

3x 3.5" drives in 3x 5.25" bays isn't the most efficient way to mount drives, but the grommets on that one are very big and soft. I'd definitely recommend that part if you need some extra drive slots.

Also, storing unused HDD's inside the case IMO would be counter productive for airflow reasons. If you need some drives for intermittent use then I'd look at USB enclosures for them or consolidating on to fewer, larger drives.


I know that the DS1 stuffed full of drives may not be the ideal solution but I'm only running a Celeron G540, so cooling shouldn't be too demanding and, to be honest, the DS1 was the best solution I could find. Ideally I'd have a NAS with plenty of drive bays but that'd defeat the purpose of my build. I want to learn how to create a NAS/home server using the hardware I've already got... that and the prices of large NAS enclosures are really high to my eyes. As for buying enclosures for the various homeless drives, again I think the compromise of having drives stuffed into the DS1 outweighs the expensive of a new, quiet case with fewer 3.5" bays + the HDD enclosures for the drives that I can't fit in the case but that assumes that they aren't a major obstacle to cooling my beastly G540. Which brings me on to my next point...

faugusztin wrote:
I have a 14-drive system in Nanoxia DS1 (+1 SSD). Case itself is good, fans are relatively quiet, but the biggest noise maker will be the drives. With RED and Green drives it could be heard in a silent room or at night, but i could sleep in same room, so it wasn't bad. The only real alternative i see to DS1 is DS6 :
http://www.nanoxia-world.com/product/1/ ... Silence+6+

10+3 bays in default, and i would say you can easily add 6-8 more plus something in the four 5.25" bays.


The DS6 is just too big. I've already got one oversized tower in my room and I really don't have space for another... the DS1 is marginal as it is but there's nothing else out there (short of an exorbitantly expensive NAS enclosure) that holds the same number of drive without being huge.

It's decision time. The DS1 has been out of stock for months at my selected retailer but it'll finally be back in stock soon.


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