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VIDEO: User Crams 16 TB into SFF Case

By - Source: Tom's Hardware UK | B 8 comments

Eight HDDs were stuffed into a SFF case.

Looking for server-class storage but just don't want to cough up the room for a towering rack mount? One modder has figured out a way to cram over 16 TB worth of storage into a small form factor (SFF) case. The entire step-by-step process, listed here, has actually landed sponsorship by the likes of NewEgg, Crucial, and others.

Designed by Will Urbina, the project is called Black Dwarf, and consists of a Quanmax KEEX-2030 ECX motherboard powered by an Intel Atom N270. The board also features a PCI-e x4 slot which was filled by a HighPoint Rocket RAID 2680 8-port SATA/SAS raid controller card purchased from Newegg.

As for the storage, Urbina used eight 3.5-inch HDDs, with an additional two 2.5-inch HDDs to be installed later. "In addition to being tasked with storing huge amounts of files on the system's 8 3.5-inch drives, this computer would also be running 24/7 running sharing files on Bit Torrent," he admitted.

To see how he created the Black Dwarf, check out the video--the first part of two--located below. The website also shows a pictorial step-by-step process as well as professional-looking shots of the finished product.

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  • 0 Hide
    mildiner86 , 1 May 2010 02:38
    Thats a lot of porn :p 
  • 1 Hide
    ksampanna , 1 May 2010 03:06
    What about heat dissipation? How does he cope up with that?
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    Vampyrbyte , 1 May 2010 03:35
    ksampannaWhat about heat dissipation? How does he cope up with that?


    My Guess is these drives wont be under a major ammount of stress. So heat build up shouldnt be a massive concern. There is also a Fan in there. Looked like a 12cm fan. Although the drives towards the end might not feel the love :p 
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    hairystuff , 1 May 2010 03:53
    I don't think it will handle heat very well, I built a NAS 3 years ago into a midi tower case which had 12x 3.5in drives installed in it and had to install 11x 80mm fans in there to keep it cool (case temp 34c after contstant running with an ambient room temp of 24c), some of the fans were bolted together for double redundency incase the inlet or exhaust fans failed, so far it has been running constantly 24/7 without any breaks for the last 3 years without any problems whatsoever (touch wood) (no crashes no reboots), don't get me wrong theres alot of effort been put into building this project, but heat dissapations should have been considered in to the design aswell.
  • 1 Hide
    roots , 1 May 2010 04:21
    Yeah it’s not gona be cool, bit if you read goggles study higher disks temps don’t appear to equate to more disk failures! Until you get to above 50c. I would be more dubious about the array speed with that hardware setup.
  • 0 Hide
    hairystuff , 1 May 2010 06:08
    I've had aluminium 3.5in USB2.0 caddies stacked (4x stack) on each other with active 40mm internal fans cooling them and the temprature was between 45c-55c after 6 hours of operation, the setup in the video has the drives much more closely packed together which could result in much higher tempratures.
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    redkachina , 1 May 2010 09:20
    Amazing..Not many builds I've seen with a lot of welding..I can only wish I had all those equipments..
  • 0 Hide
    cj_online , 4 May 2010 12:23
    Meh... too much work... I'd rather buy it.