1. Welcome to TechPowerUp Forums, Guest! Please check out our forum guidelines for info related to our community.

Cheap case for massive number of hard drives?

Discussion in 'Cases, Modding & Electronics' started by The Von Matrices, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. Devon68

    Devon68

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2014
    Messages:
    1,636 (1.22/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,057
  2. Steevo

    Steevo

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2005
    Messages:
    9,876 (2.27/day)
    Thanks Received:
    2,320
    At the sake of being burned alive in flames......

    Why not build one? Buy the cheapest full size case, then gut it other than the mobo tray and PSU brace, Google uses velcro to hold drives in place. The eleven hundred is on sale for $75 after rebate and could easily hold 16 drives with some mods done. Or buy a cheap used case for the trays and build the whole thing.
     
    10 Year Member at TPU 10 Million points folded for TPU
  3. The Von Matrices

    The Von Matrices

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,479 (0.60/day)
    Thanks Received:
    545
    The biggest problem with building one is that I don't have the tools to do it. Unless it can be done with screwdrivers, a handheld drill, and a few hand saws, it's not practical for me. While I would like to buy a drill press, I live in a condominium and don't have a place to put any large stationary tools. If I was to build a drive cage, drilling all 80 holes in precise positions would be impossible with a hand drill. This is the reason I'm trying to stick to minor modifications or pre-built solutions.

    I'm almost at the point to select something; right now I'm checking if there's any files I can delete to prevent me from needing to add new hard drives. Most of the storage is filled with 1080P 30Mb/s source footage from when I do videography, and I'm making sure there are no duplicate recordings.
     
  4. Mindweaver

    Mindweaver Moderato®™ Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2009
    Messages:
    6,514 (2.11/day)
    Thanks Received:
    3,877
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    I added one of these to my sniper case. It's cheap and it works great.
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  5. Steevo

    Steevo

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2005
    Messages:
    9,876 (2.27/day)
    Thanks Received:
    2,320

    I would then suggest NAS with a case like this. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147153 Turn the last three on edge in the 5.25 drive bays, you will still have room for your optical drive too.
     
    10 Year Member at TPU 10 Million points folded for TPU
  6. Vario

    Vario

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    Messages:
    3,865 (0.89/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,694
    Location:
    USA
    You can buy used server rackmount internal harddrive cages that you can mount into pretty much any case for a couple bucks on ebay. They are made out of very sturdy steel. These can mount easily with zip ties if you really want to do it on the cheap and not drill holes. The other option is using the Silverstone HD Caddy that mounts to a fan/radiator,
    This is the model: Silverstone CFP53B 3X Hard drive Cage


    Just suggesting this if you are willing to a tiny bit of modding with a case that has less bays.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014
    10 Year Member at TPU
  7. suraswami

    suraswami

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2005
    Messages:
    6,567 (1.44/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,162
    Location:
    Republic of Asia (a.k.a Irvine), CA
    So far like newtekie's idea, simple and safe for the drives too, and if OP is still hungry for drives, buy another and stack them up, run cables between cases and you got a stackable heater!

    Another idea is to buy larger drives than current capacity and sell old ones to get some cents back!
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  8. Norton

    Norton Moderator & WCG-TPU Captain Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    Messages:
    12,295 (5.84/day)
    Thanks Received:
    35,070
    Location:
    USA
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014
    Crunching for Team TPU More than 25k PPD
  9. Devon68

    Devon68

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2014
    Messages:
    1,636 (1.22/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,057
  10. The Von Matrices

    The Von Matrices

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,479 (0.60/day)
    Thanks Received:
    545
    I want to say thanks to everyone who helped me with this. I eventually chose to go with the Fractal XL with an additional drive cage and a 4 x 2.5" SSD to 5.25" bay adapter. I realized that if I'm going to have up to 16 drives, a RAID 6 is not enough to ensure data security - I needed a RAID 60. Since with RAID 60 you need an even number of HDDs, having a case that supports 15 HDDs is no more useful than one that supports 14 HDDs. The Fractal XL is the only case I could find that would support 16 HDDs + 4 SSDs without jerry-rigging a mount for the 16th HDD, the 4 SSDs, or both.

    The extra drive cage (I bought the "top' one) required a bit of modification to get to fit. In the end it didn't matter whether I bought the top or bottom cage since there were no mounting points on the bottom of the case for either one when the other two cages were in place. To mount the extra drive cage, I removed the plastic "feet" from the bottom of the cage, which left four holes in the bottom of the cage. I then fed screws through the holes where the "feet" were and then through the honeycomb fan grille, raising the cage off the bottom of the case using a lot of washers.

    In the end I'm happy with the result. It's significantly quieter than the old system due to the sound deadening and quieter standard fans, which is a nice plus. I also as a precaution retired the 10 year old Silverstone power supply for a Seasonic S12G-750, and that's also much quieter than the old supply.

    Thanks again everyone!

    [​IMG]
     
    Jetster, Devon68, night.fox and 2 others say thanks.
  11. Norton

    Norton Moderator & WCG-TPU Captain Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    Messages:
    12,295 (5.84/day)
    Thanks Received:
    35,070
    Location:
    USA
    Looks great! :toast:
     
    Crunching for Team TPU More than 25k PPD
  12. night.fox

    night.fox

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2012
    Messages:
    1,389 (0.80/day)
    Thanks Received:
    939
    Location:
    south korea
    looks great. just wonder, why alot of storage? server?

     
  13. rtwjunkie

    rtwjunkie PC Gaming Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Messages:
    9,189 (2.74/day)
    Thanks Received:
    12,868
    Location:
    Louisiana -Laissez les bons temps rouler!
    That is GREAT! You'll be happy with your Fractal for many years! Very high quality.
     
  14. anAngel New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2016
    Messages:
    2 (0.01/day)
    Thanks Received:
    0
    I know that it is a pretty old thread but what about the HDD temperatures?
    Some current or old measurements if you keep or remember would be really nice.

    Asking because I have/plan a similar setup and I am also considering the FD (XL) cases.
     
  15. peche

    peche Thermaltake fanboy

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2014
    Messages:
    6,057 (5.74/day)
    Thanks Received:
    4,904
    Location:
    San Jose, Costa Rica
    great! despte that million of cables, the case looks almost clean! nice work, that a quite preeeeetty server lad!
    :pimp:
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  16. slozomby

    slozomby

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Messages:
    831 (2.05/day)
    Thanks Received:
    471
  17. Toothless

    Toothless

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2014
    Messages:
    4,969 (3.88/day)
    Thanks Received:
    3,758
    Location:
    Washington, USA
    Holy thread necro, @anAngel you really need to check post dates. Pretty sure cases have changed a bit since 2014.
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  18. anAngel New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2016
    Messages:
    2 (0.01/day)
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Not quite.
    Define XL R2 is still in production and not discontinued yet.
    The thread title and posts does mention only XL as a model but the end picture show XL R2.
    And before resurrecting this old thread I checked if the author was still active.

    I currently have a pretty good deal for one Define XL R2 and I was curious for the HDD temperatures when fully loaded.
    This setup also has a second bottom HDD tray which airflow should be pretty blocked by the first tray.
    I am wondering what might be the temp. differences between the 3 HDD trays and if the case is good enough for a storage server at a reasonable/cheap price.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2016
  19. jsnas New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2017
    Messages:
    3 (0.01/day)
    Thanks Received:
    0
    The Von Matrices, I know I'm posting to an old thread, but I'm thinking of doing a build very similar to yours (using the XL R2), and was wondering where you found the daisy-chained power cables for each 4-drive cage (ie. with the power connectors neatly spaced about ~1 inch apart)? I've looked everywhere and can't seem to find them. Thanks.
     
  20. The Von Matrices

    The Von Matrices

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,479 (0.60/day)
    Thanks Received:
    545
    I used these, although I had to modify them to put the SATA power connectors closer together. The power connectors just clamp onto the cable, so they're easy to remove and clamp in a different place depending on how far apart the hard drives are spaced.

    The case now has 16 x 3TB HDDs and 4 x 128GB SSDs. Temperatures are actually very good. The drives in the bays toward the font of the case stay at 28-32°C, while the drives in the inner cages are warmer but still reasonable at 38-43°C The drives nearest the bottom of the case seem to be the hottest, I guess because they get the least airflow

    [​IMG]
     
  21. jsnas New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2017
    Messages:
    3 (0.01/day)
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Thanks! Those power connectors look great. And the drive temps seem very reasonable, especially given the fact that it's a very quiet chassis (unlike most rackmount options that can hold that many drives).

    While we're on the topic, what brand of the blue SATA data cables did you use? Also, I was wondering if you thought about routing the blue SATA data cables thru the back side of the chassis (like the drive power cables)?
     
  22. ComedicHistorian

    ComedicHistorian New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2016
    Messages:
    19 (0.04/day)
    Thanks Received:
    2
    That should be just enough storage for this year's COD and Modern Warfare 2 Remastered bundle :p
     
  23. The Von Matrices

    The Von Matrices

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,479 (0.60/day)
    Thanks Received:
    545
    I just bought generic SATA to SFF-8087 cables through eBay. The reason they are routed in the front is because the ones I purchased aren't long enough to go through the back. I believe the ones I am using are 0.5m and 0.75m. The other problem with my configuration is that my SAS expander has its ports on the "front" edge of the card, so the cables need to be even longer to get to the back of the case. Also keep in mind that the SFF-8087 cables are difficult to bend sharply. I would say that a 30mm bend diameter is the sharpest I could get them to do, so you likely won't be able to bend them to go exactly where you want them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  24. jsnas New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2017
    Messages:
    3 (0.01/day)
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Ok, thanks for the warning about the SFF-8087 cables not bending very much. I just noticed that you attached SATA extender cables to the SFF-8087-to-SATA cables. It looks like you put something on the intermediate connection points to secure the connections. Is that heat-shrink or just black tape?

    Also, I'm curious what 4-in-3 5.25" cage you used for the 4 extra 3.5" HDDs? Did you get one with an intake fan on the front? Are the temps any worse on those drives versus in the middle/lower front cages?
     
  25. The Von Matrices

    The Von Matrices

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,479 (0.60/day)
    Thanks Received:
    545
    There are no SATA extender cables used. The mesh sleeving on the SFF-8087 cables is only about half the length of the cables, and you are looking at the heat shrink securing the ends of the sleeving. They were sleeved that way when I purchased them.

    I used this HDD cage. The temperatures of the HDDs in that cage are about the same as the ones built into the case, but that is by my design. I modified the fan in the cage to run on 5V. At 12V that fan was by far the loudest thing in the case, and the cooling from the lower speed fan is more than enough for those drives. I imagine you would want to run it at 12V only if you needed the airflow for something else in the case, but that wasn't my situation.
     

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 2 (0 members and 2 guests)