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I am looking to build a dual CPU workstation with a "long" graphics adapter and eight or more 3.5 inch drives. The problem is finding a chassis. Last time, I had to build a case out of wood to fit a BTX board (Intel) with all my drives simply because there were no large enough cases to be found. I would like to avoid a home made case this time for convenience.

As far as I can understand, a motherboard of the Pedestal form factor will not fit into a standard desktop ATX computer case. Intel does sell several entry level Server Chassis, but neither of them support more than six drives and I don't have the money or space to get a rack chassis.

This may be a borderline question (shopping advice), but are there any well-designed large cases out there that would fit a Pedestal server board, a large graphics card and six kilos worth of hard drives?

Perhaps I should rephrase. Are desktop-style computer case for the Pedestal motherboard at all common?

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amazon.com/gp/product/B005P7XSV6 –  Zoredache Mar 1 '13 at 23:13
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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The term "pedestal" refers just to the vertical orientation of the case (vs "rackmounted" which is horizontal). It does not tell anything about the size. The term you are looking for is "ExtendedATX" or "EATX".

There are plenty of options available. Also the way you get more drives installed in your case is by using X-in-Y drive cages. 5-in-3 (i.e. 5x3.5" drives in 3x5.25" slots) is probably the most popular one. If you want to save on price - do not go for "hotswap" ones. Hotswap cages have a backplane with interface connectors and cost over a $100. The regular "non hotswap" ones cost like $30.

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^ this covers most things. I'd also add that some cases let you move half the 3.5 inch drive bays so you can switch from a 6 high set of 3.5 inch bays to 2 3 high sets - you could either do this to have more space for a longer video card, or if you could find a spare drive bay for that case (some sell them seperately), fit in 9 drives internally. The conversion of 5.25 inch slots to 3.5 inch bays is probably the way to go here. –  Journeyman Geek Mar 2 '13 at 0:16
Thanks, actually I do have a few of those bay conversion brackets. The confusing part for me was the form factor of the board. As mentioned in the question, last time I purchased a BTX board (discontinued) and could not find a proper case for it. Basically I'll just have to read through the specs PDF and figure out what case to buy based on the info there. –  Ярослав Рахматуллин Mar 2 '13 at 1:35
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