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JONSBO N2 NAS ITX Case Review

T0day, the Jonsbo N2 a Mini-ITX case will be reviewed that should be ideal for a home-made NAS or a home server. Despite its space-saving size, the case offers space to achieve high storage capacities.

A total of five 3.5-inch hard drives can be accommodated in a hard drive cage, and a pre-installed fan provides the necessary cooling. In addition, the Jonsbo N2 offers the possibility to install a low-profile graphics card and a 2.5-inch SSD inside the case.

We took a close look at the black version, Jonsbo also offers the N2 in white. In this test, we want to take a close look at all aspects of the case and share our experiences from the practical test with you.

JONSBO N2 Review

Packaging

The Jonsbo N2 black is delivered in a square box made of brown corrugated cardboard. On the front, next to a picture of the case, there is already a note that it is a NAS case. Some technical details are printed on the side of the box, with particular reference to the limitations of the hardware that can be used.

Specifications

Specifications: Jonsbo N2
Dimensions222.5×222.5x224mm
Weight2.96kg
materialAluminum (outer shell) and steel (inner structure)
motherboard compatibilityMini ITX
PCI expansion slots1x low profile single slot
Front I/O ports1x USB 3.0 Gen 1
1x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C
1x combo headset port
Hard drive compatibility5x 3.5″ HDD
1x 2.5″ SSD
PSU compatibilitySFX (up to 150mm)
Max. CPU cooler height65mm

Contents

The scope of delivery of the case mainly includes many screws and small parts that are required for installing the components. The parts that are used to adapt 3.5-inch HDDs for use in the Jonsbo N2 housing make up a large part of the scope of delivery.

This includes screws and rubber grommets, which are later introduced as a kind of rail in the hard drive cage, as well as hard drive handles made of rubber. Among other things, the required SATA cables are not included in the scope of delivery. For all five available hard disk spaces, a cable must be laid between the SATA board of the housing and the mainboard used.

Details

The outer shell of the Jonsbo N2 black is made of matt lacquered aluminium. On the front there is a USB type A, a USB type C and a combined headphone connection next to the round power button. Directly underneath is a magnetically held cover, under which the five hard drive slots are located.

There is also a small Allen key there that is needed to open the top cover. The cover of the hard drive cage has both ventilation slots and a fine-pored fan grill. The top cover also has ventilation slots on all sides and a coarse ventilation grille on the side. In this way, the built-in mainboard can be supplied with air from many sides.

On the back there are slots for the mainboard IO panel and for the SFX power supply, whereby Mini-ITX motherboard and SFX power supplies with a length of up to 150 mm are supported. A pre-installed 120 mm fan is installed right next to the power supply slot.

This is mounted in its own cage so that it is not blocked by the cables inside the case. It sucks the air past the hard drives out of the front of the case and thus ensures a cooling airflow. A large rubber surface on the underside of the housing ensures a secure stand.

Inside the Jonsbo N2 there are connections for five SATA hard drives. So that these can also be used in the housing, a few screws and a rubber handle must first be attached to them. The hard disk slots are labeled both on this and on the back.

There are currently very few Mini-ITX motherboards that offer more than four SATA ports. Depending on the mainboard used, it may not be possible to operate all connections. It should also be noted that RAID functions must also be supported by the motherboard controller if RAID is to be configured.

Installation of the test system

As with many SFF cases, assembling the Jonsbo N2 proves to be a bit tricky. We start by dismantling the covers and the fan. The back of the circuit board is visible under the fan, on the front of which the hard disks are mounted. To operate the hard disks, the board must be connected to the power supply and the SATA data lines on this side.

Two conventional Molex connectors are used for the power supply. The five SATA connectors must be connected with angled SATA cables. When connecting the power and data lines, the narrow space behind the circuit board is noticeable; the power connection cables have to be bent sharply in order to be able to close the housing. Straight SATA connectors cannot be used as they would collide with the fan housing.

In the next step we install our modular SFX power supply, we use a Thermaltake Toughpower SFX 850W Gold. The power supply used has a length of 125 mm, leaving enough space to hide the cables behind the power supply.

Longer SFX power supplies with a length of up to 150 mm can also be installed in the housing. We move the connections for the Molex and SATA power supply into the recess of the SATA board. To create space for the mainboard, we move the connections for the mainboard, the CPU and any PCIe expansion cards out of the case.

Before we install the mainboard, we lay the five SATA data lines from the board to the upper part of the case. After installing the mainboard, we also connect all the necessary cables here. We also connect the fan to the SATA board as planned.

In our case we use the MSI MPG B760I EDGE WIFI in combination with an Intel i5 12600k. If graphics output is required, it should be ensured that the processor has a graphics unit, otherwise only a low-profile graphics card can be used.

It is difficult to achieve good cable management in this case. In particular, the power adapter’s long cables are difficult to hide. The cables of the front connections have a comfortable length, but cannot be tamed so easily due to their rigidity.

We bundled the SATA data cables and attached them to small tabs inside the case using wires. The supplied cable tie made of fabric helps a little. This allows us to keep some stubborn cables at bay.

Installing the hard drives

In order to be able to install 3.5 inch hard drives in the Jonsbo N2, it has to be provided with a few screws. These screws and rubber knobs act as guides in the hard drive cage. A rubber handle is also attached to allow the hard drives to be removed from the housing at a later date.

Once the hard disks have been prepared, they can be easily inserted into the housing and removed again. The Jonsbo N2 does not have any hard disk sleds or locks. The user will also look in vain for the status LEDs of the individual hard disks.

The performance of the hard drives in the hard drive cage is identical to the performance when the hard drives are connected directly to the mainboard.

Conclusion

The Jonsbo N2 is a very nice and practical case for a self-made NAS or a home server. In addition to the five easily accessible hard drive slots, the case also offers space for an internally installed 2.5-inch SSD, and even a low-profile PCIe expansion card can be installed.

The motherboard area can be supplied with cool outside air from four sides, while the hard disks in the lower area are cooled by the pre-installed fan.

There is enough space inside to lay all the necessary cables, but the space behind the SATA board is very narrow, so space problems can quickly arise here. The Jonsbo N2 does not have its own hard disk controller.

Pros:
+ Compact form factor
+ Five hard drive bays that are easy to reach
+ Suitable for low-profile PCIe expansion cards

Cons:
– Space problems between the fan and the SATA board

Author

    by
  • Areesha

    Areesha is a tech enthusiast and a freelance writer who loves to share her insights on the latest gadgets and innovations. She has been reviewing tech products for over five years, covering everything from smartphones, laptops, cameras, smartwatches, headphones, and more. She enjoys testing out new features, comparing different models, and giving honest feedback to her readers. Areesha’s reviews are always informative, engaging, and easy to understand. Whether you are looking for a new device, a gift idea, or just curious about the tech world, Areesha’s reviews will help you make the best decision. You can find her work on various websites and blogs, such as [TechCrunch], [CNET], [The Verge], and [Gizmodo]. You can also follow her on [Twitter] and [Instagram] to get the latest updates on her reviews and projects. Areesha is always open to suggestions and feedback from her audience, so feel free to contact her anytime. She is looking forward to hearing from you!

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