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Author Topic: Looking for a 6U rackmount atx chassis.  (Read 1924 times)

superboyac

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Looking for a 6U rackmount atx chassis.
« on: May 16, 2014, 11:03:04 AM »
Can any of you recommend an affordable 6U chassis to house an atx computer?  I don't need a lot of space for hard drives, I'll be using only a couple of SSDs.  But I want a lot of room for big fans.  Also, it seems these kinds of cases are really expensive >$500, so if any of you have cheaper alternatives, that would be great.
Is there a used market where I may be able to get it cheaper?

40hz

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Re: Looking for a 6U rackmount atx chassis.
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2014, 11:25:42 AM »
Short of finding one on EBay, I don't know where else to suggest. 6U is an awfully specialized chassis size, so there aren't going to be that many choices (new or used) to begin with.

If you're willing to come down to 4U or smaller, places like Directron offer very affordable cases you might want to look at. These won't all be from top-shelf makers (or built to data center specs) but for something like a large home server that's mostly  going to stay put and not be constantly ditzed with, they'll work just fine.

Maybe Stoic has some recommendations for this one since he gets involved in more hardware purchases than I do?

Luck! :Thmbsup:

superboyac

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Re: Looking for a 6U rackmount atx chassis.
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2014, 11:46:20 AM »
Short of finding one on EBay, I don't know where else to suggest. 6U is an awfully specialized chassis size, so there aren't going to be that many choices (new or used) to begin with.

If you're willing to come down to 4U or smaller, places like Directron offer very affordable cases you might want to look at. These won't all be from top-shelf makers (or built to data center specs) but for something like a large home server that's mostly  going to stay put and not be constantly ditzed with, they'll work just fine.

Maybe Stoic has some recommendations for this one since he gets involved in more hardware purchases than I do?

Luck! :Thmbsup:
Thanks.  Yes I am willing to go to 4U because they are so much cheaper!  I was just trying to avoid noise issues.  This is for a gigging computer.  I'm finally satisfied with the technology we have available and am ready to play keyboard through the computer rather than onboard sounds.  After all 32-128 MB onboard can't compete with a desktop running multi-GB samples.

40hz

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Re: Looking for a 6U rackmount atx chassis.
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2014, 11:55:27 AM »
Take a look at this article and website for lot of good info and guidance on PC noise factors and noise reduction. :Thmbsup:

superboyac

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Re: Looking for a 6U rackmount atx chassis.
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2014, 12:43:09 PM »
Nice, I found one there.  For $100 I get a case with 90mm fans.  For $250, I get a case with 120mm fans.  worth $150 for larger fans?  hmm...

40hz

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Re: Looking for a 6U rackmount atx chassis.
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2014, 02:07:23 PM »
Seems a bit steep to me...

Of course 90mm gives you an area of roughly 283 square mms whereas 120mm yields an area of 377 sq mms which is about 33% more fan area for a $150% increase in price....I don't know how much better airflow that 33% yields in efficiency since I'm not an engineer - and I'm also not about to calculate
overall fan efficiency where η = η F × η T × η M × η C !!! :tellme:

But unless it yielded a very significant reduction in overall noise levels, I'd likely go cheaper and maybe put some of the savings into a few extra fans I could just run at slower speeds to make up the difference if I really needed the extra airflow. But that's me.

At stage volumes, I don't think fan noise is going to cause much (if any) audience distraction. Sure, in a studio setting you want zero noise. But in a club? Who really cares as long as it's not feeding distortion or artifacts into the house PA mains. The fan noise coming from the average club's cheap-ass overworked HVAC system is usually far louder anyway. As are your guitarist's amp and single-coils - especially if she's rocking P90 pickups.

Interestingly, the RF noise most guitars and guitar amps are prone to goes with the turf - and are generally deemed part of the price you have pay to get "that sound."

Keyboardists might want to think about that a bit... 8) ;D

superboyac

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Re: Looking for a 6U rackmount atx chassis.
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2014, 03:01:42 PM »
Good point.  I'll save me the money.  I'll use it for the monitor mixer unit instead, which is going to cost a pretty penny.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Looking for a 6U rackmount atx chassis.
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2014, 05:53:35 PM »
This is for a gigging computer.

 :-\ Working with only a vague grasp of WTH that is...I'm going to guess that it doesn't really need to be in a rack ... Yes?

For quiet cooling of a portable machine I would recommend the exceptionally well made and durable Antec 900. I originally bought one about 8 years ago primarily because of the 200mm fan in the top of the case. I'm more than a little bit hung-up on the heat rises bit...so that appealed to me. And it has been running whisper quiet 24/7/365 for the past 8 years. The PSU goes in the bottom of the case and blows its heat outward so it isn't sharing heat with the CPU like most cases that cram them both into the top corner where heat rises to and airflow sucks.

It is a (full sized case) bit heavy, but worth it I think considering all of the fans have 3 position speed controls so you can have a large volume of slow moving air keeping things cool and a bit cleaner to since dust isn't getting vacuumed from across the room and packed into the components by tiny overworked high speed fans that are doing their best to over inflate the cabinet. :D

tomos

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Re: Looking for a 6U rackmount atx chassis.
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2014, 06:50:01 PM »
Yeah, I've always read that the big advantage of 120 over 80mm fans was noise reduction - having had one noisy machine with 80mm fans, I dont want to go back there...

This is for a gigging computer.

 :-\ Working with only a vague grasp of WTH that is...I'm going to guess that it doesn't really need to be in a rack ... Yes?

For quiet cooling of a portable machine I would recommend the exceptionally well made and durable Antec 900. I originally bought one about 8 years ago primarily because of the 200mm fan in the top of the case. I'm more than a little bit hung-up on the heat rises bit...so that appealed to me. And it has been running whisper quiet 24/7/365 for the past 8 years. The PSU goes in the bottom of the case and blows its heat outward so it isn't sharing heat with the CPU like most cases that cram them both into the top corner where heat rises to and airflow sucks.

It is a (full sized case) bit heavy, but worth it I think considering all of the fans have 3 position speed controls so you can have a large volume of slow moving air keeping things cool and a bit cleaner to since dust isn't getting vacuumed from across the room and packed into the components by tiny overworked high speed fans that are doing their best to over inflate the cabinet. :D

sonds good - and has 5/5 with 6,200+ reviews...
Tom

40hz

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Re: Looking for a 6U rackmount atx chassis.
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2014, 07:24:25 PM »
@SJ - a gigging computer is a PC that usually packs into a 4U fiberglass flight case and is trucked around to music gigs by a musician. Most are built in a ruggedized rack mount form factor which slots very nicely into these cases.

That Antec is nice. But it wouldn't last half a road trip tossed in the back of a band van with a ton of keyboards, amps, and guitars.

@SB - FWIW, Sweetwater has these PCs last I heard. Configured, tested and ready to roll.

But question: why not a laptop instead?  And more to the point, why not a Macbook or iPad? That's pretty much the defacto go-to platform for mobile/road use. Moog has even released  iPad-only based synths. And ProTools runs on Mac...so...

 What apps are you planning on running on it?
« Last Edit: May 16, 2014, 07:32:23 PM by 40hz »

Stoic Joker

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Re: Looking for a 6U rackmount atx chassis.
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2014, 02:22:19 PM »
@SJ - a gigging computer is a PC that usually packs into a 4U fiberglass flight case and is trucked around to music gigs by a musician. Most are built in a ruggedized rack mount form factor which slots very nicely into these cases.

I did start by saying I had no idea WTF I was talking about for a reason... ;)

Okay but seriously... I just got back from a client that has a 6U Dell PowerEdge 6800 server that they were thinking about putting on Ebay ...(we're about to refresh all their hardware)... Would that be good/work for the task at hand?

superboyac

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Re: Looking for a 6U rackmount atx chassis.
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2014, 06:03:01 PM »
@SJ - a gigging computer is a PC that usually packs into a 4U fiberglass flight case and is trucked around to music gigs by a musician. Most are built in a ruggedized rack mount form factor which slots very nicely into these cases.

That Antec is nice. But it wouldn't last half a road trip tossed in the back of a band van with a ton of keyboards, amps, and guitars.

@SB - FWIW, Sweetwater has these PCs last I heard. Configured, tested and ready to roll.

But question: why not a laptop instead?  And more to the point, why not a Macbook or iPad? That's pretty much the defacto go-to platform for mobile/road use. Moog has even released  iPad-only based synths. And ProTools runs on Mac...so...

 What apps are you planning on running on it?
Ok ok!  As with most superboyac® builds, it is far too much overkill.  And I'm ok with that, to a point.  I overkill to a point. (or to a tee!)

It's more than a gigging computer.  It's primarily a gigging computer, but I will also use it for LAN-type parties, MAME parties (after I rig it with the music stuff, I'm going to set it up for MAME).  I also want to take advantage of windows 8 touch stuff, and see if i can incorporate a live recording setup with it.

I've tried the laptop for years.  I've never been satisfied, even as they've gotten more powerful over the years.  I don't like the things I have to go through for cables, power, usb ports, other ports.  It's size is convenient for portability, but it's size is a hassle for using during the gig.  You can see me using a laptop here:
https://www.youtube..../watch?v=UVNCSLEGyWA
(I have a freaking AMAZING story about the commenter in the comments there)

This is all somewhat of an experiment.  The last few months, I've been very happy with the state of sampled music stuff.  Now that SSDs have become the norm and with the huge amounts of RAM we can do, there are things possible that I couldn't really pull off by myself even 5 years ago.  Especially the things with the samples.  Huge samples have been available for years, but SSDs and RAM have made them playable live now.  So I now have great sounding acoustic bass, brush drums, piano, saxophone (breath controller).  So just recently, I've been putting together arrangements that I'll be able to play live with a backup band that I am satisfied with (me!).  I've effectively been able to clone myself for live music.  And that, my friend, is the narcissist's ultimate fantasy.

I don't know how effective this will be, so I want a full rig to lug around while i figure it out.  I considered a laptop, the REceptor Muse vst machine, etc.  but I want the big rig.  I'll totally overkill it, and if the music fails it will be another powerful pc for me to play with.

And next up will be my server "mini-me" build that I detailed in the other thread!