I recently picked up a new all-in-one storage server for home. It includes a Supermicro 846TQ chassis, motherboard, processor, ram and three SATA controllers to handle all 24 hot-swap drive bays.

The server came at a price that was too good to pass up, but it had a couple draw backs too. It’s a large rackmount chassis, and comes with redundant rackmount power supplies, which means it is LOUD. My goal to use this at home is to transform this into a much quieter case, while keeping my cost down.

I picked up additional components to help with this:

The fan wall should help reduce the noise from the stock server-grade 80mm fans while continuing to provide adequate airflow at (hopefully) an ambient noise level. The back window should hopefully have a larger impact by removing the ridiculously loud redundant server-grade PSUs, and replacing it with a quiet ATX power supply. Not bad for $33.

I started these modification today. Taking the server case apart was easy, but time consuming.

  1. Removed SATA cables and controller cards.
  2. Remove all 5 fans,  and mounting hardware.
  3. Unscrew and remove Motherboard.
  4. Remove both Power Supply Units.
  5. Remove a few dozen screws and the sides, bottom and back of case.
  6. Remove “Back Window” from server case.

At this point I was able to do a test fit of the new Norco 4224 back window in the Supermicro case:

So far, so good. Before I can continue though I will need to shave a small bit of metal off the top as the notch for the Supermicro is a little larger than the Norco. The back window is probably 0.5″ smaller than the original Supermicro, so I will also need a couple of spacers on the PSU mount side, but other than that it looks like it will fit pretty well.

It’s worth noting that yes, these modifications will reduce the server-grade / redundancy that this case offers, but it will continue to have a great build quality and these modifications will allow for the case to be home-friendly then too.

To be continued…


2 Responses to “SC846TQ Modification (Part 1)”

  1. Devin on November 9th, 2013 12:03 pm

    I’m very interested in what you are doing. I also picked up one of the Supermicro SC846TQ servers off eBay months ago and now need to get it built.

    I will be going with 24 Seagate 4TB NAS drives. Currently I have an Areca ARC-1680IX 24+4 port raid card, but am thinking I might save that for a different array and use the included sata cards and use FlexRaid. I can do a Raid60 array and just call it a day, but with roughly 75TB of data, I think a non-traditional “raid” array is probably my best course of action.

    I’m really interested in the Norco back window but have also looked at mounting the ATX PSU inside the case if the Norco back window is difficult.

    Heading out to buy screws for mounting the hard drives – they have to be flush mounted in order to work.

    Thanks and I can’t wait for more info on your build!

  2. mike on December 24th, 2013 12:39 pm

    Thanks Devin.

    To be honest, I got side tracked with some other projects and forgot to post any updates on this build.

    It is complete and up and running. I ended up gutting most of the parts and doing a brand new setup.

    I’ll try and post some updates soon.

Leave a Reply