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  • Best quiet/silent enclosures for home server?

    One way to do a home server (http://board.homeseer.com/showthread.php?t=164390) would be to have the drives in their own enclosure and then connect to a laptop or quiet PC via USB 3.0 or e-sata. The idea is divide-and-conquer with respect to heat. The less heat there is and/or the less the heat is concentrated, the easier (and quieter) it is to remove. Also, rather than using a fanned power supply, use power bricks (thereby also keeping that heat out of the case). The trade-off is that things aren't as compact and tidy as they might have been.

    Anyhow, assuming the above (or something similar/better), there's still hard drive noise to deal with. What sort of case enclosures would excel at containing drive noise? It would seem that anything with an opening for ventilation is going to let some noise out, but maybe there are clever workarounds to that.

    What do y'all like to do as far as minimizing noise on a home server?

  • #2
    Along the lines of divide and conquer, maybe putting each HDD in its own sealed, fanless metal enclosure would be the cheapest way to go? It would require adequate spacing between them to ensure sufficient convection cooling.

    Example: http://www.ebay.com/itm/High-Speed-U...item1c39030354
    Last edited by NeverDie; December 26th, 2013, 07:57 PM.

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    • #3
      Not inline with your idea above but we went with this case for our build.

      http://www.amazon.com/Silverstone-Te...114438&sr=1-12

      It can hold up to like 9-10 drives and it blends in well if u choose to run it around other media equipment in the common areas.

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      • #4
        Here is couple of good resources I used when building fanless PC. It only holds 3 2.5' drives but it is totally fanless and OS HDD is SSD. 2 data drives are regular HDD but @2.5' size they are really quiet: hdplex.com.

        Other places I found: endpcnoise.com quietpc.com silentpc.com.

        Wishing you good searching ....

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        • #5
          I think I may be gravitating toward this case:
          http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811352020,

          which is on sale now for $79.99. The reviews it has earned are quite favorable.

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          • #6
            The Nanoxia Deep Silence 1 seems to lead in the comparative reviews.



            It weighs 25 pounds, can hold eight drives, and costs around $109. The Fractal Designs R4 weighs 27 pounds.

            The newer Nanoxia Deep Silence 5 is bigger, weighs 40 pounds, can hold 11 drives, and costs around $129. It's too new to have had significant reviews, but its greater mass (1mm thick metal rather than 0.7mm) suggests it's probably quieter overall.

            Likewise, I can see the advantage of using "green" (lower power) drives:




            Less heat to extract from the case means less fan noise. Not a big deal for a single drive, but multiple drives might be a different story.

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            • #7
              The Fractal Design Define R4 case is nice.

              Thinking here I paid close to $180 for "testing" the beta of the case I am using. It has two large very quiet fans in the back and the 1U server style power supply has a fan in the back and front; its very quiet. The depth, width and height are literally a few inches larger than the 8 drive hot swap drive cage and dimensions match the size of the utilize mITX board utilize. Total number of SATA ports is 14 with this setup. I added two 2.5" SATA drives inside. You can go with some 6 SSD drives inside most likely with no issues. (other than having to remove the top cover to get to the insides and mounting of the SSD drives). Note that this case came with no power supply et al.



              The motherboard utilized for said case was an Asus E35M1. Thinking I purchased it new for less than $150 and added 8 Gb of RAM (don't recall price).



              The Sata III raid card utilized is IBM ServeRAID M1015 / LSI SAS9220-8i PCI-Express PCIe 8-port 6Gb Sata III card



              Power supply is quiet and cost me around $100 or so. (total number of fans is 4 - all very quiet). I did get a "deal" on the power supply and purchased two of them...thinking the list price was closer to $180.

              Last edited by Pete; December 28th, 2013, 09:32 AM.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by Pete View Post
                The Fractal Design Define R4 case is nice.

                Thinking here I paid close to $180 for "testing" the beta of the case I am using.

                Nice industrial design. I like the look of it. $180 seems like it's at the low-end of the pricing range for an 8 bay cage. I've seen even consumer oriented diskless 4-bay cages priced at double that.

                I decided to pursue a variation of the OP idea, at least temporarily, in order to do an initial consolidation. There is what seems like a good deal on 3 terabyte "My Book" USB 3.0 drives at the moment (http://www.amazon.com/Drive-Security...ds=3tb+my+book). At $110, it is priced less than the price of a 3TB WD Green drive, even though that's what's inside. So, I ordered 3 of them. Not sure how well creating a triple mirror will work using USB 3.0, but in the worst case I just remove the drives from the shells and connect them with SATA.

                Once I have a better idea as to which drives are worth salvaging out of my motley collection, I think I'll put them inside either the Fractal Design R4 or the Nanoxina Silent Drive 1 or 5.

                So, as you like to say, I'll be evolving this gradually, in baby steps.

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                • #9
                  Yup; I custom mounted the M1015 card inside; but that side of the case is very tight. Its a bit industrial looking; but its a pure NAS box with a tiny footprint and very quiet.

                  The NAS case came from the MFG in China and was a one off sale as they were not selling them here in the US at the time. Not sure if they ever did sell them here. I think they were selling 4 drive NAS cases in the EU though.

                  Good price on the drives. Take your time. You can go nuts with this stuff.

                  Personally a DIY though will provide you the most satisfaction however you do it and you will get the best for your monies this way. (that is my opinion though).
                  - Pete

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Pete View Post
                    Yup; I custom mounted the M1015 card inside; but that side of the case is very tight. Its a bit industrial looking; but its a pure NAS box with a tiny footprint and very quiet.

                    The NAS case came from the MFG in China and was a one off sale as they were not selling them here in the US at the time. Not sure if they ever did sell them here. I think they were selling 4 drive NAS cases in the EU though.

                    Good price on the drives. Take your time. You can go nuts with this stuff.

                    Personally a DIY though will provide you the most satisfaction however you do it and you will get the best for your monies this way. (that is my opinion though).
                    Not sure if they have other sales channels, but it does look as though they still sell direct: http://www.u-nas.com/xcart/product.p...0&bestseller=Y

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                    • #11
                      I forgot exactly what it was I paid for it (~180). That said it shipped very quickly via DHS.

                      Write to them as see what the prices are today.

                      Looks like they changed the design a bit on the case adding a rear open slot piece.

                      I had to do a bit of mods to fit the LSI card in. With one 8 drive NAS box you really wouldn't need another one. (here I have mostly played some)

                      One thing too is there are many tiny screws that hold this case together.

                      Many being > 40 and < 100.

                      The 1U server style PSU has a fan on both sides and is very quiet. You do not hear the big two fans in the back and the motherboard is passively cooled in mine. I did post the DIY build here on Homeseer and on the Serve the home forum at the time. Initially did have issues with the AMD E350 chipset recognizing the LSI raid card. Asus updated the EFI bios for the motherboard and I was good after that. Relating to the software was already familiar with FreeNAS and settled on that software (running on a DOM). Relating to Wintel settled whatever server (well and embedded Wintel server running off a DOM worked for me).

                      One of the older NAS boxes I have utilize a 4 drive hot swap 3Ware SATA drive cage. It is built very well; probably the best I have seen.



                      It is bigger than it looks and fits inside of a tower computer case (unless you can fine a small 4 drive slot case). The cage itself has many fans in it.

                      I didn't pay full price and purchased it less than $50.00 as it was new old stock. I still have it in place today.
                      Last edited by Pete; February 13th, 2015, 05:10 PM.
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