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Norco RPC-4020 4U Review

ajmatson    -   August 18, 2010
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Conclusion:

The Norco RPC-4020 is a piece of work, but in a good way. A lot of work had to go into this type of quality design for a server chassis. The amount of space in this 4U case is impressive. There is so much room and expansion space your server possibilities are endless. The airflow, for the most part, was really well planned. The hard drives do get a bit hotter than when in an open case but that is to be expected. The CPU and other components remained cool even when placed in an enclosed server cabinet. The amount of hard drives space is impressive. With the size of hard drives today in the 2TB capacity, you have the potential to have 40TB+ of space not counting the OS drive. That is, if you have the controller boards and number of SATA ports that can handle all those drives. The Norco RPC-4020 is a bit expensive, running around $320, but you get what you pay for and, in this instance, that is definitely true.

As good as the chassis is, there are several things that pulled it back from being top dog. First for the size and weight of the case, let alone the price, a set of rails should be included. The case is too heavy to keep removing from a rack when needing to perform maintenance or upgrades. Getting it into the rack in the first place takes at least two people and the rack ears seem to hold it, but for how long? Second, every other rack case I have bought had an IDE optical adapter included for older optical drives. This isn't a large issue, but for the price of this chassis, an adapter is something I feel that should have been put into the mix. Finally, albeit great for cooling, the fans can get a little annoying after a long time. There is no way to control them. With the design that went into the fan strip, some kind of speed control knob or other thermal control would be nice.

With the exception of these minor things, the Norco RPC-4020 is a case among cases. There are few other rack mountable cases that I have found, which offer the features and space that this one does. If you are looking to build a server as a NAS or just with a lot of storage then this is your go-to option. Even for the price, I highly recommend this chassis and would definitely buy one if I had enough drives to fill it.

 

 

Pros:

  • Plenty of room to work with inside the case
  • Twenty hard drive bays for massive storage
  • Accepts small to large mother board included CEB size server boards
  • Seven 80mm cooling fans included
  • Support for ATX and redundant power supplies

 

Cons:

  • No rails included, especially for a case this size
  • No IDE slim optical adapter included
  • No way to control fan speeds
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  1. Introduction & Closer Look:
  2. Closer Look: Working Components
  3. Specifications & Features
  4. Testing
  5. Conclusion
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