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I have a Silverstone FT-02 case for my PC, which I really regret buying now.

It provides great airflow for my CPU/GPU, but it's not actually that quiet, even after switching out all my fans for Corsair Quiet Edition fans and using speed reducers. (should have just bought Noctuas I guess)

The vertical airflow works well though, as it's located in a corner (cabling is run through the walls, so I can't relocate it) so that means it's not pushing hot air straight onto a wall, trapping heat and making the fans work harder.

But it's a horrible case to work with. I have two Blu-ray drives in my machine because I rip a lot of media (CD/DVD/BD) and I found that sped things up considerably. But due to the design of the interior, you actually can't fit a full length optical drive in the top 5.25 bay. (I used to have a short DVD drive that fit) So that effectively only gives me with four bays to work with.

And my initial plan of going SLI rather than upgrading my GPU a year later didn't work out, because the optical drives are preventing that too - so much for buying a second card at half the cost and have my system perform close to the top-end available today for significantly less money. And without the possibility of SLI, I probably would not have bought this case to begin with.


But, I digress...


All five of the drive caddies in my case are full, and I've just about filled the disks. It has been more than a year since drive density has increased, and it looks like the next bump is only going to be a move from 4TB using 5x800GB platters, to 4TB using 4x1TB platters, and presumably then 5TB using 5x1TB - not a big leap, and buying the highest capacity drives are always expensive.


So it looks like the only real solution is to increase the number of disks, as higher density ones aren't available, and I'm not really sure how to go about that.


All of my motherboard's SATA ports are full (2x Optical, 5x HDD, 1x SSD) so whatever my next move is, I guess I need to buy a SATA controller?

But I don't know what to look for. All I'm seeing locally are RAID controllers that are very expensive - even just for 4 ports.

While I really should move to a proper backup system, RAID seems to be a lot of work to maintain - and RAID isn't really a backup system as it only protects against drive failure. But if even just a SATA controller is expensive, should I just be buying a RAID card now if I might move to RAID at some point in the future?

I have seen a nice 3-in-2, 5.25 bay converter , but that only gives me space for another three drives, it seems quite expensive, and my storage requirements seem to be increasing exponentially as I shift to buying more Blu-ray discs and less DVDs.



Is it worth spending the money on the SATA card and bay converter (or similar options) or should I really just start looking at a new case and starting over?

As much as I like the idea of a small form factor gaming system and a server handling the storage, gigabit seems too slow for my needs, so I'm really looking for a single system that can handle a lot of storage and gaming.
 

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There are a few very good 8 x SATA 6Gbps port pure host bus adapter. Supermicro AOC-SAS2LP-MV8 is very popular among unRAID community. IBM ServeRAID M1015 (up to firmware flashing, or LSI SAS 9211-8i, the same as the flashed M1015) is popular among people who insist on ESXi. M1015 does not come with the manufacturer's warranty.


You can turn 5 x 5.25" bay into 8 x 3.5" bay by using NORCO 5-in-3 drive cage with 5 x pair of rails ($25 in total) and Evercool 3-in-2 cage ($23). (You can use hot-swap cages, but they are expensive.) 8+ 5 = 13 HDDs, that's not bad. If you want more, just go with NORCO RPC-4224.
 
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