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 Post subject: Passive (well it was suppoed to be), silent I3-3470T in M350
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:32 am
Posts: 134
Location: California
I needed a quiet server to run ESXi with a few simple VMs (FreePBX, a web server, hMailServer, OpenVPN and just general testing). It needs to be small & mounted under my desk. Its replacing a 2U server in the rack in the garage while the garage rack is being moved and re-stacked - I need the phone, mail and web servers to be on full time even while other stuff moves around.

CPU - I3-3470T 35Watt 2 core, 4 threads.
MB - Intel DQ77KB MiniITX
Memory - 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600
Disk - Mushkin 120GB mSATA SSD
Case - MiniBox M350
PSU - built into the MB, with a 19v 90W power brick recycled from an old laptop
Heatsink - Dynatron K129
Fans - absolutely none

I chose the DQ77KB because it was the cheapest Mini-ITX 1155 board I could find with dual ESXi compatible NICs and a remote management interface. After playing with it a bit its really quite an amazing little MB for a socketed Mini-ITX. Four SATA ports, two of which are SATA-III. A fifth SATA port in the form of mSATA. Two mini-PCIe connectors (one doubling as the mSATA connector). One of the mini-PCI connectors perfectly placed to take a laptop WiFi card, with the IO-shield pre-dimpled for up to three WiFi antenna. 4x USB3 on the back panel and three more USB2 via headers. And a very intriguing LVDS video interface for the 3rd video output supported by the Q77 chipset (basically an interface to drive a laptop-style LCD). It will never be a gamer's motherboard because it only has PCI 3.0 x4 - so no decent video card support. But for almost any other application its pretty darn intriguing. I may buy another one of these just to play with.

DQ77KB with memory, mSATA and CPU
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Added Dynatron K129
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Very little clearance between the Dynatron and the VRMs...
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Everything ready to go...
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So - everything built and put together. I did have to mod the front-panel connector cable from the M350 because it was too short to reach the connectors on the MB, but that's not much of a problem.

The heatsink got pretty warm to the touch during a 4 hour memtest86+ run. Loaded up Windows-7 to do some burn and temp tests before loading VMware. Ran OK but a bit warm under light windows loads (coretemp read it at 71C).

But...

When running Prime95 it turned out to be a royal fail... Prime95 was stable, but the core temps reached 100C after about 10 minutes and thermal throttling kicked in...


Last edited by piglover on Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:41 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Passive (well it was suppoed to be), silent I3-3470T in
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:32 am
Posts: 134
Location: California
Part 2 - adding the fan.

I actually expected that this might happen. The Dynatron heatsink is really a 1U server heatsink and it needs airflow to carry the heat off the CPU. There isn't room for a truly passive heatsink in the M350, but since I'm not installing any hard disks there is a bit of space to work with.

The big Shuriken I had left over from a prior build wont fit...but that slow quiet 120mm fan on the Shuriken will. So I mounted to the cover of the M350 with rubber fan mounts. At first I thought I'd have to drill out holes for the fan mounts, but turns out the rubber mounts pull through the grill on the M350 just fine.

Fan and mounts
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Mounted to lid
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Everything all buttoned up
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The M350 is ugly as sin, but its small and compact and with its VESA mounting holds will mount under the desk. Almost invisible.

Running Prime95 for 24 hours the peak core temp recorded as 85C with an average of 81C. Still pretty warm, but well within Intel's operating specs. The MB built in speed control runs the fan at about 800 RPM and is near silent. When running Prime95 it sped up to just over 1000 RPM but was still inaudible.

Also interesting - when running Prime95, both cores showed that they were operating at 3.2Ghz, +0.3Ghz turbo boost to both cores at 85C. Nice!

Got ESXi loaded. Loaded the after-market drivers for the 2nd NIC so ESXi sees both.

Also took some power readings at the wall with a Kill-a-watt:

Power brick vampire power: 2W (not even plugged into the computer)
Windows full idle, video off: 12W
Windows idle but video on: 17W
Windows with light work (firefox browsing): 21-25W
Windows, full load, Prime95: 57W
windows, full load, Prime95 but video off: 52W
ESXi, idle, no VMs running (no video): 15W
ESXi, near idel, one Windows VM running: 20W

Power levels are a bit higher than I expected, especially at idle. Don't quite understand why ESXi idle draws more than Windows, but I probably won't care about a couple of watts.

I'm still not happy. I really need it to be fanless. The area under the desk is dusty and with animals in the house there is lots of loose pet hair. Anything with a fan quickly clogs with dust and hair. I've ordered an Akasa Euler to put it in fanless. Will update pictures when I move it around.


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 Post subject: Re: Passive (well it was suppoed to be), silent I3-3470T in
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:20 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2004 12:24 pm
Posts: 222
Location: US
I've always liked the M350. Front panel is kinda ugly, but for its size, the fully ventilated case is ideal.

It's hard for me to believe that you need to go from the extreme of a rack of servers in the garage to this server mounted under your desk. You have no other place in your entire home where you can place a larger, properly cooled mini-ITX case? Not to mention, one that wouldn't be subjected to ingesting pet hair?

_________________
Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-M PRO CPU: Intel i5-3750K CPU Cooler: Scythe Mugen 3 Rev.B Memory: G.Skill Ares DDR3 1600 16 GB
Boot Drive: Samsung 830 SSD 128 GB Work Drive: WDC WD1001FALS 1 TB 7200 RPM Optical Drive: Samsung SH-222BB DVD-RW
Case: Fractal Design Define Mini Fans: 2 x FD 120mm front, Scythe 120mm PWM rear Power Supply: SeaSonic M12II 620


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 Post subject: Re: Passive (well it was suppoed to be), silent I3-3470T in
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:25 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:32 am
Posts: 134
Location: California
JJ wrote:
I've always liked the M350. Front panel is kinda ugly, but for its size, the fully ventilated case is ideal.

It's hard for me to believe that you need to go from the extreme of a rack of servers in the garage to this server mounted under your desk. You have no other place in your entire home where you can place a larger, properly cooled mini-ITX case? Not to mention, one that wouldn't be subjected to ingesting pet hair?


I do have other places. There were other (and easier, and cheaper) options. Mostly it was the challenge...once I got the idea of a passive fanless appliance hiding under the desk it was just too much to resist. :)

Besides, the garage rack might be down for several weeks as it is a major move, new rack and re-stack to get it out of the way and make it unobtrusive. I'll probably post some pics of that too once it is done - but since that restack is unrelated to managing noise it's not really apropos here. I'll probably post it on another forum like ServeTheHome.com or [H].

BTW, the box is currently under the desk but not properly mounted. Kids have gone to bed and house is very, very quiet. I can definitely hear the fan. Just barely, but its there. Its not offensive, you'd never hear it during "normal" use of the room it is in, but its not quite silent.


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 Post subject: Re: Passive (well it was suppoed to be), silent I3-3470T in
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:32 am
Posts: 134
Location: California
Thought I'd post one more tidbit about this build.

The i5-3470T is a tough part to find in stock. Its listed by Intel as OEM-only and is not really supposed to be sourced to end users (like that ever stopped any of us...). I ordered mine from a supplier on Amazon Marketplace who listed them as "in stock". I won't name the supplier, but lets just say their reputation comments on Amazon suggest they are a bit shady.

Long story short, the part was obviously not really in stock. After waiting a while and not getting any decent response from the supplier, I escalated to Amazon Marketplace customer support. A week later I had the CPU.

It arrived direct-shipped from Intel Costa Rica in this box (seemed a bit big...)
Image

The box seemed overkill - and even more so when I opened it an found the next part of the Chinese Doll
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And then the next part...this was actually packed in a cardboard sandwich all tied up with plastic straps
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And inside the trays made for 21 processors I found this
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Thank you, Intel, for packing a whole shipping tray for little old me... ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Passive (well it was suppoed to be), silent I3-3470T in
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:31 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:40 am
Posts: 29
Location: Norway
I would suggest a mini-itx heatsink case. Without fans the heatsinks work better outside the case where the airflow is better and the air is cooler. Most cases will not change the air fast enough inside for the heatsinks to work effectively without fans, unless you have a really big heatsink and case. This site has many examples of small cases: http://www.fanlesstech.com/

35W TDP can easily be cooled fanless!


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 Post subject: Re: Passive (well it was suppoed to be), silent I3-3470T in
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:32 am
Posts: 134
Location: California
Highfi wrote:
I would suggest a mini-itx heatsink case. Without fans the heatsinks work better outside the case where the airflow is better and the air is cooler. Most cases will not change the air fast enough inside for the heatsinks to work effectively without fans, unless you have a really big heatsink and case. This site has many examples of small cases: http://www.fanlesstech.com/

35W TDP can easily be cooled fanless!

Yup. Couldn't agree more. Which is why the last line of my post about the fan said:
PigLover wrote:
I'm still not happy. I really need it to be fanless. The area under the desk is dusty and with animals in the house there is lots of loose pet hair. Anything with a fan quickly clogs with dust and hair. I've ordered an Akasa Euler to put it in fanless. Will update pictures when I move it around.


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 Post subject: Re: Passive (well it was suppoed to be), silent I3-3470T in
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:04 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:40 am
Posts: 29
Location: Norway
Ok, missed that line. Nice case, saw the same at FanlessTech. Looking forward to the pictures!


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 Post subject: Re: Passive (well it was suppoed to be), silent I3-3470T in
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:32 am
Posts: 134
Location: California
Update...got the Akasa Euler.

This case is expensive - $125 w/out a power brick (word is that Akasa ships a really crappy power brick, so I left it out). I was apprehensive. But after getting the case and doing the install I have to say it just may be worth it. The case is solid metal. The whole case is pretty much nothing but a big heatsink. And the design and manufacturing are pretty amazing.

If I wasn't taking the time to take a couple of picture and just admire it I could have had the entire build done in 10 minutes. It's just done really well.

Here's the case, upside down and open:
Image

With the MB installed:
Image

And all buttoned up:
Image

I can't get actual temps out of ESXi because the SNMP driver doesn't seem to know this MBs sensers (which is odd - since it is the built in Ivy Bridge sensor that needs to be read). But the case right over the CPU just barely gets warm with a pretty good load on it (one 4-CPU VM running Prime95).

Only possible gripe is that there are no USB ports for the MB header. I don't really need them - the four on the back are more than I will need (especially since with remote management I won't even need to plug in a KB or Mouse).

I think I have my passive, silent VMware server all buttoned up. Now just have to get about mounting it permanently. Maybe a pic in its final space in a week or so...


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 Post subject: Re: Passive (well it was suppoed to be), silent I3-3470T in
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:43 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:40 am
Posts: 29
Location: Norway
Small and nice case! It can't get much smaller to house a mini-itx MB, so great choice of case. Original mount of the MB, I guess this may be the best way to use the top of the case for cooling, seems smart for the hot air to rise from the top. The aluminium block to transfer heat from CPU to the case are maybe more effective than heatpipes, since it's just one block of massive aluminium. I saw the review of the Akasa Euler and they said it could cool down CPU's with 45W TDP and maybe eaven 65W, so it seem the case has potential for later upgrades aswell.


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 Post subject: Re: Passive (well it was suppoed to be), silent I3-3470T in
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:47 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:32 am
Posts: 134
Location: California
Here it is all tucked in under the desk:
Image

Image

As for upgrades, I think the I5-3470T will be perfect for a long time. I do with the MB had 4 SO-DIMM slots. 16GB is a bit lite for a VMWare host - it works, but it would be nice to have 32GB.


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 Post subject: Re: Passive (well it was suppoed to be), silent I3-3470T in
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:58 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:22 am
Posts: 23
Location: Poland
Very, very nice build.

Isn't the mounting under the desk affecting the temperatures?

Best regards
Horgrim

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Silence above all! | Making wife quiet project - 0% complete


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 Post subject: Re: Passive (well it was suppoed to be), silent I3-3470T in
PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 10:09 am 
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Joined: Mon May 15, 2006 12:24 pm
Posts: 324
Location: CA, USA
Nice build and install. I like the two hooks for the power brick. Is the power strip attached via its built-in screw mounts? How about the computer? The square black plastic pieces you are using for cable management... was that a long channel that you cut into smaller pieces, or did those come like that? How well is the double sided foam adhering to the unfinished wood? Is it staying attached OK?


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