Firstly, you should be well aware that, to build a proper PC, you have to choose a proper case. The case selection highly depends on what type of PC you’re about to build. Be it a gaming PC, a small form factor PC, or a home theater desktop; each category has its own set of requirements.
In this one, we’re gonna talk about NAS cases. NAS stands for Network Attached Storage System. It offers an advanced data storage solution for both your indoor home usage and office environment alike.
Building a NAS isn’t all that easy, but the case is probably the best way to start it off. In this one, we’ll discuss the best NAS case solutions and all the info you need to know to build a proper NAS. So, why wait? Let’s begin!
Top 4 NAS Cases Comparison Chart
|Name & Brand||Motherboard|
|C.Master XB EVO||ATX||Alloy Steel|
|Fractal Design 804||Micro ATX||Alloy Steel|
|SilverStone DS380||Mini ITX||Aluminum|
|SilverStone GD08B||Extended ATX||Aluminum|
What’s a NAS All About?
Before we get into the best possible NAS PC cases, let’s talk a bit about what a NAS actually is. A NAS practically has a number of large storage-based hard drives configured together in a NAS case. After that, it gets attached to the preferred network.
You don’t have to connect your NAS separately to a computer. All you have to do is, connect the NAS to your router, and the rest should be easy. Every device within the network should be able to access it with ease. Apart from storing files, a NAS can be used for game hosting too.
We’ve all come across a particular network in school, college, or simply at work that serves as a shared drive no matter what device you’re using. That my friend would be a NAS server.
Building a NAS is more convenient than piling up a bunch of external hard drives, to be honest. A NAS is ideal for creating a secure space for a large amount of data. Plus, you get to connect to multiple devices without having to plug it in over and over again.
Is Building Your Own NAS Worth It?
Now, this is actually a proper value question. I would say “Yes” it is worth it. But let’s not rely on a blunt statement of mine. Read the following points to get a clearer idea.
A Better Grasp of Things
Building your own NAS gives you better control of your own data and storage, to be honest. If you face any dire issues, you might just be able to solve them all on your own. All your important data should be stored on your NAS. So, you should be able to recover what you lost with ease.
Theoretically speaking, building your own NAS will save you a lot of money. But then again, you have to think about the effort as well. Building a NAS isn’t all that easy. But once it’s done, all your hard work will be worth it.
When you have your own personal NAS, you really don’t have to rely on anything external. Endless customizable options await you once you decide on getting your own NAS. The storage space, the exterior case, and all the other options will be at your very own fingertips.
Best NAS Cases Right Now
Now that we’re done and dusted with the additional information let’s put our hands onto the main dish. Now we’re gonna discuss the Top NAS Cases that are on my list. The list really isn’t too big. I hope you enjoy the read. So, let’s hop in!
We’re gonna start things off with the awesome HAF XB EVO from Cooler Master. As the name suggests, the case has a high airflow (HAF) design. This offers high-performance cooling within a revolutionary design. You can tell by the looks of it; it’s not your average Joe case.
This one is a great option for NAS builders as it has room for four dedicated 3.5-inch hard drives. This will allow you to store terabytes of data with ease. Apart from this, there are two dedicated 5.25-inch drive bays how. How cool is that?
Note that you can install 2.5-inch drives on the 3.5-inch drive bays. You won’t be falling short of some SSD room either way. Oh, and to add to it all, the HDD cases are removable for extra convenience. Sweet, eh?
Plus, you can pick the motherboard of your liking. Form factor really won’t be an issue as this bad boy supports Mini-ITX, microATX, and ATX boards as well.
Since this case is really great for cooling, there are multiple fan mounting spots. Plus, if you’re looking for some radiator mounting options, you won’t be disappointed. The front has room for a 240mm radiator, and the rear is well equipped for a 120mm one.
The guys at Cooler Master even included a front 120mm XtrFlo fan. This fan is really awesome as it has an RPM of 1200 and a noise level of only 17 dBA. Powerful performance without the extra noise is something we all look for in the end.
Keep note that the CPU cooler height should be limited to 180mm. That’s pretty much your limit for this case, which isn’t all that bad if you ask me.
Also, if you feel like going for some hardcore gaming, in this case, you’ll have the option of mounting GPUs up to 334mm in this case. I should also tell you that you’ll have ample room for upgrades as the case offers seven expansion slots. A 3 GPU setup is very much possible with this one.
This case is absolutely great for a NAS because of the ample storage options that it has. But that doesn’t mean that it can’t be transformed into a gaming rig at any point. This baby here is an all-out monster. Transform it into a gaming test bench at any moment you please.
The Cooler Master HAF XB EVO is far from a disappointment. A monstrous performer that likes to keep things cool under the hood at all times.
The next one in our best NAS case list is the Node 804 from Fractal Design. I bet you can tell by the looks of it that it isn’t an ordinary case by far. Also, if you want extra storage, this case has got a surprise for you!
The case has to offer a whopping number of 8 3.5-inch internal drive bays and four 2.5-inch ones. If you get this case for yourself, you won’t be running out of storage options any time soon. You either go this way, or you can mount up to ten 3.5-inch hard drives and two 2.5-inch SSD/HDDs.
If you’re building a NAS, why keep your options limited, right?
Apart from that, the case itself is pretty well built. The material used here is aluminum steel. It might increase the weight a bit. But that’s a worthy sacrifice for a sturdy case. Even after that, 13.2 pounds for a case with the dimensions of 13.5 x 12.1 x 15.3 inches isn’t all that bad.
Plus, the brushed aluminum in the front just looks amazing.
The case itself has a dual-chamber design. This allows you to have a great water cooler mounting experience. You can go for four water coolers at once! How sick is that?
As for air cooling, the case comes with pre-installed three dedicated Fractal Design Silent Series R2 fans. The case has room for seven extra fans (Just so you know). The fans are silent. You always have the option to swap in some flashy RGB fans if you feel like it. Oh, and the fan controller is included here as well.
The supported MOBO types are limited to M-ATX and Mini-ITX. So, it’s not really what you can call a full-fledged gaming case. However, there are five dedicated expansion slots. So, yes, multiple GPUs are an option here.
Wanna showcase your rig, the side window allows you to do just that. Wow the onlookers with a clear view of your system.
I wouldn’t call it disappointing in any way since we’re dealing with a Micro-ATX cube case here. They even got the front I/O bit right. Here we have the basic two 3.0 ports and audio in and out port. Nothing fancy, but exactly what you need.
Here we go with yet another worthy contender! The case offers an astoundingly strong build within a small form factor. You won’t be disappointed with the versatility either. The case is designed for mini-ITX motherboards so; you can expect it to be super compact.
The volume of the case is only about 22 liters. Within this small space, you can house 12 drives! I know it sounds insane, but it’s a fact. You can fit in eight 2.5-inch or 2.5-inch drives. It also has four fixed 2.5″ drives. For extra convenience, the eight drives I mentioned earlier are hot-swappable.
A NAS builder probably couldn’t ask for more than this within the dimensions of only 8 x 11.22 x 14.17 inches. To be honest, the case itself isn’t all that heavy. With a total weight of 13.23 pounds, the DS380 can be carried around just about anywhere with ease.
The premium-looking front door is made of brushed aluminum. The front door is lockable, and the power button feels just right. The case is very sturdy and strongly built. It’ll definitely look classy in your Home Theater cabinet or even atop your computer desk.
To top it off, the case doesn’t fall short in the cooling department either. Out of the box, it comes with three 120mm fans with filtered intake vents.
All this is to be expected from SilverStone’s Case Storage (CS & DS) series. These cases are made for maximum storage options within a compact size. And every single detail of the DS380 speaks of the brand’s flawless engineering and superb craftsmanship.
However, you should remember that the PSU should be of the SFX-L form factor. And you don’t need to worry about GPU support. You can fit in graphics cards up to 11 inches. But there’s only space for one of them, which is fair enough for the size of the case, to be honest.
Also, the CPU cooler height limit is 57mm. Apart from the minor limitations, the case is definitely a great choice for a NAS and those who prefer compact PC builds all in all.
We’re about to finish off the list with yet another awesome case from SilverStone. The GD08B is from the SilverStone Grandia series. Which means it’s specially designed to be a part of home theaters. But that doesn’t mean it can’t serve as an awesome NAS case. Let’s explore more.
The case comes with eight 3.5-inch drive bays and two 2.5-inch ones. Which I believe is just ideal for creating network-attached storage. Plus, the removable hard drive brackets make it all the easier to install extra storage inside.
This one has a depth of only 425mm. This ensures that the case can fit in just about anywhere. And that’s the whole point here. Compactness and efficiency over flashy bells and whistles. The case isn’t all that big in dimensions, either. The height and width are only 175mm and 440mm consecutively.
You can fit in GPUs up to 13.6 inches in this one. Not to worry, there are removable filters for seven expansion card slots, and an eighth aux slot is also included. To add to it all, there are dedicated filters for the intake vents as well. These quick access filters prevent dust from building up. Neat, eh?
The aluminum front panel just looks stylish, and the LED indicator makes it look all the more pleasing. Plus, there are adjustable brightness options for it too.
The positive air pressure design of the case helps out a lot with the cooling too. A proper NAS needs to be cool and quiet at the same time, and the GD08B does not fail to deliver.
However, you should know that the motherboard support is limited to SSI-EEB (13” motherboard). And the PSU limit is up to 220mm max. Which is good enough for the case’s form factor if you ask me. And lastly, the I/O port isn’t a dealbreaker either. They included two USB 3.0 ports which are pretty handy.
Why Choose a NAS over an External Drive?
We’ve already shed some light on this fact. But let’s be a bit more specific this time (As it’s a really common question). Look at the details below, and you should get a clear idea.
- Need Of Massive Storage
Let’s face it; external drives are cheap and really easy to get. On the other hand, a NAS is really hard to build. IT takes both effort and patience. The question here is how much storage do you actually need?
If you’re about to do some workstation-level rendering, mass edit 4k videos, or store tons of data, then an external drive just won’t cut it to be honest. This is the case; a NAS really has no alternative.
- Better Organization
If you’ve had the need to store a lot of data at different times, you probably face the problem of piled up storage drives quite often. It sometimes gets so annoying that you’re forced to get extra space to store all the external drives.
A NAS is a solution to all this as it offers centralized data storage. A safe and secure space to store all your necessary data without having to go through all the physical hassle. This indeed is where a NAS outshines the competition.
The Final Data
Well, we’ve discussed all the essentials regarding the best possible NAS cases available in the marketplace. However, you might want to do a bit of research of your own. IF you decide to do that, I’d suggest you follow the tips and information that I shared in the write-up.
Building a NAS can seem like a ton of work. But once you’re all set and ready with the case and the other components, it might seem like a fun task. I’d personally enjoy it if you asked me. That’s pretty much it for now. Hope you enjoyed the read.
Until next time, adios!