First build, U-NAS NSC-810A chassis/case

cfcaballero

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After having bought a FreeNAS Mini from ixsystems via Amazon a few years ago, I decided to build my own for a 2nd home in another city.

I wanted a small form factor case with 8 3.5" bays, and the U-NAS NSC-810A was the only one I could find in Google searches.

http://www.u-nas.com/xcart/product.php?productid=17640

I'm very happy with it. It's solidly built, and the rubberized finish on the front panel is very nice. More importantly, the vendor was very responsive and helpful with advice on getting components.

I wound up using a SuperMicro X10 motherboard as I had twin constraints of wanting a Xeon CPU and being locally stocked. Here it is on Amazon:
https://amazon.com/Supermicro-LGA2011-MicroATX-Motherboard-X10SRM-F/dp/B01FYD9UOO/

It is a bit of a tight squeeze with the Micro ATX form factor mobo, but works fine. You can use smaller form factors just fine, and that will make it easier to route the cabling tidily.

The main reason I am posting here is to help any other newbies like me (well, I'm a recycled newbie, I used to assemble PCs 20+ years ago, haven't touched hardware as much since) with two mistakes I made.

Do NOT think you can get away with a passive heatsink with a Xeon chip (probably not a core i3/i5/i7 either, only with Atom class I think). And the most readily available parts will be for large size cases, whereas the top compartment of this case is ~1.5U, so you can only use low profile coolers (1U or 1.5U).

Also, I learned that some LGA 2011 mobos use a narrow ILM form factor for the socket, and you need a heatsink to match. I missed this (or maybe absent) in the SuperMicro docs and the place where I bought the CPU and passive heatsink didn't mention it, so I wound up getting the regular (square geometry) CPU cooler at first.

The correct one I would up with was this Dynatron R13 unit:
https://amazon.com/gp/product/B008765M3E/

Now everything runs cool as a cucumber, even when replicating pools, etc.

So, in summary: really nice case from a good vendor, active cooling on Xeon in a small case, check if your socket is narrow ILM before buying cooling components.
 

Ericloewe

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What drive temperatures do you see (and with what drives)?
 

cfcaballero

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I am a few hours into a ZFS send from a pool of 4TB WD Red NAS drives to a Seagate SMR/Archive drive. The WD Reds are at 33 or 34, and the Seagate is at 36. This is with the ambient room temperature at 25C(77F).
 

chomskyhonk

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I'm very happy with it. It's solidly built, and the rubberized finish on the front panel is very nice. More importantly, the vendor was very responsive and helpful with advice on getting components.
I purchased an NSC-800 recently and also found the vendor responsive and helpful.

I also agree that the case is very nice now that it's put together, but it was an absolute nightmare to work inside. Not sure if the added room in the 810a improved the experience for you.
 

cfcaballero

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I can't compare with NSC-800, but early in my career I designed and built (electrical engineer) industrial robotic equipment, so I'm used to all kinds of wiring/cabling environments. I think it's just the nature of cramped environments versus roomy ones. It's so much easier, and with a more eye-pleasing result, when you have a lot of room like in tower or 4U+ rack cases.

If you want a small case like these, there's just no elbow room in there, especially with a large mobo like I picked. I didn't find it a nightmare given the size constraints I had chosen.
 

cfcaballero

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If anyone is interested, the vendor is running a promo on this case:

Use coupon code 20usdoff. This coupon can be applied to a purchase of a NSC-810A chassis. The expiration date is May 9th, 2018.
 

MikeyG

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Hey cfcaballero, thanks for sharing this! I'm thinking of getting the same case. What power supply did you end up getting with it?
 

cfcaballero

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MikeyG

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Is there any concern with a 350W power supply with 8 drives + quad core CPU? Seems to be cutting it kind of close in terms of maximum power draw, but I don't see other options to go with that case/form factor.
 

cfcaballero

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Next I open the case I will measure how much clearance there is for the power supply, but I recall that if wires came out the side instead of "rear" (opposite face from power receptacle/fan), the case could definitely hold a longer unit (and a bit higher, I think, but definitely not wider).

Best to ask the vendor if there are higher power units that fit, but so far I haven't seen any power problems, and I have maxed the CPU at same time as pool scrub, so I think it's good.
 

Black6spdZ

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If anyone is interested, the vendor is running a promo on this case:

Use coupon code 20usdoff. This coupon can be applied to a purchase of a NSC-810A chassis. The expiration date is May 9th, 2018.

Coupon didn't work for me, sure its good through May 9th?
 

cfcaballero

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Coupon didn't work for me, sure its good through May 9th?

I have no way of knowing, but emailed the vendor with a link to this thread and asked them to reply directly as they saw fit.
 

cfcaballero

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If anyone is interested, the vendor is running a promo on this case:

Use coupon code 20usdoff. This coupon can be applied to a purchase of a NSC-810A chassis. The expiration date is May 9th, 2018.

The vendor and I misunderstood each other. I had shared the link to this post with the vendor and he replied with coupon code, but it was intended only for use one time, so it's no longer valid.
 

Chris Moore

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Jorsher

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I'm all but decided on this same exact case and power supply.

I don't see a better power supply. I'll be using a motherboard with staggered spin-up of drives, so I'm not worried about overloading the PSU.

I have two questions for you:
1) What is the max cooler height for this case? Of course I want the biggest (and quietest) cooler I can fit in this case. I've found a number of Noctua low-profile server coolers, however I'm not sure the max height and do not have the luxury of fast shipping. I'll be waiting 1-2 months for a shipment and want to get it right the first time.
2) In one of the photos on U-Nas' website, they show a fan mounted on the side near where the 2.5" "bay" is located. Is that 80mm? Again, don't want to get it wrong.

The two 120mm fans will be replaced with 120mm Noctuas as well. Likely all in a "pull" setup.
 

Chris Moore

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The two 120mm fans will be replaced with 120mm Noctuas as well. Likely all in a "pull" setup.
I am guessing that you intend to pull air in from the back of the chassis and blow it out the front? That could help keep the dust out of the chassis if you cover what will become intake fans on the back with filters like this:
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA27C3GX6010
I use some like that on my server and I have to clean them every week or two because of how much accumulation there is and I have to believe that it is helping to keep the inside of the chassis cleaner than it would be.
 

Jorsher

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I am guessing that you intend to pull air in from the back of the chassis and blow it out the front? That could help keep the dust out of the chassis if you cover what will become intake fans on the back with filters like this:
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA27C3GX6010
I use some like that on my server and I have to clean them every week or two because of how much accumulation there is and I have to believe that it is helping to keep the inside of the chassis cleaner than it would be.

Nah that's not what I meant but it's what I'm going to do now that I've given your suggestion some thought. Original plan was to pull the "fresh" air over the drives, but I believe the side fan will keep the motherboard cool and the heat away from the drives. My Corsair case has magnetic filters for 2 x 120mm fans and I will check your link as well. Thanks again!
 

cfcaballero

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How loud is that fan? I would have expected it to be bad, sound wise.

Sorry I missed this question when you posted.

It does get loud when the unit is under more than light load (one or two Plex transcoding streams, for example), but not so loud that I can't be in the same room and on a conference call with a noise canceling mic. If I get a chance I will max it out and measure using an audio meter app.
 
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