Advice for a new HPC workstation

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Postby Steinmann » Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:42 am

I see it's specified up to 115 watts TDP but is this really going to keep things cool when a 16-core CPU is steaming ahead at 100% for hours?

Supermicro recommends active CPU heating in their board manual, hence my preference for active cooling.

But if this will work, I'll be glad to keep it simple and go with passive.
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Postby evasive » Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:31 am

The make a subnote: except for 1U server boxes. Now this is a tower and the cooler would have the fins horizontally so no convection cooling effect through that. Is your case maxed out fan-wise? We want to create airflow horizontally over that passive cooler basically then...
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Postby Steinmann » Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:08 am

It has the rear-fan which would be sort of behind the CPU (but a bit higher), the front-fan (below) and the lower fan in the left-side.

And there is still room for 1 or 2 top fans, 1 bottom fan and another one on the lef-side that would be at the same height as the rear-fan.
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Postby Steinmann » Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:11 pm

Ha! I just found out that Asetek, the maker of the Corsair Hydro Series liquid coolers (H50, H70, etc), also provides separate retention kits for G34 socket.

So there is a closed-loop liquid cooler for this socket after all.
This is interesting because it seems to (just) fit on the Supermicro H8SGL board between the PCI-E x16 and the DIMMs, and it will be a lot quieter than those small fans.
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Postby Steinmann » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:44 am

In the end I decided to go with air cooling after all because I found out that the Noctua NH-U9DO A3 fits as long as you only use 1 fan. Then it won't be in the way of the PCI-e x16 slot. It will still be above 2 DIMMs but with low profile memory that won't be a problem.

It seems less hassle then the liquid cooler, and probably even quieter.
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Postby Steinmann » Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:05 am

Just to report that I built this as planned:

The Noctua cooler (NH-U9DO A3) works excellent. I installed it 90 degrees rotated with just one fan so that it fits next to the graphics card in the PCI-E x16 slot. I can also still use all DIMMs with low profile memory. CPU temp stays "low" under full load (all 16 cores at 100% for an hour or so, room temp about 22 celcius).

I superglued the remaining noctua fan to the case so that it blows straight over the northbridge. This was necessary. Without this it got over 60 celcius.

Noise levels are acceptable. (haven't used the fan's low noise level adapters yet).
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Postby bdub » Fri Apr 19, 2013 7:51 am

what is the "low" cpu temp? 25, 35, 45?
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Postby Steinmann » Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:20 am

This motherboard/CPU reports the CPU temp only as low, medium and high. I'm not even sure what the exact temperature ranges are.
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Postby bdub » Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:59 am

where are you getting this from, the bios?
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http://openhardwaremonitor.org/downloads/
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Postby Steinmann » Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:15 am

From the software included with the motherboard (SuperDoctorIII). It is also reported like this in BIOS.

I tried Open Hardware monitor but it doesn't report any CPU or motherboard temperatures for my system.

I don't care much for numerical temperatures because temp sensors are known to be highly inaccurate anyway (especially as reported by 3rd party software).
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