Joined on 12/15/08
DS380, nice case but could use some improvements
Pros: 8 hot swap bays in a case of this size is amazing The case provides a locking front door and a switch to disable front power button to prevent children from accidentally switching the system off.
Cons: The SATA backblane needs a PSU that can supply more than 14 amps from the 5v rail. This results in Slverstones own S45SF-G SFX supply being flaky with this case. I could power on sometimes, but not reliably as the backplane would sometimes draw too much current during start up and trigger the PSU overcurrent protection. After replacing with an ST30SF PSU (which is not modular) that can supply 20a, all current issues were resolved. Because of the small size of the case, cable management is a bit tricky as the case provides no cable routing features. However, there is a convienent 'empty' spot at the top of the case above the top side fan where you can coil up the case cables and leftover PSU cables and using cable ties, I was able to keep the coil wedged between the PSU, side of the case, top of the fan, and edge of the motherboard. This worked fairly well to keep all the cables out of the fans and airflow areas. Airflow in the case is not good at all and HD temperatures vary a lot between different bay positions. At full load on the drives (using 16 dd processes to read from all 8 drives for 24+ hours), some drives reached 43c, while other drives remained at 37c. Under normal operation all drives did stay below 40c, but the load temperatures do concern me. The sata backplane connectors are not high quality and fairly flimsly. Even the soldering jobs on some of the capacitors for the backplane was very medicore, with one capacitor on mny backplane soldered at a very screw angle that exposes way too much lead from the capacitor. When trying to route longer sata cables and connect them to the backplane, due to the stiff nature of many sata cables, some plastic from the connector guard snapped off of one of the ports despite how careful I was trying to be. I strongly recommend buying very short sata cables to use with this case and getting the cables routed as much as possible before attempting to connect them to the backplane. The stock 120mm fans are only 3 pin, and spin at 1100 rpm. My CPU is passively cooled, the PSU fan shuts off when not needed, but I can't control the case fans to reduce their noise. I recommend replacing the stock case fans with 4pin fans that can be slowly ramped up by the motherboard or a fan like the Antec TrueQuiet 120 that can be switched to 600RPM.
Overall Review: I'm very happy with this case. Although I listed many more cons than pros for this case, none of the cons are critical enough to be deal breakers. If you build a NAS in this case, especially if you're trying to build a silent NAS with a passively cooled CPU, this case will work fine for you. Using 8 WD RED which are very quiet, a PSU who's fan shuts off when not needed, and replacment variable speed case fans controlled by the motherboard (ASROCK C2750D4I), the system is almost totally silent.