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 Post subject: New Mini-ITX server build - Lian Li PC-Q11 or other option?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 12:25 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 8:58 am
Posts: 99
Hi,

I'm building a new compact Mini-ITX based server PC. It will contain:

* Intel 4670K + Mini ITX motherboard
* Scythe Big Shuriken Rev B CPU cooler & fan
* 2x3.5" HDDs
* 1x2.5" SSD
* Seasonic G360 PSU

Now I only have to decide on a suitable chassis. I'm considering getting the Lian LI PC-Q11.

However I'm a bit concerned that the PSU and CPU cooler fans will be located too close together, thereby competing for airflow. So I wonder if you think that will be a problem? Also, could a solution to that problem be to flip the CPU cooler fan so it blows air towards the PSU instead?

Finally I wonder if you think this chassis will be suitable for my setup, or if there are other options you think I should consider too?


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 Post subject: Re: New Mini-ITX server build - Lian Li PC-Q11 or other opti
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:31 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:12 am
Posts: 3146
Location: ITALY
I beg your pardon, but your questions sound somehow similar to what you asked here about one year ago.

Anyway, whether that build had meant just as the typical home server, the Intel 4670K is a meaningless waste of money (and computing power), so I would set back to a tad less aspiring, probably better suited CPUs for that task.

For a server with just two hard drives, the PC-Q11 may probably be enough, even if its starved airflow isn't optimal for quiet 24/7 operations. At any rate, you know, other Lian Li options are probably better suited, like the PC-Q08 (6 drive bays, PSU up to 140mm but with external inlet), the PC-Q18 (9 drive bays, PSU up to 160mm), and the PC-Q25 (10 drive bays, PSU up to 180mm). All these enclosures have different proportions but a similar volume (slightly larger than PC-Q11's one, I mean about 20-21lt vs. 17lt), and a better airflow (particularly the Q08/Q18).

With reference to the PSU, given the cramped space, a modular one should be preferred: given a 140mm limitation, you may consider the Cooler Master G450M, the Cooler Master V450S, and the Corsair CS-450M. Whether you want to stay with the Seasonic gold-rated units, the OEM version of the G-360, the Seasonic SSP-350GT, might be a better option for mounting inside the PC-Q11, as it sports fewer cables than its retail counterpart (on the other hand, with the SSP-350GT in the PC-Q08 you'd run into a shortage of connectors with reference to drive bays).
Talking about the other two enclosures instead, you have some more freedom of choice, and for a very quiet setup I would consider the smaller BeQuiet E10 units, if available.

Eventually, set aside the Lian Li PC-Q08, any of the proposed enclosures will have the PSU fan facing against the CPU fan, but usually it's not a good idea to flip the heatsink fan, as pulling hot air is a less efficient process.

Last but not least, I would advice re-reading the a bit old (2010) but quite good SPCR's guide about building home servers.

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Regards,
Luca


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 Post subject: Re: New Mini-ITX server build - Lian Li PC-Q11 or other opti
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2014 1:46 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 8:58 am
Posts: 99
quest_for_silence wrote:
I beg your pardon, but your questions sound somehow similar to what you asked here about one year ago.

Yes, I intended to build the server already one year ago. But the new WD Red drives with larger than 4 TB capactity that I was waiting for were delayed (compared to leaked orginal release plans). Since the 6 TB Reds now are released I can proceed with the server build.

Also now that I've got the 6 TB Reds I noticed that they are more quiet than I expected, so I can likely keep them in a case without suspending them in 5.25" slots. But I'll only know for sure once the build is completed.
quest_for_silence wrote:
Anyway, whether that build had meant just as the typical home server, the Intel 4670K is a meaningless waste of money (and computing power), so I would set back to a tad less aspiring, probably better suited CPUs for that task.

I'll be using it e.g. for running VM Ware instances and compiling large amounts of code too. That's why I need a 4670K (or similar quite powerful CPU).
quest_for_silence wrote:
For a server with just two hard drives, the PC-Q11 may probably be enough, even if its starved airflow isn't optimal for quiet 24/7 operations. At any rate, you know, other Lian Li options are probably better suited, like the PC-Q08 (6 drive bays, PSU up to 140mm but with external inlet), the PC-Q18 (9 drive bays, PSU up to 160mm), and the PC-Q25 (10 drive bays, PSU up to 180mm). All these enclosures have different proportions but a similar volume (slightly larger than PC-Q11's one, I mean about 20-21lt vs. 17lt), and a better airflow (particularly the Q08/Q18).

Hmm... they look quite a bit larger than the PC-Q11? But I'll check them out too.
quest_for_silence wrote:
With reference to the PSU, given the cramped space, a modular one should be preferred: given a 140mm limitation, you may consider the Cooler Master G450M, the Cooler Master V450S, and the Corsair CS-450M. Whether you want to stay with the Seasonic gold-rated units, the OEM version of the G-360, the Seasonic SSP-350GT, might be a better option for mounting inside the PC-Q11, as it sports fewer cables than its retail counterpart (on the other hand, with the SSP-350GT in the PC-Q08 you'd run into a shortage of connectors with reference to drive bays).

Talking about the other two enclosures instead, you have some more freedom of choice, and for a very quiet setup I would consider the smaller BeQuiet E10 units, if available.

I intend to reuse the G-360 from another build, so I'd like to avoid getting a new one.
quest_for_silence wrote:
Eventually, set aside the Lian Li PC-Q08, any of the proposed enclosures will have the PSU fan facing against the CPU fan, but usually it's not a good idea to flip the heatsink fan, as pulling hot air is a less efficient process.

Ok, but you don't think it's be a problem having the fans competing for air too? I.e. which is worst: a) having the CPU fan pull air and blowing it into the PSU fan, or b) having the CPU fan and PSU fan facing eachother close together and blowing air in opposite direction?

I'm also inserting an image to show everyone what it looks like in a Lian Li PC-Q11 chassis:

Image

Is there anyone on this forum that has tried twose two different fan setups on the Lian Li PC-Q11 (or chassis with similar construction) and can share some experiences?
quest_for_silence wrote:
Last but not least, I would advice re-reading the a bit old (2010) but quite good SPCR's guide about building home servers.


Ok, I'll check that out too.


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 Post subject: Re: New Mini-ITX server build - Lian Li PC-Q11 or other opti
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2014 3:11 am 
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fjodor2000 wrote:
I'll be using it e.g. for running VM Ware instances and compiling large amounts of code too. That's why I need a 4670K (or similar quite powerful CPU).

For virtualizations, take note that a 4670K do not support VT-d and that it can't give you a noticeable bump over a more frugal (and at least 60 bucks less expensive) Core i5 4460.
About coding, the higher turbo ratio of the 4670K surely help over a less fast quad core, but without huge penalties for the lower rated CPUs. So under the economic viewpoint, it depends on which the main task of that build is: anyway, whether you're that interested into some peace of mind, you can make such a tradeoff with respect to money.


fjodor2000 wrote:
Hmm... they look quite a bit larger than the PC-Q11?

I've already talked about that clearly: they have different proportions, and a bit larger volume (about 20 litres vs 17 litres).
On the other hand, I'd like to stress again, IMO they are better suited to run 24/7 than the sealed shoebox the PC-Q11 is, particularly if you stress a "quite powerful CPU" from time to time "running VM Ware instances and compiling large amounts of code".


fjodor2000 wrote:
I intend to reuse the G-360 from another build, so I'd like to avoid getting a new one.

IMHO that's another reason to prefer something like a PC-Q08/PC-Q18 over a PC-Q11.


fjodor2000 wrote:
which is worst:

"a) having the CPU fan pull air and blowing it into the PSU fan", IMO/IME (take note that you're not talking about a vacuum cleaner, they're just fans). Anyway, just try and see, that's how knowledge improves (for both of us, in case).

_________________
Regards,
Luca


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 Post subject: Re: New Mini-ITX server build - Lian Li PC-Q11 or other opti
PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 8:30 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 1981
Location: Guatemala
Personally i dont see the Scythe Big Shuriken as a good choice for a high TDP CPU like the 4670K, given that it doesnt run as hot as the 4770K/4790K, its still its a very powerful quad, the Shuriken fan will have to work out a lot to keep it under control on load.

The Q11 can fit very big coolers, as long as there is no real PSU on top of it. Here is an example of my MiniMi build with HR22,

Image

A picoPSU like the 150XT + 150W brick should handle the 4670 + 2 mechanicals easily, if you see my CamMi build on my siganture, you can get some power figures, and given that the 4670K draws less than my 4770K then it should be ok.

Now from what i remember..... you were searching for mini itx case that could allow you to mount multiple hdds on a suspension... personally i dont persue this, i have my server where it doesn't bother me. But i still think the Lian Li PC-Q35 Mini ITX / DTX Mini Tower Chassis - Black (PC-Q35B) would allow you to do what you once desired.

Image

Image

_________________
GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms| Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


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 Post subject: Re: New Mini-ITX server build - Lian Li PC-Q11 or other opti
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 11:41 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 8:58 am
Posts: 99
Thanks for the tips Abula!

Your Lian Li PC-Q11 build looks really nice. Clever design by not using a standard ATX PSU. If I'd do everything from scratch I'd probably do like that. But I don't like having external power bricks, so in that case I'd keep it inside the case. Yes, I know it dissipates heat, but still.

Anyway, now I have a Seasonic G360 PSU that I'd like to reuse. Also, it'll work as chassis fan blowing out hot air from the case, so I figure I won't be needing the included 140 mm chassis fan.

I'll only be running the CPU at high load a couple of hours per week or so, so I think the Scythe Big Shuriken is ok for that. It might get a bit noisy then, but I'm ok with that as long as it's quite when idle and at low load. I'll try flipping the CPU fan around so it blows air into the PSU fan, and then onwards directly out of the case. I think that'll be a rather efficient "hot air transport". Ideally I'd like the case to be even smaller than the Lian Li PC-Q11B though. After all small is the whole point of going Mini-ITX. But I've been having a hard time finding any other case that fulfills my requirements (2x3.5" slots, 1x2.5" slot, ATX PSU, Mini ITX).

The only other smaller case I know of that is suitable is the Morex 6600. I've done another previous build using that one. It has Mini-ITX, ATX PSU, 2x3.5", 1x5.25", and you can also fit a 2.5" with clever use. It has a volume of only 9.5 liters!!! But it's so tight that a real pain in the ass to build in. And if you want to remove or access anything, chances are you'll have to dismount most of the stuff. But once it's built it's incredibly small. After all 9.5 liters is about half of the volume for most other similar computer cases like the Lian Li PC-11B (16.95 liters) or Lian Li PC-Q25 (20.4 liters). That is truly amazing! :o

I think it's strange that no chassis manufacturer competitors have looked at the Moorex 6600 design and copied it. With a few slight modifications I think it could be much nicer to build in, while still not getting that much bigger.


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