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Item#: N82E16811123176

CHENBRO RM42300-F1 Black Steel / Plastic 4U Rackmount Server Case 3 External 5.25" Drive Bays

  • 3 External 5.25" Drive Bays
  • 1 120mm Fans

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Learn more about the Chenbro RM42300-F1

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Customer Reviews of the Chenbro RM42300-F1

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  • Erik K.
  • 11/15/2015 10:12:14 AM
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsGreat 4U case

Pros: * plenty of headroom - was able to fit 159 mm tower cooler (Hyper 212 EVO) with Supermicro's X10SLM+-F board
* very solid construction - built like a tank, does not flex even with the card retainer removed and extra weight (~15 kg) put on top of it
* rubberized contact points - minimizes vibration transferrence
* modular - various options available, including optional fan module, extra 5.25'' bay and stand-alone orientation (rotated 90 deg)
* low-profile card retainer - provides extra stability for for low-profile PCI cards you may have; a really nice touch, especially given the price point
* slim ODD bay - it's there, if you need it, otherwise, can be handy space to tuck the front panel cables in
* good finishing - the no sharp edges

Cons: * no 3x 120mm front air intake options - the best you can buy is just two 120mm front air modules
* bundled 120 mm fan is loud on max RPM - but the fan is PWMd so that can be controlled
* just one fan-powered front air intake - stock case comes
* single dust filtered cover - the other intake had no fan, the dust filter is a part of separate fan-powered intake unit which is a kit option (probably around $20-30)
* weak front-panel power switch - feels very strange and not very sturdy but of limited relevance for 24/7 machines
* very limited cable management options - you're stuck with cable ties routed through various holes on the chassis' side panels
* card retainer incompatible with tower coolers - probably shared with majority of 4U chassis on the market

Other Thoughts: A very decent chassis for the price with no serious weaknesses. Build quality is excellent.

The chassis comes with 6 mm motherboard standoffs so for my home VM lab I successfully combined Xeon E3-1231v3 with a tall heatsink and with another couple of mm to spare (excellent!). Thermals are good - even under maximum load (Prime95), the CPU doesn't exceed 66 C. The remaining fans (2x 120 mm and 1x 80 mm in the front) do a good job of expelling that heat out.

On the flipside, there is no chassis version with three 120 mm fan intakes - that condemns you to using 80 mm fans which can be really loud and that may be a concern for home users. I used Arctic Cooling F8 PWM's and they are quiet unless they throttle to high RPM. Would probably go with Noctua's for workstation sitting next beside me. Would also switch out the bundled 120 mm for a Nexus or Yate Loon fan. Had a 3x 120 mm version of chassis exist, a couple of SSD's could be neatly tucked in the space now occupied with slim ODD bay (is that actually used by anyone?).

The second air intake is not fan powered, so I used my existing 120 mm and four cable ties to affix it to the front grille. It does the job but also lacks second layer of dust protection that the optional fan module has. Will see in 6-12 months how critical is that.

The chassis is not excessively deep and has 4 hard-disk mounts. That probably rules out any storage builds.

To summarize, I'll most likely buy another for my quiet Haswell-E build I'll be doing - there seems to be ample space for tall heatsinks (by my estimates at least 160 mm but that also depends on the board itself). The chassis is not excessively deep, has dust filtering (though there are probably better options in this regard), is decently ventilated, is well built so, in my opinion, provides a good, balanced case that doesn't really truly excel in any area, but has no serious weaknesses as well and performs its job very well.

In short, will buy again.

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Item#: N82E16811123176
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