InWin MS08 micro-ATX Server Mini-Tower

Discussion in 'Chassis and Enclosures' started by EffrafaxOfWug, Aug 19, 2018.

  1. EffrafaxOfWug

    EffrafaxOfWug Radioactive Member

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    As mentioned in previous threads, shortly I'm going to be transplanting my home server into a new case and I promised to take some pics as the case is still fairly new and there's not much info about it just yet. So, enter the InWin MS08 server tower case which'll be the primary focus of this post.
    InWin IW-MS08

    It's a fairly compact case and as can be seen from the spec sheet it takes mATX and mITX motherboards, 1U or FlexATX PSUs, has eight hot-swappable 3.5" SAS/SATA bays and provision for up to four 2.5" discs - more on that in a bit. Cooing comes in the form of two 80x25mm PWM fans (from a company called NMB) attached to the rear of the hot-swap backplanes; exhaust is two more of the same 80x25mm PWM fans at the rear of the case. PCIe slots are full-height with a quick-release clampy thing if you don't know how to use a screwdriver.

    General impressions so far are good considering the relative cheapness. The steel used for the chassis isn't the thickest, but there's no undue flex and it all fits together very nicely - no percussion required to get the side panels back on. The locking plastic facia on the front wouldn't stop anyone remotely determined, nor would the small lock on the side do much to prevent anyone from opening the case (which would in turn allow you to unclip the plastic facia anyway).

    Anyway, enough of the nonsense, let's pop open the case and get on with the pics. I'm only bothering to post ones of the interesting bits inside, but let me know if there's anything else people want to see, or further information on.

    Exterior of the optical bay, 2.5" SATA hot-swap caddies and the top set of 3.5" caddies. At first I thought the 2.5" cage area was just going to be empty, since the available pics showed a blanking plate and the listing showed the cage as "optional" - so I figured that the cage didn't come as standard and I'd end up buying it later when it eventually made its way to the UK as a massively overpriced optional extra. Imagine my surprise when I open the box and see it already installed. So I've no idea on the part number and I've no idea if the cage is actually standard or whether or not it will come with the case you might end up buying, but it came with mine and this is what it looks like.
    2.5_drive_cage_external.jpg
    Note that the 3.5" drive trays are the same as used on my other InWin chassis, and have the same hexagonal locking device - although oddly enough the hex key wasn't supplied with this case.

    View of the backplane with the lower four 3.5" drive trays removed:
    3.5_drive_cage_external.jpg

    View of the backplane with the two 2.5" drive trays removed. Note there's precious little ventilation here (nor any active cooling), and the serial sticker on the reverse is blocking half of the ventilation holes so I wouldn't recommend using this for drives that may get very toasty like 10k spinners.
    2.5_drive_cage_external_wo_trays.jpg

    Time to pop open the case...
    Detail of the plastic quick-release PCI retention bracket. There's a small fold-out loop for use with a lock just above it.
    pci_locking_bracket.jpg

    Detail of the rear of the 2.5" hot-swap caddy; molex, two SATA plugs and some named jumpers. The first 7-pin one is labelled SGPIO so it seems reasonable to assume that if you've got a SAS -> SATA cable with SGPIO sideband, it'll work when plugged into an HBA. I've no idea yet whether there's any way to get an SGPIO output from onboard SATA on Supermicro motherboards - I suspect not but if anyone knows different please let me know. The second is a 2-pin named "signal" - at a guess that's going to be for drive activity LEDs. As mentioned previously, that large sticker is blocking ventilation holes. At the bottom right of the PCB obscured by the installation bracket is a 3-pin jumper called "Enable SGPIO" (with the sticker also obscuring this label).
    2.5_drive_cage_internal.jpg

    The internal 2.5" trays. The cage can be unlocked with a captive thumbscrew whilst the drive mounting uses only two screws on the bottom side, with lugs for the top. Vibration might therefore be a problem with platter-based drives but it'll be perfect for SSDs. Side-mounting screw holes are also a must in order to fit the lugs (but there are screw holes on the bottom and sides).
    2.5_drive_trays.jpg

    Close-up of the rear of the backplanes at the back of the two sets of four bays. As you can see the PWM comes straight from the backplane itself, there's also a beeper (presumably for fan failure?) and an enticing-looking four pins which I'm surmising might be to plug the motherboard in to the PWM circuitry. But there's no proper manual or techie stuff on InWin's website any more (grrr) nor any special fan cables supplied with the case so it looks like these fans are on their own - and the first set likely to be replaced with Noctua's (likely NF-A8 PWM) if these NMB fans turn out to be loud. I'm more wary of using Noctua's for the rear fans because they don't seem to get on well with Supmicro's IPMI, but that's something to test further down the road.
    drive_cages_backplane_rear.jpg

    On further examination there was some enticing text written on the backplane PCB so I decided to see how easy it was to dismantle - very, as the case turned out. Undo the two top screws and the fan mount unhooks from the bottom, then two more screws and the PCB comes off. First the boring bit - four (SAS-compatible by the looks of it) HDD ports and part number 3RAMVI006100.
    backplane_connectors_wo_fan.jpg

    Now for some juicy close-ups of the business end of the PCB. A manual for this would have been nice but there doesn't seem to be one available, so I've transcribed the text description to make stuff more search-engine friendly. Top half first, we have five jumpers running along the top. From left to right, here's the jumper names, function and help text. Values with an asterisk denote the current OotB setting and I assume that "En" means "Enable" and "Dis" means "Disable".
    backplane_pcb_detail_top.jpg
    Code:
    JM2 - SGPIO, pins 1-3
    	JM2 Function
    		*1-2 Short	SGPIO_0 En
    		2-3 Short	SGPIO_0 Dis
    		
    JM3 - UART1, pins 1-3
    	No help text, no pins jumped
    	
    CN2, pins 1-6
    	CN2 Functions
    		1-2 Short Max fan rpm 60%
    		3-4 Short Max fan rpm 80%
    		*1-2 and 3-4 Short Max fan rpm 100%
    		*5-6 Open Temperature alarm 45C
    		5-6 Short Temperature alam 55C
    		
    JM1, pins 1-6
    	JM1 Functions, no pins jumped
    		1-3 Short Master
    		3-5 Short Slaver
    		2-4 Short Test En
    		4-6 Short Test Dis
    	
    JS1, pins 1-4
    	JS1 Functions, no pins jumped
    		1 Fail LED1
    		2 Fail LED2
    		3 Fail LED3
    		4 Fail LED4
    
    Good to see there's decent enough fan control options at least. I will see how noisy these stock 80mm's are first before thinking about replacing them with Noctua's.

    On to the bottom half, here we can see a Nuvoton M052LBN ARM microcontroller responsible for looking after the backplane. There are three data lines into this chip coming straight from the SFF 8643 connector so it's safe to assume these are probably the in-band SGPIO lines. Beneath that, we've got a piezo speaker (which I assume will go biddly beep-beep whenever a fan or temp warning goes off), a PWM fan header and two more jumpers.
    backplane_pcb_detail_bottom.jpg
    Code:
    J1 - ICE, pins 1-5
    	No help text, no pins jumped
    	
    CN1, 7 pins
    	CN1 Functions
    		1 Fan fail LED +
    		2 Fan fail LED -
    		3 Temp Fail LED +
    		4 Temp fail LED -
    		5 Mute Sw +
    		6 Mutw Sw -
    		7 NC
    		8 Key pin (unused)
    
    As and when I get the server rebuilt/transplanted I'll see if the SGPIO works - soon to be plugged in here is a trusty M1015 reflashed to a 9211-8i, and I'm not sure if it supports SGPIO. I do have an IBM M1215 lying around somewhere - this hasn't been reflashed yet but IIRC it does support SGPIO, but sadly I don't have any spare 8643->8643 cables. As an aside, do all 8643->8643 cables include SGPIO? If so I'd be tempted to get a couple and see how the SGPIO behaves with the M1215 HBA.

    All three types of the 2.5" and 3.5" trays removed from the case. Note that the 3.5" trays do not have any mounting screws on the sides - screws are from the bottom only. The 2.5" trays should be tall enough to accommodate 12.5mm and 14mm height drives (although I've only got 9.5mm SSDs to test with).
    drive_trays.jpg

    The same but with drives put in. Note the venerable C300 SSD used in the 2.5" hot-swap tray is a 9.5mm drive and there seems to be enough headroom for ~15mm drives although I don't have one on-hand to test.
    drive_trays_populated.jpg
     
    #1
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
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  2. EffrafaxOfWug

    EffrafaxOfWug Radioactive Member

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    <reserved for more pics when components go in>
     
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  3. jahsoul

    jahsoul Active Member

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    So you finally got your hands on it??? How much did it set you back. I'm still waiting on it to come stateside but who knows at this point.
     
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  4. EffrafaxOfWug

    EffrafaxOfWug Radioactive Member

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    It's available for ~£215 (without PSU) here in rightpondia.
     
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  5. nev_neo

    nev_neo Member

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    How’s the build going ?
    Are the fans too noisy that they would need to be swapped out ?
     
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  6. EffrafaxOfWug

    EffrafaxOfWug Radioactive Member

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    The build still isn't anywhere near beginning (Real Life intruding as ever) but I've tested it with a random motherboard from my testbench.

    Long story short the fans on the drive backplanes are staggeringly loud at boot (probably well north of 40dB) - from first power-on, they seem to run through a duty-cycle load that ramps them up from ~50% to 100%. However after that they calm down considerably to somewhere between 800-1000rpm (I've got no direct way of measuring rpm) and are relatively quiet. I'm going to attempt to replace these with some 80mm Noctua's when they arrive and see what happens.

    The same fans on the back of the case are running at ~800rpm plugged into PWM connectors on the motherboard, and are perfectly quiet enough at those speeds. I'm hesitant currently to replace these with Noctua's straight off the bat (some problems with Noctua fans and supemicro IPMI previously) but ultimately I'll have to see what the final build ends up looking like.

    But the noise is certainly nothing like a rackmount and shouldn't need any special noise-reduction methods for most home environments.
     
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  7. Evan

    Evan Well-Known Member

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    Staggering load @ 40db haha

    Have a large enterprise server that at full fan or atleast the fan speed at boot time we measured at 128db !!!
     
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  8. EffrafaxOfWug

    EffrafaxOfWug Radioactive Member

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    Oh I've spent enough time in our data centres to know loud vs. LOUD... but it's been aeons since I had anything as noisy as the fan startup cycle in my home. It's still the loudest thing in my house after a hungry cat...! ;)
     
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  9. EffrafaxOfWug

    EffrafaxOfWug Radioactive Member

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    Another minor update - checking it with my testbed and a spare M1015/9211-8i and SGPIO appears to be working - when you run:
    Code:
    sas2ircu 0 locate 1:0 on
    ...the corresponding drive light comes on flashing red, or throws an error if the drive tray is empty. I've not tried it with any failed HDDs yet.

    First time I've had a chassis at home that'll do this so no more "running dd against a drive to identify it by the activity light", now I need to knock up a script that'll flash the right drive bay if I specify a device.
     
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  10. Djidz

    Djidz New Member

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    Hey dude.. What happend to the rest of this thread? I wanna see some more reviews from your project..
    Im thinking of buying this case but Id like a few more bays. Maybe I will go with their other cases which support 11 3.5" drives but I cant find any reviews of them either. Would love to hear your story on this case and the quality of in win..
    thanks!
     
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  11. EffrafaxOfWug

    EffrafaxOfWug Radioactive Member

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    The server's been in constant use since most of the guts were transposed into the case... it's got a couple of upgrades and a good ol' tidy up before it'll be in a photogenic state. But I'm perfectly happy with the quality (I've built rackmount servers with InWin cases for a while now at work).

    Reviews of any InWin server cases seem to be virtually non-existent so please let me know if there's any further info/opinion you'd like to hear. By "other cases" do you mean something like the 12-bay IW-PLV? Bear in mind that this is a much larger animal than the MS08 (and a 3U or a 4U is probably more space efficient).
     
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  12. Djidz

    Djidz New Member

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    Hi,
    Great to see you answer so soon! Im glad the case has been serving you well!
    My usecase is that I need a few moew drives then 8.. Otherwise I would buy this case directly..
    InWin Pedestal & Tower
    Above are the cases that in-win have. Most of them have 4 hotswap bays but then bunch of 5.25" bays that can be converted in to 3.5" hotswap bays.
    Hotswap isn't necessarily important for me but just the ability to have at least 10 or so 3.5" drives that is cooled by some kind of a fanwall inside.
    Its an extra cost with the 5.25"-->3.5" cages but I dont really see any other options. Most good dell or HP cases that Ive found also only support 8 drives maximum. And supermicron I just way too expensive and sometimes too large..
    I need a case with maximum depth 600mm and prefferably rackmount possibilities firther down the line.

    For these requirements I have only found in-win so far as a towerserver and very few 4u rackcases that are short enough. However since I dont have a rack cabinett right now (maybe in 3 years when we move to house) It would be more convenient to have a tower server right now. Otherwise I have to place the rackcase on a table basically.. But that could work of course..

    Some of the cases that can support 11 x 3.5" drives, from in-win on their website, looks decent. As I said with couple of 5.25" cages it will go with 11 drives. But what Im concerned about in some of them is that they seem to only come with (and support) a total of 2 92mm fans behind the HDD's. To me that looks insufficient but also looks like there is space for another 92mm.. But it says only 2 is possible.. What do you think after looking at this and also owning a case yourself which has these type of hotswap fans behind the drivecages.

    Im planning on using probably a supermicron motherboard for this build as well with some hopefully quiet 350-400w PSU. Thats also something I wonder, you can buy other Powersupplies for these cases right? Doesnt have to be in-win?

    Thanks!
     
    #12
  13. Dark

    Dark Member

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    Great write up. I ordered the MS08 late last week and your information will certainly save me some time.
     
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  14. TomUK

    TomUK Member

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    Can the LFF bays take SFF disks in this case?

    Cheers
     
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  15. EffrafaxOfWug

    EffrafaxOfWug Radioactive Member

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    Yes they can; sorry, should have been clearer on that but if you look at the pic of the 3.5" tray you should be able to see the 2.5" mounting holes. It also comes with a bag of screws (countersunk M2 IIRC) specifically for mounting 2.5" drives.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019
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  16. roidinev

    roidinev New Member

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    Look like the case is not available in china,mainland now, why
     
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  17. RTM

    RTM Active Member

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    So I also just got a MS08, I got the version without the 2.5" hotswap bays apparently, one difference to what I am seeing here is that the fans are from Sunon.
    I haven't powered them on, so don't know if they are noisy yet.

    What power supply are you @EffrafaxOfWug using?
    I opted against buying the suggested powersupply, because it was quite expensive and because I had a Seasonic SSP-300SUG lying around from a previous project. I hadn't thought it through fully, as the SUG PSU only has one molex plug for the disk trays (the MS08 appears to need 4).

    I am looking at various options, at the moment Seasonics 500W L1U looks like a good candidate, but I would like to know if there are other good alternatives (or reasons for why it is not a good fit).
     
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  18. EffrafaxOfWug

    EffrafaxOfWug Radioactive Member

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    I've used two in this rig so far - both Seasonic Flex ATX gold, the 300W and the 350W. I stick with using the 300W as it's (probably negligibly) more efficient for the workload. It's not the SUG model but the SS-300M1U; I've never used the SUG models but I was perfectly happy with the efficiency, quietness and availability of the M1U's for my NSC-800 builds and they're doing fine in the MS08 also. TBH I could almost certainly get away with using the 200 or 250W model given my power measurements.

    I did the build in a hurry, and still haven't tidied up the insides as I'm pondering a Ryzen build to replace my haswell xeon, but IIRC I used a couple of molex splitters for the HDD cages, even at startup the power draw for the HDDs is nowt special.
     
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  19. ReturnedSword

    ReturnedSword Active Member

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    So with the Silverstone CS381 being somewhat of a disappointment, I'm back to the In Win MS08. How is yours running so far, @EffrafaxOfWug ?

    It's hard to source a MS08 here in the US. Their only distributor that sells their whole line (Newegg only sells the MS04) is about 15 minutes from me, but that distributor's prices are close to highway robbery, with In Win agreeing as such. In Win instead referred me to another distributor who usually sells in larger quantities, but let's see if I can get one for about $300 + tax (2.5 hotswap + 500W PSU option).
     
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  20. EffrafaxOfWug

    EffrafaxOfWug Radioactive Member

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    I'm still very happy with mine. Once I'm convinced it's stable and I've got a downtime agreement signed off with the WAF, I'm going to be transplanting my new Ryzen 3000 build into the MS08. At the same time I'll be replacing the stock fans with 80mm Noctuas - as I've noted above, they're not especially loud, but at the moment they're still the loudest thing in my study.

    I've no idea why they seem to be hard to get a hold of in the US, but glad you found a distributor at least.
     
    #20
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