Quiet / Silent server case for at least 9 HDD's.

Enclosures and acoustic damping to help quiet them.

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andyb
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Quiet / Silent server case for at least 9 HDD's.

Post by andyb » Tue Nov 24, 2015 12:19 pm

I have not logged onto SPCR for some time, but when I need help this is the place to be.

I am in the process of upgrading my home server and decided to set out to modify my Antec 1200 by putting sdrive suspension into the case for each of the 12x 5.25" bays. My plan went through various iterations in my head before I settled on a plan that seemed to be foolproof, I was wrong and I now need some help, advice, suggestions, input and Valium.

Ignoring my existing Antec 1200 case for a minute, here is what I want in a case.

1 x 5.25" drive at the most, no other external drives.
12x or more 3.5" drives that are not screwed directly into the chassis, ideally attached to a plastic sled via rubber (silicone) grommets.
For the case to accept standard sized motherboards, ideally not larger than ATX.
For all of the HDD's to be directly air-cooled via the front, preferably using 120mm fans that are able to be attached via rubber (silicone) grommets.
Ideally the case would have sound dampened panels, but this is a minor issue as this can easily be fixed if there is a vibration.
A case that isn't stupidly over-sized for its needs.

Now back to my planned upgrade.

The CPU, RAM and motherboard have been fitted and the system installed on a spare SSD, everything configured correctly, all I need to do now is to fit the HDD's and backup all of my data, and that is where everything has gone wrong.

My plan was to remove the three drive cages (each holds 3 HDD's), suspend each drive individually and then suspend 4x 120mm fans and then replace the front (open hex) drive covers.

I had already placed small strips of electrical tape into the drive cutouts so nothing (my fingers included) don't get damaged, cut up lengths of 550 para-cord (I don't believe in overkill) melted the ends, and then placed two horizontally across each drive bay. The drives each have 4x thumbscrews on the sides, they sit on the para-cord and have small zip-ties that hold the thumbscrews to the para-cord. Finally the para-cord is pulled taught via a heavy duty zip-tie on one side of the case.

I gave this a test run in the middle of the 12 drive bays, it worked perfectly, the drives are suspended, and without a very large amount of force will not be going anywhere. So I started at the bottom and soon discovered that I was only able to suspend drives in 11 of the 12 bays as the drive touched the front edge of the case. No-matter I thought, that will still give me 2x spare drive bays, so I continued working my way up. Once I had two drives in places and looking great I thought it was time to see hoe I could suspend the fans, this is when everything went south :(

It seems that due to the design of the case that I cannot suspend both the HDD's AND even mount the fans without being proud of the front of the case, and even then there is no obvious way to mount, let alone to suspend the fans. To say that I am gutted in an understatement.

The upshot is that I am now looking at a whole new case, or for someone to come up with an ingenious way for me to suspend the HDD's AND either soft-mount the fans or suspend them.

I had already had a look for a case that fitted my ideal conditions, or third party solutions. The third party solutions actually end up costing as much as, or even more than a whole new case that will fulfill my needs (with excess clutter and size, but as my Antec 1200 is massive, I can live with another massive case).

Here are a few of the cases I have been looking at.

Antec 1900 (not that I am in any mood to want to give Antec more money considering the massive design flaws of the 1200) ticks all of the important boxes, especially the direct HDD cooling and support for 12x soft-mounted HDD's, no modification needed. However there are some problems, mostly due to the vast size. Will the power cables even be able to reach each of the HDD's.? I will not be buying another PSU.

Nanoxia Deep Silence 5 (first version), supports 11x HDD's, but its not quite there, perhaps there is a larger version that has proper drive cooling for all of the HDD's.

Nanoxia Deep Silence 6 (first version), Supports 13x HDD's, I am uncertain about the cooling for three of the drives, its rather expensive, and otherwise doesn't tick quite as many boxes as the Antec 1900.

There are a few other cases that have caught my attention, but turn out to be crazy expensive and very sub-par (gigantic Lian-Li cube case with space for 20x 5.25" bays), or the numerous "cube" cases that are now on the market, all of which have very few drive bays for their size and look like someone only got half way through the design before being manufactured (loads of wasted space).

---

For the moment I am simply going to put my Antec 1200 back together, backup my data and see what responses I get from my fellow SPCR members, all of that is for tomorrow, now its time to drink beer, sulk and play some violent computer games. Pictures will be added soon, that illustrate what I was doing.

Regards Andy
Last edited by andyb on Tue Nov 24, 2015 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Main PC, P180, CM Silent Pro 500M, i5 3570k @ 4.2Ghz, 8-GB @ 2,400MHz, 512GB 850 EVO, 500 Extreme II, 2x 2.5" drives, MSI 660Ti Twin Frozr.
Server, under reconstruction, 380W Enermax Pro82+, positive pressure only.

CA_Steve
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Re: Quiet / Silent server case for 9+ HDD's.

Post by CA_Steve » Tue Nov 24, 2015 1:03 pm

Hi Andy, long time. I don't have a case suggestion for you but I wanted to say you are a finalist for the data hording award :)
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, Asrock Z97 Anniversary, MSI GTX 1660 Gaming X, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung 860 Evo 500GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic SSR-550FX. 35W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

quest_for_silence
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Re: Quiet / Silent server case for 9+ HDD's.

Post by quest_for_silence » Tue Nov 24, 2015 1:13 pm

What about screwing inside your current Antec a bunch of NoiseMagic NoVibes HDD cages?
Regards,
Luca

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andyb
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Re: Quiet / Silent server case for 9+ HDD's.

Post by andyb » Tue Nov 24, 2015 1:18 pm

Hi Steve, nice to see that your still here at SPCR :) Hoarding data is compulsive, as is silent computing..... sadly I am afflicted by both.

Andy
Main PC, P180, CM Silent Pro 500M, i5 3570k @ 4.2Ghz, 8-GB @ 2,400MHz, 512GB 850 EVO, 500 Extreme II, 2x 2.5" drives, MSI 660Ti Twin Frozr.
Server, under reconstruction, 380W Enermax Pro82+, positive pressure only.

Abula
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Re: Quiet / Silent server case for 9+ HDD's.

Post by Abula » Tue Nov 24, 2015 1:38 pm

Honestly, after building on ServeMIv1 (Antec 1200) and now upgraded to ServeMiv2 (Lian LI pc-d8000 "Cube").... my recommendation is skip both and go into a server case like Norco 4220/4224, and and place it where you cant hear it, over the long run is cheaper and easier to manage.
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xan_user
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Re: Quiet / Silent server case for 9+ HDD's.

Post by xan_user » Tue Nov 24, 2015 3:52 pm

Abula wrote:my recommendation is skip both and go into a server case like Norco 4220/4224, and and place it where you cant hear it, over the long run is cheaper and easier to manage.
+1
finding a unicorn, taking a magic carpet ride to the cub's world series parade, might be a more realistic goal, than a silent case for 9 hdd's. :mrgreen:
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systemlayers
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Re: Quiet / Silent server case for at least 9 HDD's.

Post by systemlayers » Tue Nov 24, 2015 10:02 pm

Norcos are great however be prepaid to buy a 120mm fan bracket. The fans they come with are as loud as they come, completely unbearable. I was cheap and just ghetto strapped my fans in. But it really is the easiest route to go and you can get it reasonably quiet after replacing the fans.

Cistron
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Re: Quiet / Silent server case for at least 9 HDD's.

Post by Cistron » Tue Nov 24, 2015 11:38 pm

Hi Andy,

Have you thought about bolting two smaller cases together? Then you could build two stacks of 6xHDs with the fans sandwiched between.

andyb
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Re: Quiet / Silent server case for at least 9 HDD's.

Post by andyb » Thu Dec 10, 2015 7:33 am

Having thought about the Nanoxia Deep Silence 1 (one) Rev B for a while and nearly buying one (from Germany as they are unavailable in the UK at the moment), I decided to go the extra mile and buy the Deep Silence 5 Rev B (from Germany) as although it is larger, heavier and more expensive it is also more flexible because it is larger.

I have also recently discovered that Nanoxia have just started selling the 2x and 3x HDD cages which also swung things in favour of the Deep Silence 5 Rev B as I could expand the number of drive bays further (if 11 isn't enough.....) without bumping into problems with cabling from the motherboard.

As it is, my requirements have actually increased as I have just bitten the bullet and bought another WD Red 6TB HDD giving me 4 in total, plus 6 2TB Samsung drives and the SSD which of course doesn't need a drive bay at all as they are quite happy to hang from the power cable, although as my new case comes with the availability to install 11 drives right away I will be very happy when it arrives next week, and will fill it up immediately.

I will also add a mini review (in a separate post) with my findings on the case build quality, assembly, how it sounds, vibration, cooling etc.

The case FYI cost me £100 including international shipping, more on that in my mini review including whether or not the correct item has been shipped and whether or not it is damaged. I am not a fan of buying things from other countries, and as a rule I don't. However as this is a good quality case and is being shipped by UPS I don't foresee any issues compared to buying something that is delicate or fragile.

Andy
Main PC, P180, CM Silent Pro 500M, i5 3570k @ 4.2Ghz, 8-GB @ 2,400MHz, 512GB 850 EVO, 500 Extreme II, 2x 2.5" drives, MSI 660Ti Twin Frozr.
Server, under reconstruction, 380W Enermax Pro82+, positive pressure only.

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