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My dual xeon server build

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I've decided my file server just isn't up to the task for running virtual machines as before this I had a crappy AMD dual-core and that just isn't gonna cut it. Therefore I have decided to upgrade. After scouring ebay for various deals on CPUs (and watching linus's video of course) I decided to build a dual LGA 771 server. The parts should be coming in next week. 

 

Specs before upgrade:

AMD A4-3300

4GB DDR3

GTX 750 ti

MSI A55M-P33

2x 160GB HDD

2x 500GB HDD

1x 80GB HDD

1x really old 20GB IDE HDD

 

Specs after upgrade:

2x Intel Xeon e5430 (Picked up two of these for $20 total and I can OC them with the BSEL mod):

http://www.ebay.com/itm/301926138190?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

Supermicro X7DCA-L:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/331786404274?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

32GB ECC Registered DDR2 purchased (although I will only be using 24GB of it):

http://www.ebay.com/itm/191826787243?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

2x LGA 771 CPU coolers:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/191574348105?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

A 3 port SATA + IDE controller card:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/141925373126?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

All my HDDs stated above

Still the same GTX 750 ti (I use it for running folding@home 24/7)

And finally, because I am SO... DAMN... TIRED... or running out of zip ties, 1000 8" zip ties: (go big or go home as they say)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/141691152707?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&var=441060528279&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

 

Expect pictures to come later this and next week, and a build log of course :P

 

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Is the DCA-L an mATX board? I've seen it plenty times before but super micro calls it ATX so yeah. 


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Yukuru (Main rig): i5-6600k @ stock | Silverstone AR04 | iGPU (Godawful) | 1x8GB G-Skill Ripjaws DDR4-2800 (Running 2133) | ASRock H110M-STX | 128GB Plextor M6S + NAS | Delta 120W Power brick (Thanks @iamdarkyoshi) | Custom Case (Build log| MSX

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Blast From the Past (Disassembled and decommissioned as of the 7th of December, 2016, you will be missed): Asus A8Js | C2D T7200 @ 2GHz | Nvidia Go 7700 512MB DDR2 | 2x1GB DDR2-667 Kingston RAM | Hitachi TravelStar 5K160 160GB 5400 HDD | Win7 Pro

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Laptop: MacBook Pro 13.3 inch late 2013 model i7-4558U (2C/4T @ 3.3GHz Turbo) Intel Iris 5100 graphics (1200MHz boosts) 8GB DDR3-1600 Soldered on 2560 x 1600 display (Looks very nice)

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Box (Brother's Rig): Xeon X5450 | Alpine 11 Pro Rev. 2 | Asus P5G41C-M LX | Asus GT 730 2GB Passive | 2x2GB Noname (DDR2-667) | Crucial BX200 240GB + 320GB HDD | Aerocool Strike-X 500W | Win7 Home Premium

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Spiky Box (Sister's Rig, needs upgrades): i7-4790 | Cooler Master Seidon 120V V2 | Asus Z97 Sabertooth Mark I | KFA2 GTX 560 Ti EX OC | 2x4GB Crucial Ballistix DDR3-1600 | 1TB Seagate Barracuda | Corsair CX600 | Aerocool Xpredator X3 Red/Gold edition (My old case) | MSX 

 

USEFUL LINKS:

PSU Whitelist PSU Tier list F@H stats | Mining Ethereum

 

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1 minute ago, TheRandomness said:

Is the DCA-L an mATX board? I've seen it plenty times before but super micro calls it ATX so yeah. 

SuperMicro site for the board mentions mATX below the picture

479d8795c31f89e40e81a8c583c03cc9.png


Intel Core i7 5820K 4.7GHz 1.28V | Watercool MO-RA3 420 LC | ASUS RVE | Trident Z 3200MHz 4x4GB | GTX 980 K|NGP|N 2-Way SLi

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Black 32GB | Exynos 8890 Octa | SanDisk Ultra 200GB SDXC

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | Valley | Superposition

 

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1 minute ago, DildorTheDecent said:

SuperMicro site for the board mentions mATX below the picture

479d8795c31f89e40e81a8c583c03cc9.png

My eyes must've been deceiving me...


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Yukuru (Main rig): i5-6600k @ stock | Silverstone AR04 | iGPU (Godawful) | 1x8GB G-Skill Ripjaws DDR4-2800 (Running 2133) | ASRock H110M-STX | 128GB Plextor M6S + NAS | Delta 120W Power brick (Thanks @iamdarkyoshi) | Custom Case (Build log| MSX

Spoiler

Blast From the Past (Disassembled and decommissioned as of the 7th of December, 2016, you will be missed): Asus A8Js | C2D T7200 @ 2GHz | Nvidia Go 7700 512MB DDR2 | 2x1GB DDR2-667 Kingston RAM | Hitachi TravelStar 5K160 160GB 5400 HDD | Win7 Pro

Spoiler

Laptop: MacBook Pro 13.3 inch late 2013 model i7-4558U (2C/4T @ 3.3GHz Turbo) Intel Iris 5100 graphics (1200MHz boosts) 8GB DDR3-1600 Soldered on 2560 x 1600 display (Looks very nice)

Spoiler

Box (Brother's Rig): Xeon X5450 | Alpine 11 Pro Rev. 2 | Asus P5G41C-M LX | Asus GT 730 2GB Passive | 2x2GB Noname (DDR2-667) | Crucial BX200 240GB + 320GB HDD | Aerocool Strike-X 500W | Win7 Home Premium

Spoiler

Spiky Box (Sister's Rig, needs upgrades): i7-4790 | Cooler Master Seidon 120V V2 | Asus Z97 Sabertooth Mark I | KFA2 GTX 560 Ti EX OC | 2x4GB Crucial Ballistix DDR3-1600 | 1TB Seagate Barracuda | Corsair CX600 | Aerocool Xpredator X3 Red/Gold edition (My old case) | MSX 

 

USEFUL LINKS:

PSU Whitelist PSU Tier list F@H stats | Mining Ethereum

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
11 minutes ago, TheRandomness said:

My eyes must've been deceiving me...

No, you;re actually right. This is an ATX board. For some reason supermicro issued a board to OEMs that was ATX and just had the expansion slots moved down. Go figure.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 hour ago, clarkmcc said:

What was the total budget??

I picked up the xeons, mobo, RAM and CPU coolers all for $120. This machine should have multithreaded performance between the AMD FX-6300 and the FX-8350, so I think that is pretty good! 

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5 minutes ago, CUDA_Cores said:

I picked up the xeons, mobo, RAM and CPU coolers all for $120. This machine should have multithreaded performance between the AMD FX-6300 and the FX-8350, so I think that is pretty good! 

Dang that is really good! Post a cinebench when you're up and running!

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Just got the RAM in today. 32GB of ECC registered DDR2 awesomeness:

 

IMG_1190.JPG

 

Although the board I bought only has 6 memory slots, so I will only be using 24GB of it.IMG_1192.JPG

They actually sent me the same memory but different revisions. One has thinner memory modules and the other has fatter memory modules like so:

IMG_1191.JPG

 

Also to add, the memory with the thinner modules have a buffer chip made by Texas instruments and the memory that has the fatter modules has a buffer chip made by Inphi?

IMG_1193.JPGIMG_1194.JPG

 

 

I can't find any information anywhere for a datasheet on these buffer chips. Hopefully someone can help.

 

hmm... Interesting anyway. I know servers are a bit pickier about mixing and matching memory than desktops, hopefully it all works out in the end.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
13 minutes ago, clarkmcc said:

Dang that is really good! Post a cinebench when you're up and running!

now, just remember that is theoretically where performance will fall. I may be able to achieve better or I may end up with a really terrible score. Unfortunately everyone computer setup is different and I will expect some score variations.

 

But after looking up the passmark score of these dual xeons:

https://cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Xeon+E5430+%40+2.66GHz&id=1234&cpuCount=2

And the FX-6300:

 https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=AMD+FX-6300+Six-Core

FX-8350:

https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=AMD+FX-8350+Eight-Core

 

so yeah... somewhere in-between both. 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Update: Just received the motherboard, CPUs and the coolers. I can't finish it however without zip ties.

 

CPUs:

IMG_1449.JPG

the motherboard:

IMG_1447.JPG

 

Here is something interesting about the motherboard, it is actually am mATX board that looks like an ATX board because some of the rear I/O is missing (there is no onboard audio). I origionally thought this was an ATX board by the ebay listing but nope, turns out it really is mATX. Other mATX board for scale:

IMG_1446.JPG

 

Here are the CPU coolers:

 

IMG_1450.JPG

By the way, these coolers are VERY heavy for their size. These things are made of solid copper and have to weigh at least 5 lbs each!

 

While I am still missing my zip-ties, there are some things I can do right now, like mod the CPU coolers. You see since I am simply zip-tying these to the motherboard instead of mounting them properly. What this means is I have to remove the mounting screws and standoffs that were on them like this:

IMG_1451.JPG

OK, so I just came across my first problem, this computer does not work with my old GTX 750 ti. It simply showed a blank video with nothing on-screen. In my main machine I have an AMD R9 380 that is horribly underutilized as I don't do any sort of gaming on my main machine. Therefore I have decided to swap the GTX 750 ti and put that in my main machine and the R9 380 in my server. This machine will be running folding@home on the GPU so I should see roughly double the performance in folding@home going from my 750 ti to this R9 380. My main machine now only has a 750 ti in it, but that's okay! As this server will now be doing all my my video rendering for me, so no reason to have a powerful video card in it.

 

The full setup: 

IMG_1452.JPG

 For now, the heatsinks are secured by nothing. The CPU coolers are so heavy the only thing keeping them in place is their inertia. This is just for testing and I will zip-tie the CPU coolers on when I get the zip-ties as a permanent solution.

It works!

IMG_1453.JPG

 

That is TWO processors and 24GB of DDR2 RAM people, all for $120 USD. I will update again when I can get my zip-ties and my PCI IDE controller card in the mail.

 

Also one thing to note, this computer takes a REALLY long time to boot up. If you choose to do this just know it is totally normal for the computer to take well over a minute just to get to the POST screen. Apparently the motherboard is running all sorts of system checks and that is why it takes forever to start up. Oh well, this is to be expected from a server board anyway,

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Posted · Original PosterOP

OK guys, so I built the computer and the system is working great. I don't have time to finish this build log but I do however, have time for a little teaser. Here is the cinebench score of the computer: 

cinebench.png

 

I'd say 553 is pretty good considering I only paid $120 for the entire base platform.xD

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Posted · Original PosterOP

IT'S DONE!

 

OK now I have time to finish off the build so here we go:

First step was to zip-tie the CPU coolers on as they needed a special back-plate I was not willing to pay for. Zip-ties to the rescue!

IMG_1456.JPG

 

The back side:

IMG_1459.JPG

 

Side:

 

IMG_1458.JPG

 

Here is everything in the case:

 

IMG_1461.JPG

 

Now we hit our second snag. This board has no holes on the right side of the motherboard. Therefore I had to prop up the board a little to guarantee it would not short with the case.  Duct tape to the rescue:

 

IMG_1462.JPG

 

The inside of the build:

 

IMG_1463.JPG

 

Full Specs of the machine:

2x Intel Xeon E5430

Asus Strix AMD R9 380 4GB

24GB (6x4GB) ECC Registered DDR2

Supermicro X&DCA-L Motherboard

Rosewill Capstone 750w 80+ gold power supply

Promise Ultra 378 RAID card

another generic 2 port RAID card

1x 120GB SSD

2x 160GB HDD

2x 500GB HDD

1x 250GB HDD

1x 80GB HDD

 

So now that I am at the end of this build log, are there any benchmarks anyone want's me to run on it?

 

Also what do you guys think? IMO this is a really awesome value for money and I saved a massive amount on this build vs going with a modern i5 or even an fx-8350.

IMG_1457.JPG

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On 4/20/2016 at 7:03 PM, CUDA_Cores said:

OK guys, so I built the computer and the system is working great. I don't have time to finish this build log but I do however, have time for a little teaser. Here is the cinebench score of the computer: 

cinebench.png

 

I'd say 553 is pretty good considering I only paid $120 for the entire base platform.xD

great for the money... would've thought it'd be a little higher though...

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do you have a powermeter by chance?

for me the most interesting part would be the powerconsumption, value for the money looks good at first but if this beast consumes like 200W+ it is nothing to run as a server 24/7.

 

Atleast not here in germany with high energie prices.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 hour ago, Pixel5 said:

do you have a powermeter by chance?

for me the most interesting part would be the powerconsumption, value for the money looks good at first but if this beast consumes like 200W+ it is nothing to run as a server 24/7.

 

Atleast not here in germany with high energie prices.

sorry, I don't have anything of the sort -_-. For me even with the high power consumption this build is fine because power here is cheap as I only pay 7 cents per KW/h. The only reason power is so cheap where I live is because our only electricity provider is DTE energy here and they operate under a very heavily regulated monopoly by our local government. Therefore the money they charge for power is cheap.

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yea for 7 cents per KWh i also wouldnt care, i would litterally get a huge server here just for the lulz.

we pay 28 cents over here, 1000€+ annual powerbills are nothing unusual here even with full LED lighting in the whole house...

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Hi CUDA_Cores, I got same problem here with a Supermicro X7dca-l with dual xeon e5450 and 16gb of ram...tried to use with a gtx 750ti, but doesn´t work. I am getting video only from the onboard vga. The 750ti´s fan spins but there is no signal from that and in win10 only onboard graphics appears on Device Manager. Checked all the MOBO´s manual and didn´t find what is wrong. Interesting that the R9 380 worked for you....did you mind why? I´m totally confused about this issue. A guy on reddit get a GTX 660 and it worked, a GTX 275 worked for a youtuber... it seems to have no parameter...you got a newer AMD and worked....thanks if you colud give some help

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Posted · Original PosterOP
25 minutes ago, eanesml said:

Hi CUDA_Cores, I got same problem here with a Supermicro X7dca-l with dual xeon e5450 and 16gb of ram...tried to use with a gtx 750ti, but doesn´t work. I am getting video only from the onboard vga. The 750ti´s fan spins but there is no signal from that and in win10 only onboard graphics appears on Device Manager. Checked all the MOBO´s manual and didn´t find what is wrong. Interesting that the R9 380 worked for you....did you mind why? I´m totally confused about this issue. A guy on reddit get a GTX 660 and it worked, a GTX 275 worked for a youtuber... it seems to have no parameter...you got a newer AMD and worked....thanks if you could give some help

Well what I can tell you is I never got that 750 ti working. I had the exact same problem that you did where the board simply never put out any video during the POST process and the video card was not viewable in device manager just like you were saying.  I just gave up and installed the AMD R9 380 in my main rig and let that run 24/7 for folding@home (I'm not a gamer so it doesn't bother me that my main rig now has a 750 ti). From what I can guess only cards that have PCIe power connectors on them will work because then the card will pull power from the PCIe power connector rather than the motherboard. I don't really know why my 750 ti worked and I just gave up. Also in order to get my R9 380 to work I had to update the boards bios and set the primary display output to "other" in the bios so in case you buy a new GPU and it doesn't work, these are steps you might try. Sorry this couldn't really help you. 

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Thanks a lot man, I agree this issue is related to the power connector like you said. The x7dca-l seems to be not able to provide the power to this Maxwell gpu without power connectors. I gonna sell my 750ti and buy a R9 like yours. Last question: you are using bios R 1.2a, right?

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