Dell T630 16x2.5" sff to 8x3.5" lff conversion?

vlansftw

New Member
Mar 27, 2021
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Long time reader but first time poster here. I got a good deal on a Dell T630 with 16x2.5" sff bays but I would rather use 3.5" inch SATA disks in this machine. From what I find online it seems the lff models of this server use a different chassis and backplane, but otherwise most of the components are the same. I'm thinking I could purchase an empty chassis, along with a 3.5" backplane and simply swap over the components I already have.

Has anyone attempted this? Any gotchas I should be aware of?
 

Tcalp

Member
Oct 15, 2020
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You should be fine to do that, but the chassis's for the T630 aren't deployed to 1/100th of the R630's and as such are a fairly rare beast. I'd doubt you'll find a bare chassis at a decent enough price to make the change over worthwhile. You may want to look at getting a similar chassis that is at end of life like the T320 or similar.
 

vlansftw

New Member
Mar 27, 2021
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Thank you for your reply. Rare though they are I am seeing a couple of options for sale on eBay. You’re right though that T320’s seem to be in the same price range, but going that route I’d end up with yet another machine running in the basement.

What I’m hoping for here are some words from someone that has done a similar swap on another 13th gen Poweredge. Did everything just work as expected or did the machine start misbehaving afterwards?

edit: speling
 

Tcalp

Member
Oct 15, 2020
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From what I can see a T630 chassis will run you about $700, plus disk trays, and possibly some cabling parts. Whereas the T320 will cost roughly $150 (though again with possible extras needed).

As to the swap, I would assume everything to be the same, as dell generally makes stuff like this interchangeable, the only thing that maybe different missing is an additional power cable running from the power distrobution board to the backplane (and possibly, different type of SAS cables?)