Bolting two 2U cases together

Joined
May 16, 2021
Messages
10
As the title suggests, I want to bolt two of these together, such that it essentially becomes a 4U case. Before I get into what I have in mind, I'd like to explain why I want to do this, in the hope that someone comes up with a better solution that I haven't considered.

The case is designed to take passively cooled CPUs, which is made possible by 3 very noisy case fans.

I already tried active 2U coolers, which may not be louder, but aren't quiet either, make an annoying higher pitched noise, and run at 100% all the time.

I looked into low-profile coolers for HTPC cases, and while some will fit, there isn't going to be much clearance to help with circulation. I'd need that circulation, because even with a 120 mm fan, they are designed for < 100W CPUs while mine are 135W, there are two of them, and they are currently at full load quite often.

I wasn't happy with the "de facto standard" solution to this common problem, which is basically to get slower case fans, or slow them down with a controller. As stated, the server spends a good amount of time at 100% cpu, so that isn't an option.

By contrast, I picked up a spare case for around the cost of two fans, and I have on-hand 4u coolers which are quiet. There's also the added benefit of getting 8 more hotswap bays and 2 more PSUs, the latter I need for spares. Still, I wouldn't mind using the case for its own motherboard instead, so if anyone can come up with a better idea, I'm open to it.

So that brings me to the mod. This isn't my area of expertise. For context, I can use a drill and solder a bit, but I wouldn't describe myself as good with my hands. I was basically going to get square pieces of sheet metal, and either bolt the cases together, or possibly tap out holes to screw the cases together.

I have some concern with the latter approach, because with 16 large spinners in it, FrankeCase would weigh well over 100 lbs. While I take the drives out to move it as is, you never know what boeheadedness a 3rd party is capable of, and I wouldn't want it to come apart in someone's arms.

Potentially, I could attach them top-to-top, so that I wouldn't have to completely destroy on of the cases.

Alternatively, I can take a hole saw to the bottom of one of the cases. I figure I'd need three holes at minimum. Two large ones for the heatsinks, and one small one for power and SAS. Given this approach, I might also make a 4th hole for a case to exhaust heat from the bottom "chamber", since I'd replace the high speed hot swap case fans with the regular kind.

Finally, I ordered some 1/32" U-channel, in case I go with the second approach, and would mount that in the holes I drilled out, after filing them down.

That's it. Any help is much appreciated, especially any pointers.
 
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Nobu

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jun 7, 2007
Messages
6,549
Do you have a rack? That would make moving the thing around easier, especially if it's a mobile rack with rails.

Have you considered mounting them together with one upside down? Then you wouldn't have to drill any holes in the bottom, and you'd have 4u of space (except where the power supply is, and above the cpu) for a heatsink.
 

toast0

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 26, 2010
Messages
1,291
Just putting out the obvious question; why not get a 4U case rather than doing something crazy?

That said, I like the idea of putting them top to top, assuming rackmounts work upside down. If the sas/power cables are long enough, you could make it reasonable to pull out one and unhook the cables. Rails would help.
 
Joined
May 16, 2021
Messages
10
Just putting out the obvious question; why not get a 4U case rather than doing something crazy?

The 4U version of the case is over 1000 USD used, and the other case I could find w/ 24 hotswap bays is nearly as much. I bought two, and would rather not buy a third.

That said, I like the idea of putting them top to top, assuming rackmounts work upside down. If the sas/power cables are long enough, you could make it reasonable to pull out one and unhook the cables. Rails would help.
Thanks for the input.
 
Joined
May 16, 2021
Messages
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In my search to find a solution that does not involve bolting two cases together, I came across this HSF.

It's from a British company, and is not sold via the usual channels in the US. I checked to see what, if any, limitations exist in terms of cpu wattage, and couldn't find any, which suggests to me it should work with any LGA2011 chip, and at only 42 dba. Fingers crossed.
 

Smoblikat

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 28, 2020
Messages
413
These used to be $100:

https://www.newegg.com/rosewill-rsv-l4000u-black/p/N82E16811147327

Theyre a little pricier now, but ive used 3 of them and theyre amazing for the price.

The alternative to bolting the 2 cases together is simply putting whatever coolers you want on the CPUs (nice big 140mm ones for that low noise) and just not putting the top of the server on, depending on how low your standards are, you could put somthing over the top (like a sheet of construction paper or w/e) for dust. Bolting them together top to top (one case upside down) would seem like the cleanest approach, but I dont know how that would affect thermals of the top machine, as it would be intaking a lot of the hot air that the bottom machine was exhausting, assuming you run a full system in each chassis.

EDIT - Better yet, just cut a couple square holes in the top of your current top panel to fit bigger coolers through, I love the look of shit like that, tres industrial.
 
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