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Windows 7: Case Switching

17 Aug 2011   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Case Switching

I'm just throwing this out there because I'm not sure where else to post something like this.

Currently I have my custom built PC (which I call my "Main" PC) & I'm looking to change cases. My current case is discontinued & no longer being made. Here is my current case/build:

Case - - APEVIA X-Alien ATXA7AW-BL/420 Blue Aluminum Server Computer Case 420W Power Supply
Motherboard - - ASUS M4A77TD AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard
CPU - - AMD Athlon II X3 425 Rana 2.7GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor ADX425WFGIBOX
RAM - - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL
Graphics Card - - PNY VCG941024GXPB GeForce 9400 GT 1GB 128-bit DDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Low Profile Video Card

I also have a semi unused "backup" PC that is a Dell Dimension 4600C that I sometimes use in another room of the house.

specs here: Documentation

In an effort to consolidate my PC's because I tend to rearrange my office quite a bit what I'm thinking of doing and wanting to know if it's possible is taking my Main PC and putting it in a server case, specifically this server case: - ARK 4U-500-CA Black 4U Rackmount Case 3 External 5.25" Drive Bays

I'm a little bit concerned with cooling as the Main PC currently has 6 fans, and the server case only has 3. Would everything fit & be sufficiently cooled as this is my regular workstation where I do daily computing task, Gaming, T.V. Show recording/transcoding etc. etc.?

Now as for the Dell Dimension 4600C that I have I would also like to swap out the case and stuff it into a server case as well & use it as a combination of file server/distributed computing (i.e. Seti@home, Test4Theory@home) & whatever else I could use it for. I'm not sure as to what form factor server case I might be able to stuff the 4600C in to (1U, 2U etc. etc.) or if it's even possible because it's a Dell manufactured PC.

As stated earlier I'm looking to consolidate my PC's into a more manageable setup to where I can easily upgrade at least the Main PC and move them around or at least stuff them into a more out of the way area from time to time as needed. So I am thinking of purchasing some sort of rack but being I've never worked with server cases or server racks I'm unsure as to what's available (for fairly cheap) in the way of server racks that will only really have 2 "servers" possibly 3 later on.

Tips, comments suggestions welcome please

My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

109 views & no input at all? I know going from a gaming case to a server case might seem unusual to people but seeing as how I've seem to have gotten a little sick of my tower case (and its noise) that I've had I think for 5+ years now I'm kind of wanting to switch things up a little bit.

Current setup (red arrows denote where I'd probably place the rack or shelving)

Inside of the case
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2011   #3

W7 Professional x64

Why do you want to move to a rackmount case? I mean, to be honest, at home you might as well just turn a mid tower on it's side for the same dimensions...

For example, that one has smaller dimensions than the rackmount you posted, is cheaper, and supports more fans, and has two extra years of warranty if you dig that sort of thing...

The only reason to spend money on a rackmount case, as far as I have been able to tell in my years of building and maintaining computers, is so that you can put it in a server rack....
My System SpecsSystem Spec

19 Aug 2011   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

The server case may end up being louder, since noise level isn't really taken into consideration with servers.
What you need to do is get new quiet fans for your setup or a new case with large low rpm high air flow fans.
Antec 300 is a nice looking case with good airflow and can have up to 5 fans (comes with either 2 or 4 depending on verison).

4 fans, (currently cheaper after rebate than the 2 fan version, and only $4 more if you don't send in the rebate) - Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

2 fans, - Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

I've used the Antec 300 in 5 builds over the years and my fathers machine is sitting in one.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2011   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

I can't recommend the Cooler Master HAF series enough. I am using two HAF 912s right now. You can't beat the price, or the fact they cool very well while keeping the noise down nearly silent.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2011   #6

Windows 10 Pro

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeaconFrost View Post
I can't recommend the Cooler Master HAF series enough. I am using two HAF 912s right now. You can't beat the price, or the fact they cool very well while keeping the noise down nearly silent.
Agreed. I have the HAF X and the case is cool, quiet and has outstanding cable management.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Aug 2011   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

The reason I was thinking of a server case is it's flat and can be stored in a semi out of the way place. My current "server" tower case I've had for 5+ years and has always...always had a vibration hum on the top exhaust fan area that I have to place something heavy on to keep the hum down to a minimum. The case also was damaged somehow and is literally warped as well, the case seems offset and doesn't balance on the feet correctly either.

Hence the server case idea being it's flat yet large enough I guess to allow easy access for replacing parts. I just purchased a XFX HD Radeon 6770 & new Corsair GS700watt PSU. Even with as large as this case is the PSU cabling is causing some issues right now, I literally had to wedge the backside of the case on and ...there is a noticeable hump now....

I was debating purchasing one of the HAF series of cases as a friend of mine that I helped build his PC purchased the HAF full tower case (not sure of the model) but I was impressed with the fan size/amount of them and how quiet the case was.

Another reason I was considering a rackmount case was I am toying with the idea of building a custom PC desk, as you can see from the previous post the desk with the monitor mount is fairly large, I had to enlarge the desktop to accommodate for how far the monitor mount stuck out over the original desktop & the PC sits to the right.

The idea I'm still toying with is either a custom desk like the L3p D3sk seen here except it would be a free standing desk. The other idea being a somewhat similar desk but with the PC/case being mounted underneath in somewhat of a pullout box/drawer.

My dilemma is, large case for ease of use or minimalist for the neat look and or placement while sacrificing space in the case which obviously leads to cooling issues.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Aug 2011   #8

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit

Hi mate.
Large case is the way to go if you plan on air cooling..I personally like the Silverstone TJ11

Silverstone Temjin TJ11 Black with Window Case [TJ11BW] - $579.00 : PC Case Gear and or this Corsair

Corsair Obsidian 800D Case [CC800DW] - $375.00 : PC Case Gear

Both cases have a truckload of space for cable management and if fan noise is an issue for you then you have room for water cooling as both cases are designed to accomodate 360 rad's etc.

seeing your in the States you could also consider the Mountain Mods cases or the Caselabs range. None of them are particularly cheap to buy but you get what you pay for..excellent build quality etc etc.

My next case will be the Caselabs TH10 with pedestal see you will need to scroll down the page to find it tho lol as there are photos of all the cases in the range on the page.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Aug 2011   #9

W7 Professional x64

Well as I said earlier, you can turn 90% or more of cases on their side, they will have an unobtrusive side so that this is possible. Thinking about dimensions, any mid tower case will be the same size as a server rackmount case.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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