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How to choose the correct rackmount case for your rackmount workstation or server

Hardware, Industry, True Custom

Building a workstation in a rackmount chassis

Building a rackmount workstation or server can be annoying and difficult. Rackmount chassis need to fit a certain size standard in order to be compatible with server racks. Rackmount servers and workstations typically come in the standard sizes of 1U, 2U, 3U, and 4U.  

1U is 1.75” in height, leaving limited room for cooling or larger, powerful components. Building in these small cases makes component selection limited. Rackmount chassis manufacturers can also lack proper documentation, making it difficult to determine which components are compatible for the case. 

Why is it difficult to build rackmount workstations and servers?  

Many rackmount chassis give little consideration to AIO compatibility. It is difficult to find a full list of compatible AIOs when researching rackmount cases. Even if you find one that fits without a compatibility guide, the screw holes might not align, and other headaches are bound to occur. Not only do the Sliger 3u and 4u rackmount chassis have official AIO support, but much care and consideration were put into placing components within. 

How to easily build in a 4U rackmount case 

The CX4200 series of 4U rackmount chassis offer a full-sized unit with special layout considerations to allow fitment of an AIO while still maintaining drive mounts and a support bar, or other available layouts with HDD mounting only or multiple 5.25 bays. This allows for greater component combability, making parts that are incompatible with other server rackmount chassis now available for your configuration.  

How to easily build in a 3U rackmount chassis 

3U Rackmount Workstation PC
3U rackmount workstation featuring Sligher CX3151

The CX3151 series takes it to another level, shrinking the size down to a minimum. The 3U chassis makes use of right-angle GPU mounting to allow for 3.5 slot thick cards, up to 12 inches in length with the radiator installed. 

What is a rackmount server? 

A rackmount server is a server designed in a chassis meant to be compatible with a server rack. What is a server rack? 

What is a server rack? 

Server racks store electrical equipment, most commonly servers. They come in assorted sizes allowing for a variety of server combinations. A standard rack is typically 42U. This means that it could fit 42 1U servers, 24 2U servers, 14 3U servers, or 10 4U servers and 1 2U server. 

What is a 1U server? 

1U servers take up one unit of space in a server rack. With a standard-sized 42U server rack, you can fit 42 individual servers. The issue with 1U servers is that they are only 1.75” tall. This makes component combability extremely limited and provides very few cooling options.  

What is a 3U Server? 

A 3U server rack takes up three units of space in a server rack. With features like support for up to two processors, full-sized PCI slots, and 5.25” drive bays, 3U rackmount servers offer a wider range of component options. Granted, these chassis are still more compact than your typical desktop PC. 

Building a Rackmount Workstation or Server with AVADirect  

Working with Sliger as an official partner provides us with the capabilities to custom-make made-to-order rackmount chassis. If you have a specific use case with a unique form factor, we can build a server suitable for your use.  

Brooke Hooks

Hi! My name is Brooke, and when I'm not running social for AVADirect, I'm raising dinos on Ark.

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