Are the specs provided in the full build good value?

I see a lot of people here building up boards prior to getting their chassis. I was just too unbothered to spec out another machine.

I do feel like there was some value being left on the table or am I just regretting not building it out.

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They’re a fair value. Could you save a few bucks here and there? Absolutely. After seeing all the cabling and custom PSU cables for the backplane, the value difference is not worth my time.

This should shine as a NAS, even with containers and a VM or two.

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Very expected to me that people are building up boards and are opinionated — it’s great to have the option of a more integrated system and experience, and also to be able to get a chassis and roll your own.

For me, the 11th Gen (X11) board from Supermicro and compatibility to Skylake SP and Cascade Lake SP isn’t what I was looking for (and that’s okay!). It’s good value for what it represents, in my opinion.

I’m rolling systems with 13th Gen (H13SSL-N, specifically!) and some AMD EPYC 9000-series CPUs. This is much more expensive for me. Also much more work to specify all the aspects. I’m also replacing their fans, didn’t order their PSU because I wanted to pick up a 1.3kW - 1.5kW alternative, etc.

All said though I am thrilled by what I get from the HL15 chassis only.


Hi @myusuf3 ,This is probably a matter of opinion, so I’ll give mine. I ordered the full build.

Regarding this specific full build option, I do feel this is a good value. I priced the case only option along with open market (online stores) purchases of all other components. I could get all the parts for $100 cheaper, but that included a used identical motherboard. For a $100 difference I could, firstly, get a full build with new motherboard, fully tested and working and secondly, support what seems to be a great company trying to solve an issue in the homelabbing space that I would like to support.

Is the hardware ideal for what I want to use it for (maybe not)? This motherboard has PCIe 3.0 which is fine for my use case. I bought more memory used off ebay and a used xeon 1st gen gold 6134 (for $100). If you want a different (higher Spec) CPU or additional memory, they are currently not available from 45drives store, but easily available in the marketplace.

I seldom find value (saving actual money) when buying new items, but I wasn’t overpaying for this build.

The areas I feel 45Drives is offering value is regarding their custom, North American build quality. Too many of the cases that hold a dozen drives or more are thin sheetmetal/aluminum or old behemoths saved from e-waste. ( I have a softspot in my heart for e-waste regarding homelabbing!). Secondly, they are offering a custom backplane that can accommodate 15 drives. Thirdly, they are trying to create a community of like minded individuals to help each other out. I don’t think you will get that from most marketplaces (Aliexpress, ebay, newegg - nope). Even finding that info on places like Reddit is not easy.


I think so. If you price out the individual components I think you’ll see that it’s a fair price for what you get. (In fact there has to be, they need to make some profit on this.)

Yes, you could save money if you bought the whole thing yourself, especially if you bought used (or reused) parts, and you certainly can do that.

I’ve bought two Q30 cases in the past and done my own builds in them, but looking at the specs and prices I didn’t feel like there was enough advantage to doing so to make it worth ordering anything other than the full build for me.

That said, depending on what you want to do, especially if you need higher CPU performance, you can build what you wish, or replace the stock CPU with something different. I’ve always found the Q30’s to be great cases to build in, and having poked around a little in the HL15 case, I’d say that one is going to be good for doing your own builds, too.

Whatever you choose, have fun!