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The perfect case doesn't exist. But here are some options that might do the trick (there are affiliate links to some of them) in your next server build.


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Lian-Li PC-Q25B

The Lian-Li PC-Q25B was released several years ago (not totally sure but it looks like 2013) and is unfortunately no longer in production so far as I can tell. You can find the odd used model popping up on eBay. It supports 5 hot swap 3.5" drives and has space for 2 more non hot swap 3.5" drives in the bottom.


  • Motherboard Form Factor - Mini-ITX
  • PSU Form Factor - SFX
  • Number of 3.5" drive bays - 7 (5 hot swap)
  • Dimensions - 7.8 x 11 x 14.4" / 199 x 280 x 366 mm
  • Pricing - Avg used sale price on eBay $55-100

This case was popular in the unRAID compulsive design forum and several users posted successful builds if you're after an idea of how the finished product will look.

The above picture is my own personal build from when I lived in a tiny apartment in London and space was at a premium. The diminuitive size of this case made it perfect for apartment living. Sporting only 2 fans (1 120mm and 120/140mm) it was quiet and had a small, but sufficient, amount of airflow meaning that temps were never an issue.

The build pictured made use of an ASrock Rack C2750D4I board which sadly fell victim to the C2000 Intel bug (of death). A shame really because that motherboard was a fantastic level of price to performance for a media server in those days (2016-2018).

Rosewill LSV4500

Fractal Define Series

Fractal Node Series

The Fractal Design Node 804 was released in 2014 and is a solid contender for a Perfect Media Server. A major distinction and benefit is how this case is split down the middle into two chambers. Beneath an acrylic window lies a shallow, yet adequate space for a micro-ATX based computer. Cooler clearance should not be an issue for flat-face style heatsinks like the Noctua L9 series. Beneath the other side panel is a spacious area with two "rails" that hold cages that hold 4x 3.5" drives each. Two more 3.5 in. drives can be mounted in the floor of the case, for a total of 10 with two 2.5" slots remaining. Vibration is mostly mitigated with rubber dampers on each included screw. Access is easy with large knurled thumbscrews holding the exterior together.

fractal-node-804 Lots of space for drives, even with my poor cable management.

  • Motherboard Form Factor - Micro-ATX
  • PSU Form Factor - ATX
  • Number of 3.5" drive bays - 10 (0 hot swap)
  • Dimensions - 15.3 x 13.5 x 11.8 " / 388 x 342 x 300 mm (LWH
  • Pricing - I purchased mine on promotion for about $80 years back, but they seem to have nearly doubled in price and sit at around $140 new.

While this chassis is larger than other offerings, I chose it for its generous number of 3.5" bays, included quality fans and support for ATX power supplies. Front I/O is adequate, and the blue power LED can simply be unplugged should it cause a disturbance. Included are two fans that are controlled by a built-in 3 position switch. I've always kept it at its lowest and temperature has never been a concern.

Review contributed by Hogcycle

Last update: 2022-08-20