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koitsu
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-16
Mountain View, CA
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1 edit
reply to pandora

Re: Need suggestions for a 1U or 2U rack mount server

Ah, I see. Yeah, on server-class boards, the RAM is usually positioned length-wise (i.e. the sockets are rotated 90 degrees compared to that Asus board) so that the cooling fans can blow air across everything. Welcome to desktop vs. server design.

I would definitely be concerned about CPU cooling at this point. I'm left with the impression that the fans are going to cool a single DIMM on your system and very little else -- and that's bad. An i5 and i7 (especially an i7) needs some form of cooling vs. just a heat sink.

The chassis setup/assembly/etc. sounds normal (almost identical to the half-depth Supermicro I have in my garage). Maybe a few changes for the better, but what you describe sounds about the same.

As far as how loud it'll be, I can tell you right now it's going to be loud. The chassis fans are FAN-0087L4, PWM-driven, and are spec'd at between 12000 and 18000rpm. That isn't a typo: 12 thousand and 18 thousand RPM. These fans are what cool the entire system (RAM and CPU mainly).

I'm sure you can hook the fans up to your Asus board (not sure if chassis fans use 3-pin or 4-pin headers) and adjust the RPM levels via the BIOS. How much of an adjustment is unknown. You'll find out once you get the motherboard of course.

Supermicro may offer compatible fans (i.e. same size/depth) but run at a lower RPM; I don't know. You might be able to find third-party fans that are of the exact same size (40x56mm) and run at a lower RPM, but you'll need to make sure they can be used/mounted in the chassis properly. I tend to recommend folks just stick with Supermicro-authorised products. The smaller a fan is (in size), the faster it has to run to push air -- that's why things like 120mm fans can run at 1200rpm and cool effectively. 40mm fans are a different story.

When it comes to server-class systems, noise is almost never a focal point. This is why when I hear of people putting racks in their homes, I chuckle and think "I hope it's downstairs in a basement, or in a garage".

An alternate solution is not to go with 1U or 2U servers at all, but instead invest in a chassis like this which is a standard desktop case except supports being rotated on its side and mounted in a rack (has mounting holes for brackets and rails which are purchased separately -- see picture on right). You can then use case fans of your own choice, stock HSFs, and so on -- it's a desktop case. They do make a black version of that chassis as well (model number ends with "B"). The downside is that it takes up 4U of rack space vs. 1U or 2U.

There's a slightly cheaper solution than buying a case like that too, but it's incredibly ghetto: simply buy a desktop case of your choice, and then buy a rack shelf that fits your rack and place the chassis on its side on the rack. I see people in datacenters doing this all the time, and I shake my head because it's incredibly unprofessional, but it does work when you have unique requirements/constraints.
--
Making life hard for others since 1977.
I speak for myself and not my employer/affiliates of my employer.


pandora
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Thanks for the thoughts ... you've been helpful and patient with me.

When the motherboard arrives, I'll install it and see what sort of noise it makes. The plan is to install it in a normally occupied area, but if it really can't be silenced, I'll either change fans or look for another solution. If I get the motherboard on Friday, I'll have more answers and maybe a short video by Saturday.
--
"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand." - Milton Friedman"


pandora
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reply to koitsu

Just an update before going to bed ... Newegg shipped it's motherboard to me from Memphis (I'm in Connecticut). They missed Tuesday (I ordered a bit before 4 PM). Tracking says the motherboard won't be here until Monday.

Sigh.
--
"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand." - Milton Friedman"


pandora
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1 edit
reply to koitsu

The motherboard came in early, and unfortunately the Xenon motherboard front cable connector on the Supermicro 1U case is 16 pin, but my supermicro motherboard requires a 20 pin connector.

I ordered the recommended adapter part (Supermicro CBL-0068L) from an Amazon store, it may take a week or more to arrive (Thanksgiving is next week). Supermicro's manual for the case offers a number of suggested cables to solve issues like this.

The pin outs for the motherboard front panel cable provided with the case CBL-0156L were not provided on any site on supermicro or directly via google search. When checking front panel header layouts on other 16 pin Supermicro motherboard (X9SCM, X9SCM-F, X9SCL, X9SCL-F, X9SCL+-F) the pin outs were very different than the Asus motherboard. I could try to disconnect and rewire the connector so at least power and reset would work, but it'd probably be better to just wait for the appropriate cable.

The motherboard mounted on the case, but the back panel didn't fit from the case, the Asus back panel was too high for the 1U case. As it is, I'm leaving it open for now.

At least one of the case fans will need an extension cable as the supplied fan cables can't reach more than one of the motherboard fan controllers.

The Intel CPU fan is too high to close the case. A smaller fan will have to be found.
--
"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand." - Milton Friedman"