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  #121 (permalink)  
Old August 11, 2011, 09:30 AM
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Default Server Setup

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Originally Posted by Keltron 3030 View Post
I don't know about you, but I think the curved fan look is real cool and funky looking :P real contrast from all the sharp, straight lines of the desk.

This is really going places man! Keep up the great work, and I look forward to seeing more.
Hehe, it does look pretty cool eh? I would keep it like that, but I know that fans last longest and are the quietest when they are either completely vertical, or completely horizontal :( Thanks for the comments!

I was in an extremely fortunate position recently. A friend of mine's work was moving from a large location to a much smaller location, and he had asked me if I wanted to come scope out the old office for any old bits of computer stuff that might be useful to me. To my shock and amazement, I was indeed able to pick up some pretty fancy hardware that I would have never dreamed of owning. They must have done some pretty big upgrades to leave stuff like this behind!

I was able to get a hold of a handful of Socket 775 motherboards with Core 2 Duo processors, a bunch of DDR RAM, a box full of Hard Drives, and some relatively decent (lower powered) power supplies. The real treasure though, was a pair of servers. You can see that I had already disassembled one of them:



2 Full 4U Antec Rackmount cases, each of them containing a Dual-Xeon motherboard + Processors. Both with FB-DIMM RAM sticks as well.

This particular one contained a pair of Xeon E5410's, with 16GB of DDR2 FB-DIMM's, 4 1TB Western Digital Blacks (SATA), and the motherboard is an Asus DSBF-DE.





The other one contained a pair of Xeon E5335's, with 4GB of DDR2 FB-DIMM's, 5 1TB Hitachi Deskstas (SATA), and the motherboard is an Asus DSGC-DW.

Now - before we go on - someone had queried earlier about the PCI Express slot on the board pictured, and I had said something along the lines of "Ya ya, it's there, don't worry about it". I of course, actually looked at the pictures, and no, it's not. It is indeed a PCI Express 16x slot, but on this particular motherboard, it only runs at PCI8. Now, the other motherboard, the Asus DSGC-DW DOES have a PCIX16 slot. When it was released, it did not support the 54xx series of Xeon processors, but I checked the website and there is a BIOS update to add this functionality. I will have to do a test setup with that board to update the BIOS, and then it will be swapped into the desk with a full video card, both the E5410's, as well as the 16GB of RAM, so keep that in mind when looking at the rest of this update. No, unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of the other motherboard.

Cool stuff either way. Never, ever thought I'd have a dual processor motherboard. What an amazing find!

These dual Xeon heatsinks mount directly into the motherboard tray, so unfortunately, I couldn't use those spiffy motherboard trays from Danger Den. Also, since they are of size "SSI", there's no way it would mount on a regular ATX motherboard tray anyways. Time to drill out a tray!



It actually came out pretty nice and clean



This is a bit of a shame, since I took the time to clean the processors, put new thermal compound and remount everything. I'm just going to have to disassemble it again anyways when I put in the different motherboard. Ah well.









This is a bit of a hack job getting the tray mounted... Since the processors are mounted to the tray, I had mounted it outside of the desk, so when I went to fasten the tray to the desk, I was *gasp* actually lazy and didn't want to dismount the motherboard again... so umm.. I'm going to replace those odd-angled screws when I switch motherboards..



The power supply looks pretty good there. It's an Antec 650W - an Earthwatts maybe? I forget. I may consider replacing it with a unit that has a 120-140mm fan just to exhaust the air a bit better. The board has a requirement for a 24pin, an 8pin, as well as a 4pin, so I can't just use any power supply unfortunately.



The cables, of course, are not nearly long enough to reach the connectors on the board. I've already ordered the extensions and hopefully I'll get them at the beginning of next week. Oh, you'll see that I've straightened out the fans as well.



The cooling solution looks good. There will be two fans directly in front of the CPU's. I may consider putting an additional hole in the door to allow the CPU's and RAM to exhaust directly.



There is one major issue with the right-hand cabinet setup. The original specifications called for an ATX board, which is significantly smaller, so umm.. I have no idea where the hard-drives are going to fit. lol! Fun times.

Hope you're enjoying this flurry of updates. I may or may not be able to post an update tomorrow, as I'm going camping for the weekend! At the latest, I'll be posting again early next week!
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  #122 (permalink)  
Old August 11, 2011, 03:12 PM
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Very cool looking project im looking forward to the finished project!!
You've got TONS of ventilation!
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  #123 (permalink)  
Old August 11, 2011, 03:29 PM
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Dear mr desk. You are awesome.
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  #124 (permalink)  
Old August 13, 2011, 06:50 PM
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How much time did you spent sawing on that day?
It's a cool desk project work.
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  #125 (permalink)  
Old August 17, 2011, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireXtract View Post
Very cool looking project im looking forward to the finished project!!
You've got TONS of ventilation!
Thanks fireXtract!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eldonko View Post
Dear mr desk. You are awesome.
Thanks Eldonko!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Appealle View Post
How much time did you spent sawing on that day?
It's a cool desk project work.
Thanks Appealle! Which day are you talking about?! ;)

A huge thanks goes out to Gigabyte for supplying me with this amazing motherboard - a GA-Z68XUD4-B3.

Without a doubt, the coolest motherboard I have ever owned!





I could barely wait to open this up when I got it in the mail!





And this poor motherboard tray that had been sitting for months and months covered in brown paper - finally had it removed. It looks even better than I could have hoped!



Here is the test fit in the actual desk



And with the fans in place



I'm going to trim off the plastic tabs from the motherboard tray to make it a bit easier to build the tunnels for cable management. Also, I'm considering putting a pair of holes beneath the motherboard to pass cables through underneath. Lots of stuff happening in the next few weeks!

I attempted to boot up the Asus DSGC-DW board (The one with the PCIx16 slot) but it would not boot. I'm afraid that that particular motherboard has gone bad, so I will continue to use the board with the PCIx8 slot. Anyone have any suggestions with regards to determining the best video card I can put in a PCIx16 slot with only x8 bandwidth? I was thinking I could look at the theoretical bandwith of an 8x slot and match it with that of the video card to maximize performance (ie. no point in installing a 5970x2 in an x8 slot).

Anyways, hopefully will have a handful of updates this week!
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  #126 (permalink)  
Old August 17, 2011, 11:56 AM
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I'm enjoying watching this thing progress to literally be the ultimate desk!
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  #127 (permalink)  
Old August 17, 2011, 04:15 PM
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Ultimatedesk - Hey wassup. =P . I'm wondering how long did you spent sawing those boards on a single day. Also WOW!!! you got a free Gigabyte motherboard, that's awesome. Btw I can't wait for your complete project.
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  #128 (permalink)  
Old August 17, 2011, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arinoth View Post
I'm enjoying watching this thing progress to literally be the ultimate desk!
No kidding ... this thing is ridiculous .... ridiculously awesome that is.
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  #129 (permalink)  
Old August 18, 2011, 06:03 AM
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as popular as this build is am surprised more manufactures don't send you some free stuff...common evga, asus, maybe EK, get this man some decent parts to put in there....OCZ with a new revo 3 be nice...
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  #130 (permalink)  
Old August 29, 2011, 10:54 AM
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Default Testing and Cable Management

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arinoth View Post
I'm enjoying watching this thing progress to literally be the ultimate desk!
Thanks Arinoth!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Appealle View Post
Ultimatedesk - Hey wassup. =P . I'm wondering how long did you spent sawing those boards on a single day. Also WOW!!! you got a free Gigabyte motherboard, that's awesome. Btw I can't wait for your complete project.
Thanks Appealle - I think I spent 2 evenings doing all of the initial cuts.. It goes a lot faster when you already have cut plans and table saws!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy View Post
No kidding ... this thing is ridiculous .... ridiculously awesome that is.
Heh, thanks Andy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nasrott View Post
as popular as this build is am surprised more manufactures don't send you some free stuff...common evga, asus, maybe EK, get this man some decent parts to put in there....OCZ with a new revo 3 be nice...
Thanks nasrott - I think one of the big things is most companies will get a "renewed" marketing budget whenever something new gets released. As far as the video card market, nothing new has been released in a while, so it doesn't really do a company good to send out an old product for free, you know? Hopefully AMD/nVidia releases something new soon!!

So - it's been another few busy weeks, so apologies for the no updates. Have been enjoying those last rays of sunshine before the summer ends!

I think I mentioned last update that I tried to boot up the Asus DSFC-DW board but had issues - here was the attempt:





I got a green LED to light up (Standby power on the motherboard) but jumping the Power ON pins had no reaction whatsoever. Tried it with a different videocard, re-seated the RAM and CPU's, but still no luck.

Moving onwards - since I un-mounted almost everything, I decided to keep the copper heatinks instead of the aluminum ones for the other motherboard. I also picked up a pair of these units from Rosewill via Newegg:





They should do nicely for my hard-drive racks. I would like to mount them like so, except higher up:



Unfortunately, they are deeper than the cabinet I built. At the time, I was thinking maybe they would stick out of my air intake window, and I would just build-out the section of the door with the air filter... Not exactly what I had in mind initially though.

With most of the major components in place, I decided to start tackling the cable management with some cardboard templates, and then some 1/8" plywood:







At this point I was a little frustrated with how slowly this portion of the project was going. Things weren't quite fitting the way I had planned, and they were not looking as nice as I would have liked them to...

Maybe it's time for some thinking instead of doing.

I decided (In hindsight, unfortunately) to go ahead and mount the hard-drive racks so I could get some better measurements and ideas of how to manage the cables nicely.





Installed the fans and started to route some of the cables



Took out a handful of old SATA cables... (Yes, let's not forget, that I'm a computer tech first, and a carpenter second, or maybe even fifth or tenth...)



And had fun connecting all the bits and trying to get them in a reasonable state of organization







Ugh... this will not do, this will not do at all. Might as well boot it up and see if everything works though (I had mounted and un-mounted the board several times, banged around a few things, etc, so might as well see if it's all still working!)

This would be the first time I see if all the fans work as well. Keep in mind that this is with the door removed.



Until next time.. still not quite sure what I'll be doing next.
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