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Thread: Quieting down an Atom-based rackmount server

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    Quieting down an Atom-based rackmount server

    Well, at the beginning of the week I finally got sick of my 200MHz server dragging along, and ordered a shiny new Mini-ITX system. It's a fairly standard Jetway JNC92 1.6GHz Hyperthreaded Intel Atom 230, with the 3xGbE expansion card (so has 4x Gigabit Ethernet ports), 2GB of RAM, a pair of 500GB Seagate hard drives (and a pair of 400GB externals if I run out of space), all mushed together in a T-Win 1U rackmount case (photos here -- http://www.mini-itx.com/store/?c=33, and specs here -- http://www.twinipc.com/ProductDetail...ref=RAC-1E-R02).

    It does, however, have a problem: it's noisy. Very, very noisy. Noisy enough that you have to shout over the top of it...

    I narrowed the noise down to the PSU fan, and swapped the existing cheap-junk 10cfm 12V 40x40x20mm fan with a Sunon Maglev fan. This has brought the noise down a little, but not enough that you can sleep in the same room while the server is on... Moving the machine into another room isn't an option -- all the network cables terminate upstairs, and rerouting them would be somewhat difficult.

    The best idea I've had thus far is to install some form of temperature-controller on the PSU fan, and limit its speed while the PSU is relatively cool, ramping it up when the PSU is under load. This, of course, involves finding a speed controller that is capable of running off a single 12V supply, and is also small enough to squash into the PSU casing...

    Unless, of course, anyone knows of a quiet, reasonably efficient (the 180W FSC that LinITX are selling ranks at 63% peak efficiency... sorry, no) 1U power supply, or any way to make one of these servers a little (or preferably a lot) quieter?

    Thanks,
    Phil.

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    Editable... jimbouk's Avatar
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    Re: Quieting down an Atom-based rackmount server

    Hmm, how about one of the little passive ones and the external power bricks?

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    DILLIGAF GoNz0's Avatar
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    Re: Quieting down an Atom-based rackmount server

    doubt u can get quieter, slow the fan down any more and you risk problems down the line, shouldnt have brought a 1u case if you needed quiet.

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    Re: Quieting down an Atom-based rackmount server

    Have you looked at the units which power the Shuttle G2 series chassis?? They are around 200w to 300w and are not very noisy. Shuttle uses server PSUs in their barebones systems.

    A review of the 300w PC50:

    http://www.sfftech.com/index.php?/articles/show/695

    It costs around £75 excluding delivery:

    http://www.microdirect.co.uk/Home/Pr...ource=googleps

    Perhaps you should have gone for this instead of your original server:

    http://www.mini-itx.com/2008/12/14/i...e-artigo-a2000

    http://www.mini-itx.com/store/?c=50

    Does not have many ethernet ports though!!
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 12-03-2009 at 10:27 PM.


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    Re: Quieting down an Atom-based rackmount server

    Right then, mass reply time...

    Quote Originally Posted by GoNz0
    shouldnt have brought a 1u case if you needed quiet.
    True, but I didn't expect a 1U case to be significantly noisier than a standard desktop case...

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH
    Sadly it doesn't have enough LAN ports -- I've got the ADSL coming in on one port, WiFi out on another (to a separate access point), the LAN on #3, and my desktop PC on #4... so I needed all four ports.

    @jimbouk -- good point, I forgot about the little fanless mini-PSUs. LinITX seem to have a very nice 90W one which looks like it should be suitable: http://linitx.com/viewproduct.php?prodid=10354
    Think I'll give them a ring in the morning...

    The Shuttle PSU does look pretty decent, but unfortunately the mounting holes on the back don't match the case.. those cables also look suspiciously short

    Thanks,
    Phil.

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    DILLIGAF GoNz0's Avatar
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    Re: Quieting down an Atom-based rackmount server

    1u always tend to have 40mm fans

    if you have room on the back you could put a 60mm fan on the outsite with a fan adapter

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    Re: Quieting down an Atom-based rackmount server

    The Shuttle K45 could have been a good start for a server:
    1.)Has 2 internal 3.5" bays
    2.)Two SATA ports
    3.)An IDE port
    4.)One PCI card slot
    5.)100w PSU

    http://global.shuttle.com/product_de...c.jsp?PI=1068#

    It does not have RAID unless you get a separate card or you can use Linux and have software RAID:

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=408461

    Here are some people who assembled them as home servers:

    http://www.homeserverhacks.com/2008/...rver_2871.html

    http://www.2phatgeeks.com/computers-...e-shuttle-k45/

    http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/e...-5e9d401554ef/

    It costs under £90:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/search.aspx?q=shuttle+k45+
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 13-03-2009 at 12:05 AM.


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    Re: Quieting down an Atom-based rackmount server

    1U servers are designed for rack mounting in a server room (surprise!). Have you got a rack in your bedroom? Seems a strange choice, I've not even seen these atom based rack mount servers, seems an odd combination, intriguing though. Whats the power draw at the socket of one of these?
    I'd imagine that the noise is unavoidable without causing the server to overheat unfortunately :/

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    Re: Quieting down an Atom-based rackmount server

    PicoPSU + 120W 12V adapter? Should be fanless though could be bulky.
    I doubt you need 120W though, more like 25W for the Atom + Memory and 50W (Peak) for the two HDDs.
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