I'm seriously considering the Solo II. Only problem is: It's got 2 (two!) HD trays.. Bummer. I mean, removing parts of the old HD-cage to make room for a large GPU was cool, but what about adding trays in the bottom for 2 more? Has anyone added two more themselves while using a long (10" / 25 centimter) modern graphics card? Is there room while maintaining airflow? It's a good thing that they've changed the fans, but they put the switces on the rear, they should be in front. But I imagine I would cut the wires and control them from my ASUS motherboard, it can control 4 fans, each one with individual settings. I wish they made this case 10-15% bigger with two more trays, it would be a great case for a typical computer with a good graphics card.
I think the Solo II is a great case, the only downside it does have its cable management, there is bearly any room in the back for proper so you gotta get creative with it, and get a modular PSU so you minimize as much as you can having to hide unwated cables.
The solo II biggest strenght imo is its comes with suspension for the hdds, it can hold 2 suspended or 3 with the rails. Personally i think its enough with 2, the more mechnical drives you have the more risk of noise. Thats said there are ton of people that have supended a lot of hdds, so its possible, there is a lot of space between the bottom cage and the floor of the case. But my suggestion goes oposite, in terms of going the least mechanical hdds as you can, maybe new bigger storage drives could help, Seagate Desktop HDD 4 TB SATA 6Gb/s NCQ 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive ST4000DM000
is what im planning to use to upgrade my server, no reviews from spcr yet, but their 3tb had very good comments and was 7200rpm, this is 5900rpm, some users have decent commments about it, but will see in time. If you were to need more than 8tb.... then i would probably build file server away from you or where your pc will be, with gigabit lan it will be very fast to transfer files etc, this could be really good as you could also use it as streaming station for multiple setup, etc, even backups, etc, for me a server is a must, but to each to its own.
You could also try to suspend on the 5.25, or use a 5.25 hdd silencer like the Scythe QuietDrive.
I'm also considering the p183 v3, and simply ignoring the top blower. Do owners of the v3 cover the top vent, if so, how? Will it be enough to cover it in foil, or have you cut out material to cover it up? If so, did it make any difference, - and is it even needed, in your opinion? Also, I imagine I'd want to replace the Tri-Cools, unless I can keep them low enough in RPMs to stay more or less silent. Since I'm not going to overclock or run SLI, I imagine my load temps will be relatively modest. I wish it came with elastic mounts like in the Solo, I never hear HD seeks from my Solo I. Do you hear seeks in the P183?
This is very hard to say for sure, it will depend on the hdds and the setup itself, but i would think without suspending it will be louder.
Or something else yet, in your experience/opinion? All tips are welcome
If you dont think the server + solo II is viable for you, then there are other options out there that will hold multiple hdds, you have
It will hold 6 mechanical +ssd slot, none are suspended but i bet you can do it. The top is open so you will need to close it with some foam.
It will hold 6 mechanical hdds, has a lot of filters and the holes are covered.
Fractal Design R4
This would be imo the best if you don't go with the solo ii. By you comment i think you were referring about the odor the bitumen had, i think this was addressed by Fractal already, not sure if its odorless, but i don't find those comments anymore. What i like about this case are many things, first you can place your ssd in the back, and you still have 8 3.5 hdd slots, you can even remove them for better airflow, keep the bottom for 3 hdd setup or both if you need more. It can fit very tall heatsinks, and it uses 140mm fans, has its own fan controller with 3 settings and the fans will run fine at 5v... this is useful in case your Asus mobo have restrictions (for example my Gene IV cant lower the fans below 60% on case fan 4pins, this is an old mobo, so maybe the newers can do better, but its nice to have a fail back in case in do happen).
Some final comments,
Grab a good cpu cooler like Thermalright HR-02 Macho
even if you are not overclocking, and drop the fan as much as you can. Get an SSD, Samsung 840pro or Crucial M500 are good options. For the solo II i would get some fans, i personally didnt like too much the Antecs, but test them first and see what works better for you, specially with the Asus mobo and FranXpert2 (btw crosscheck the mobo you getting do have the 2 and not the 1).
For 120mm fansNoiseblocker NB-Multiframe M12-S1 120mmx25mm Ultra Silent Fan - 750 RPM - below 6 dBA
is my favorite, been reviewed lately by SPCR with very good coments, Fan Roundup #6: Scythe, Noiseblocker, Antec, Nexus, Thermalright
. It will play very nice with the Solo as its very hard to mount the bottom fan with rubber grummets, and the style of rubber corners will make it much easier to do it.
Other fans to look into 120mm, Noctua NF-S12A ULN
another that its getting good attention, the rpm range makes it really a nice option, but the color kills it for me, even though its insde.
Or the gold old reference fan, Nexus BASIC D12SL-12 120mm
, that been a long time favorite among users here, personally i think the fans above are much better though, but this is still a good fan none the less.