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Special Case Need.

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March 5, 2003 12:37:19 AM

Let me first start by describing my current server system and case.

I've got a semi generic <A HREF="http://www.ravaz.net/ravaz/computerpix/xpcbox_10_bay.ht..." target="_new">case</A> (got it cuz I needed the bays) with an Antec True Power 550W PSU. In it is the following:

PIII 1GHz CPU
512MB RDRAM 800MHz
some old 16MB Video Card (not important)
3Ware 7500-8 IDE RAID Controller (I LOVE this thing!! Highly recommend!)
CD-Rom Drive
3 1/4" Floppy

here's the kicker..

2 - WD800JB Drives
6 - WD1200JB Drives

and 22 Various fans filling every possible fan space in this case.

Now with this config, this mid tower case is jam packed. The fans are pretty much essential just to force the airflow through the PC (side to side, front to back, and top down). I don't really have any problems with temperatures, but the problem I have is there is no space to add more drives. The 6 120GB's are in a RAID5 config and I've currently only got 100GB free on the 600GB array. I've got to think about adding more storage space, and soon.

What I would like to do, is add another 3Ware controller (either another 8 port model or the 12 port one) and toss in another RAID5 array. Obviously my current case cannot handle this. What I'm looking for is a case (can be double wide) that can hold a multitude of hard drives. Due to the vast amount of storage I currently have and plan on adding, IDE is the way for me to go. SCSI is just way too expensive, so external storage is not really an option for me if I want to still be able to have the drives RAID.

Does anyone know of any cases that are a virtual warehouse of space? With the 8 existing hard drives, and the ones I want to add, I can easily see this rig going up to atleast <b>20 hard drives!!</b>

Please if anyone knows of any cases that might suit this need, let me know!

Thanks in advance!

-Javic

More about : special case

March 5, 2003 5:13:39 AM

Hmm, you might have to mod this to get more bays, but try this, the
Lian Li Pc75 aluminum full tower

Not sure how good it is, but Codegan are known for making decent server cases
Codegan S101 full tower



Instead of Rdram, why not just merge 4 Sdram channels...
March 5, 2003 6:22:08 AM

Would you like <A HREF="http://www.caseoutlet.com/Server/91/9691/default.htm" target="_new">This One</A>? That company carries other styles!

I've seen standard full tower server cases (standard as in, PC sized) with drive bays top to bottom as well. I think there were 2 on the top and 6 on the bottom. That wouldn't leave room for your CD-ROM though!

I have a "small" full tower server case here I could add some drive cages to if you like. It's a heavy duty case BTW, not some flimsy toy.

<font color=blue>Watts mean squat if you don't have quality!</font color=blue>
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March 5, 2003 6:25:27 AM

Almost forgot, <A HREF="http://www.caseoutlet.com/Server/YY-cube/SC1010Bf.jpg" target="_new">This Style</A> would probably be next to perfect if you don't mind it's flimsy construction. 10 5.25" half height bays, you could mount all your drives in removable trays and still have room for two CD devices.

<font color=blue>Watts mean squat if you don't have quality!</font color=blue>
March 5, 2003 6:34:42 AM

Hehe, I was just thinking you might be more interested in something in a <A HREF="http://www.caseoutlet.com/Server/YY-cube/default.htm" target="_new">Double Wide Mini Tower</A> that would fit on your desk! Look closely, this thing is as short as most Micro ATX cases, because it's power supply is in the other half!

<font color=blue>Watts mean squat if you don't have quality!</font color=blue>
March 5, 2003 12:44:58 PM

Actually, I tried using the SDRAM Risers initially (before I added all the drives) and I could never seem to get the things to work. I even sent the original risers I had back, and got some from ASUS, the manufacturer of my MB and they still didn't work.

Now I actually don't have room in the case to even add the risers, so its best I went with the RDRAM afterall.
March 5, 2003 11:36:32 PM

Thanks for all your help guys, I am now in the process of getting a very slightly used Lian Li PC-76 Case for $175! Has 20 drive bays, perfect!!

Now I need to decide whether to go PATA or SATA with the new drive array. I would really rather go SATA for obvious reasons, but the lack of selection of drives is giving me pause.
March 6, 2003 12:06:53 AM

Hmmm. interesting.
Given the size of the case and the number of drives you are dealing with, I would attempt to find a raid card that is S-ATA, with SATA drives or PATA ones with adaptors... just to avoid the inherent issues with limited length IDE cables.

<b>"If spam wasn't totally bogus, Hotmail users would be well-endowed, slim people with hair who make big money working at home and having great sex provoked by free porn and herbal Viagra.</b>
March 6, 2003 12:33:32 AM

I currently have a <A HREF="http://www.3ware.com/products/parallel_ata.asp" target="_new">3Ware 7500-8 PATA IDE RAID</A> card that's filled running RAID1 and 5, and am completely satisfied with it. So based on that, I'm looking at either getting a 3Ware 7500-12 PATA card, or one of their <A HREF="http://www.3ware.com/products/serial_ata.asp" target="_new">8500 series SATA RAID</A> cards.

The SATA's are a bit expensive, starting at around $360 for the 4 port model and going up to over $700 for the 12 port model, which is $100 more than the PATA's for the 4 port and $200+ for the 12's . And of course this doesn't include the drives. I still have to decide if I have the budget for the SATA, and actually think I'll try to hold out with my existing 600GB array for now until SATA prices come down a bit.

I actually signed up to try 3Ware's beta SATA card program, but alas they didn't select me... *cry*
March 6, 2003 2:58:30 AM

Well thats a tad expensive!
I guess if you can get by with all those drives being able to reach with standard 18" pata cables then you should stick to Pata.

I only suggested Sata as it allows cable lengths of up to a meter.

P.S. wht the heck have you got on this monster array anyway??? pr0n?

<b>"If spam wasn't totally bogus, Hotmail users would be well-endowed, slim people with hair who make big money working at home and having great sex provoked by free porn and herbal Viagra.</b>
March 6, 2003 5:07:02 AM

You can always make/modifiy a case for the drives alone, basically adding it to the side or top of your current tower

<b>"Feminism is the radical notion that women are people"<b>
March 6, 2003 12:39:18 PM

This beast is a FTP/Web/Shoutcast server. The WD800JB's mirrored is for the OS ,Web Directories, and FTP User directories, and the 6 WD1200JB's in RAID5 is for the FTP storage. I actually have another WD1200JB that is full of MP3's waiting to be added in, but my current case has no room! I would toss it in another box and copy the data over to the array, but alas the 600GB array only has about 70GB free at the moment. I think I'm going to have to do some "spring cleaning" until I can scrape up the moola to buy more drives and another controller.

Now that I've got the new case on the way, I'm contemplating rebuilding my gaming machine as a P4 and putting the dual 850 from that into the server. Decisions decisions. I like having a dual cpu machine, but can't really find many dual P4 MB's. Asus is my first choice in MB's and the most recent dual Pentium board they have is the one I'm using already, which only goes up to PIII.

I've got a really cheap digital cam, so maybe I'll snap off a few pics of the beast and post them.

-Javic (really need to win the lottery)
March 6, 2003 9:06:18 PM

It sounds like you really need a monster scsi array or a collection of WD 2000JB's.

<b>"If spam wasn't totally bogus, Hotmail users would be well-endowed, slim people with hair who make big money working at home and having great sex provoked by free porn and herbal Viagra.</b>
March 7, 2003 12:59:51 AM

yeah but SCSI is too damn expensive for the diskspace you get out of it. I'll just stick with IDE raid. Maybe they'll come out with a 200GB Raptor in the next 6 months for like $200... ok you can wake me up now .. haha
March 7, 2003 6:39:50 AM

Not likely. The raptor will only be 36Gb for a longtime... and then only available to the enterprise channels, not us lowly ones.

<font color=purple><i>Age is of no importance
unless you are a cheese.
<b>Billie Burke</b></i></font color=purple>
March 7, 2003 2:40:02 PM

Yeah but I can get my hands on them. I have some kick ass suppliers here in NYC and they can get me just about anything I need (including Knights, Rangers, Yankees, and Mets tickets :) . Hell I've met Walt Frasier (had dinner with him and then sat behind him courtside during the game), Bobby Valentine, and Tikki Barber all because of this vendor.

But at 36GB and with the Anandtech review, they're not looking too stellar just yet.
March 8, 2003 6:21:05 PM

Well dual xeons are an option but expensive. May I suggest a dual XP board!.. My friend set it up and it's sweet. First you get a dual MP board like the one from asus, then you buy 2 XP's say 2100 + and you can unlock them using the L5 bridges to be read as MP's on the dual mobo. that way you get a swet dualie system runnin over 4000+ equivalent and all for 600 bucks CDN!... and it runs sweet.. especially with gentoo.. but that's another story.

To err is human... to really screw things up you need a computer!
!