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Old January 18, 2012, 01:42 PM
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Default Aeacus: Judge of the Elysium

Hi all,

Just wanted to provide my experience building a server on which I can build my skills as well as support my consulting company.

I wanted to build a server that would be a good virtualization platform (Hyper-V) with a casing that provides lots of room for storage as well being quiet.

In Roman mythology, the Elysium was a heavenly place, peaceful and beautiful, where those who are favored by the gods could go when they died. To gain access to Elysium the souls of the dead first had to cross the River Styx ferried by Charon the boatman. The River Styx was the principal river of the underworld and had to be crossed to pass to the regions of the dead. The mortal life of the dead soul was judged in Hades by the gods and judges of the Underworld. To access the Elysium, souls were first judged by the guardian of the Elysium: Aeacus.



So let this build be my judge of the Elysium. I already had a few parts on hand that I wanted to use for this build:
  • Dell PERC 5i
  • 4 Seagate 7200.12 1 TB
  • CM 4-in-3 module
  • Antec Quattro 850W
This build first started in December when I started buying parts for the build: 2 Opteron 6128 (Thanks Alpine!). Then came the Asus KGPE-D16 and 2 Noctua NH9-U9D0 A3 (Thanks again Alpine!).

During boxing week, I also bought the casing as well as RAM and, as an extra (hey, it was on special!), an Intel 320 series 80 GB SSD which I would use as boot drive.
The advantage of the G34 platform is the numerous slots of RAM available and the KGPE also supports unbuffered non-ECC RAM (I know it’s not the best for running a business but that’s what I can afford at this time).



Also, I wanted to modify my PERC 5i so that it runs a little cooler than its factory-installed heatsink so I got the following:Now that I had all the needed parts, on with the build:


The Elysium is big, really big. It makes my Haf X look small. First impression of the thing is …Wow! This is nicely built with lots of room inside. The only thing that had me worried is that their site does not mention SSI EEB compatibility but the manual does. We’ll see soon enough. I know for sure there’s room for it.



Here’s a first shot of the parts that I’ll use for the build. I settled for two 16GB kits for a current total of 32 GB. That way, I can buy two other sets and take it up to 64 GB without having to buy expensive ECC registered memory. Nice!






CPU’s and RAM already fitted on the board (easy part!). Time to see if the board fits in there. Well look at that, all holes line up real nice after moving some spacers that were set for an EATX board.



Except one!



Time to get creative. I look around my box of screws and spacers and find this:



There’s no hole underneath the board to screw into so I simply cut away a small portion to get:



And we get...



Voilà! Perfect fit. Now moving on to adding the CM 4-in-3 module with its HDD’s.



Damn! One of those support bars is in the way. Time to remove it by removing two screws.



Now that’s better. After adding the two Noctua’s, that what I get:



Lots of room left for all the cables and everything. Trying to install the Quattro 850 at the bottom, I see that the ATX 24 pins cable is too short so I have to place the PSU in the top. This is what I get on the other side:


Now I’m no cable-routing expert and honestly, I don’t care about that side since I don’t see these cables. As long as I’m able to put the cover back but in this case, putting the cover back was pretty hard, Xigmatek should have provided additional room to hold all the cables.

As for the PERC 5i, those who have used this know that it gets insanely hot. I’ll modify it so that it runs cooler:





Here’s the card with the default heatsink as well as the two new heatsinks I’m going to put on it. The tall one is the Enzotech CNB-SI, the finish is mirror-like. That heatsink is worth its price. The small one is a heatsink that I recycled from a Gigabyte X38 board that failed me recently.



I used Arctic Silver thermal adhesive to glue the heatsinks to the chips. This stuff is simple to use: Clean the chips and heatsinks properly (I used Isopropyl alcohol with a non-linting cloth used for lenses), mix both tubes in equal parts, apply in a very thin coat and put some pressure for some time (I waited about 60 minutes).



Finishing the assembly by inserting the PERC card (after waiting for a few hours to let the adhesive cure) and wrapping up all the cabling, I do a trial run booting from a USB stick to install Windows 2008 R2.



Well look at that, it works on the first try! The blue light you see in the pic is from the AzenX Blitztorm. This thing does wonder to the PERC 5i card. The right fan (from the picture’s point of view) blows air up on the PERC card and the fan on the left sucks that air out the back of the casing. A knob on the back allows you to control the speed of the fans. Another item worth its price.

After a few days of running my server, installing all patches, creating VM’s, blab la bla. I get a prompt saying that my virtual disks on the PERC are degraded. Looking at the Dell utility, I see that one of my drives has dropped out of the RAID (it’s a RAID 5 by the way!). Putting the drive back and starting a rebuild is interrupted after 2 hours because the same drive dropped out again.

I shut everything down and pull that drive out to diagnose it using Seatools in another rig… Everything’s fine. Also, you should know that the card and drives have been used for some time in another rig without any issues.

If you look at the Quattro’s specs (http://www.antec.com/Believe_it/product.php?id=NTg==), you’ll notice that it has only one EPS connector. I had used one of those to get a second connector:



It uses power from the ATX12V 4-pin connector as well as one molex connector. I tried digging around to see how the rails were used on the Quattro but nothing can be found in the documentation or on Antec’s site

I finally found a review (HARDOCP - Overview - Antec TruePower Quattro 850w) that mentions how the rails are used.

My conclusion is that probably the rail for the HDD’s has too much fluctuation and makes a drive drop out of the RAID. I tried different setups using that same Quattro and also with a TruePower New 750 that I have here, all with the same results: The drive always drops out after some time.

Stay tuned for the conclusion!

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Last edited by doup93; July 23, 2013 at 12:20 PM.
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Old January 18, 2012, 02:27 PM
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I love the Elysium - but I definitely hear what you're saying about the available space behind the mobo tray for cable management. I was barely able to close the back panel on mine and came rather close to giving up. Anyway - good luck on figuring out your RAID issue. Do you have a spare drive to test with? You know what they say about simplest solutions... so perhaps the drive has indeed gone bad as far as RAID is concerned. I have one 2TB Hitachi that used to be in my RAID but started dropping out as well. It continues to work flawlessly as a stand alone drive, but I can't put it into a parity RAID any longer.
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Old January 18, 2012, 02:35 PM
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I actually moved the card and drives to my other server and have been running it for the last 2 days without issues and doing lots of file copies just to stress it a bit. Nothing, no droppage at all.

As for the Elysium, overall I love it but for the spacing issue.
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Old January 19, 2012, 12:00 AM
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That is the best case I have ever seen! I think it is my new fav.
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Old July 5, 2013, 10:17 AM
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What I didn't know that there was such things as "Thermal adhesive" now that I know t his I would like to know where to find somew becasue there are a few things on my Asus 2 p board I want to use it on .
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Old July 5, 2013, 12:13 PM
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This is the stuff I used: Newegg.ca - Arctic Silver 7g Premium Silver Thermal Adhesive Set ASTA-7G (2-PC-SET) - Thermal Compound / Grease

Mix Part A and B in equal quantities, apply on surfaces in thin layer just like you would for thermal compound, put pressure for some time and that's it. Worked wonders on my PERC5 and still holds solid to this day.
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Old July 5, 2013, 02:13 PM
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Nice intro and CRT monitor! Looking nice so far.
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Old July 5, 2013, 05:39 PM
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That's actually a build from over a year ago. I've recently sold that setup to buy a Poweredge C6100. Look at this thread: Servers home lab
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