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Server, Desktop and Tower Chassis

Selecting the proper chassis is an important process. The chassis will determine the aesthetic properties of your entire system. You'll probably be looking at this chassis for a long time. You should choose a chassis with no less consideration than you would choose any other office or home furnishing. Indeed, most of our clients are not just casual PC users, they are dedicated professionals and serious hobbyists. We encourage you to buy a chassis that you will enjoy.

More importantly, modern computers have exacting power and thermal requirements, especially Pentium II systems, dual CPU systems and systems with 7200 RPM and 10000 RPM SCSI disks. You can not carelessly throw a system like these together like you did your old 486. However, disturbingly, that is exactly what most vendors do. The result is an alarming rate of component failures and system instability. For these types of systems you should consider buying a more modern larger tower or server chassis. Indeed their are chassis/component combinations which we refuse to sell. A poorly integrated system will certainly fail. If you are going to buy the latest technology you must match the components carefully taking the power and thermal requirements into consideration. You must buy the proper power supply, fans and chassis.

Please take ample time and review all of your options. We've provided a lot of useful information and links on these pages. In most cases you can find pictures, specifications and even mechanical drawings along with our suggestions. Indeed don't neglect to consider a rack mount chassis option. Rack Mounts make excellent desktop chassis with superlative ventilation. In many instances we do not include pictures on the main pages because they take time to download. However, links for photos are provided.

You may encounter a variety of opinions about what constitutes proper power and cooling. We err towards the conservative side suggesting more power and cooling than some vendors. We base our opinions on two types of data, actual temperature measurements of fully loaded systems running a "burn-in" test and secondly records relating to actual component failure rates taken over a one year period. These data indicate that inadequately ventilated systems greatly reduce the life span of hard disks, motherboard and power supplies in that order. Other components are also subject to damage but at lower rates.

The number and speed of hard disks and CPU's constitute the bulk of the thermal load of a system. These two factors will probably determine the class of chassis you should buy. Chassis fans greatly reduce the thermal load. Generally these are oriented with air intake at the front and exhaust in the back of the chassis. Hard disk fans and hot swap modules help keep disks cooler. Hot swap modules also contribute to higher MTBF of hard disks by dampening resonance frequencies of higher RPM disks. Seagate suggest some type of dampening for Cheetah disks in particular. Larger chassis with greater air volumes also tend to stay cooler than smaller chassis all other factors being equal. An air flow unobstructed by cables and struts augments cooling as well.


9 Bay Aluminum Mini-Tower Chassis  (New)

This is a new offering:

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9 Bay Aluminum Mini-Tower Chassis  (New)

This is a new offering:

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9 Bay Aluminum Mini-Tower Chassis  (New)

This is a new offering:

Options:


8 Bay Steel Desk Side Chassis
(Editor's Choice for 8 bay high end workstation)

This is one of the finest chassis on this planet. The workmanship is top-of-the line. These 8 bay chassis are ideal for a single or dual processor Pentium III systems with two hot 10,000RPM SCSI disks plus DAT drives and CD-ROM readers. They have excellent ventilation. However, they are an excellent investment for a high end computer and they will protect your investment from thermal failure.

The 8 bay chassis are an affordable entry point into the high end, server class. For some applications the 10 bay chassis can be a little too large. The 8 bay is a little more reasonable to handle. But don't underestimate the size, these chassis weigh in at 40lbs.

Their pictures don't do these chassis justice. They look and feel extremely impressive with a volumetric quality. They are particularly striking in black with the lockable door option. The Plexiglas door is tinted and masks white components like CD-ROM's. Alternately the white model with or without a door has a nice, light appearance. In contrast the the black model without a door has an awkward appearance with white components.

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10 Bay Steel Desk Side Chassis
(Editor's Choice for 10 bay high end workstation)

This is one of the finest chassis on this planet. The workmanship is top-of-the line. These 10 bay chassis are ideal for a single or dual processor Pentium III or Xeon systems with hot 10,000RPM SCSI disks plus DAT drives and CD-ROM readers. They have excellent ventilation. However, they are an excellent investment for a high end computer and they will protect your investment from thermal failure.

The 10 bay chassis is a high end, server class model. For some applications the 10 bay chassis can be a little too large. The 8 bay is a little more reasonable to handle. Don't underestimate the size, these chassis weigh in at 45lbs! With added components they are fairly substantial. In fact, if you are going to get a chassis to handle more than a couple of drives you may want to consider the Server chassis below. The Server chassis are only a little larger and more expensive but they are much more feature rich.

Their pictures don't do these chassis justice. They look and feel extremely impressive with a volumetric quality. They are particularly striking in black with the lockable door option. The Plexiglas door is tinted and masks white components like CD-ROM's. Alternately the white model with or without a door has a nice, light appearance. In contrast the the black model without a door has an awkward appearance with white components.

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10 Bay Steel Desk Side Chassis with Deluxe Chrome Bezel

This is the same chassis as above with a Chrome bezel.

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Server Chassis

This is one of the finest Server chassis. The workmanship is top-of-the line. These chassis are ideal for a single or dual processor Pentium III/Xeon systems with more than three hot 10,000RPM SCSI disks plus DAT drives and CD-ROM readers. They have excellent ventilation. However, they are an excellent investment for a high end computer and they will protect your investment from thermal failure.

Their pictures don't do these chassis justice. They look and feel extremely impressive with a volumetric quality. They are particularly striking in black with the lockable door option. The Plexiglas door is tinted and masks white components like CD-ROM's. Alternately the white model with or without a door has a nice, light appearance. In contrast the the black model without a door has an awkward appearance with white components.

The chassis comes with three points on the rear to mount 80mm exhaust fans. Only two of these can be used due to a conflict with the PCI cards. It also comes with one bracket featuring two mounting points for 80mm intake fans up front. Additional brackets, each featuring two additional 80mm fan mounting points can be added at a cost of $15 per bracket plus the cost of the fans. A total of five brackets can fit in the front of the chassis. This allows for two 80mm exhaust fans, plus the power supply 80mm exhaust fan, plus 10 80mm intake fans. An alternate power supply mounting bracket can be purchased that allows two more 80mm exhaust fans to be mounted in the rear above the power supply. Finally bay coolers can be installed in each disk bay, each with two 40mm fans. You can't get much more cooling than this.

Server Chassis Features:
(Editor's Choice for ultra high end workstation or server)

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Dual Motherboard Server Chassis Features:

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Dual Motherboard Super Server Chassis Features:

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Small Cube Server Chassis

  • Has Eight 5 1/4" Drive Bays and Two 3 1/2" Front assessable bays
  • Two Optional Internal 3 1/2" Drive Bays
  • Has Locking  Plexiglas Front Door
  • Accepts Large ATX Server Motherboard
  • Accepts One Power Supply or  Hot-Swap Power Supply System
  • Accepts three Optional 120mm Fans
    With Filter
  • Accepts Four Optional Locking Casters
  • 15 1/4"H x 14"W x 19 1/2"D
  • Weight = Approximately 60 lbs.
  • Colors - California Beach Gray or Black
  • ATX Model #8E9A00 $300

 

Small Cube Server Chassis

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Small Tower Chassis

Small Tower Chassis
  • Heavy Duty All Steel Construction
  • Has Three 5.25" Drive Bays and One 3.5"    Floppy Bay Exposed
  • Three Internal 3.5" Drive Bays
  • Accepts One PS2/ATX Style Power Supply
  • Accepts Four Locking Casters (Optional)
  • Accepts Three 120mm Cooling Fans (Optional)
  • 16"H x 8.75"W x 16.6"D  (w/o Casters)
  • Weight = Approx. 25 lbs.
  • Colors - Cloud White (Standard)
                   Black (Optional)
  • ATX chassis come with Shield of your choice

Available in the following versions:   PRICE
8 Slot PC Style  #8D7A00  $130.00
ATX Style  #8D8A00  $130.00

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Desktop Chassis

Metal Bezel Chassis
  • Heavy Duty All Steel Construction
  • Has Three 5.25" Drive Bays and Two 3.5" Floppy Bays Exposed
  • One Internal 3.5" Drive Bay
  • Accepts One PS2/ATX Style Power Supply
  • Accepts One Cooling Fan (Optional)
  • 6.25"H x 16.25"W x 16.6"D
  • Weight = Approx. 20 lbs.
  • Colors - Cloud White (Standard)
                   Black (Optional)
  • ATX chassis come with Shield of your choice

Available in the following versions:   PRICE
8 Slot PC Style  #7J3A00  $120.00
ATX Style  #7J4A00  $120.00

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NLX Chassis


In Win ATX Full Tower Chassis
(Editor's Choice for low cost workstation)

InWin makes a very high quality Full Tower ATX Chassis. It's an excellent, low cost choice for a Pentium II computer. However, to meet the power and cooling requirements of the Pentium II, two 80mm fans must be added and the 300W power supply option should be used.. A total of up to three fans can be used. We suggest this chassis mainly for single processor Pentium II systems with one or two SCSI disks each with a bay cooler. However, the InWin's are also used for Pentium and Pentium Pro systems. The 235W model is adequate for a single processor Pentium Pro or Pentium system. This chassis has very good ventilation. It is extremely easy to work with because of the removable side panel design and the removable motherboard tray which slides out the back. Someone put a lot of thought into the design of this chassis. However, we don't carry their AT full tower because it doesn't not have eight slots which is required for many AT motherboards.


Intel Columbus III Server Mid-Tower ATX Chassis This chassis was designed specifically for Intel's N440BX motherboard.


Intel Astor II Mid-Tower ATX Chassis This chassis was designed specifically for Intel's N440BX and L440GX+ motherboard.


Intel Cabrillo-C Tower ATX Chassis This chassis was designed specifically for Intel's C440GX motherboard.


Intel TI800 Tower ATX Chassis This chassis was designed specifically for Intel's MS440GX motherboard.


Enlight (Diamond) Mid-tower AT or ATX Chassis

Enlight makes an excellent low cost chassis for home users. We suggest this chassis for use with Pentium and Pentium Pro systems with a single CPU and a single hard disk. However, the ventilation is not adequate for more than one disk, dual processors nor Pentium II computers. The use of rail mount devices and removable drive bays makes building and configuration easy. The design is very attractive. Enlight has many happy a loyal customers.


Enlight (Diamond) NLX EN-7800 Chassis

Enlight makes an excellent low cost chassis for home users. We suggest this chassis for use with Pentium, Pentium Pro or Pentium II systems with a single CPU and a single ide hard disk. However, the ventilation is not adequate for more than one disk, dual processors computers. 


InWin ATX or AT Medium Tower Chassis

The InWin medium tower chassis is an excellent low cost chassis for home users. We suggest this chassis for use with Pentium and Pentium Pro systems with a single CPU and a single hard disk. However, the ventilation is not adequate for more than one disk, dual processors nor Pentium II computers.


ATX Full Tower Chassis

This is a great low cost, Full Tower, ATX, chassis with seven slots that can handle the thermal requirements of a duall Pentium III system. However, to meet the power and cooling requirements of  a duall Pentium III four 80mm fans must be added ($20 x 4). This chassis has fairly good ventilation. It features a removable side panel design and a removable motherboard try. Power supply is sold separately. See our power supply page.


NetPC Chassis

Fits NetPC MicroStar International motherboards.


ATX Ultra Server Chassis

This is a top-of-the line server chassis. If you want a chassis you can load with hard disks this is the one. The specifications speak for themselves.


ATX NET Server Chassis

This is a top-of-the line server chassis. If you want a chassis you can load with hard disks this is the one. The specifications speak for themselves.


Chenming ATX Medium Tower Chassis

We suggest this chassis for use with Pentium and Pentium Pro systems with a single CPU and a single hard disk. However, the ventilation is not adequate for more than one disk, dual processors nor Pentium II computers. Chenming makes a more generic ATX chassis.


ASUS/Elan Vital ATX Medium Tower T-5AB Chassis

We suggest this chassis for use with Pentium and Pentium Pro systems with a single CPU and a single hard disk. However, the ventilation is not adequate for more than one disk, dual processors nor Pentium II computers.


ASUS/Elan Vital ATX Full Tower T-10AB Chassis

We suggest this chassis for use with Pentium and Pentium Pro systems with a single CPU and a single hard disk. However, the ventilation is not adequate for more than one disk, dual processors nor Pentium II computers.


ASUS/Elan Vital NLX Chassis

We suggest this chassis for use with Pentium and Pentium Pro systems with a single CPU and a single hard disk. However, the ventilation is not adequate for more than one disk, dual processors nor Pentium II computers.


SuperMicro ATX Full Tower SC750-A Chassis

We suggest this chassis for use with single or dual processor Pentium, Pentium Pro and Pentium II systems and one or two hard disks.


SuperMicro ATX Full Tower SC801-A Chassis

We suggest this chassis for use with single or dual processor Pentium, Pentium Pro and Pentium II systems and several hard disks. Picture with CRU Hot Swap Modules, sold separately ($130 each).



SRT-1308-ATX Industrial Tower Enclosure

This one of the finest chassis I've ever seen. What really makes them exceptional is the ventilation system. You can't find a better chassis. Needless to say it's difficult to justify their high prices on their tower enclosures. However, their rack mount enclosures are reasonably priced and very popular.



SRT-1408 Industrial Tower Enclosure

This one of the finest chassis I've ever seen. What really makes them exceptional is the ventilation system. You can't find a better chassis. Needless to say it's difficult to justify their high prices on their tower enclosures. However, their rack mount enclosures are reasonably priced and very popular.



SRT-520 Industrial Tower Enclosure

This one of the finest chassis I've ever seen. What really makes them exceptional is the ventilation system. You can't find a better chassis. Needless to say it's difficult to justify their high prices on their tower enclosures. However, their rack mount enclosures are reasonably priced and very popular.

Notes

If you're trying to find the perfect chassis for a system we suggest you browse the WWW sites below. We can order many of the chassis listed from the manufactures listed. If you find other manufacturers that you think we should add, please let us know.

The ATX standard allows for exactly seven expansion slots for ISA, EISA and PCI cards. AT chassis allow for seven or eight expansion slots.

ATX chassis require an EMI shield that fits the motherboard's I/O ports. There are at least a dozen different EMI shield designs. If you buy a motherboard and chassis from us we will supply the proper EMI shield. In general the EMI shield is provided with the chassis and not with the motherboard.

Manufacturer WWW Links

SuperMicro
Joyance MA Power
Axxion ASUS/Elan Vital
Elma In Win
Enlight Topower
Chenbro Other ATX Chassis Vendors

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