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Repurpose Mac Pro 2008 Case as Low-Power Multibay Enclosure/NAS?


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I'm an owner of a Mac Pro 2008 and was recently looking into using it as a home server (mostly for media and backups), but found it really doesn't make sense nowadays with the power consumption being what it is -- I figure I can just sell this on eBay for ~$200. I also have a Mac Mini 2014 that I'm now heavily considering using instead, but that still left me with the need for a multibay enclosure.

 

Since the price for most well-reviewed multibay enclosures that were USB 3.0 (or better) were more than the resale value of the Mac Pro, I arrived at the idea of repurposing the Mac Pro case as a multibay enclosure. While I've looked into some of the DIYs on this site, I don't have many of the tools or workspace needed, nor do I feel completely confident I could pull off one of the "cleaner" results I've seen on a first attempt. However, I'm willing to sacrifice aesthetics a bit, considering my needs are (hopefully) small and I feel like I have plenty of space to work with if I gut the Mac Pro -- I figure I can keep the hard drive trays in place and just run SATA cables from it to a single-board computer of some kind (unless someone on here is familiar with a simple PCB I could use to enable this to work as a USB enclosure). Then I figure I can just add some cooling and mount the SBC to the case somehow -- I don't have anywhere close to a respectable workbench, but I have a cordless drill, most "common" hand tools, and a decent precision screwdriver set.

 

Given that most SBC manufacturers offer at least one Gigabit Ethernet on their boards and there's already several tutorials online on how to create a NAS using an SBC, I figure I could even go a bit further and do that, since my current media server is a Synology DS209, which still only supports up to SATA-II.

 

 

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