1The search for a 12 bay 5.25″ full tower case

I have an original CoolerMaster Stacker case (STC-T01-UW) that I use for my server. It is great because it has 12 5.25″ external drive bays. Strictly speaking it has 11 useable as 1 of them is taken up by the power button and front-usb module, but this can be modified if necesary. This spectacular case is great for fitting lots of HDDs for a storage array. My system currently has 10 regular size HDDs and 2 SSDs in it which fit easily with plenty of cooling. As I want to build a second server to migrate the older drives into I am looking for another case with equally impressive capacity…

The CM stacker is especially impressive as it can be modified to fit many more drives than I am using. It is possible to fit 2.5″ drives sideways with 5 to each 3 5.25″ bays (as shown on an amazon page), so in theory with standard adapters it would be possible to fit 20 drives in this arrangement.

For even more extreme modders there is an example on the madshrimps forums with a modified version of the case with an incredible 47 HDDs fitted.

I should note that the reason I like cases with 5.25″ bays in particular is that I like to mount drives 3.5″ HDDs, one to each 5.25″ bay, with “bungee-cord”. This keeps the drives close to silent and also helps prevent the vibration of 1 drive affecting other drives. Bungee-mounting has been a trick of silent computing enthusiasts for a long time – I found with storage arrays it helps keep the noise down but also allows for cooling air to pass the sides as well as top and bottom of drives which should help their longevity. The picture isn’t mine but does show a textbook example (albeit with a 2.5″ drive in a 3.5″ bay, courtesy of AllAboutCircuits Forums

Unfortunately the stacker is no longer made, so I have been on the hunt for any other case that also features a minimum of 10 5.25″ bays, and ideally 12 (or more!). There is an old list on the unraid forums, but this dates back to 2011-12 so all the suggested drives are unavailable. This post also features some cases that only offer 9 bays which aren’t suitable for my needs. I also found a reddit post with a few suggestions but most of these are also hard to locate, so I have compiled a list which I am using to check ebay regularly for a reasonable priced deal. If you are aware of any other models please add a comment below and I will add them to the list. Otherwise, I hope this helps you to locate a suitable case second-hand.

Cooler Master Stacker Original STC-T01 series

  • Has 11 5.25″ external bays (12 with a mod)
  • Info: Useful thread comparing the 810 with the original

Cooler Master Stacker 810 series

  • Has 11 5.25″ external bays (12 with a simple mod)
  • Info: Useful thread comparing the 810 with the original

Cooler Master Cosmos S

Thermaltake Kandalf VA9000 series

Thermaltake Kandalf VD4000 series

Antec 1200

Lian Li PC-P80

Lian Li PC-A77F

Sharkoon Rebel 12 Eco (aka Sharkoon Rebel 12 Value)

Xigmatek Elysium

Zalman MS1000

Other options

The following cases only have 9 5.25″ bays, but if that is sufficient for you, have a look at the list

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gravatarb A

I have a STC-T01-UW case (black and silver). Hasnt been used in years. Might list on ebay this weekend if still interested.