In Win IW-R300 3U Server Chasis Reviewajmatson - April 28, 2010
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When it comes to a chassis for your computer, there are many that you can choose from, including small form factors, mid towers, and gigantic full tower cases. These cases are great, but what if you want to save space or have other needs, such as for a file server. Sometimes tower cases are not feasible for every project and this is where rack-mountable cases come into play. Almost everyone I know has some type of file or backup server, and most have multiple ones placed all around their rooms. With a rack-mounted solution, all the computers can be placed in one location, making it easier for managing and maintenance. Being a student, I have several servers that I run for my studies and have found that rack-mounted cases have served my needs tremendously, allowing me to place powerful hardware in an easily-managed case. However, there are some drawbacks to rack-mounted cases; inadequate cooling and, depending on the size of the case, the hardware that can be placed in it. Unlike tower cases, which come in SFF, mid tower and full tower dimensions, rack-mounted cases come in Units. The smallest unit is a 1U case, then there is 2U, 3U and the big daddy 4U, which is the equivalent of a full tower design. Today, we are going to be taking a look at a 3U case from In Win, the In Win IW-R300.
When the IW-R300 arrived, I was very impressed with how well In Win packaged it to prevent any damage. The case was sealed within two thick boxes and had foam inserts surrounding the case, which kept it from being dented or scratched. This is a plus in my opinion because it shows the care that went into getting the case to me unharmed. In the box was the case itself and the accessories box. The accessories box contains everything that is needed to get the case up and running with little effort. The accessories that are included are the power cord, the motherboard screws and stand offs, the hard drive screws, the slim optical drive mounts, and even the IDE optical drive converter, which is a nice addition so you do not have to search for one that will fit as you often have to do with rack-mounted cases.
With the IW-R300 server chassis out of the box, we can get a better look at the design. As I mentioned above, the case is a 3U design, which means it takes up three units of space in a server rack. The case is 19" wide and 19" deep with a 3U height of 5.25". It is constructed of SGCC Steel and weighs 18.75 pounds when empty. The IW-R300 uses a tool-less design for the cover, which allows for easy removal for maintenance and upgrades while in the rack. To remove the cover, just press in the two black tabs with your thumbs and slide the cover toward the rear of the chassis. On the front of the case there are two 5.25" drive bays, one 3.5" drive bay, and a slim optical drive bay. There is also the power and reset switch, as well as the two USB ports and a slew of notification LEDs - power, hard drive activity, LAN status, and emergency. As with towers, the expansion slots are located in the rear. The IW-R300 supports up to seven full size expansion cards. Since the In Win is rack-mountable, there are the rack mount ears that stick out from the sides of the case. The handles make it easier maneuvering the chassis inside the rack, but there are no rails included with the chassis, so they must be purchased separately. For the price, I feel the rails should have been included, especially since they are fairly hard to obtain.
Now that we have seen the design, let's take a better look inside and see what the IW-R300 is all about.