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 Post subject: Low power Xeon server
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:30 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:06 am
Posts: 5
Location: lv
First of all i'd like to thank everyone showing off their rigs on these forums, it has been a great source of good and some insane ideas for a couple of years :D

The purpose of this server is mostly running metatrader clients (mission critical), LOTS of them; working with files on encrypted and network drives; monitoring other PCs at home and vpn tunnels. My old rig was Atom 330 based with a HDD and in the last 1.5 years the load on it grew exponentially and it ended up having 100% load at daytime mixed with regular tea breaks(BSODs) :D

Second problem is, im living near the sea, some serious power outages occur frequently. The old rig had an UPS (APC SC620) and the runtime wasnt enough. I never rly like the ideology of conventional UPS, the link DC12->AC220->DC12 cant be efficient. With this low efficiency you will need a zillion to buy an UPS with say 12h runtime for even an Atom based PC.

Third problem is, i dont like wasted space in ATX standard cases. I never used more then 3-4 3.5" hdd bays and max one 5.25" even on my desktop p180 and rly dont like that free volume gathering dust and eating up room space. Maybe PC + UPS in one case is an insane idea but its efficient both volume and power wise.

Following parts were ebayed/bought locally/found in the garage:
Old Enlight case, model unknown, THICK steel
Xeon L3406 2x2.26 GHz, basically an underclocked and undervolted i5 with ECC support and 30Wt TDP
RAM 2x2 Gb 1333 Kingston ECC
M/B Supermicro X8SIL-F
Two WD SSC-D0064SC 64Gb SSDs for RAID1
Processor cooler Prolimatech Megahalems (overkill)
Antec 120mm cooler
Scythe kama-flex 80mm low rpm for ATX psu panel
3G modem Huawei E1692 (backup connection)
CRC9-SMA 20cm wire for modem, SMA-antenna 5m wire
APC SurgeArrest plug
Random laptop AC-DC brick
Six 7Ah 12V SLA batteries
3 mode car battery charger 12A
M2-ATX psu
3 random diodes (30V+)

Sorry for poor image quality

Image
The farm for the batteries was welded, everyting else in the case is left stock if you dont count lots of drilled holes.

Alluminum tape on the AC line is a shield. 220V could strongly affect 3G modem in the near proximity without this shield. Eventually modem found a better place in the case then i was thinking at first so this is an overkill.


Image
The rig was designed to be completely fanless at first, thats why a 30Wt processor has a Megahalems. I dint take into consideration one thing - heat from the car battery charger. In standby mode(13.8V) it doenst generate any heat, however in boost mode (14.4V) u could barely touch it with a finger. So the 120mm pull fan on Megahalems and 80mm where the ATX psu used to be are actually venting the case from charger generated heat, still its quite silent.

Oh u can see a milligram of modding on this pic too, which is internal lighting for ease of service aka 3 white diodes :D


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Charger-batterys and laptop brick are connected to M2-ATX according to UPS mode functionality manual. I did add a third diode and an external DC plug just in case.


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You can see here that the diodes are on a radiator with thermal compound, which turned out to be an overkill cause they dont heat up at all.
The switch is for internal lighting.


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The port near the blue power button isnt actually a COM port, it's sort of diagnostics port connected to all DC voltages in the rig. Just plug in a multimeter and check the system.


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Well this rig is made mostly for utility, not beaty and i was quite lazy to paint it all in black... Howerer i did add alluminium grills because the front of the case did look awful.

I was really amazed when i tested idle uptime on batteries. I did expect 6 maybe 8 hours, never though it could reach.... 22 and a half hours! So according to battery volume (6x7Ah) the rig consumes ~1,9A aka 23Wt.
By the way, i was just thinking about the PSU again. It is sort of half redundant. If the power brick or the charger dies, the system will continue to run on either of those. M2-ATX is unlikely to fail if it is as reliable as PICO-psu , considering it generates zero heat in this system. Still it's really early to judge, the uptime of the rig is only 2.5 months.

I hope u enjoyed this insane project :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:45 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:53 am
Posts: 1315
Location: CT
:shock: !!

How heavy is the case now ? ;)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:52 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 11:20 pm
Posts: 864
Location: Poland
Come, Igor. Pull the switch!

That is one crafty, self-propelled contraption :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:55 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2003 6:53 am
Posts: 1544
Location: Sweden
Impressive. :D

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Main: ASRock B85M-ITX | i3-4330 | 16GB DDR3 | Intel 730 240GB | HDPLEX H1-S | picoPSU | No moving parts | Idle 13.9W
HTPC: ASRock H81M-ITX | Pentium G3420 | 4GB DDR3 | Intel 520 120GB | HDPLEX H1-S | picoPSU | No moving parts | Idle 11.2W
Gaming: Intel DH77EB | i5-3570K | GTX 750 Ti | 16GB DDR3 | Intel 520 120GB | TJ08-E | G-360 360W
Server: Intel DH77DF | i3-2100T | 4TB+3x3TB | picoPSU | Idle 24W AC


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:29 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:06 am
Posts: 5
Location: lv
frenchie wrote:
:shock: !!

How heavy is the case now ? ;)

Well i didnt measure it but u should of seen my neighbors face when i asked him to help carry a computer case.


kater wrote:
Come, Igor. Pull the switch!

That is one crafty, self-propelled contraption :)

Damn, internet is so small. Nick or gtfo :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:07 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 12053
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
8) :shock: :!:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:10 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2006 2:50 pm
Posts: 676
Location: Milwaukee, WI
moroz you are my hero.

This is some excellent mad-scientist level creativity. Ever since reading about Google's battery-on-board-PSU servers I've wanted to attempt something like this. Bravo!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:25 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:32 am
Posts: 134
Location: California
Jay_S wrote:
moroz you are my hero.

This is some excellent mad-scientist level creativity. Ever since reading about Google's battery-on-board-PSU servers I've wanted to attempt something like this. Bravo!

Hmm, I saw that CNet article about Google's "secret" server designs a while back and assumed it was a joke. Note the publication date...

Maybe it really was serious?


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