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Case, Power Supply, Fan Reviews
  Product:     I-Star Storm Series D-300 Black 3U Rackmount Case  
  Price:     $238 (CDN) / $205 (U.S)
  Supplied By:     I-Star USA
  Author:     Hi-TEK
  Date:     December 23rd, 2005
  Rating:     star star star star star star star star star star

MODTHEBOX would like to thank Nigel from I-Star USA for sending the Storm Series D-300 Black 3U Rackmount Case for review.

I-Star USA

Introduction:

Wide spread broadband access has reached many communities and at the same time has allowed consumers to create their own internal networks for business or personal use. One of the critical key components for any network is a centralized server to handle to day to day duties of domain administration, password authentication, file and print sharing as well as external services such as Internet, Web, Database and FTP. One of the most important decisions regarding creating an internal network is the selection of server components and case chassis. A server which operates 24/7 requires excellent cooling options coupled with expandability for future hardware upgrades. Established in 1989, I-Star Computer Inc. has over fifteen years of experience in designing and manufacturing Industrial Switching Power Supplies, Sheet Metal, and Rackmount Chassis. The company has recently released a series of affordable rackmount server chassis marketed under the Storm Series brand name. Today in the MTB Labs, we will be evaluating the I-Star Storm Series D-300, a 3U rackmount case designed specifically for the server market.

Specifications:

The Storm Series D-300 Black 3U Rackmount Case is one of several different units available on the I-Star USA website. Consumers have the option of selecting from two different colour formats available in black or silver. The Storm Series D-300 Black 3U Rackmount Case comes pre-assembled and only supports ATX motherboard formats with a maximum size of 12" x 9.6". Here are some specifications taken directly from the I-Star USA website:

I-Star Storm Series D-300 Black 3U Rackmount Case - Key Features:
I-Star Storm Series D-300 Black 3U Rackmount Case: Manufactured by I-Star USA
Dimensions: 19.0" (W) x 5.2" (H) x 20.8" (D)
Case Material: Aluminum
Motherboard Compatibility: 12" x 9.6" ATX
Form Factor: 3U
Drive Bay: 8 (5.25" x 4 (External), 3.5" x 2 (External) and 3.5" x 2 (Internal)
Fans: 2 (2 x 60mm rear exhaust)
Expansion Slots: 7 pcs
Color: Silver or Black
Power Supply: I-Star 3U 300w/400w/460w
Front I/O Port: Two USB2.0 port
Features: Power ON/OFF Switches, System & Alarm Reset, LEDs for Power ON/OFF, HDD, Fan & Alarm, Both Front Doors Are Lockable

I-Star Storm Series D-300 Black 3U Rackmount Case
Click image for larger view
I-Star Storm Series D-300 Black 3U Rackmount Case
Click image for larger view
 

The I-Star Storm Series D-300 Black 3U Rackmount Case arrived in double boxed cardboard packaging with a identification labeling on the sides. Inside the packaging the case was sealed in protected plastic with 2 pieces Polystyrene located on the top and bottom of the unit.

I-Star Storm Series D-300 Black 3U Rackmount Case
Click image for larger view
I-Star Storm Series D-300 Black 3U Rackmount Case
Click image for larger view
 

My first impressions of the I-Star Storm Series D-300 Black 3U Rackmount Case after removing the packaging were extremely positive. Out of the box the case is very well constructed and built solid than most server cases of the same size. I-Star has emphasized that the design of the Storm Series D-300 Black 3U Rackmount Case encompasses good EMI Protective Shielding as well as a focus on tool-less key entry using latches. The case measures approximately 19.0" (W) x 5.2" (H) x 20.8" (D) and supports all full size ATX motherboards. The entire exterior has been painted jet black with the main focus on the front bezel. As an add-on feature, I-Star provides interchangeable front bezels offered in different colours that include red, blue, silver and gold.

I-Star Storm Series D-300 Black 3U Rackmount Case
Click image for larger view
I-Star Storm Series D-300 Black 3U Rackmount Case
Click image for larger view
 
To the left and right sides of the I-Star Storm Series D-300 are industrial sized handles that provide stability when mounting unit inside a server rack. The handles are supported by a series of mounting screwed that are integrated into the case chassis. While this case can be rack mounted no server rails were included in the package. The D-300 comes bundled with an assortment of accessories which include mounting screws, motherboard stand-offs, zip-ties, PCI slot plates and a set of keys. Absent from the package was any sort of user guide or reference documentation.

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