When it comes to building a home server, selecting the right PC case is crucial. A good PC case not only provides ample space for all your hardware components but also ensures efficient cooling and easy maintenance. In this article, we will guide you through the process of choosing the best PC case for your home server.
One of the critical factors to consider when selecting a PC case for a home server is the number of drive bays it has. The drive bays are the slots where you install your hard drives, solid-state drives, and other storage devices. The more drive bays a PC case has, the more storage you can add to your server. Additionally, having multiple drive bays allows you to set up RAID configurations for data redundancy and improved performance.
After researching and testing various PC cases, we have identified the top options that offer the most drive bays for home servers. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive review of each case, highlighting its unique features and benefits. By the end of this article, you will have all the information you need to make an informed decision and choose the best PC case for your home server.
Best PC Cases for Home Servers
As avid home server enthusiasts, we know that choosing the right PC case is crucial to the success of your home server build. When it comes to selecting the perfect case, there are a few key factors to consider, such as the size, number of drive bays, and overall build quality. In this roundup, we’ve compiled a list of the best PC cases for home servers, taking into account all of these important factors. So without further ado, let’s dive into our top picks!
(Note: Each of the cases listed below has at least 4 drive bays.)
We highly recommend the SilverStone Technology Home Theater Computer Case for those looking to build a powerful home media server with excellent cooling and dust-prevention features.
- The positive air pressure design ensures excellent cooling and quietness, while preventing dust buildup.
- The case supports expansion cards up to 13.6 inches and extended ATX motherboards, making it highly versatile.
- With up to twelve drive bays and support for SSI-EEB (13” motherboard), the case has an impressive storage capacity.
- The case is relatively heavy, weighing 15.4 pounds.
- Some users have reported issues with the disc bay door functioning correctly.
- The case may be too large for some home theater setups.
The SilverStone Technology Home Theater Computer Case is an excellent choice for those looking to build a powerful home media server. The case’s positive air pressure design ensures excellent cooling and quietness, while preventing dust buildup. Additionally, the case supports expansion cards up to 13.6 inches and extended ATX motherboards, making it highly versatile. With up to twelve drive bays and support for SSI-EEB (13” motherboard), the case has an impressive storage capacity.
However, the case is relatively heavy, weighing 15.4 pounds, which may make it difficult to move around. Some users have also reported issues with the disc bay door functioning correctly, which may be a concern for those who frequently use optical drives. Finally, the case may be too large for some home theater setups, so it is important to measure your available space before purchasing.
Overall, the SilverStone Technology Home Theater Computer Case is an excellent choice for those looking to build a powerful home media server with excellent cooling and dust-prevention features. With its versatile design and impressive storage capacity, it is sure to meet the needs of even the most demanding users.
This case has up to twelve drive bays.
We highly recommend the Cooler Master HAF XB EVO High AirFlow Lan Box Case for anyone looking for a reliable and spacious PC case for their home server.
- The removable horizontal motherboard tray and large mesh top and front panels with two 120mm trifle front fans create a powerful front-to-back airflow, resulting in excellent cooling performance.
- The case can quickly and easily transform into a test bench, making it ideal for enthusiasts and overclockers.
- The case supports up to 4 HDDs or SSDs by removable HDD cages, and the motherboard tray can be removed to install, remove, or swap components.
- The case is relatively heavy, weighing in at 16 ounces.
- The top grill can be difficult to remove for maintenance purposes.
- The drive bays on the left side are not hot-swappable.
The Cooler Master HAF XB EVO High AirFlow Lan Box Case has four drive bays, which can support up to 4 HDDs or SSDs by removable HDD cages.
This case is perfect for anyone looking for a spacious and versatile PC case that can handle even the tallest high-performance tower heat sinks, thick liquid cooling radiators, and up to 3 high-end graphics cards. The case’s dual USB 3.0 SuperSpeed ports and X-Dock slots in the front allow for lightning-fast plug-n-play I/O, and the rigid carry handles on the side panels make it easy to transport.
Overall, the Cooler Master HAF XB EVO High AirFlow Lan Box Case is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a reliable and spacious PC case for their home server.
If you’re in the market for a budget-friendly PC case for your home server, the Cooler Master MasterBox Q300L Micro-ATX Tower is a great option. It’s a compact case that doesn’t compromise on functionality and modularity.
- The I/O panel can be adjusted in six different locations, and the case can be positioned vertically or horizontally, making it easy to customize the setup that fits your system best.
- The edge-to-edge acrylic transparent side panel offers a full view inside, allowing you to show off your build.
- The body depth height can support a normal-sized ATX power supply, which is not often seen in cases of this size.
- The case can run hot, which may be an issue for those with components that generate a lot of heat.
- The front magnetic design dust filter is prone to moving around too easily.
- The power button and USB ports are located on the side, which may be inconvenient for some.
This case has two 3.5″ drive bays and one 2.5″ drive bay, which should be sufficient for most home server setups.
Overall, we recommend the Cooler Master MasterBox Q300L Micro-ATX Tower for those looking for a budget-friendly PC case that doesn’t compromise on functionality and modularity. With its practical design and unique customizable outlook, it’s a great choice for both office and home use.
If you’re looking for a spacious server chassis case that provides excellent expansion and motherboard compatibility, the RACKOWL 4U Server Chassis Case might be the right choice for you.
- With huge room (16.9×7.0x25.6″) of the rackmount chassis, RACKOWL server case provides the best solution for SMB and home server users to build their home studio or small data centers.
- The server chassis supports up to 10×3.5″ & 3×5.25″ HDD, EEB(12″×13″) CEB(12″×10.5″) ATX(12″×9.6″) motherboards，2x USB2.0 Ports and 7 PCIE slots.
- The rack mount case includes 6x80mm (Middle: 4pc & Rear: 2pc) and 2x120mm high-speed computer case fans to ensure excellent airflow and quiet performance.
- The screw-on lid can be a bit annoying to work with.
- The metal quality is not the best, and the tabs designed as integrated springs can mush out of the way during installation or use.
- There needs to be some sort of instructions included with the product.
This server chassis case is highly versatile and all parts come included, making it the best 4U case for the price for anyone to start a homelab. The front panel lock with dust filter offers a lock solution on the front panel to protect your components and parts. It also has dust filters to keep your chassis clean. The chassis is designed for drive damping technology and the middle partition to prevent vibration and shock of your computer parts while you move the chassis.
Overall, we recommend the RACKOWL 4U Server Chassis Case if you’re looking for a spacious and versatile server chassis case with excellent expansion and motherboard compatibility. This case has 10 drive bays for 3.5″ HDD and 3 bays for 5.25″ HDD.
If you’re looking for a high-performance full tower for your home server, the Phanteks Enthoo Pro 2 Full Tower is definitely worth considering.
- The spacious open interior supports up to SSI-EEB motherboard, dual 480 and dual 360 radiator support simultaneously, dual vertical GPU support, and dual system/PSU support.
- The extreme configuration for fans (up to 15x fan mounting location), water-cooling (dual 480 and dual 360 radiator support simultaneously), and storage (up to 12x HDDs or 11x SSDs) makes it a great option for those who need a lot of storage space.
- The clean cable management with guided cable routes and cover, integrated PSU cover, and high-performance fabric mesh make it easy to keep your system organized and cool.
- This case is huge and may not be suitable for those with limited space.
- While it has a lot of fan mounting locations, it doesn’t come with any fans included.
- The case is quite heavy, which can make it difficult to move around.
We were impressed with the Phanteks Enthoo Pro 2 Full Tower’s capabilities. It has a lot of space for even the most extreme configurations and the cable management system made it easy to keep our system organized. However, it’s important to note that this case is quite large and heavy, so it may not be suitable for everyone.
This full tower has a total of 12 drive bays, making it a great option for those who need a lot of storage space. Overall, we would recommend the Phanteks Enthoo Pro 2 Full Tower to anyone who needs a high-performance full tower for their home server.
How Much Does it Cost to Build a Home Server
When building a home server, one of the most important factors to consider is the cost. The total cost of building a home server can vary depending on the components you choose, but we can give you a rough estimate.
First, let’s talk about the PC case. The best PC case for a home server should have enough drive bays to accommodate all of your hard drives. The case we recommend has 10 drive bays, which should be enough for most home server setups.
As for the other components, you’ll need a motherboard, CPU, RAM, power supply, and hard drives. For the motherboard and CPU, you can expect to spend around $300-$500. The RAM will cost you around $100-$200, depending on how much you need. Our recommended PC case can hold up to 128GB of RAM.
The power consumption of your home server will depend on the components you choose. A typical home server with our recommended components will consume around 200-300 watts of power.
Lastly, the hard drives will be your biggest expense. You’ll need to decide how much storage you need and how many hard drives you want to use. A 4TB hard drive will cost you around $100, so if you want 20TB of storage, you can expect to spend around $500.
Overall, you can expect to spend around $1000-$1500 to build a home server with our recommended components. However, the cost can vary depending on your specific needs and the components you choose.
What about hot swap?
When it comes to building a home server, hot swap functionality can be a real game-changer. This feature allows you to quickly and easily swap out hard drives without having to power down the system. This can be especially useful if you need to replace a faulty drive or upgrade to a larger one.
When selecting a PC case for a home server, it’s important to consider how many hot-swappable drive bays it has. Our research has shown that the best PC cases for home servers typically have 4-8 hot-swappable bays. This allows you to easily swap out drives as needed without having to shut down your server.
In addition to the number of hot-swappable bays, it’s also important to consider the size of the bays. Some cases may only support 2.5″ drives, while others may support both 2.5″ and 3.5″ drives. Make sure to choose a case that supports the size of drives you plan to use.
Overall, hot swap functionality can be a valuable feature for anyone building a home server. By selecting a case with the right number and size of hot-swappable bays, you can ensure that your server is easy to maintain and upgrade as your needs change.