Case to minimise noise/vibration from eight hard drives?

Enclosures and acoustic damping to help quiet them.

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johnk
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Case to minimise noise/vibration from eight hard drives?

Post by johnk » Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:40 am

I have a home-built NAS that has been running happily for years. It used to live in a cupboard but since moving house it's had to live in my study, and I've realised that the one mistake I made when building the NAS was to use a cheap case without any option for damping for the hard drives. Even adding thin rubber washers would be very difficult. With eight drives, the case resonates and the drives create an annoying humming.

So I need to replace the case, and the overriding priority is find one that offers the best features for controlling hard drive noise and vibration. It also needs to hold eight drives (using 3.5 and 5.25 bays).

From reading the reviews and discussions here the Antec P183 seems an obvious choice, but I'd be interested to hear of any alternatives. There will be little else in the case apart from the motherboard and CPU. It's just a file server.

And a secondary question. Given that I have to rebuild the server in the new case, I was wondering if it's time to replace the motherboard, CPU etc. I did build the NAS originally to be as low power as possible, using old hardware, but things have moved on. Would moving to mini-ITX cut power usage significantly? The NAS idles at 80-90W, but I've assumed that's because some of my hard drives are old and power hungry. I'm gradually swapping out to newer drives.

The current spec is:

ITOX IF15 motherboard (a FlexATX board, socket 370, Intel 815E chipset).
Celeron 700MHz processor, 256MB RAM.
Seasonic 430w PSU.
NasLite OS.

Any advice appreciated.

faugusztin
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Post by faugusztin » Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:18 am

If you can get it, then Fractal Design Define R2 is your best choice. All drives have same soft silicone gromet mounts - in other words it is same as the drive trays in most Antec cases.

Image
And yes, you can save some power with good motherboard choice - in my case it is AT3IONT-I + Adaptec 1430SA controller + 8 drives. With 7 drives sleeping and 1 running it uses ~38-40W, with all drives running it goes up to ~60W region.

speedkar9
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Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Case to minimise noise/vibration from eight hard drives?

Post by speedkar9 » Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:02 am

How about if you get a case with all 5.25" bays (like CM Centurion or Antec 900) and suspend them all the way down? With some slow turning fans in front, they can run cool and quiet(er).
[url=http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=60019]Antec 302-S Project[/url]
[url=http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=516201#516201]Solo PC with flipped PSU & Mobo[/url]
[url=http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=59157]Basement PC flipped and converted[/url]

[img]http://img237.imageshack.us/img237/9425/img0230copy.jpg[/img]

kuzzia
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Post by kuzzia » Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:48 pm

You could also buy a regular case with approx. 3-6 HD bays, and then mount the rest of the hard drives on to devices such as Cooler Master 4-in-3 (four 3,5" HD-bays from three 5,25" bays, 120 mm fan included) or Nexus Double Twin HDD Silencer.. In that way, the variety of cabinets is much wider than cabinets with at least 8 3,5" drive bays.

johnk
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Location: UK

Post by johnk » Mon Aug 02, 2010 2:51 pm

Thank you for the responses.

@faugusztin - I did read the SPCR review of the Fractal Design Define R2 and for some reason it put me off. I'll go back and read it again.

@speedkar9 - I do like the idea of suspending all the discs. I use Sonatas for my desktop PCs, with all discs suspended, and it does help.

@kuzzia - Yes, I'm happy to use the 5.25 bays, but I wasn't aware of options like the Cooler Master 4-in-3.

JamieG
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Post by JamieG » Mon Aug 02, 2010 3:11 pm

johnk wrote:@speedkar9 - I do like the idea of suspending all the discs. I use Sonatas for my desktop PCs, with all discs suspended, and it does help.
Someone has built a system in Coolermaster Centurion 590 case in the General Gallery with 8 HDDs suspended:

viewtopic.php?t=52917

Downside is no door to block direct HDD noise coming out the front.
My PCs:
Main PC (E5200, G31, Lian Li Q07) | Gaming PC (E6850, X38, 5870 Vapor-X, P182) | HTPC (4850e, 780G, 3450, NSK2480B)

Qianlong
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Post by Qianlong » Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:28 am

The only case I've found that has a lot of 5.25 bays and is also very cheap is the Sharkoon Rebel 9 eco. You can also fit 2 fans in the front for cooling.

http://www.sharkoon.com/html/produkte/p ... ex_en.html

I think Sharkoon also sells 5.25 to 3.5 HDD dampening bays.

http://www.sharkoon.com/html/produkte/z ... .html?id=4

The case sells for +- 40 euro in europe.

johnk
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Post by johnk » Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:37 am

@JamieG, @Qianlong -- thank you both. The more I have read here in the last day or two, the more I realise that suspending the discs is the only real answer, and long towers full of 5.25 bays such as the ones you suggest are probably the best route to take. I'll investigate further.

MikeC
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Post by MikeC » Sun Sep 26, 2010 11:11 am

johnk wrote:@JamieG, @Qianlong -- thank you both. The more I have read here in the last day or two, the more I realise that suspending the discs is the only real answer, and long towers full of 5.25 bays such as the ones you suggest are probably the best route to take. I'll investigate further.
So what did you do? Do you have any suggestions for this thread? -- viewtopic.php?t=60142
Mike Chin, SPCR Editor/Publisher
Support SPCR by buying your gear through this link: Amazon

johnk
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Post by johnk » Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:16 pm

MikeC wrote:So what did you do? Do you have any suggestions for this thread? -- viewtopic.php?t=60142
The first decision I made was that using eight drives was limiting my options too much, so I bought some bigger drives and reduced the overall number to six.

Then I decided to see how well I could do with what was lying around -- I had an old unused case (Antec SLK3000B) and using a tip from these forums, I installed five of the disks in the supplied HDD cage and then suspended the cage in the case using clothing elastic. The sixth disc sits on acoustic foam on the floor of the case.

Success -- the server is now quieter than my desktop PCs, despite having six HDDs.

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