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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good case, 1 or 2 minor annoyances
A beautiful idea - quickly throw together serious wads of disk space for just a few grand. This product, teamed with commodity PC parts, a semi-enterprisey RAID card and a bunch of SATA drives, can create just such a beast. If you want a bit more protection, get a redundant power supply. If you want to pay even less - or depending on your application - use something like...
Published on May 6, 2012 by NotLarryEllison

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to connect the SFF-8087 cables
Since there is no SAS expander in the chassis, you need to connect a SFF-8087 per row of 4 drives. By itself that would not be a huge deal, but the location of connectors in relation to the fans makes it very difficult to get to all of them. Other than that, it's a cheap case that seems to function as advertised.
Published 4 months ago by Jeffrey A McDonald


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good case, 1 or 2 minor annoyances, May 6, 2012
By 
NotLarryEllison "I am not Larry Ellison" (Northern CA [near the Real Larry Ellison]) - See all my reviews
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A beautiful idea - quickly throw together serious wads of disk space for just a few grand. This product, teamed with commodity PC parts, a semi-enterprisey RAID card and a bunch of SATA drives, can create just such a beast. If you want a bit more protection, get a redundant power supply. If you want to pay even less - or depending on your application - use something like FreeBSD running ZFS (software RAID, more or less) and a cheap SAS Expander.

The fans

There are 6-80mm fans in this thing and they are loud as hell. In a server room you won't care, but just about anywhere else you'll go crazy. This 120mm fan "plate" that can be swapped in may help: 120mm fan wall bracket. I don't have any personal experience with it, but for about 11 bucks it's probably worth a shot. That, along with a fan speed controller, may bring the noise down to reasonable levels. The fans all use old-school Molex power connectors so there's no way to connect them to motherboard fan headers without adapters. It would be easy enough to cobble one together, but I've looked around both on Amazon and monoprice and haven't yet found a pre-made 3-pin fan header-to-molex power adapter or cable.

Backplane connections

You'll need SFF-8087 connectors to hook up your disks to whatever motherboard, RAID card or SAS Expander you're using. SFF-8087 allows you to make four disk connections via one cable. If you're going from this backplane to your motherboard's SATA connectors, be aware that you'll need what's called a REVERSE breakout cable, not the forward breakout.

The access to the disk backplanes is a bit cramped because the "Wail of Hades Fan Plate" (the plate containing four 80mm fan right behind the drives) sits just a couple of inches back from these connectors. That makes it a bit of a challenge to get both the SFF-8087 connectors as well as the Molex power connectors hooked up. There's a ton of space behind this fan plate, so I wish it was located about 1 inch farther towards the back of the case. Perhaps Norco purposely puts it closer because some larger server motherboards or redundant PSU's might then get cramped. In any case, this is generally just a one-time experience, so once you've got everything hooked up you're likely to never have to worry about it again.

In the first RPC-4224 I received (I've ordered two of them so far), two of the 24 drive bays were dead. Since I was only hooking up a total of 15 drives (13 storage & 2 mirrored system drives) I was able to work around it very easily. I've seen other reviewers with the same complaint, and from what they say, Norco is VERY responsive about getting these problems addressed. Apparently, swapping out these backplanes is fairly straightforward, but I didn't bother to pursue it. I took off one star because this looks like a persistent issue.

What I did with this thing

I put together a 32 TB system using this case, a Gigabyte Z68 motherboard, Intel 2500K CPU, and 8 GB RAM. Those parts were installed into this case along with one Megaraid Sas 9260-16I Single, 16-PORT Int, 6GB/S Sata+sas, Pcie 2.0, 512MB; In T and 13 Hitachi Deskstar 3.5 Inch 3 TB CoolSpin SATA 6Gb/s Internal Hard Drive Retail Kit 0S03228. Running those disks on that controller in RAID 6 nets just over 32 TB of storage. It's not the fastest disk subsystem in the world - you don't want to run your main SQL databases on it, for example. But we've been backing up our production databases to it at work (as part of a disk to disk to tape strategy) and it's substantially faster than the HP SAN we were previously using. The HP SAN I just mentioned is a few years old, so I'm not saying that this setup is faster/better than enterprise SAN technology. But that SAN was considered state of the art not that long ago.

If anything breaks on this "backup server," in an emergency I can head over to Fry's and pick up just about anything I need and be back up and running in at most a couple of hours. Hell, for a fraction of the price of just about any other "true enterprise" SAN solution with comparable capacity (especially with the SAN's support costs) I could build TWO of these boxes and have complete redundancy top to bottom, then use rsync to efficiently keep all our backup data synchronized across both machines.

As far as power consumption goes, I'd bet that even though I'd be doubling up on my disks, two complete sets (64 TB in all across the two machines) of these low-power Hitachis would compare favorably with an Enterprise SAN using 2.5" drives. Since I'm getting ~3 TB per low-power drive and the 2.5" units would have much less capacity, it would have to use a lot more disks to get to 32 TB. I with I had the equipment necessary to accurately do a comparison.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cheap and may require a little tweaking, June 13, 2014
By 
This review is from: NORCO 4U Rack Mount 24 x Hot-Swappable SATA/SAS 6G Drive Bays Server Rack mount RPC-4224 (Personal Computers)
We've purchased two of these cases. The first one was perfect out of the box. The second one had a screw that was too long and protruded into one of the drive bays. The screw needed to be replaced with the proper length screw before a drive would fit into the bay. Some of the drives did not seat quite properly due to a little warpage in the drive wall. A bit of "persuading" and it fit fine.

If you are not planning on filling all of the bays immediately I recommend checking all of the drive bays for fit and function when you first build out the system so you can repair or return the case. Finding out a year later that a drive won't fit into bay 24 would be unhappy.

Electrically, everything has been fine and the backplane has one board per row of disks so you can remove/replace if anything goes wrong.

We're currently using this with an Adaptec 72405 card. The Adaptec takes a special cable, so be sure to check and order the correct one if you use that.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Inexpensive Server Chassis, July 20, 2014
By 
BigXor (Pennsylvania) - See all my reviews
This review is from: NORCO 4U Rack Mount 24 x Hot-Swappable SATA/SAS 6G Drive Bays Server Rack mount RPC-4224 (Personal Computers)
I have owned one of these cases for more than five years.

The Hot swap trays hold up well. Order 2.5" drive screws if you plan on using 2.5" drives (requires 3 per drive)

Motherboard SATA to backplane SFF-8087 breakout cables are special 'Reverse' cables. Regular breakout cables (sold by everybody) will not work.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to connect the SFF-8087 cables, June 8, 2014
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This review is from: NORCO 4U Rack Mount 24 x Hot-Swappable SATA/SAS 6G Drive Bays Server Rack mount RPC-4224 (Personal Computers)
Since there is no SAS expander in the chassis, you need to connect a SFF-8087 per row of 4 drives. By itself that would not be a huge deal, but the location of connectors in relation to the fans makes it very difficult to get to all of them. Other than that, it's a cheap case that seems to function as advertised.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Quality could be better..., May 7, 2014
By 
DeGlucker (Moscow, Russia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: NORCO 4U Rack Mount 24 x Hot-Swappable SATA/SAS 6G Drive Bays Server Rack mount RPC-4224 (Personal Computers)
I couldn't install HDD into one of HDD bays due to there is some damage on the left side inside of the bay.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My Media, May 4, 2014
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This review is from: NORCO 4U Rack Mount 24 x Hot-Swappable SATA/SAS 6G Drive Bays Server Rack mount RPC-4224 (Personal Computers)
So threw in about 3TB drives in each bay for a total of 72TB give or take some for the fact that 1024gb is 1TB and there's some head room to be removed for file status and what not, then there's GRUB vs MBR and what not.

All in all, this is a beautiful case, and for the price you ABSOLUTELY CAN NOT find a better deal. Go ahead, I dare you. Even used cases on-ebay aren't as good of quality as this one. When I was putting the thing together it fell from a 1ft drop and didn't even damage a piece of it. This has strong all-you-min-ee-um, the fans were great, easy to get to things. It has a few more screws than one would like, but once you get everything settled it's wonderful.

I did have one port that would not register a hard drive, e-mailed Norco and they overnight-ed a replacement immediately.

This case has been lovely, sits in a room all to itself. A lot of people talk about the fan noise, and yes if you're going to have this thing sit near your living area you will want to swap out the 80mm fans for some quiet ones. Otherwise the ones in there move a lot of air and keep everything running cool.

I'm almost ready to build my next media server with 6TB drives next! muhahahaha

Thanks NORCO!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing case once you replace all the Fans., April 25, 2014
This review is from: NORCO 4U Rack Mount 24 x Hot-Swappable SATA/SAS 6G Drive Bays Server Rack mount RPC-4224 (Personal Computers)
Awesome 20 drive NAS case. sounds like a jet engine factory.

Get the replacement fan card here $10
and 3 x 120mm Noctua Fans at 3 x $20
a 2 x 80,, Noctua Fans at 2 x $20

~$110 upgrade to make it quiet enough to use in a home or small office environment.

Its an amazing case. big enough for anything you want to put inside. it.

I've had mine for 4+ years now and the drive cages are good quality and have never had an issue despite dozens of HD swaps.

amazing value for money. must do the fan mods to make it quiet. it screams stock even with the 12v to 5v power to the stock fan mods. 5 x 80mm screaming fans.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Damn fine case for the price, April 20, 2014
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This review is from: NORCO 4U Rack Mount 24 x Hot-Swappable SATA/SAS 6G Drive Bays Server Rack mount RPC-4224 (Personal Computers)
Everything functioned perfectly, plenty of room, nice design. Only grip would be the fan wall behind the drives. It should have a 120mm x 3 fans standard instead of the 80mm x 4 fans. Further the fan wall also seems to be a mid structural support as there are many screws on all 3 sides and because there is a lip at the top, you have put it in at an angle and slide it over. This couldn't be done with a motherboard in it or cables connected to the back plane, so do it first thing if you're going to do it. Otherwise, it's a damn fine case for the price.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Case, February 3, 2014
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This review is from: NORCO 4U Rack Mount 24 x Hot-Swappable SATA/SAS 6G Drive Bays Server Rack mount RPC-4224 (Personal Computers)
Great Server Case. Installed better case fans and this thing is whisper quiet while it runs 16 hard drives which is amazing. Room to grow!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good value, December 19, 2013
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This review is from: NORCO 4U Rack Mount 24 x Hot-Swappable SATA/SAS 6G Drive Bays Server Rack mount RPC-4224 (Personal Computers)
For the price it was a good value; I was a bit worried after reading some of the other reviews on the egg but this has worked out great for me. I am using an Areca 1882ix-24 with this with no problems.
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