I finally got around to reorganizing my cables to optimize server performance (putting all the most-used drives on the motherboard) and to help with airflow through the case. My goal is good airflow and cooler drive temps while keeping all the fans on 'low' for near-silent operation. I know I could have configured the wiring to look a lot better, but I don't like putting any stress on the SATA connectors (either on the drives or the mobo/pci card), and I also like to avoid any serious kinks in the cables. I didn't really plan this, but it worked out that all the orange SATA cables go to drives in the upper drive bays, and all the red SATA cables go to drives in the lower bay. I paired the SATA cables in twos and connected them with a combination of zip ties and scotch tape (ghetto, I know, but I ran out of zip ties and it was all I had). The tape actually seemed to work better at keeping the cables flush against eachother, but it probably won't last as long as the zip ties or better quality tape, like electrician's tape. Maybe someday I'll go back and redo it all.
Here's some pics (click the thumbnail for full size of the profile shot):
First of all, here's what the server looked like before the cable cleanup:
Here's what is looks like after. I labeled the drives for your viewing pleasure (and for my reference later, when I start replacing the smaller drives).
Another profile shot with the lower drive bay removed.
The lower drive bay is the part I'm most proud of, and which seems to have had the greatest impact on my drive temps. It used to look like this:
Now it looks like this:
Drastic increase in airflow. I wish there was more I could do with the cables coming out of the PSU, but there is so little space between the PSU and the fan that I can't have them all going in the same direction. Oh well.
Here's another ghetto fix. I taped up the unused drive slots on the front air intake area of the case in an attempt to direct all incoming air over the drives. This is just temporary - if I determine that it does make a significant difference, then I'll go back and try to do it on the inside of the case, so that it isn't visible and ugly like it is now.
Here's the back of the computer. It runs headless, with just ethernet, the USB stick, and power. Simple is beautiful.
Finally, the server (the silver one) tucked away under my rather messy desk, which also holds my desktop (black) (well, my desk isn't that big, so it's not all that tucked away).