Rackmount chassis preferrence?

  • I am looking for input.

    Which case size to build, a 1U, 2U or a modified 1U (2.25" height).
    A standard 19" width and maybe 10" deep w/ front I/O panel.

    I want to stay clear from manufacturing the 1U from the get go, To many specialty I/O to fabricate.

    Does a rack-mount 2.25 height make since? I could design a box around a standard MB I/O panel.

    Thanks in advance.


  • http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811219032 is the case that i'm using. Works quite well I have a Dual core AMD processor with a MicroATX motherboard with Dual Gigabit NICs. I also added a Dual Gigabit Intel NIC PCI adapter and a 120GB Hard Disk with plenty of room to spare. I also added a CrystalFontz 635 LCD. I had to do a little modification to get the screen in the way that I want but it was not big deal. The holes didn’t line up on my 19” rack so I had to open them up a little more on one side. All in all the build turned out pretty well. Check out the picture below.

    ![pfsense router compressed.jpg](/public/imported_attachments/1/pfsense router compressed.jpg)
    ![pfsense router compressed.jpg_thumb](/public/imported_attachments/1/pfsense router compressed.jpg_thumb)

  • thanks Mike,

    Nice looking setup.

    I want to start manufacturing cases. I think all the rack-mount cases are over priced. If people had a choice on a small footprint case.

    itx Motherboard, flex-atx PS, 1 add on card.

    I own (2) 1U cases and (1) 2U case. I bought the 2U (iStarUSA D-213-MATX Black Metal/ Aluminum 2U) from Newegg for $80 plus. I have an Asus micro-ATX, 60 gig SSD running as my home desktop, mainly use it for Solidworks. The 1U boxes came out of Mcdonalds, they were Via motherboards run as routers with a flavor of linux. I removed one of the Via and replaced it w/ a intel 2500cce dual built-in nics which is used a my pfsense router.

  • Netgate Administrator

    Many people are paying for rack space by the 'U'. Almost everyone has some sort of space restriction.
    I would build 1U cases given the choice.


  • Thanks Steve,

    With that said, I need some ideas on dealing w/ the O/I panel.


  • Netgate Administrator

    Almost all boards are supplied with an I/O pannel cut-out that fits in a standard sized hole. You could just use that. It wouldn't be as strong as a custom drilled case though.

    The biggest headache with 1U enclosures is the cooling. You need to get clever with layout and ducting. Without much height you are limited to small and fast fans which means loud. If you can get that right, by using a large radial fan instead perhaps, you will be onto a winner.  :)


  • Steve,

    It would be great to use a standard I/O panel supplied from the MB mfg'er. The standard I/O panel
    measures the same as a 1.75" 1U case. Actually it measures 1.93" when the border is included.

    http://plinkusa.net/ has many 1U's to choose from and just as many proprietary I/O panels to fix. I could just engineer a case around their I/O panels. I am sure there would be a few red flags when someone continues to order cases of I/O panels and no cases, lol.

    The cooling is an issue. All my small form factor cases are noisy.

    I don't want to get off subject, but you said something about rack space by the U? Leasing space off site or on site. I guess everything I have ever seen, I just took it the company paid for everything and just paid for upkeep.

  • Netgate Administrator

    There's a thin mini-itx standard with half height I/O sheilds.

    Leasing rack space in U increments seems common. I've never done it though.


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