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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
System info:

5x 1TB HD in RAID-0

1x 1.5TB for system admin

OS - Fedora 15

CPU - Dual Core Intel (need to update)



I'm running Fedora 15 with Mediatomb, works fine, everything is good for the last two years, however I am losing faith in two fans in the case that I currently have. They seem to shut off from time to time while I'm not around and when I remote into the box from work or my phone and run cpu check scripts I see heavy fluctuations.

My current case was not purchased with heat in mind that is generated from heavy read/writes to the hard drives, only with GPU / CPU heat from my gaming days on it.

What I would like to get is a new case that is good for an HTPC setup that is not directly connected to a TV but also is good for a server setup.

What I use my system for currently:

I have my HTPC installed in a VM to help segregate my OS configurations against nuke and reloads. Basically, when I have to re-load the OS on my hypervisor, it is MUCH easier to just reload the .img file that contains my HTPC configurations rather than set up iptables, sshd, blah blah again.

On the rest of the system I run apache, postfix, DNS, DHCP and other server functions. I eventually plan to convert those to another VM once I replace the CPU so I have more cores and install some more RAM.

Plan for the system:

What I would ideally like is a system case that contains fan focus for the hard drives, but also generally good airflow throughout the case. I am going to be upgrading my dual core to a Phenom II x6 core system with 16GB RAM to set up a true server, and something where I can set up multiple VM instances, one of which will be my HTPC server.

I need a case recommendation from someone that has heavy knowledge in case cooling that can tell me, "yes, this case has excellent airflow for hard drives and also cools the rest of the system very efficiently".

You would be very surprised how hard it is to find this sort of case out there!

I would link to a few Liam Li cases that I have found out there but avsforum won't let me.

On Newegg, do a search for "LIAN LI PC-V1200Bplus II Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case" and that's what I'm leaning toward, but I was looking for something a bit cheaper if possible.

Any advice / tips would be appreciated. Thanks!

32 Posts
I'm a firm believer in mounting the drives in bays with fans blowing outside air over them directly. For six drives, that would be at least a 7 bay case assuming you need an optical drive as well. A computer recycler (freegeek) might sell you a dead or obsolete server case cheap.

You'll probably have to cut a piece of sheet metal to cover the drive bay opening, then cut holes for two or three fans. Undervoltage them and they should still move enough air to be effective, but much quieter. Or use variable speed fans; NMB makes some nice but rather expensive ones. If you have access to a computer graveyard, namebrand systems often had excellent quality fans that are worth salvaging. This should also provide you with fan grilles and mounting screws.

Or buy the Icydock drive bay: that looks decent.

But it's not cheap, and you need two.

Since the air has to leave the case, two fans in the rear plus the power supply should do the job.
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