Cooling suggestions for drive bay in a tower case


B

brassplyer

I've got an older tower case with a drive bay for 4 h/d's stacked on
top of each other horizontally - and of course baking each other with
their heat output.

Right now the case has a smaller 80mm fan just under this bay blowing
inward and a larger (120mm?) fan blowing out. Also a side case fan
currently blowing inward approximately over and toward the CPU.

I imagine there's air being drawn past the drives from the slotting in
the case in front of them, but would like to enhance cooling of them.
Any suggestions?

Thanks
 
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D

Dave

brassplyer said:
I've got an older tower case with a drive bay for 4 h/d's stacked on
top of each other horizontally - and of course baking each other with
their heat output.

Right now the case has a smaller 80mm fan just under this bay blowing
inward and a larger (120mm?) fan blowing out. Also a side case fan
currently blowing inward approximately over and toward the CPU.

I imagine there's air being drawn past the drives from the slotting in
the case in front of them, but would like to enhance cooling of them.
Any suggestions?

Thanks

OK, first, I'm assuming that you have four bays and that all four bays are
filled with exactly four hard drives?

First thought would be, how many empty 5.25" bays do you have? You can get
cheap adapters to allow the installation of a hard drive in a (optical
drive) bay. Or get hot swap trays, even (drawers slide out with hard drive
inside). Most towers have 3-4 optical drive bays. You likely have at least
two being unused. Move two of the hard drives there. Even in an uncooled
"hot swap" bay, those drives will be cooler. Just opening up space between
the other two will help. Just make sure all your cables will reach the
optical drive bays. At worst, you might need to buy a new cable or power
splitter or something. I'll try to post a link below. -Dave

http://www.macmall.com/ttsvr/p/2278826?dpno=349157
http://www.buy.com/prod/startech-co...ive-bay-1-x-3-5-1-3h/q/loc/101/203482774.html
(this is trayless and SATA, but they make IDE versions with slide-out trays)
 
O

ohaya

Dave said:
OK, first, I'm assuming that you have four bays and that all four bays
are filled with exactly four hard drives?

First thought would be, how many empty 5.25" bays do you have? You can
get cheap adapters to allow the installation of a hard drive in a
(optical drive) bay. Or get hot swap trays, even (drawers slide out
with hard drive inside). Most towers have 3-4 optical drive bays. You
likely have at least two being unused. Move two of the hard drives
there. Even in an uncooled "hot swap" bay, those drives will be
cooler. Just opening up space between the other two will help. Just
make sure all your cables will reach the optical drive bays. At worst,
you might need to buy a new cable or power splitter or something. I'll
try to post a link below. -Dave

http://www.macmall.com/ttsvr/p/2278826?dpno=349157
http://www.buy.com/prod/startech-co...ive-bay-1-x-3-5-1-3h/q/loc/101/203482774.html
(this is trayless and SATA, but they make IDE versions with slide-out
trays)


Hi,

If the drives the OP has are SATA, I'd second the trayless SATA rack. I
have one (a Thermaltake Max4), in the top 5.25" space in my case, and
the 750GB drive I have in that is the coolest running drive in the case
(~35C after running all day).

I would mention a problem that I've had with the one I have though.
When I first installed it, everything was fine, but after several months
of use (with the drive not being removed), when I booted my system up
one morning, the Windows boot hung at the screen with the scrolling bar.

It took me awhile to figure things out, but I found that if I popped the
drive out of the trayless rack, the system would boot fine.

At that time, I ended up putting the drive into the case (not in the
rack) for awhile, but then, a couple of weeks ago, I got kind of
curious, so I took a closer look at the rack.

Now, most of these trayless SATA racks have what's called a "NSS" or
"non-scratch SATA" connector. Apparently this is a connector that
clamps onto the SATA connector as the drive is shoved into it.

So, I started doing some experimenting, doing things like trying to
shove the drive in firmer, etc., and, at first, I wasn't very
successful. The system would still hang on boot once in awhile.

Then, I was looking at the door. There's a small curved spring steel
piece that's attached to the inside of the door. The idea is that as
you swing the door shut, that spring steel piece is suppose to exert
some force to push the drive back into the drive.

I also noticed that (in my case) the door was hinged on the right, so
pressure as you closed the door was mostly on the right side.

So, what I did was take a piece of foam rubber (the black/gray kind used
for packing hard drives) and cut a thin small square, then I taped that
to the left front end of the SATA drive. My idea was that having that
there, there'd be more even pressure on the front of the drive as the
door was closed.

I did that about 3 weeks ago, and the system has been booting fine since
then.

That foam piece is getting a little compressed, so I may need to replace
it later, or, I've been thinking of replacing it with a small piece of
that 3M double-sided foam tape.

Anyway, just an FYI. I'm still amazed at how cool that drive runs, even
though the rack doesn't have a fan.

Jim
 
G

Guest

brassplyer said:
I've got an older tower case with a drive bay for 4 h/d's stacked on
top of each other horizontally - and of course baking each other with
their heat output.

Right now the case has a smaller 80mm fan just under this bay blowing
inward and a larger (120mm?) fan blowing out. Also a side case fan
currently blowing inward approximately over and toward the CPU.

I imagine there's air being drawn past the drives from the slotting in
the case in front of them, but would like to enhance cooling of them.
Any suggestions?

Thanks

What brand/model of case is this? Most drive cages can accomodate
a fan bracket in front, which holds one (or sometimes two) 80mm fans.

This is really the only way to effectively cool four drives in such a small
area. Putting more space between the drives (ie. run three instead of
four) will also help.
 
T

terryc

I've got an older tower case with a drive bay for 4 h/d's stacked on top
of each other horizontally - and of course baking each other with their
heat output.

Mount them vertical and stick a fan or two on the front.
 
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R

Rarius

brassplyer said:
I've got an older tower case with a drive bay for 4 h/d's stacked on
top of each other horizontally - and of course baking each other with
their heat output.


My first thought was... Why 4 hard drives? Surely it would be better to
replace these with a one or two 1TB drives.

Rarius
 
T

terryc

I imagine there's air being drawn past the drives from the slotting in
the case in front of them, but would like to enhance cooling of them.
Any suggestions?

Blanking plates with fans built into them. Available in single or dual.
Or, if you want serious cooling, make up your own front plate with fans.
I'd also draw the air through a filter of sorts.
 
F

Flasherly

I've got an older tower case with a drive bay for 4 h/d's stacked on
top of each other horizontally - and of course baking each other with
their heat output.

Right now the case has a smaller 80mm fan just under this bay blowing
inward and a larger (120mm?) fan blowing out. Also a side case fan
currently blowing inward approximately over and toward the CPU.

I imagine there's air being drawn past the drives from the slotting in
the case in front of them, but would like to enhance cooling of them.
Any suggestions?

Thanks

I used to mess with that stuff -- let the pros do it. Got an all
aluminum "engineered" LanBoy -- two 120 fans front and back. Then I
saw NewEgg about giving away a top-rated CFM 120 fan, on a special,
which I bought to replace the Antec backplane fan (if included, I
forget).

Everything since has been 180 degrees out of perspective. My computer
flatout got up and told me it's also a vacuum cleaner -- and days of
modifying cases with 60/80mm fans for cooling Athlon XP setups was all
just a joke. And I do mean it really sucks -- always filthy in there.
But it's always cool and lasts a long time (756 core Athlon - 3 or 4
200G Seagates off a Sparkle server-grade PS).

Only thing I suspect these days are DVD units -- between firmware
going obsolete on Asian disk manufacturer ID codes -- never really
learned to tear one down to properly clean the optical lens apparatus
by hand. Oh well, and cat's in the well -- leaving DVD for permanent
storage, anyway, skipping BlueRay, for HDs and docking stations.

Seriously, not considering case efficiency in a build is like hooking
up an 8" speaker to a Fender Bassman.
 
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F

Flasherly

2/3rds of the time cleaning the lens alone won't cut it,
dust flying around scratches up the lens and wear on the
rail sliders makes it's aim imprecise. The other 1/3rd of
the time you can simply drip pure alcohol on the lens in a
stream to flush off dust. Avoid touching the lens with
anything to wipe it if at all possible. Besides, you can't
usually gain access to the rear of the lens (besides
dripping solvent on it) without tearing apart the laser
assembly meaning it's not likely to go back together with
the correct alignment needed.

Those are good considerations, and supportive of why I've felt all
thumbs attempting to tear into optics. Should have at least a couple
2-30XX NECs writers for my oldest DVD discs, rest are newer LG.
Hopefully the NECs will serve for their last call to duty -- getting
everything over to HDs.

Usually nose around reviews, looking for cases that are popular,
couple people usually that look like they know what they're talking
about, that and A-#1 well regarded for value. The aluminum Antec
Lanboy was once such, and I've seen it locally for as little as $40
bare from the likes of CompUSA when on sale. I probably paid twice
that. True, grated and drilled $200 cases or gaming setup wouldn't
appeal as much to me as pure function and value. Though I'd think
more of anything with 120mm fan, especially if adjustable. (Not
what's in a little beater case across the room with the cheapest chip
Intel's probably released. Early PGA Celeron D. Does audio/visual
only and I try and purposefully keep it simple as possible.)

I'd rather have the dusty case than deal with temperature. Take it
out in the garage with alcohol, tooth and small-parts brush. 60gal
Cambell Hausfeld compressor to finish it off. Like new.
Theoretically, though all it's ever got was a quick run over with a
vacuum wand, as much behind the unit and what's blowing out the back.
Things for lazy people, like me and fun the living room.

Good post, kony - good points. Just been there, back with the Athlons
and "custom cooled" 12-bay Towers of Power -- long enough to where
you'd have to chisel these 120mm fans out from my cold, dead hands. :)
 

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