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iStarUSA S35 Mini-ITX NAS Tower Chassis Review

By: Chad Sebring | Mid-Tower Cases in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Dec 13, 2013 2:02 am
TweakTown Rating: 69%Manufacturer: iStarUSA

Final Thoughts


The S-35 is structurally sound. It does look pretty nice, and with the BPU-230 installed, I was well on my way to enjoying the new NAS I had built. The S-35 offers more than enough hardware; even things you cannot use. It would have been nice to have some form of paperwork, but if you are planning on building your own NAS, you have a pretty good idea of what to do when you are handed components and a chassis. Functionally, there were no issues to speak of, and once the S-35 is all back together and running, what I thought were going to be really loud fans in the PSU, and the BPU-230, turned out to only put out 45dB of noise while running. On top of all of that, it is also able to stay cool inside. With the 80mm fan blowing through the CPU, and the 140mm Noctua fan, our CPU was at near chilly temperatures inside of the S-35.


That isn't to say that there weren't things that we ran into that we had to doctor, or just found odd. First off, was the cut of all the panels. Now, I have had my fair share of rough cases, but this S-35 makes you cringe every time something slips, as you are almost positive it bit you and drew blood. Installing the motherboard and wiring up the chassis were not that bad at all, but when it came to the fit of the BPU-230 into the 5.25" bays, it was like the left hand had no idea what the right hand was doing, and designed both parts to different specifications.


The best we could do was to get four screws to hold it in at the top, and that was out of twenty-four possible holes. Then, to top it off, when trying to install the front panel over the device and the bay cover, it literally took a heavy palm to the plate to force it around the hot-swap bays and the bay cover. Again? WOW. Did anyone even try to put these into the S-35? I mean, they sell them assembled. Why does this not line up at all?


At the beginning, I was sort of excited to build and test this NAS, but with all of the headaches and oddities that we had to deal with in the build process, it just seems like a half-hearted attempt. After we forced things into places close to where they are supposed to go, and pondered taking a rubber mallet to the face of it just to get it back into place, I'm going to have to pass on this design. Maybe they should leave it to the big NAS makers to do what they do best.


From what I have seen with the S-35, what it lacks to use the BPU-230 properly, the fact it will cut anyone who isn't anally careful during the build, and the fact that it costs near $120 for this sort of setup: it should have better quality, and should not frustrate the customers.



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