5in3 Sata hotswap questions

MrCrispy

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I'm building a file server (probably 2008 R2) and want to get a SuperMicro/IcyDock 5in3 hotswap cage for the drives.

- Concerned about drive longevity - don't they make hard disks run hot?

- The disks are still internal SATA so they don't show up as 'safely remove', right? How do you swap them out, how do you power the drive down?
 

Dangman

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I'm building a file server (probably 2008 R2) and want to get a SuperMicro/IcyDock 5in3 hotswap cage for the drives.

- Concerned about drive longevity - don't they make hard disks run hot?

- The disks are still internal SATA so they don't show up as 'safely remove', right? How do you swap them out, how do you power the drive down?

1) Depends on which cage you get. Most of them has either a 80mm or a 92mm fan. In addition, the good cages usually have enough holes in them for air to flow through

2) Depends on your motherboard. You would have to enable AHCI in the motherboard's BIOs in order to safely remove the hard drive.
 

vsboxerboy

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I'm sure you're not looking for a rack mount style case given what you've said, but those cages are awful pricey and if you plan to expand further you may just want to look at getting a 4U Norco case now for another $50-$100 investment and be done with it - you may even be able to find a used one for cheaper than the $250-80 or so that you're looking at spending right now.
 

MrCrispy

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I knew the Norco was going to come up :) Its simply too big for my apt, and I don't ever see myself using >10-12 disks (and controller cards to go with that). I would replace disks with larger capacity ones and use the old disks for offline backups.

Wish the cages were cheaper, maybe I'll just get 1 to start with.
 

Dangman

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I knew the Norco was going to come up :) Its simply too big for my apt

Doesn't seem that much bigger:
Norco LWH: 25.5" x 7.0" x 16.9"
Zigmatek LWH: 20.30" x 8.10" x 19.30"

About 5" longer, 1" skinnier, and 2" shorter. Yes you can stand the Norco on its side: Just move the "ears" or handles in front of the case and that's it.

If you're still gonna stick with that plan, go for the Supermicro.
 

rbm

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Feb 4, 2011
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Resurecting this thread to ask a question along the same lines as the OP.

I'm going to change my existing mdadm-based RAID6 array to ZFS, probably based around Nexentastor. Simultaneously, I was looking at upgrading my case to use hot-swap 3-5 bays so that I could get activity LEDs on the front as well as hot-swap capabilities.

My motherboard, an ASUS M2N-SLI Deluxe, does not support AHCI on the 6 on-board SATA ports (just on the auxillary eSATA port). So can someone confirm that the following two statements are true?

(1) If the MB does not support AHCI in BIOS, then getting hot-swap trays or a Norco 4116 case will not provide any significant advantage over using internal bays on my existing case.

(2) If I want hot-swap capabilities, then I would have to get a PCI-X SATA adapter card that supports AHCI and not use the on-board SATA ports. That, or upgrade my MB to one which supports AHCI.

TIA.
Robert.
 

fatguy

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Apr 25, 2005
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How many drives do you want/need to house?

The reason for my question - I went through a similar process a few months ago, but I couldn't find a decent 5-in-3 bay that had a) decent cooling, b) was quiet, and c) kept dust out.

I ended up getting a Fractal Design case with 8 drive bays behind 2 x 120mm fans and a filter. The case has sound dampening as well, so it's dead silent.

Not trying to change your mind - well maybe I am ;) - just providing an alternative...
 

fatguy

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Apr 25, 2005
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I should also mention that unless you really plan on swapping drives in and out frequently (and this is for home use), the 5-in-3 bays simply aren't cost effective. Throw in some reports that they killed drives (vibration or heat related issues) and it becomes harder to justify the cost...
 
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