8-bay cases for MicroATX

Frank Bello

Member
Nov 14, 2018
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I've looked at a bunch of old posts about cases for MicroATX motherboards. I'm looking for one with 8 x 3.5 bays - ideally hot swap and with easy access to the drive bays/caddies. Summarising those old posts, there only seem to be three choices:

1. Fractal design Node 804: I really like this case - it has high WAF, but there are concerns about HD cooling in this case as the HD cage seems to partly block the airflow; the airflow is side-to-side for the HD and not front-to-back. The first drive cage blocks the airflow for the second cage. Also there's no hot swap backplane and no caddy/bays for easy access.

2. Silverstone CS380. This thing is way too big for what I want, but it does have externally accessible drive bays and hot swap.

3. U-NAS NCS-810A. "would not wish this case on my worst enemy" was the comment. 'Nuff said.

Are there any other space-friendly options, i.e. NOT full ATX tower cases which of course will do the job but take up far too much space ?
 

dandanio

Active Member
Oct 10, 2017
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If you do NOT need all 8, a very cool one is Lian-Li Q-25b. I have had a very successful relationship with this case for the last 5 years+. I have it loaded with 8 3.5"HDDs and 3 2.5" SSDs.
 

EffrafaxOfWug

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Feb 12, 2015
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*cough cough shameless self-promotion* InWin MS08 *cough cough*

I switched to this from my U-NAS NSC-800 as I too wanted a mATX build; although I don't understand the hate against the U-NAS cases, they're certainly challenging builds given the extremely tight space constraints but they're tiny and well made enough. Don't agree with the NSC-810A layout however.
 
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dandanio

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Oct 10, 2017
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I thought that if you say that the CS380 is too big, you might consider mini-ITX instead. I have this Lian-Li, the CS380 and a few others, I love mini-ITX as you can tell. :)
 

PigLover

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Jan 26, 2011
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I have two NSC810A cases. I really don't understand the hatred of them. They are a bit tight to build but I've really been happy. I did swap out the fans for extra quiet Noctua's and when I was done I had a build that is not silent but is truly "living room quiet". Its also decent looking on a shelf. While the build itself may have been a bit of a PITA, the end result passed the "spouse test".
 
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Frank Bello

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Nov 14, 2018
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I thought that if you say that the CS380 is too big, you might consider mini-ITX instead. I have this Lian-Li, the CS380 and a few others, I love mini-ITX as you can tell. :)
Thanks, however I think mini-ITX is a step too far for me...
 

Frank Bello

Member
Nov 14, 2018
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I have two NSC810A cases. I really don't understand the hatred of them.
To summarize what was offputting in those old posts:

1. It cuts your hands to shreds
2. There isn't room to put a full-size cooler on the CPU (?)
3. Standard power cables won't reach so so you have to buy extender cables; front panel cables don't reach the motherboard pins
4. Airflow in the motherboard area looks inadequate, mprime at 88C with fans at 100%.
5. If you want 2 x PCIe cards you need a short but flexible riser cable and fold it just right.
6. Full 1U power supply doesn't fit - so this limits the PSU options to 1U flex.

Not my opinions - all taken from other posts on this forum. I really want to like this case but the comments are putting me off.
 

K D

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Dec 24, 2016
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To summarize what was offputting in those old posts:

1. It cuts your hands to shreds
2. There isn't room to put a full-size cooler on the CPU (?)
3. Standard power cables won't reach so so you have to buy extender cables; front panel cables don't reach the motherboard pins
4. Airflow in the motherboard area looks inadequate, mprime at 88C with fans at 100%.
5. If you want 2 x PCIe cards you need a short but flexible riser cable and fold it just right.
6. Full 1U power supply doesn't fit - so this limits the PSU options to 1U flex.

Not my opinions - all taken from other posts on this forum. I really want to like this case but the comments are putting me off.
All very valid issues. But It's still my favorite NAS case. If you go in prepared, knowing all of the above, it is easy to build. I've rebuilt mine twice and the second and third times were painless.
 

EffrafaxOfWug

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Feb 12, 2015
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In that post, the case was new... have you finished your build ? what's the verdict on the case now you've had it a while ?
It's finished in the sense that things are running in it yet, although the internals need tidying up as I had to build it in a hurry (as and when I get around to making it presentable there'll be further pictures). In a nutshell, I like the case a great deal - quiet even with the default fans, room enough to work inside, SGPIO-compatible backplanes, sturdy and well built - perfect for a medium-sized home build IMHO so as long as you don't think it's too big it's worth looking into.

Only downside I can think of is I needed to buy some ATX extensions to reach the motherboard power sockets (I recycled the SeaSonic SS300-M1U I used in my NSC-800 and the small ATX extensions I used in that weren't long enough for this case). Additionally, 2x80mm fans might not be considered enough if there's going to be a lot of heat produced by the motherboard or add-in cards, but for me it's fine. The times I have thrashed the CPU (only a <100W quad) and hard discs, temperatures have remained fine.

P.S. I've just remembered about the Ablecom T80 which was my initial hope for an 8-bay tower case before I decided I needed bigger than mITX... but I never found anyone selling it over here.
 
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BlackHole

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Jul 21, 2018
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Yeah, I see what you mean about the Ablecom, it's pretty much unobtainable in the UK.
Yeah, seems to be a very rare case indeed. However, from the datasheet it seems like there's only a sole 120mm fan. I really doubt that's a wise choice to keep 8 spinners + a non-Atom system cool. So from my POV not a big loss.
Eyeballing the datasheet, adding a second 120mm fan should not have been an issue. No idea why they didn't. Might be moddable - if one could get one to begin with.
 

qwrty

New Member
Jul 18, 2018
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I had the Node 804 (that I am recycling right now, to put my old server components) and go for UNAS 810A (main server), I agree with all previous comment about the case, but like @KD said, when you go in prepared, it's the best option for build a classy home server imo
(server is standing near the TV stand in living room)

Noctua NH-L9i is the best CPU cooler you can get for this case.
Never had issue with HDD/CPU/MB/RAM temperature even in summer (30C inside living room) without AC.

btw, imo, it's still missing a lot of MicroATX box for eight HDD...
 

snakyjake

Member
Jan 22, 2014
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I'd go with the Fractal Design R5.
I don't need hot swapping.
I want something to keep the noise down, so I don't want open drives.