The 3U server models fill a very narrow niche. There are better storage options in both 2U and 4U systems, so why go with a 3U?
This form factor allows for full-height PCI-express cards to be slotted in vertically, meaning the number of cards is only limited by what is supported by the motherboard. However, not every full-height card can fit. The height of these chassis can just barley fit a full-height card, with only centimeters between the cover and the card. This means that any cards with connections on the top, or that expand too far beyond the standard PCI-e bracket will not clear the lid.
These are high quality cold-rolled steel chassis that do have plenty of elbow room to work in. Not having to deal with riser cards is a major plus, especially if you have to swap out expansion cards on a regular basis. Some models even offer legacy 5v PCI support for older expansion cards, not to mention the 5.25" bays for optical disc drives, CRU bays, or other easy access expansion.
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