2016 NAS: The Logic Case SC-N400 (Norco ITX S4)

Next, it is time to look at what ties the 2016 NAS together. The case.

This is the Logic Case SC-N400. It’s a clone of the Norco ITX-S4. As far as I can tell, the two cases are identical. Anyway! On with the tour!

Above, I have opened the door (which can be locked) and you can immediately see the four hot-swap 3.5″ HDD bays. These are fantastic for quickly swapping out a hard disk if one is to suddenly die on you, and is very convenient to have when you want to add/swap/remove disks. Each bay has a power LED (blue) and an access LED (green).

The bottom portion of the front has the status LEDS, power and reset buttons, and two USB 2.0 ports. The USB’s are perfect for installing the OS (not that I used them – see the review about the motherboard here). There are three network activity LED’s just in case you need as many blinky lights as possible! +1 for blinky lights! The LED’s are very bright – keep that in mind if you plan on keeping this in a bedroom.

Here, you can see how the drives are pulled out. You unclip the bay by pushing in the blue tab, and then you can pull the bay out using the arm that springs out. Pushing the bay back in is also very easy – just push the bay back as far as it will go (reasonably gently, mind) and push the arm back into the bay until the blue tab clicks into place. They are a tight fit, so go firmly but gently.

You can also see one of the 4TB Seagate NAS drives. They fit just fine and you can see ventilation holes on the top of the drive bays to keep the drives cool. They seem to stay at about 30-35 degrees C – perfect for hard disks.

Above you can see where the drives connect to the system and the main cooling fan. There are four normal SATA connections and a single Molex power connector. There is not much room back here, so organising four SATA cables, a Molex and a fan cable is rather tricky! When it comes to cooling, the rear fan draws air from the front of the case, through the hard disks, and out the back. Some ventilation is also given for the rest of the system below the hard disks.

The case came with a rear case fan, but it was a 3 pin fan that ran at 5000 RPM. It moved a lot of air, but was very noisy. I have swapped it for an Arctic F8 PWM Rev. 2 80mm fan that I can control with the motherboard. That seems to be plenty for this system, and the fan can ramp up to full speed if things get warm.

This is the side view of the NAS. You can see the four SATA connections for the main hard disks, but we also have a spot for a 2.5″ boot drive! How thoughtful! Since this drive is just for loading the NAS OS (In this case, RockStor), using an SSD would be more reliable since it would see very little usage (unless you shared it’s storage). I have put a 120GB Kingston SSD in since taking the above picture since that 30GB Corsair drive is starting to show some age.

You can see the mainboard at the bottom – and you can see in the next picture how little room there is for the CPU cooler:

That low profile cooler has under a centimeter of clearance left. The stock Intel cooler does not fit. There are ventilation holes above the cooler so it can draw in cool air from above – and I don’t see the CPU going above 60 degC. This is also a reason I went for the low TDP i3 – I knew there would not be much room for heat to build up in that space, so reducing the power output as much as possible was necessary to ensure the system will stay cool.

A power supply came with the case. Yeah. I swapped it out for an 80+ FSP unit. The case accepts “Flex-ATX” or “Flex” power supplies. They are relatively common online if you have a look about.

Much better! Also, you can see the new SSD in this photo. Rewiring this thing with the new power supply was not fun, since the 4-pin CPU power connector is under the hard drive bays.

So, let’s do a conclusion. This is a small NAS case, with a lot of functionality to boot! It has the hot swap bays, status LEDs, sufficient cooling for low-power hardware and can fit four 3.5″ drives with a 2.5″ drive on the inside. With 8TB disks that you can get at time of writing, you could create a 32TB storage box with this thing. In something no much bigger than a couple of shoeboxes.

If I had to criticise the case, it would be that there is pretty much no way to cable manage this thing tidily (then again it is a small case) and that the cover is quite tricky to get back on. Apart from that, it is perfect for a little home NAS.

I give this a rating of 9.5/10, and if four bays isn’t enough for you – check out the 8-bay version from Norco!

The site is back up!
2016 NAS: Seagate 4TB NAS Drives

{2 Responses to “2016 NAS: The Logic Case SC-N400 (Norco ITX S4)”}

  1. Hi, just bought one of these cases for my own NAS project (I’m using the ASRock Q1900DC-ITX fanless DC motherboard with soldered-on quad-core CPU; downside only 4 SATA ports). Delighted to discover that one of the two front USB ports on the case, is actually a USB3 port, complete with a USB3 header adapter cable on the inside. Was yours really 2x USB2 ? I wonder if this case has had a spec upgrade on the sly.

    • That is interesting. Yes the front ones on mine (and my friends) are both USB2.0. It’s not a huge deal for me, I have USB 3 on the back and I rarely need to plug anything into them anyway. Thanks for letting us know though, that’s a handy feature for buyers today!

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