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Repurposing My Old Desktops Into BOINC Crunching Rigs

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Gonna have to split this next part up into two posts because of the picture upload limit:


To my surprise I did a pretty good job of keeping track of the X79 motherboards accessories even after going on 7 years now. Still have that I/O shield (left):




Installing both I/O shields:






Next up is mounting the custom SSD brackets:




The SSDs here are random low capacity SSDs I had on hand. I did oriigiannly plan on booting from USB thumb drives but for reasons unknown though the X79 motherboard will boot installers from USB I could not get it to boot an installed OS from USB so we're just going to use a ADATA 64GB and a SAMSUMG 120GB.


Mounting them to their brackets the measurements I made aren't perfect and the cutout around the connectors really wasn't necessary (I thought it'd look cool) but they fit where they count because of the online diagram I followed for the mounting hole locations:



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Posted · Original PosterOP

Mounting the two SSD's:






I think it's a good location for it. Now to install the fans. I have a large box full of ramdom fans so I didn't want to go out and spend extra on this. The X79 rig got a Cooler Master fan that came off a Hyper 212 EVO and then 2 random fans that move enough air but I don't recall where they came from. Probably an old server chassis:




As it turns out my SSD mount location wasn't the best as the radiator cap on the H100i is touching the SSD. It lines up fine but it is making contact (not visible in picture):




On the right the same 2 mounting holes exist. I am a little worried about how hot this radd is going to get and how that may impact the life expectancy of the SSD. I may move the SSD over to the other side. Cables should reach. I think we'll check temps when we're up and running and go from there.


That's all for tonight. More will come tomorrow.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Got the motherboards installed:






I had already assembled them beforehand. Protect the socket pins & all. Installing the RAM before-hand just makes things easier too.


I happen to have six of these silicone RAM slot covers from an old project. That's not enough for both motherboards but for the heck of it we can give them to the X99 board:



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Posted · Original PosterOP

Next up are the CPU coolers. Now I would have liked to have gone with the ever popular Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO. Super cheap, performs very well for a low cost air cooler...but...:




You might be able to tell just from that picture alone...




She's too tall for a 4U. Which is really unfortunate because it's not too tall by a whole heck of a lot. Had to use something else. As a replacement I went for the Noctua NH-D9L:




This is a 3U compatible cooler and it uses the Noctua A9 92mm fan of which I have an extra to slap on there. I hope to overclock the 3930K when a more adequate PSU becomes available at a lower than current cost.


For TIM I'm using this:




This is a generic brand graphite sheet similar to IC Graphites pre-cut squares except this comes in big sheets you can cut to whatever size you want at a fraction of the cost for ~the same performance. They come from Mouser Electronics. The 3930K will be fine but I plan to O.C. the 5960X fairly aggressively. We'll see if it keeps up.


Now to plop the coolers on:






Now I tried to orient the Noctua cooler pulling/pushing air over the RAM but trying to mount the 2nd A9 fan it interfered with the RAM on both sides so I guess the VRMs are going to get a little extra incidental airflow.


Tomorrow we start cable management and plugging things in.


Also on the list is the GPU situation. This is going to be a little odd. I only have 1 spare GPU right now. Now this won't actually be a problem. The X79 board will not POST w/out a GPU, but the X99 board will. It doesn't care if it doesn't detect one it'll load the OS which is fine because I only plan to SSH in after the initial installation. They're just going to have to share it during setup.

Good night for now! :D


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