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NORCO RPC-4020 4U Rackmount Server Chassis w/ 20 Hot-swappable SATA/SAS Drive Bays

  • 20 x SATA/SAS Hot-Swap Drive Bays
  • 6 80mm Fans
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Learn more about the Norco Technologies Inc. RPC-4020

Model

Brand
NORCO
Model
RPC-4020

Spec

Chassis Type
Rackmount
Form Factor
4U
Motherboard Compatibility
Support EEB (12"x13"), CEB(12"x10.5"), ATX (12"x9.6"), Micro ATX (9.6" x 9.6")

Expansion

Hot-Swap Drive Bays
20 x SATA/SAS
External Slim Drive Bays
1 x slim CD-ROM bay

Front Ports

Front Ports
USB

Cooling System

80mm Fans
6

Physical Spec

Dimensions
25.5" x 16.9" x 7.0"
Weight
39.7 lbs.

Features

Features
2 x 2.5" OS HDD brackets

Cooling Fan: 4 x 80mm middle fans, 2 x 80mm rear fans

Switch: Power ON/OFF x 1, System reset x 1

Indicator: Power ON/OFF x 1, HDD x 1, NETWORK x 2

Smooth border prevent lacerating your skin

Manufacturer Warranty

Parts
1 year limited
Labor
1 year limited

Quick Info

Warranty

  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 1 year
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 1 year


Customer Reviews of the Norco Technologies Inc. RPC-4020

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  • Edmund U.
  • 3/21/2014 8:52:06 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsUpdate

Pros: Everything :) After 1 month of use the case is going strong. I have switched the power supply out for a Thermaltake Toughpower 1000w as the cougar 650 wasn't cutting it. For those having problems with strange behaviour (random reboots, drives going bad for no reason) check your power. Don't use Y type splitters, horrible idea and will cause nothing but problems. For fans I switched the 4 internal 12v fans to 5v by switching the power lead in the male molex connecter which decreased the noise level substantially. The 2 80mm in the back were replaced with ARCTIC F8 Fluid Dynamic Bearing Case Fan, 80mm Quiet Blade Design, 31CFM at 22dBA. They are super quiet in comparison and my internal temps are still reasonable at around 38-45C depending on server load. My hard drives range from 33-40C with my external 3tb seagate maxing out at 55C (sigh seagate). I've had to replace 4 drives since the initial build but they were all well beyond their lifetime anyway. Some of my drives have vibration issues but that is due to the type of drive and not the case (cheap drives who knew?) I have since found out you can order a 120mm replacement plate for the internal fans for about 15$ (I didn't bother). My server is now virtually silent :)

Cons: The USB in the front is incorrectly labeled as USB 3.0 but the internal header is USB 2.0. Easily fixed with a 15$ usb 3.0 card. Not really a con but the internal design could have been better for cable management by extending the sata and molex connections from the backplane to the fan bracket via short jumper wires thus eliminating the need to remove the fan bracket for installation and the need to twist and bent you sata wires and power connecters to fit through the small holes in the fan bracket. Also it would be a nice improvement if in future designs the power supply could be mounted horizontally to allow for the addition of a second power supply if desired. This could allow for power load balancing (would also be nice to add a 24pin Y adapter for this as well). Instead of the 2 internal drive bays it would be nice if they were removable without having to disassemble the case ( I guess that would make it a 22bay instead of 20bay) but would be nice nevertheless.

Other Thoughts: Current build: AMD Athlon II X4 630, 4gb ddr2 800mhz, Asus M3N-HT Deluxe/Mempipe (This was an old pc that I upgraded and was going to waste), Areca 1280ML 16port raid controller (picked it up at auction for 100$), 4 mini sas-8087 to 4 sata breakout cables (the rest of the drives are attached to the motherboard), Windows server 2012, Drive Bender, Flexraid Raid-F Real-Time.

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  • Daniel C.
  • 3/1/2014 10:53:45 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsI Love This Case

Pros: Inexpensive compared to the supermicro equivalent. Plenty of room for mainboard and cable management. Assembly was a snap. 2 internal drive bays will support 3.5" drives (don't know if I got an updated version but they fit). Slim cd bay (Why?, meh bonus if you need it i guess)

Cons: Front USB header is 9pin usb 2.0 even though the port is blue as in USB 3.0 - misleading, It's pretty loud, I suppose you expect that for a server but for a home server I would like it to be quieter, All 80mm fans - some 120mm fans would have been nice (and much quieter) but it works.

Other Thoughts: Overall I would recommend this case to anyone wanting a home storage server. I did alot of research into building a backblaze storage pod to buying a server, to finally ending up with this case. I will definitely buy another when I run out of storage. I read the reviews proir to purchase, I have experienced none of the issues others have. The only problem I had at all was a single thumb screw on one of the backplanes was screw-ed (newegg thinks this is a bad word, lol) in crooked so it was a pain to get out (I found the little tool they give you after I took it out with a screwdriver) meh accessory kits - who needs em :), The construction seems pretty solid, the hot swap bays didn't feel flimsy to me as suggested by others (maybe I'm less picky but i doubt it) Vibration doesn't seem to be an issue atm but I've only half filled it so far (waiting on my new raid card), Server 2012 - Drive Bender - and disparity with a dedicated parity drive, all said and done this server will max out at about 60tb (with 3tb drives) when finished. I would suggest to anyone looking to build one of these - Do your research this needs 20 individual sata connections the next case up uses SAS connecters, figure out what controller card you are going to use before purchase, cable management aside you can use this case with an SAS card and SFF-8087 mini to 4 sata breakout cables, or just go with 4 to 8 port sata controllers, your choice really. Plan well it will save you headaches in the long run. I bought my raid card after the fact and realized that I could have gotten the SAS version and saved myself some cabling headaches.

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  • Thomas B.
  • 1/20/2014 8:27:51 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsWorks well

Pros: This is the only server chassis with 20 drive hot swap even close to this price range. Quality is a compromise but it's a good compromise, in my opinion.

Cons: The fan card is a bit underdesigned. It could easily clip into a slot in the bottom and fasten with two screws at the top. It has to be removed to cable the drives and it has a lot of very tiny screws. Also, the motherboard area is just a big cavern. It would be nice to have an air duct or deflector to improve MB cooling.

Other Thoughts: This is not as heavy as a corporate server platform but it's not far off. It is easily up to the task at hand. I'm delighted with mine.

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  • cody w.
  • 12/19/2013 6:20:29 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsCheap, but great

Pros: Very cheap
20 Hard Drive Bays!!!
Quiet when compared to supermicro
Moderate airflow
Plenty of room for large PSUs and hotswapables.
Plenty of room around motherboard, very easy to work with.
Middle fans were easy to remove, to get access for attaching sata cables.
is able to be used for sas drives as advertised, but would be concerned about airflow if i did decide to do all sas drives.

Cons: Case should come with rails, but instead you need to pay $50 for them - they were very greasy btw.

While CFM is decent, airflow is not, their are many "dead" spots where air does not reach well, such as the ram - the two back 80mm fans suck the air upwards towards the top of the case, resulting in the air completely missing the ram. So, the case is not so great for FB Dimms - however, a little bit of handy work can fix this by creating a funnel / piece of plastic. air flow for the hdds should be fine as it is being sucked in.

two fans went bad within 1 hour of the chassis running.
fans are loud in comparison to their CFM.

4 pin connector JUST for fans, and no 3/4pin for attaching to the motherboard... Dafuq?!? well doesn't matter that much.

Fan wires are VERY Thin, they feel like they can be very easily accidentally broken.

Back i/o plate slot was a few mm too small, i had to bash the i/o plate quiet a bit to get it in.

PCI/PCIe slots are unforgiving, and very difficult to get the cards in.

Middle fan holder does not have covers for the cable holes, which lowers the CFM as a small amount of air circulates from the mobo to the front and back.

Backplane uses plain old sata connectors, very bulky. Would be nice to get a single mini-sas port in addition.

Case barely fit into server rack, was just barely able to get it in, by screwing the rails in to the most outer possible position. i suspect that it may not fit in all server racks.

front usb ports did not work.

front nic lights did not work.

No holes for intel motherboard heat sinks, but the risers were high enough that i could use smaller risers to hold the heat sinks in.

No spare screws.

Hotswap handles don't work so well... but whatever, as long as it keeps the drives in, i'm happy.

Front buttons can be a bit sticky, just be careful with them.

Rear fan positioning is very tight - i changed my rear fans out for some silenX ones. They almost did not fit. Other fans may not fit.

Other Thoughts: i'm not sure why other people were complaining about the server being loud, aside from the failing fans, it is actually quite quiet for a server chassis, especially if you compare it to a super micro chassis, or really just any 2u dell server.

I'm also baffled as to why people were complaining about the chassis material being cheap and heavy. I found the chassis to be extremely light ( and pretty solid ), especially for it being 4U.

The hard drive sleds felt very flimsy at first, but once you put a hard drive in them, they felt very solid.

Definitely a great value, but i think they shouldn't even bother shipping it with fans, as the stock ones are so junky.

---

if your an apple user, i would strongly suggest that you stay away from this product LOL!

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  • Kevin C.
  • 11/18/2013 2:54:26 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsIt's a good server case

Pros: High drive density. Low cost. Good build quality. No sharp edges. Lots of air flow. Lots of room inside for motherboards, PSUs and controller cards.

Cons: Found it somewhat strange that one of the two front USB ports was labeled as USB 3.0 when it was clearly wired up on the same header cable as the USB 2.0.

Other Thoughts: My top backplane is just fine. Since I'm only using four drives on the top backplane right now that's all I can test. Also, to all those who say this is a bad case, just remember it's not a SuperMicro case that cost $1200. It's a Norco that cost $300. You won't get cut up during the build and you'll end up with good, high capacity file server. To those complaining about the noise, it's a SERVER case for 20 drives. Fans to cool 20 tightly packed drives make noise. Even an expensive 20 bay SuperMicro case makes noise. If you're lookig for whisper quiet cases then don't look at high density cases.

At this point if I needed to build another large capacity file server I would hesitate to buy another of these cases.

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  • Jordan D.
  • 10/1/2013 9:45:06 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsGood Investment

Pros: I had a review post before this stating that I was not happy because I was under the assumption that the backplanes were bad. After very good NORCO customer service, the problem was identified and my issue was resolved. Everything works great and I am very happy with my case.

I really like this case, it is strong and sturdy, plenty of room for any build setup, and the center rail with four fans provides great airflow.

My system is built as a FreeNAS server with 20x 1tb drives.

Cons: No paperwork, instruction, or any kind of documentation with the case.

The reason I had problems in the first place and why I thought my backplanes were broken is because each backplane has two ports for a 4-pin molex power connection. Because I had no instruction I assumed that they were both supposed to be plugged in, but that was my problem and caused a headache of issue. Not until after talking with NORCO customer service did they tell me about only plugging in one power connection. I guess the second is redundant in case the first goes bad... Rewired and now all is good.

I give four eggs because there were no instructions provided and it cased a lot of unnecessary troubleshooting.

Only other issue is the sticker for the power/reset buttons is pealing off, still there and maybe i can make it stick better, but still an annoying cosmetic issue.

Other Thoughts: Definitely worth the investment.

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  • Michael E.
  • 8/31/2013 7:24:03 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsDisappointed

Pros: The chassis is built fairly strong, the drive cooling fans seem to do a good job of keeping the drives cool.

Cons: Cheap PCB boards that actually make the conncetion from hot swap bays to breakout cables has shown many failures. Everything works fine until you demand a large data transfer, then random hard drives start dropping on and offline. It seems the power managment on the PCB is very, very poor. I hade one bay fail within a week, the Sata connector fell off the PCB. 2 other bay failures there is no power to the power connector for the SATA drives.

Other Thoughts: Will never buy a NORCO product again!! It's a $320 paperweight!!

Manufacturer Response:

Dear Valued Customer,

We apologize for the issues you are experiencing with this case. Please contact us at service@norcotek.com, so we may get more details and assist you in resolving this issue.

Best Regards,
Norco Support Team

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Ryan C.
  • 7/10/2013 8:19:05 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

3 out of 5 eggsNot quite as shown

Pros: Great design - supports ATX and Mini Redunant power... but...

Cons: The OEM kit, according to NewEgg does NOT come with the accessory kit and in the kit is the mounting plate for Mini Redundant PSUs.

Other Thoughts: After many emails exchanged with the manufacturer they surprised me by saying they'd send me the kit for free (I was willing to pay for the kit) after seeing that the NewEgg product page shows the kit. NewEgg claimed no responsibility to provide what they showed in the image and does NOT offer the version of the hardware with the accessory kit.

This was very disappointing. This alone was worth the loss of 2 eggs.
NewEgg: If you are not going to sell the accessory kit or include it with the product and only offer the OEM version please remove the photo from the item catalog and put a bold-face note to that effect. Offering just an OEM product and not the "kit" and claiming you can take parts out because of that is not the same thing.

Manufacturer Response:

Dear Valued Customer,

We apologize for the issues you are experiencing with this case. Please contact us at service@norcotek.com, so we may get more details and assist you in resolving this issue.

Best Regards,
Norco Support Team

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  • scott n.
  • 6/13/2013 1:43:42 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: less than 1 day
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsDisappointed...

Pros: Lots of Space in the motherboard section, includes selecto of hardware to ease installation Heavy Duty Construction

Cons: No assembly instructions or manual for components , unit was not correctly assembled at factory, generally cheap construction quality and this unit is not cheap

Manufacturer Response:

Dear Valued Customer,

We apologize for the issues you are experiencing with this case. Please contact us at service@norcotek.com, so we may get more details and assist you in resolving this issue.

Best Regards,
Norco Support Team

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Aron R.
  • 6/6/2013 7:04:58 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsGreat Case / Great Price

Pros: Case was packaged well, designed well and previous criticism seem to have been fixed. I had no problem with the drive trays, the trays lock into place properly and setup was easy!

Cons: Took me a few minutes to figure out how the drive trays at the top worked but got it sorted. Still no manual but I just used google.

Other Thoughts: I wouldn't hesitate buying this again, very good case!

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