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Shallow ATX/mATX case with 7 drive bays?

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October 27, 2010 8:44:23 PM

I've been scouring the internet for weeks trying to find the perfect case for my HTPC/Server build. I'm having serious trouble finding a case that meets my specific (and unusual) specs.

The case will be going inside a cabinet in my entertainment center (which I will vent with fans). The issue is that the cabinet is only 15.5 inches deep. I will cut a hole in the back of the cabinet for the wires and cables to protrude into the 2.5 inch gap between the cabinet and the wall, but I will still need space in the front of the case for ventilation too. This really limits me to a case that is 14-15 inches deep or less.

My build is going to consist of either a mATX or ATX board along with a standard 5.25 inch blu-ray drive (not paying the $$ for a slim drive), one main HDD, and a 5 disk HDD RAID5 array. Essentially this leaves me needing a case that is capable of housing one 5.25 inch drive and six 3.5 inch HDDs.

I've considered buying the Lian Li V354 and just moving my entertainment center out from the wall another inch and a half or so, but it costs $160 including shipping and that's really more than I want to spend anyway:


Something like this (GMC R-2 Toast) would be perfect if it was taller and could house another four HDDs.


I've considered just buying a shallow case like the R-2 mentioned above and making a rack to stack the RAID array outside the case, but I'd rather not go that route. An all-in-one solution would be the best.

I've also considered just having an open concept and mounting the MB into the cabinet with the HDDs and blu-ray in a custom rack on a shelf in there, but that leaves everything open to dust and isn't very attractive.

Any ideas?
October 28, 2010 10:32:41 AM

Seems I may have stumped the forum...

Anyone have any ideas??
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October 28, 2010 2:20:09 PM

You may be better off going for 6 2.5" drives. due to the size constraint
October 28, 2010 2:21:07 PM

gkay09,

I've thought about those cases, and I may go with one of the Silverstone cases, but I'd rather something even shallower if there is such a thing.

Any other reccomendations?
October 28, 2010 3:14:35 PM

christiangordon,

Those are great cases, but they don't have 6 x 3.5 inch drive bays. That's really my problem. Finding something shallow that has enough drive bays inside.
October 28, 2010 3:35:45 PM

The best advice I can give you is to scale back your expectations. If you want a case that has space for 6 internal hard drives, then you need to increase your budget and accept a case that is deeper than your cabinet. I can provide a few suggestions like my SilverStone Crown CW02 ($360 - $380), but they are all larger than what you want and apparently costs more than what you want to spend.

Dropping down to a case that can fit 4 drives opens up some options that are less expensive (and probably within your budget) and small enough to fit your cabinet.

It's okay to have high expectations, but you need to be realistic as well.
October 28, 2010 8:39:57 PM

jaguarskx,

Yes, I see your point. I am just hoping there is someone in here who knows of an option I haven't considered.

At the moment, I am starting to lean towards getting something like the Silverstone GD05B and just building a HDD rack that can sit on top of the case out of some aluminum I can get at Home Depot. I'll run the SATA cables and power cables out the back of the case and up to the rack in the cabinet.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If I install a fan in the cabinet and stack the HDDs with a decent amount of space in between each, do you think I will need to install a fan on the back of the HDD rack, or will it be sufficient as-is? They will be 5400RPM disks in a RAID5 array for storage running 24/7. Maybe Samsung Spingpoint F4's (2TB) or WD20EARS 2TB Green Drives.
October 29, 2010 5:05:11 PM

I think I found the case. It is pretty crappy quality, but the case is going inside a cabinet anyway so that isn't all too important (it's also only $20):

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Has the depth I need, plenty of drive bays, and even supports an ATX mobo (although I think I'm getting the Gigabyte H57 mATX board anyway). Currently, from what I can see, there is only one ATX board on the market right now with the H57 chipset and that is the Asus one. The Gigabyte board is nearly $50 cheaper and provides everything I need. I want the H57 chipset for the updated Intel RAID support (Intel Rapid Storage Technology).

What do you all think about this case option? If I put a couple of good fans in there it should suffice, right?
!