Case Recommendations for Server

I have my server in a Fractal Define R4 which is great, but it has a huge footprint considering it’s right next to my main PC.
I want to reduce the footprint but still have drive expandability to an extent. A couple reqs:

  1. Must be able to accommodate ATX motherboard, full size PSU and a PCIe gfx card.
  2. Space for 4 rusty disk drives.
  3. Tall enough for the air cooler on my FX-6300…which is the Cooler Master Hyper 212 at 25mm. I suppose if I had to get a lower profile cooler, it’s not the end of the world.

I like the look of the cube style cases, but I’d have to do a substantial hardware overhaul for many of them.

Quiet operation isn’t a high priority, so if it doesn’t have acoustic panels it’s not a big deal.

Thanks for the suggestions.


You have several options for consideration, here are just a few:

Cost-wise not that different from the Jonsbo case, so it comes down to personal preferences. And that’s your call :stuck_out_tongue:

…except that the Jonsbo wont fit all HDDs or the CPU cooler

The OP already indicated that a change of cooler is not a deal-breaker.

Ok, I’m just speculating, but …
How about putting the server not next to your main pc on your desk? :slight_smile: :wink:

For ATX support + drives, well, there really isn’t that much more to do with the form factor. The Jonsbo C5 Black / Silver could be something, clocking in at ~35 cubic decimeters (liters) and a cost of ~$95:

Also, the Sliger Cerberus X at 24 liters could work, if you order it with two extra 3.5" brackets, though do double check it will work, first. Cost is $285 with drives though, but, I would say that is as small as you can make it:

If you are willing to move down to mATX, there is also the $140 Fractal Design Node 804 for which should tick all your boxes, and do also have a look at the mITX Node 304, as well as quite a few Jonsbo cases if mATX / mITX is an option.

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Have any suggestions on an mATX board?

There are a few, question is, what do you need? Epyc? Xeon? u.2? m.2? Et cetera.

All I know is, unless you really need to populate 7x PCIe slots, mATX servers are pretty slick these days.

The goal is a low wattage machine that would support ProxMox and WD Reds.

Something that can fit 4 spinning rust drives is adequate, with an mATX that can handle m.2 storage for OS only.

Ok, still not sure how low a low-wattage machine is, but if you are fine with something that idles at ~20W and goes between that and ~50W, then, here is the el-cheapo combo:

PCPartPicker Part List

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i3-13100 $134.69
Motherboard ASRock Z690M Phantom Gaming 4 $129.99
Memory TEAMGROUP T-Create Expert 2x16 GB DDR4-3200 CL16 $50.99
Total $315.67

This does not come with a case or PSU, but Jonsbo has some pretty good mATX cases, and the Fractal Design Node 804 is still a really nice NAS case. You also might want to go with a less stock option cooler. One final thing to note is the lack of ECC support.

I would go for an mITX build though and squeeze that size down further to a Node 304. YMMV.

For ECC support I would instead go AM5 today, this is just about the cheapest build for that:

PCPartPicker Part List

Type Item Price
CPU AMD Ryzen 5 7600 $219.99
Motherboard Asus TUF GAMING B650M-PLUS WIFI $194.99
Memory Lexar Ares OC 2x16 GB DDR5-5200 CL38 $91.30
Total $506.28

Note: The above memory is NOT ECC, but PC Part Picker does not show any ECC memory for DDR5 at the moment. In other stores I have seen 32 GB kits go for ~90 dollars so the above kit is an approximation of that. If ECC memory is truly important to you, only buy that MoBo and CPU.

There is also the Supermicro H13SAE-MF which has a ton of nice to have server features, but I have not been able to find a good pricing quote for that. if you can get it for below $200 I would recommend that over Asus, as Asus is kind of a crappy brand lately.

Both of these should be sub-100W, at the very least. The Ryzen I think is more efficient but also more expensive, as always, YMMV.

I’m gonna get a Lian Li PC-O11AIR Mini.

Here’s a few examples of cases that can do atx, 4 drives, 159mm cooler, and at least 250mm long graphic cards. PriceSpy has a great filter function for those things.

Here’s some from pcpartpicker.

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