Introduction

For some enthusiasts, it seems like there's an almost insatiable need for more storage space. With the advent of super-detailed games, high-quality music, high-definition video and more, needs for kilobytes or megabytes have quickly given way to needs of gigabytes. If the media can just be archived, there are a few good solutions available now and even better emerging technologies like Blu-Ray on the horizon. However, for practical everyday use, nothing really beats a hard disk drive - especially twelve of them.

Enter the home-server case. Massive server tower cases are nothing new, but considering these types of machines have traditionally been strictly for commercial use manufacturers have never cared much about the cases' appearances. Now that home users are interested in storing such large quantities of data, it only makes sense that case builders are starting to pay more attention to aesthetics and usability in their server cases.

While we've looked at several cases in the past year or so that are capable of holding many drives, there are other features of a case that make it truly fit to hold a server. The most important features are that it can comfortably handle extended motherboards - as a lot of the professional dual-processor boards are extended length - and longer expansion cards as well. Beyond that, ample cooling and expansion options must be present, and if there's an option to hold a secondary power supply that's a bonus as well.

Lian Li, well known for their quality, all aluminum cases, took a stab at this genre a couple years ago with the PC-V2000, which essentially is a bulkier version of the PC-V1000 reviewed in our roundup of several tower cases. The V2000 gets a lot about this type of case just right, and the design overall will please many people just as its smaller sibling's did. Presently Lian Li also offers several newer cases designed for the same market, and we'll take a look at how one of their latest, the PC-201B compares to the V2000.

More information can be found on the Lian Li website. Also, thanks to Directron for the PC-V2000 unit.

PC-V2000 - Exterior
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  • mkruer - Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - link

    There are really only two options to fight the reverb. One is to get a heavier case, (steel works the best, on in the case of the Lian Li, a nice heavy brick on top will cut the amount of reverb) or you can isolate the devices that are causing the issue, namely the hard drives. All that it takes to isolate the drives (providing you have the space) is some heavy nylon string. Sling up the drive and vole, reverb cut down drastically. Reply
  • JoshuaBuss - Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - link

    Perhaps I should've elaborated.. my subjective sound scoring makes 0 the best (silent).. 10 would mean it's making so much noise it's absolutely unusable. Reply
  • mkruer - Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - link

    Did I miss that or did you just add it. But my point still stands that by moving to a better 120mm fan, and suspending the drives to remove the reverb, you can get that to a 1.5 -2.

    Actually the reverb is the most annoying aspect IMO. I can deal will constant noise, it’s the constant loudening and quieting that drives me nuts.
    Reply
  • JoshuaBuss - Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - link

    I added it. You know, I think I'm starting to hear what you're talking about now in the PC-201B.. weird, 'cause I didn't hear it in the PC-V2000... :| Reply
  • mkruer - Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - link

    Give it a few nights, and you will start to notice it more. This not just a problem with Lian Li cases but all “light weight” designed cases. They are more susceptible to vibration. I wish that Lian Li offered a drive suspension kit, instead of jury rigging one, but hey it works, and its not like I take the drives out every day. Reply
  • JoshuaBuss - Wednesday, May 17, 2006 - link

    Update on the 'reverb' issue: I found that the case was 'stressed'. One corner was slightly higher than the other three and as soon as I supported it better my extra vibration noise went away.

    Perhaps there's a similar problem with your guys' setups?
    Reply
  • mkruer - Wednesday, May 17, 2006 - link

    Perhaps we are not talking about the same thing. The reverb I am talking about is a extremely low pinched hum. And the only time you might notice it is when its dead quiet. You can check over at silent pc review. They can explain it much better then I can. Reply
  • GrammatonJP - Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - link

    I had all drive filled and put in a 4 drive hot swap bay... it was sweeet Reply
  • WileCoyote - Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - link

    Tempting case but I can't find the right power supplies for the dual power supply setup. Anyone know a website that sells them? Reply
  • punko - Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - link

    A bit of a strange concept, but could you mount a 15" or 17" LCD monitor over the window on the side of the case? Reply

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