Supermicro GS50-000R – a “gaming” chassis

Measurement

The measured fan speed is approximately 1100 RPM which is well within rated ±20% specification. While the fans may be reasonably silent by their own, inside the case they are quite loud. Now imagine when the rear fan has grills from both sides and the front fans also have restrictive grill from the intake side and quite restrictive hard drive caddies on the outtake. And that was without any drives. So the noise they produce (at 38.7 dBA ambient) is 43.7 dBA. With the ball-bearing SCSI drive (in the 5.25″ caddy) this increases to 44.6 dBA, where the drive alone in the anechoic chamber (put on the bottom in same spot where it is in the case) produces 40.0 dBA. The test equipment is the usual as for power supplies.

Conclusion

So is the Supermicro SuperChassis GS50-000R worth the price, double the price of SilentiumPC Aquarius M60W? No way. It looks appealing, but from a technical point of view it is no wonder. For double the price Supermicro cheaped it out with only 0.6mm SECC which in this version does not even has black finish on the skeleton. They did not bother much with some advanced processing which could at least make the thin material somewhat tougher either. Now there is really no need to paint it from the inside, but at least the rear side could have been black as well, that really feels strange. There is also the GS5B-000R which is black painted and costs pretty much the same, so if you really like this case so much, take that version. But the painting is not the only thing (though I must admit the paint quality is good, on the places where it actually is). The worst problem is not only the thin material, but also the case feels like Supermicro took some existing case, made a few different pieces for this particular model and riveted/screwed it all together. So where other modern competitor’s cases, designed from ground up, have single piece of material, this one usually has multiple of them.

This fact then adds to the result which is not that sturdy. It is not among the worst units I have seen, but I would expect tougher construction in all aspects (motherboard tray, rear plate, torsion twist, tougher sides) for such price. There definitely are cases for similar price which are way better built and also come with noise dampening material on top of that. Here you get the opposite: the hard-drive cages are made from even thinner material than the rest of the case. While they are firmly screwed to the case, which somewhat helps, there is lot of give between the cages and the drive caddies themselves so I do not trust the result. Also the strange way it is all made, you can only mount SATA/SAS drives to them, forget about anything else (PATA, SCSI). Plus you access the connectors from one side, but the drives themselves from the other side, so in each case you always have to remove both side panels. Kinda strange from primarily server manufacturer to just kill backward compatibility and make such a pain of otherwise easy hard drive replacement operation. You can only use the 5.25″ trays which come with the case (which is nice feature) for other than SATA/SAS drives, but then you kill your only two external positions you have.

And that is still not the end. There are a lot of very sharp and dangerous spots in the case and if you are not careful, you can injure yourself, especially in the corners. This is just a disaster. If it is not dangerous then it at least makes cleaning of the case a pain in the butt because you will tear every rag you use for this purpose into pieces. I do not know if Supermicro can go with such HW on the “enterprise” market, but such a thing has no place in consumer retail 2017 market. There are plenty other cases to choose from where you won’t cut yourself, among the already named problems. There are a few nice aspects of this chassis like quite many fan positions and after all, even hard-drive positions and nice bottom/top dust filters. Not the front filter as the mechanism is strange and the filter frame already was bent in the sample I got, so it already looked like…you got the idea. Also the fans are of better than usual quality, however at their full speed in stock configuration (with all the restrictive grills around them) they are still noisy. With some tweaking and further investment into cooling the GS50-000R can most likely be turned into somewhat decent case. However, so can competing cases for half the price, especially if you don’t really need so many hard drive positions. And if you do, you can get better enclosures at the same price level.

Pros + 5.25″ caddies
+ many configurable hard drive positions
+ three decent quality 120mm fans pre-installed
+ many fan positions/good coooling possibilities
+ easy to remove fan filters
+ thumbscrews provided for side panels
+ tool-less installation of drives
+ nice front I/O panel mounting solution
+ bottom-mounted power supply
Cons too expensive
only 0.6mm SECC; sharp edges
 front fan filter will bend and look bad (here it already was)
vacant top fan positions
hard to turn thumbscrews
no sound dampening material
not that sturdy in construction
weak HDD cages, give in caddies seating
HDD cages with limited access; only SATA/SAS drives
Be aware of… /?\ GS50-000R lacks skeleton painting
/?\ GS50-000R has very big packaging box

Thanks

I thank the Anafra company for lending the Supermicro GS50-000R case.

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