2U ATX Rackmount Chassis (RM0152) Review

2U ATX Rackmount Chassis

Perfection in design? Not possible, right? Well, this 2U Rackmount chassis comes close, in my opinion. Meet the RM0152, a 2U Rackmount chassis. This unit is genuinely an impressive housing. The innovation alone is worth it's price, not to mention the overall quality / craftsmanship.

With a small 2U form factor, the RM0152 chassis will fit in any 19" x 22" x 3.5" rack enclosure, while still facilitating your essential system hardware.

Yes I know Rackmount chassis aren't for the average PC user, however, there is a broad market and this review may interest many of our viewers considering co-locating their own server. Even if you're not going to accommodate this chassis in a rack enclosure, it comes with rubber feet for desktop use. Enough of my romance, lets check out some features.


Unique Features:

  • Suitable for standard ATX motherboards.
  • One exposed 5.25" bays, three exposed 3.5" drive bays for 1" height hard disks.
  • Five hot-swap intake cooling fans. (Hot-Swap Fan Tray)
  • Locking front door for power switch and drive bays.
  • Rear keyboard port.
  • 2 available PCI slots. (2 PCI raiser cards included)
  • Serial and parallel ports: (2) DB9, (1) DB25, (2) USB Ports.
  • 150 watts ATX power supply.

Physical Characteristics:

  • 2U Height. (3.5")
  • Dimensions: 22" x 19" x 3.5" (D x W x H)
  • Chassis thickness: 1.2mm.
  • Front Door thickness: 1.4mm (Pre-plated metal)
  • Customization available.

That Blows !

Mmm ok, ok, bad figure of speech on my part. It doesn't blow, it sucks. Um wait a minute, I did it again. What I'm trying to say is that the RM0152 houses five hot-swap intake cooling fans (with dust guard) that suck in cool air from the left side, blowing it across the mother board and your components, then thrusting it out the right side. I think the hot-swap fan feature on this chassis is truly impressive.

Each fan is embedded in a durable 1.4mm metal frame that slides in and out of it's own "rail system" housing. The intake fans do not connect to a power supply like conventional 80mm PC fans, but use a custom designed "edge connector" to acquire power. As you can see in that photo, by using the edge connector method, it spares you from the hassle of tying down wires and clutter because anything that can be snagged is tucked neatly into the frame.

The design, along with its compact construction makes this feature a much-needed asset in itself. Keeping core temperatures to a minimal in this chassis isn't an issue. During the test phase, I recorded core chassis temperatures of 29 - 30c and CPU temperatures of 30 - 32c.

Maw, git muh shotgun!

If physical security is an issue with you when co-locating, then problem solved. Lets get real here. You obviously can't guard your co-located server 24 / 7 and most companies that offer co-location services have some form of security monitoring their NOC (Network Operations Center). However, you may need some type of physical security. No need to worry about some flux0r stealing your gear or messing with your hardware in the data center when you're not around.

The RM0152 is made from pre-plated metal with a thickness of 1.2mm and 1.4mm door. The door has a blot action lock on it to keep NOC guests from hitting your power switch or accessing the drive bays. Sure somebody equipped with a screwdriver could gut the chassis in a matter of minutes, but you shouldn't co-locate with anyone that doesn't monitor when users / guests are in the NOC. Nothing is safe, however, it should be safe from mischievous people wanting to reset your box or access your drives.

Who says size doesn't matter?

I was actually impressed with the over all layout of this compact Rackmount chassis. It has room for all the essential hardware you would need when creating your own Rackmount server. Like most 2U Rackmount chassis, space is limited when it comes to PCI slots (depending on the back panel). The RM0152 is no acceptation.

Sure, virtually any ATX motherboard will suffice, but you will not be able to utilize all the PCI / ISA slots due to the chassis construction. The RM0152 comes with 2 PCI raiser cards, allowing you to use two devices. If you require more then two, I would suggest you get a motherboard with a built in video adapter. The over all chassis dimensions are: 22" x 19" x 3.5" (D x W x H) with serial and parallel ports: (2) DB9, (1) DB25, (2) USB Ports. Rear keyboard port and 4 drive bays (3) 3.5" and (1) 5.25".

Testing, 1, 2, 3

The RM0152 ships with a custom engineered 150 watt power supply, and can be upgraded if required. This RM0152 chassis was tested with the following hardware configurations without failure due to lack of power, so 150 watts should be adequate.

Configuration #1: Abit Motherboard, 30GB UDMA hard drive, dual (2) Celeron 500's (1Ghz) CPUs, 192mb RAM, 3com NIC, Trident Videocard, floppy, cd-rom, 5 hot-swap intake- cooling fans (80mm) and 2 CPU fans.

Configuration #2: Tyan Motherboard, 2 x 9.1GB SCSI hard drives, dual (2) Pentium III 450Mhz Pentium III CPUs, 192mb RAM, 3com NIC, Diamond Videocard, floppy, cd-rom, 5 hot-swap intake-cooling fans (80mm) and 2 CPU fans. Both passed and were stable. But if you feel every man is judged by the size of his power supply, then by all means, upgrade.


The Good - Pros
  • Excellent cooling
  • Design standards
  • Solid construction

The Bad - Cons
  • Could use more power, ships with a 150 watt power supply (can be upgraded)

The Ugly - Issues
  • N/A

The Verdict - Opinion

A well rounded chassis for anyone looking to co-locate their own hardware in a secure enclosure.

Linux Compatibility:
Cost & Value: