Register for the iXsystems Community to get an ad-free experience and exclusive discounts in our eBay Store.

Still looking for a decent case

MindBender

Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2015
Messages
67
It's been over 5 years ago since I have built my FreeNAS, and is has stood the test of time very well. The 4 Seagate Constellation ES.2 Enterprise Grade 3TB drives have all broken down, but fortunately one at a time, so it has been running relatively worry-free. The main array is currently on 5 WD Gold 8TB drives.

The case I had ordered for it is a U-NAS NSC-800, and I have never been happy with it. The drive trays are flimsy and sometimes I can hear something resonate inside the drive cages. Not good. What I really liked about my ReadyNAS were the sturdy drive trays.

I've been trying to get my hands on Ablecom CS-T80 8-bay NAS Chassis, basically the same case as the IXSystems FreeNAS Mini XL, for years, but I was never able to find a supplier willing to sell me less than 32 pieces. The regular IXSystems FreeNAS Mini has just one drive slot too few for my needs.

The new TrueNAS X(+) case seems to tick all the boxes: Mini ITX, 5 3.5" bays; It could even make my 2.5" boot SSD externally available, and still have one left for a cold stand-by drive. Questions is: Where do I get such a case?

Purchasing a TrueNAS X would be an expensive option, yet still a step down: The reason why my 5 year old NAS stood the test of time so well, is because it is based one a SuperMicro X10SDV-TLN4F mainboard (8-core Xeon D-1541), with 128GiB of RAM...
 

winnielinnie

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2019
Messages
460
This new case will need to house 5 desktop-size (3.5") hard drives?
 

MindBender

Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2015
Messages
67
Yes; 5 desktop drives, one 2.5" SATA SSD (can be internal) and a PCI SAS card. And it must have sturdy drive trays. Got any ideas?
The TrueNAS X would be close to perfect.
 

VioletDragon

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2017
Messages
185
It's been over 5 years ago since I have built my FreeNAS, and is has stood the test of time very well. The 4 Seagate Constellation ES.2 Enterprise Grade 3TB drives have all broken down, but fortunately one at a time, so it has been running relatively worry-free. The main array is currently on 5 WD Gold 8TB drives.

The case I had ordered for it is a U-NAS NSC-800, and I have never been happy with it. The drive trays are flimsy and sometimes I can hear something resonate inside the drive cages. Not good. What I really liked about my ReadyNAS were the sturdy drive trays.

I've been trying to get my hands on Ablecom CS-T80 8-bay NAS Chassis, basically the same case as the IXSystems FreeNAS Mini XL, for years, but I was never able to find a supplier willing to sell me less than 32 pieces. The regular IXSystems FreeNAS Mini has just one drive slot too few for my needs.

The new TrueNAS X(+) case seems to tick all the boxes: Mini ITX, 5 3.5" bays; It could even make my 2.5" boot SSD externally available, and still have one left for a cold stand-by drive. Questions is: Where do I get such a case?

Purchasing a TrueNAS X would be an expensive option, yet still a step down: The reason why my 5 year old NAS stood the test of time so well, is because it is based one a SuperMicro X10SDV-TLN4F mainboard (8-core Xeon D-1541), with 128GiB of RAM...
Have you looked at the X-case NASBox? it mght be something you might like. X-case does ship outside the UK but might be worth contacting them before you purchase it. https://www.xcase.co.uk/collections/nasbox/products/x-case-nasbox-n8c
 

Arwen

Neophyte Sage
Joined
May 17, 2014
Messages
1,354
I too like the size & drive configuration of the TrueNAS X(+) case.

Even though I am getting a new motherboard with my new NAS, (not yet decided on details), Intel, (the World's Leader, in Security Flaws that is), is off my approved CPU vendor list. So my only real choice is AMD. A nice Sun SPARC with 32 cores, 256 threads @ 5Ghz would be welcome, but not the power consumption, or price :-(.
 
Last edited:

MindBender

Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2015
Messages
67
I too like the size & drive configuration of the TrueNAS X(+) case.
It seems to be an Ablecom (== SuperMicro) CS-M55:
So it's gone be impossible (again) to order just one or two...
 
Last edited:

Arwen

Neophyte Sage
Joined
May 17, 2014
Messages
1,354
@MindBender Yes, I saw that it was similar to the other Ablecom case used by the FreeNAS Mini. In time perhaps Supermicro will sell the case like they do the other.
 

MindBender

Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2015
Messages
67
Yes, I saw that it was similar to the other Ablecom case used by the FreeNAS Mini.
Yes, I should have known it is an Ablecom case, as I am well aware that the TrueNAS mini uses the Ablecom CS-M50 and the TrueNAS mini XL uses the Ablecom CS-T80.
In time perhaps Supermicro will sell the case like they do the other.
Well, I have lost all hope in this case: Exactly 4 years ago I spoke with the SuperMicro system product manager at Embedded World in Nuremberg. At that time, Supermicro already sold the Ablecom CS-M50 as their Supermicro SuperChassis 721TQ-250B (https://www.supermicro.com/en/products/chassis/tower/721/sc721tq-250b). When I asked her when we could order their version of the CS-T80, she said 'soon'. So either it's not coming, or Supermicro stretched up the term 'soon' to 4 years.

Unfortunately, the 721TQ-250B has one drive bay too few. I've been looking into the HP Proliant MicroServer cases; They seem sturdy and well made, a little off-standard, but a Micro-ITX board will still fit most of them, but unfortunately I haven't been able to find a 5 bay version so far.
 

Cantello

Newbie
Joined
Dec 6, 2019
Messages
3
Did anyone already mention the Silverstone CS-381? Way easier to get a hold of than the Ablecom products and still decent build quality. I have the CS-350 and while it is no Dell or HP server (have two at work and they are just beautiful to open and to work with) it is still quite well engineered and the drive expander seems to be of good quality.
 

MindBender

Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2015
Messages
67
Did anyone already mention the Silverstone CS-381?
I've got to agree; It is a contender. I really wish they had spent a little more on the design for that kind of money, but it will live out of sight anyway.

How are the drive trays? Mostly metal, with a stiff thermo-set plastic cover? No vibrations?
 

ChrisRJ

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2020
Messages
395
If I remember correctly various people said that the CS-381 is not easy to cool.
 

Cantello

Newbie
Joined
Dec 6, 2019
Messages
3
I've got to agree; It is a contender. I really wish they had spent a little more on the design for that kind of money, but it will live out of sight anyway.
How are the drive trays? Mostly metal, with a stiff thermo-set plastic cover? No vibrations?
Vibrations were minimal in the case that I helped a friend set up, the trays apparently of adequate quality, as you have described, mostly metal with a plastic cover. During installation we broke off the little plastic piece that helps push out the drives when the latch is opened but that was probably just clumsiness. I liked that you only had to have one SFF-8643 mini-SAS connector per 4-drive-bay, much less cable-clutter.

If I remember correctly various people said that the CS-381 is not easy to cool.
Yes, that was a problem, we followed this recommendations (https://www.reddit.com/r/DataHoarder/comments/gskxzp/drives_running_hot_in_the_silverstone_cs381/) and changed all fans for more powerful Noctua ones (the case will be sitting in a basement room anyway).
 
Top