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Thread: Is there an advantage to a 4U rack mount case?

  1. #1
    Fresh Paint
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    Default Is there an advantage to a 4U rack mount case?

    I am going to assemble build my third PC. It is for my friend and he has requested a rack mount PC. He needs a professional PC. This is the first time I am building a rack mount PC. He told me I can custom build the mount case. I also thought that it would be the best choice. I am planning to design the case from sheet metal fabricators named Bayview metals. They recommended building a 4U case. Is it necessary to have a big case? I was hoping for a 2.5U case. Is there any advantage on using a large one? Need advice.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Yuk it up Monkey Boy! Airbozo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there an advantage to a 4U rack mount case?

    In my experience, the only advantage to a large chassis is cooling the components with minimal noise. A 4U chassis allows you to use the larger fans which expel more heat with less noise and effort. I have used 3U chassis to achieve the same effect, but it is a little more challenging to get the fans in the right place, especially in a rack-mount chassis.

    If noise is not the main issue, then space for the drives would be the next big factor. It also depends on what the system will be used for. If you want to install any high performance graphics cards then a 3U chassis is probably going to be the smallest you can use unless you use a riser card. Also unless you use Server style PSU's a normal desktop PSU would need a 3U chassis as well.

    Let's see some more details and we can help you along the way.

    BTW: I always suggest people to visit this site: http://www.protocase.com/ for help, including a free chassis CAD program.
    "...Dumb all over, A little ugly on the side... "...Frank Zappa...

  3. #3
    Undead Pirate d_stilgar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there an advantage to a 4U rack mount case?

    I recently purchased the iStarUSA D-313SE-MATX 3U Compact Rackmount case off of ebay for $55. It's a pretty compact case, but technically can fit full ATX if you're willing to sacrifice some hard drive bays and rear expansion slots. It's quiet as well.

    I'd say the main advantage to rack mount computer cases is if you have other rack mount items you're trying to connect to, like high-end audio equipment, NAS, power conditioners, switches, etc. Otherwise it's a bit of a bother. But in my case I was trying to mount both the HTPC and my Drobo Pro into an old 1960s record player cabinet, so rack mount was perfect for that.

  4. #4
    Fresh Paint
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    Default Re: Is there an advantage to a 4U rack mount case?

    Quote Originally Posted by Airbozo View Post
    In my experience, the only advantage to a large chassis is cooling the components with minimal noise. A 4U chassis allows you to use the larger fans which expel more heat with less noise and effort. I have used 3U chassis to achieve the same effect, but it is a little more challenging to get the fans in the right place, especially in a rack-mount chassis.

    If noise is not the main issue, then space for the drives would be the next big factor. It also depends on what the system will be used for. If you want to install any high performance graphics cards then a 3U chassis is probably going to be the smallest you can use unless you use a riser card. Also unless you use Server style PSU's a normal desktop PSU would need a 3U chassis as well.

    Let's see some more details and we can help you along the way.

    BTW: I always suggest people to visit this site: http://www.protocase.com/ for help, including a free chassis CAD program.
    Thanks for giving a detailed suggestion. He needs the PC for AV editing. THe GFX card is NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M and for storage has 3 drives of 250GB, 120 GB and 2TB HDD. From your input I think it will need the bigger 4U case.
    Thanks for the link.

  5. #5
    Yuk it up Monkey Boy! Airbozo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there an advantage to a 4U rack mount case?

    If I was building an AV system for my self, I would make sure to add an extra fan (or two since I used 8 drives and a raid controller). I would also use high quality fans with a low db rating. In my case I also mounted my drives with some rubber isolated cages to prevent the vibration from being heard. The is especially noticable in a rack mount case.

    A 3U would probably work, but it would be tight.
    "...Dumb all over, A little ugly on the side... "...Frank Zappa...

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