Server specs/what a journey….

Incredible how much you learn while looking for the correct parts for a server. Initially I started out with an Intel S5500HCVR motherboardĀ  based on the 5500 chipset and an Antec Take 4 650 case and a Noctua NH-U12DX 1366 fan.

Then I started comparing the compatibility of the fan and the case and it turned out the fan didn’t fit, so I changed to a Noctua NH-U9DX 1366 fan with the help of Noctua support by the way.

Secondly, I looked at the motherboard and found out it used the SSI-EEB form factor and apparently that did not fit inside the Antec Case. As a result I started looking at other silent cases that would fit this motherboard but didn’t really find any. So I started looking at other motherboards and found one by Supermicro (the X8TDi-F). Meanwhile I also switched to a motherboard using the 5520 chipset because of better performance with the 5600 series Xeon processors. Fortunately, supermicro provides a really good website and they even had a silent case (the SC743T-665B). Additionally, I could verify the compatibility with the memory that I chose. So all is well, better even, as the new motherboard has 2 old style 32bit PCI slots which can come in handy.

Then while checking the dimensions of the case to see if it would really fit in my rack, I was reading the manual and found out that the case has a so-called air-shroud. This one is basically a ducting solution that connects the fans in the front with those in the back and provides an efficient cooling solution. Of course, the fan that I chose wouldn’t fit anymore but Intel provides a nice passive cooling solution (the STS100P) that fits very well in this case (reducing costs at the same time).

So, all in all a very good collection of parts that I have now. A really good silent rackmount case, passive processor cooling, and a good low power cooling solution. Meanwhile I have also found one shop that can provide all the stuff in one order. And that really helps, in particular in case of problems.

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