So, you decided to build a DIY NAS. And when making a NAS, aside from the motherboard and storage drives, the case is the most critical piece of hardware. It has to be spacious enough to house the board and other hardware, it has to have enough storage bays for your current needs and (possibly) for future storage upgrades, and it needs to fit into your budget. And in the current situation where M.2 SSDs dominate the market and when most PC cases come, on average, with five storage bays in total or less, finding a case with enough storage bays can be a bit complicated.
Well, below, you’ll find the best NAS cases based on multiple factors. We have the best cases by form factor, a couple of excellent budget cases, NAS cases with hot-swap storage bay support, and even a rackmount NAS case. The string connecting them all is a ton of storage bays.
Now, if you’ve decided to build a NAS, you definitely should check out our list of the best NAS motherboards. You could also read our guide for the best 4TB SSDs if you plan on using fast storage. Finally, check our list of the best dual system cases if you’d like to build your main PC and NAS inside a single enclosure.
1. Fractal Design Define 7 XL: Best full tower case for NAS
Going for a full tower case probably means you need a ton of storage drive bays, and the Fractal Design Define 7 XL is built to house a metric ton of hard drives. The case is vast, and, by default, it has enough room for up to 18 HDDs and five SSDs. Yup, that’s right, you can shove more than 20 storage drives into the Define 7 XL. This makes it the best full-tower NAS case but also the top overall choice for advanced users.
This case is all about fitting as many storage drives as possible, but it isn’t a one-trick pony. The Define 7 XL features pretty solid airflow, with three (two at the front, one at the back) case fans included with the case, room for up to a 480mm radiator and other components included in custom loops, and two 5.25” drive bays for those needing one or more disk drives.
As for the build quality, it’s top of the line, and the case is also a breeze to work in. It supports E-ATX and SSI-EEB (server form factor) boards, with its cable management being one of the best in class. And the design is perfect for a NAS. All-black, with subdued lines, a small number of details, and without over-the-top elements. Overall, this is the best full-tower case for a NAS build that includes more than ten storage drives.
2. Fractal Design Define 7: Best mid-tower NAS case
The regular Define 7 is like the XL, only smaller. This includes neutral design, excellent cable management, internal design, superb build quality, and a focus on storage.
The regular version can house up to 14 storage drives. Not as many as the XL, but still, more than enough for almost any kind of NAS build. You also get three preinstalled case fans inside the chassis. Overall, the Define 7 is the best NAS case in the mid-tower segment.
3. SilverStone CS380B: Best NAS case with hot swap drive bays
Being able to fit more than 20 storage drives inside a PC enclosure is cool and all, but that won’t matter if you need a chassis with hot-swap storage drives. If that’s what you need, the best how-swap NAS case is the SilverStone DS380B. This is a relatively compact mid-tower case with eight hot-swappable drive bays.
Hot-swappable bays support both 2.5” and 3.5” drives, both SAS and SATA. The case comes with support for water cooling, two 5.25” drive bays and lockable front doors. Build quality is decent but far from superb, and the case only supports the eight storage drives mentioned above; there aren’t any internal drive bays. Also, fan support is pretty limited, with room for one rear and two side fans.
4. SuperMicro SuperChassis 721TQ-250B: Best Mini-ITX NAS case with hot swap drive bays
Here’s another case with hot-swap drive bays, but this time in the ITX form factor. The SuperMicro SuperChassis 721TQ-250B (what a name) is the best ITX hot-swap NAS case on the market. First of all, this chassis is built like a tank. The best features are the perfect build quality, neutral design, and perfect internal layout with excellent cable management.
You get four hot-swap drive bays with support for 3.5” drives (both SAS and SATA) along with two internal bays for 2.5” devices. The housing also comes with a 250W 80Plus Bronze PSU and one slim 5.25” drive bay on the top of the chassis. Overall, this is a brilliant ITX hot-swap chassis, with the only negative being its high price.
Now, if you don’t need hot-swap drive bays, the Node 804 from Fractal Design is probably the best mATX case you can get for a NAS build. First of all, the case looks subdued and is perfect for a NAS machine.
The build quality is top-notch, which is expected from Fractal Design. As for the storage bays, you have room for up to 12 drives (eight 3.5”, two 2.5”, and two 2.5”/3.5”), which is great for a case compact like this one.
The Node 804 is quite spacious. Just make sure to install the rest of the PC before starting to fill out the storage bays. It comes with three case fans preinstalled, with room for up to 10 fans in total. In other words, excellent cooling potential. \
Overall, this is a superb mATX NAS case, and if you need a compact case, smaller than a regular mid-tower but not as compact as a Mini-ITX, the Node 804 is a perfect choice.
If you’re on a tight budget and need a cheap case for a beginner’s NAS build that includes up to four storage drives, check out the Thermaltake Versa H17. The H17 is the best budget NAS case you can get.
First of all, we like the neutral design. It’s perfect for a NAS. Next, you get pretty solid build quality, room for up to five case fans (the rear one is preinstalled), pretty roomy insides with more than serviceable cable management, even a PSU shroud. The case supports only four storage drives (2×2.5” and 2×3.5”), but for “my first NAS,” this is more than enough.
If you’re looking for an ITX case without hot-swappable drive bays for your NAS, the Fractal Design Node 304 looks like the best choice. This is a Mini-ITX cube case built for something like a NAS, Plex server, etc.
It’s compact, with solid build quality and lots of room to build in. It comes with three drive bays with enough space for up to 6 2.5”/3.5” drives, which should be more than enough for any HTPC or Plex Server, and most NAS builds.
The case has pretty good airflow, with a mesh side panel and three pre-installed case fans (two 92mm fans and one 140mm fan on the rear). Overall, this is another bullseye from Fractal Design.
A perfect ITX NAS case with plenty of room inside, excellent cooling potential, six storage drive bays, excellent cable management, and superb build quality. Last but not least, the case’s quite affordable for an SFF chassis.
Last but not least, we have a rackmount case pick. The RSV-R4000 case from Rosewill is quite affordable for a rackmount server case while featuring pretty solid build quality and an excellent cooling solution.
The case in question features a 4U form factor and comes with four preinstalled fans. On top of that, you get eight drive bays, a lockable front door, and three 5.25” drive bays that can transform into a single 3.5” bay with room for four hard drives. In other words, the RSV-R4000 can host up to twelve storage drives.