I just received my invoice for a AMD Supermicro server today. Just processed the payment via PayPal so now I'm just waiting for a tracking number. In the mean time, I'm going to finish going through this thread and taking notes along the way. I've already ordered several bags of screws. FWIW, ProVantage
has a better price on them than SuperBiiz. Next step is to see about getting some quieter fans. I'm thinking about making a new fan wall out of plexiglass to accommodate some 120mm fans. I figure I can just cut out circular openings for the fans to allow maximum air flow and then put a wire grate over the opening to keep any cables from getting nicked by the fan blades. I can cut some slots along the bottom to feed the cables through to the backplanes. In any case, I'll have to wait until the server arrives before I make a final decision. I've already got a Corsair 850-watt PSU in my current server that I plan on moving to the new chassis.
FYI - TAMS only sends out e-mails on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I received my initial notification last Thursday and the invoice today even though I responded the same day as their first e-mail. If you're on the list, just sit tight. They should get to you eventually.
I understand that the racks don't come with any dummy plastic drive trays to fill empty slots for proper air flow. I was toying with an idea to remedy this since I don't plan on filling the entire rack right away. You should be able to cut some 1x6 pine boards available from your local Lowes or Home Depot into blocks that will simulate a hard drive and fill the void. I initially thought I could use a stock 1x4 since it's got a nominal dimension of 3/4" x 3-1/2". Problem is, a 3-1/2" hard drive is actually about 4 inches wide so that won't work. If you've got access to a table saw or know somebody that can trim the boards for you, just cut a long plank to the proper width and then cut off short lengths about the same size as a hard drive. You can fasten them to the trays using some small flat head wood screws. I've got some Supermicro 5-in-3 backplanes and they probably use the same dummy trays as the server. They're about 7/8" thick, but a 3/4" block should be enough. If you're concerned it may not be enough, just place a sheet of corrugated cardboard on one surface to make up the difference. Attach it with double-sided tape, glue, or whatever works for you. You could probably just staple it to the surface if you have a staple gun (don't use regular office staples because they may work loose and cause you all sorts of grief if they get into the server).