This page lists my research into the ultimate case for a FreeBSD ZFS NAS build. As with most things, nothing ticks all the boxes! All we can do is get closer.

Preferred specs

  • 8-12 hard drives, or it’s not worth it
    • Hot-swappable caddies built in, or
    • Generous 5.25” bays for after market hot-swap caddies
  • Simple design
    • As little wasted space as possible
    • No superfluous LEDs, boy racer grills in spider shapes, etc!

With hot swap drives

Case Size 3.5 5.25 Extra
Chenbro SR105 ATX 4 3 4x 2.5”
Chenbro SR209 ATX 4 3 4x 2.5”
Chenbro SR107 E-ATX 8 3 1x FDD
Chenbro SR112 E-ATX 8 2 2x HDD
CFI-A789 Mini-ITX 4 0
CFI-A1028 ATX++ 6 6 HUGE!
CFI-A1068 ATX 6 4
CFI-A5000 Mini-ITX 7 1
CFI-A7X79 Mini-ITX 4 0
Fractal Design Array R2 Mini-ITX 6 0
Fractal Design Node 304 Mini-ITX 6 0
Fractal Design Node 804 Micro-ATX 8 0
In-Win IW-MS04 Mini-ITX 4 0.5 SAS
In-Win IW-PLV E-ATX 12 1 Wow!
Norco ITX-S8 Mini-ITX 8 0
Silverstone DS380 Mini-ITX 8 0
Silverstone CS380 ATX 8 2
Supermicro SC742 4U 7 3 1x FDD
Supermicro SC743 4U 7 3 1x FDD
Supermicro SC747 4U 8 3 1x FDD
Thermaltake Level 10 ATX 6 3 Wow!
U-NAS NSC-800 Mini-ITX 8 0
U-NAS NSC-810 Mini-ITX 8 0 2x PCI

With just 5.25” drive bays

Case Size 5.25” Notes
AeroCool ZeroDegree-BK ATX 9
AZZA Helios 910 ATX 9
[Antec Nine Hundred] ATX 9 V3
[ENERMAX ECA5010M-B-B] ATX 11
[Lian-Li PC-A79] ATX 12
[Lian-Li PC-D600] ATX 10 Thermal zone
[Lian-Li P80N] ATX 12 Pivot door
Lian-Li PC-Q35B Mini-ITX 5
CoolerMaster SGC-5000-KWN1 ATX 9 Oh dear
CoolerMaster CM Storm Trooper ATX 9 Oh dear
iStarUSA S-917 Mini-ITX 7 Newegg
iStarUSA S-919 Micro-ITX 9 Nobody sells?
iStarUSA S-9112-EATX EATX 12 “Coming soon”
Nexustek Edge ATX 13 Discontinued :(
SilverStone TJ11B-W ATX 9
Thermaltake Core W100 EATX 11
[Thermaltake Core W200] EATX 10

With several 5.25” drive bays and internal 3.5

Case Size 3.5 5.25
CFI-A8008 ATX 6 4
CoolerMaster CM 690 II Plus ATX 6 4
CoolerMaster CMP-350 ATX 7 4
CoolerMaster Silencio 652s ATX 8 3
Lian-Li PC-A75WX HPTX 12 2
Lian-Li PC-A76 HPTX 12 2
Lian-Li PC-7FN ATX 4 4

These could be fitted with ICY DOCK or SuperMicro hot-swap trays.

Consumer JBODs

Case eSATA3 USB3 3.5
CFI-B7843JD 4
CFI-BXX46XM 4
CFI-BXX86CM 8
CFI-B7843JU 4
CFI-B7883JD 8
CFI-B7883JU 8

Backplane Cage

Cage Bays HDDs Notes
Chenbro SK32303 2 3
ICY DOCK MB973SP-B 2 3 Trayless
ICY DOCK MB973SP-1B 2 3 + 3x USB 3
ICY DOCK MB973SP-2B 2 3 + eSATA, USB 2
SilverStone FS303 2 3 Trayless
NORCO SS-300 2 3
NORCO SS-400 3 4
SilverStone FS304 3 4 Trayless
Thermaltake Max 3504 3 4 Large vent
Chenbro SK33502 3 5
ICY DOCK MB975SP-B 3 5 Ind. HDD power
ICY DOCK MB975SP-B R1 3 5
NORCO SS-500 3 5
SilverStone FS305 3 5 Trayless
Supermicro CSE-M35TQ 3 5

Other useful parts

Part Description
ATXBRACKET Power and reset switches on a PCI bracket