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500-600$ M-ITX Server for Minecraft? - Page 12

post #111 of 116
Well, anyway, as a server machine you will want it to be as stable as possible so I suggest you leave it at 1333 when it will be operationnal smile.gif

Can see it from here : "Hey Mike (that's you)! Why the minecraft server wasnt online last night, I was mining like hell when it crashed and this morning all my work was gone!", to what Mike aswered "Oh sorry I was going out last night, I don't even know how I came back to my room. The server? It probably crashed because I overclocked the RAM!" drunken.gif
Edited by denial_ - 4/9/12 at 6:35pm
post #112 of 116
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by denial_ View Post

Well, anyway, as a server machine you will want it to be as stable as possible so I suggest you leave it at 1333 when it will be operationnal smile.gif
Can see it from here : "Hey Mike (that's you)! Why the minecraft server wasnt online last night, I was mining like hell when it crashed and this morning all my work was gone!", to what Mike aswered "Oh sorry I was going out last night, I don't even know how I came back to my room. The server? It probably crashed because I overclocked the RAM!" drunken.gif

It's a good point. I think 1600MHz will be very stable, but I will leave memtest running overnight and let it do a bunch of passes. If its error free ill leave it.

Update: I left it running overnight and woke up to a non-powered computer. I turned it on and almost immediately facepalmed - it had updated and force shut itself down. Gotta love Windows Update rolleyes.gif

So I got Memtest up and running again and indeed, after 9 hours, and 300+% coverage on all nodes, there aren't any errors. So I get to enjoy a free OC, basically, until I get the bracket tomorrow, when the real fun will begin biggrin.gif

Right now I am configuring OS settings, downloading Bukkit and plugins, and so forth thumb.gif If anyone has any recommendations for plugins, software, etc, let me know!

Update 2: Annoyingly, I did not get the bracket today, but I will (or at least should) be getting it tomorrow. Apologies for the delay.
Edited by VGM10000 - 4/11/12 at 8:46pm
post #113 of 116
Thread Starter 
450

I finally got the bracket this morning, and I now have the completed server, water loop installed and all. It still runs very quietly, although I have having an unusual multiplier issue that I'l get to in a moment.

But here are some pictures for everyone! biggrin.gif

700

This is how the server was with the standard heatsink, sans a radiator and second fan, etc. I wish the power supply were modular, or that there just weren't so many cables, but that's just how it is with a M-ITX box I guess. Particularly one that comes with a power supply in it.



450

It is really awesome to be able to undo four screws and just take the whole motherboard out. For my desktop it is a bit more of a chore... I am still surprised as to how small the motherboard is though.



450

Attaching the water block/pump was trivially easy this time around, but the block simply dwarfs everything else on the board. In person it looks pretty rediculous, actually tongue.gif I've only dealt with ATX and mATX machines in the past, so this whole process has been an interesting experience.



450

I am very happy that I routed the tubes the way I did, since it uses the wasted space of two PCI lanes that are going unused, and doesn't require any awkward bending or strain on the tubes themselves. That the radiator and fans are so large compared to the motherboard is almost silly to me, but there is no such thing as too much CPU cooling rolleyes.gif I do wish the interior remained looking this clean but almost nothing is wired at this point. There aren't any plexiglass windows looking into it, though, so in terms of vanity it doesn't really matter.



450

Not so clean anymore, but could have been worse. I tucked some of the unused cabling near the top of the case before I closed it up.The wires are mostly on the sides, too, so the air is pretty much open over the board itself.



700

...And here it is closed up. It's quite diminutive, although heavy for its size.

A few more beauty shots, and a comparison to my computer, which has an Antec P180 as its case:

450

450

700

700



Now that the server is assembled, it is time to OC. I have only had a little time to attempt overclocking, but I have stumbled on a really odd problem already, and wondered if anyone would point out the stupid mistake I am likely making that is causing it.

My current BIOS settings are below:

450

(Of note: Multiplier is set to 45, for 4.5GHz. System boots fine,Short/Long Duration Pwr limit and Core Current are set to 300 to eliminate them as a factor)

450

The problem I am having with the current setup is that, although my system boots fine and CPU-Z reports the Core Speed as 4500MHz, once I start a stress test (Prime95), after only 30-45 seconds, once the temps have started to settle in the upper 40's-low 50's, the multiplier suddenly drops to 33, and thus the core speed to drops to 3300MHz. The temperature of course almost instantly drops to the 30's, and the CPU then alternates between 33x and 45x every few seconds, with seemingly no connection to the temperature that I can tell.

It is really quite bizarre, and I have no idea what is causing it. When my computer is mostly idle, with a few percentage points of load, it is running at 4500MHz. It is only under load, it seems, that the chip slows itself down.

So, any ideas? I'll be tinkering with this for the next few hours I think...
post #114 of 116
hmm.. try disabling speedstep, as that can effect OC stability. im guessing thats whats causing the downclocking as speedstep will reduce the clockspeed of the system depending on load, as a way to save energy. smile.gif but looks great! i would say just needs some zip ties to tighen up the cable management but its not critical tongue.gif
Edited by DNytAftr - 4/12/12 at 2:59pm
Mini-Box
(18 items)
 
 
Flowery Pink
(11 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 3770k Asus P8Z77-i Deluxe Evga Gtx 670 SC 4gb Samsung 8gb (4gb x2) 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Corsair GT Samsung 830 Western Digital Scorpio Black 750gb Panasonic Slim Blu-ray Burner 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
Ek Supreme HF Nickel  EK Gtx 670 Nickel Windows 8 64-Bit Dell U2412m 
KeyboardCaseMouseMouse Pad
Logitech K810 Silverstone Sugo SG05-450 Logitech G700 Corsair 
AudioAudio
Fiio E17 Mackie MR5MK2 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 920 @ 4.1 1.35v Msi Big Bang Xpower 3x EVGA GTX 470 + Evga Gtx 465 24gb Corsair XMS3 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
C300 64gb + Samsung F3 1TB 2x LG Blu-ray/HD-Dvd Drive Antec Kuhler 920 Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Samsung 2693HM Corsair K60 Antec HCP-1200 Corsair 800D 
MouseAudio
Logitech G700 Corsair SP2200 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5 2500k Asus h67 Nvidia GTS 450 Crucial  
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Western Digital  Samsung dvd-rw Intel Stock Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit 
PowerCaseAudio
Corsair CX430 InWin Allure Creative X-Fi Titanium HD 
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Mini-Box
(18 items)
 
 
Flowery Pink
(11 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 3770k Asus P8Z77-i Deluxe Evga Gtx 670 SC 4gb Samsung 8gb (4gb x2) 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Corsair GT Samsung 830 Western Digital Scorpio Black 750gb Panasonic Slim Blu-ray Burner 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
Ek Supreme HF Nickel  EK Gtx 670 Nickel Windows 8 64-Bit Dell U2412m 
KeyboardCaseMouseMouse Pad
Logitech K810 Silverstone Sugo SG05-450 Logitech G700 Corsair 
AudioAudio
Fiio E17 Mackie MR5MK2 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 920 @ 4.1 1.35v Msi Big Bang Xpower 3x EVGA GTX 470 + Evga Gtx 465 24gb Corsair XMS3 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
C300 64gb + Samsung F3 1TB 2x LG Blu-ray/HD-Dvd Drive Antec Kuhler 920 Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Samsung 2693HM Corsair K60 Antec HCP-1200 Corsair 800D 
MouseAudio
Logitech G700 Corsair SP2200 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5 2500k Asus h67 Nvidia GTS 450 Crucial  
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Western Digital  Samsung dvd-rw Intel Stock Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit 
PowerCaseAudio
Corsair CX430 InWin Allure Creative X-Fi Titanium HD 
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post #115 of 116
Thread Starter 
Disabling SpeedStep didn't fix it, unfortunately, although I thought it would have, since it would have explained the behaviour... Hrmmm

Update: Apologies for posting this so late, but I was away this weekend and I have finals that I am studying for that go on throughout the next seven days.

I just got a good hour or so to tinker, and I am even more confused than before as to how to fix this multiplier issue. So far I have tried:

  • Disabling Speedstep
  • Keeping voltage at default and running up to 4.5GHz (system boots and runs fine but multiplier still tanks after ~55C is reached on any core)
  • Using built-in OC options (the BIOS has presets that go as high as 4.3GHz)
  • Keeping previously posted settings (but with Speedstep disabled) and only changing GT Overclock setting, only changing Short/Long duration to 150, only changing core current to 150, only enabling spread spectrum.

I've found a review here that claims that they got a 4.4GHz OC, but I have no idea HOW they got it, and they don't share the settings they used at all, besides the multiplier and VCore.

I'll be doing some research, but I am truly dumbfounded by this. What could be downclocking the CPU with EVERY throttling option disabled?
Edited by VGM10000 - 4/16/12 at 8:18pm
post #116 of 116
Thread Starter 
For those that might be curious, the final BOM and cost is below:

Intel Core i5 2500k 3.3GHz: $175.30
G.SKILL16GB 1333 DDR3: $89.24
ASRock Z68M-ITX/HT: $126.97
OCZ Agility 3 60GB SSD: $53.11
SilverStone SUGO SG05: $104.99
Corsair H50 Cooler: FREE ("donated")
3-Pin Power Fan Splitter: FREE (I had a spare I "donated")
Corsair Replacement Bracket: $17.68

TOTAL: $567.29

I will post benchmarks once I have resolved trying to solve OC issues (please look at the post above and see if you can help with this). We are to have summer semester be a trial run of the server, which will be open to the public, so once that is up and running I will post the pertinent server info as well.

UPDATE: I have figured out what is going on with the CPU, but the problem is one that I can't fix. From a 2-egg review on the Newegg product page of the board (emphasis mine):
Quote:
Pros: The layout of the board is thought out. I can easily access all the ports and lay the wires out of the fans way. The Z68 chip gives me flexability to clock the CPU to be quiet running or raw power.

Cons: Unfortunely this board comes with more cons than I would like it to have for being a Z68 chip.
1. Asrock tech support is very lacking. Don't expect to hear a reply back on a issue within a week or a month for that matter.
2. This board will overclock, but it does not overclock stable. I'm running a i7 2600k, 3.4GHz it will do fine at. Anything higher, the voltages and clock speed will bounce. For a regular user, this will be fine and provide the short time speed boost. But I keep this CPU pegged at 100% workload.
3. The BIOS is really simple, but lacks fine tuning. The fan control will only allow a max temp of 65*C on the CPU &/or board. So if you work this board hard or have temperatures issues, it will become noisy. I've upgraded to aftermarket cooling to keep the temps below the 65*C threshold.

Other Thoughts: This board will best suited for lower power CPU's. Not that it can not handle a i7 95Watt, you just will not get the full benefit of it. This was the first and will probably be the last Asrock mobo that I buy.
Quote:
Manufacturer Response:
Dear AsRock Customer

We sincerely apologize for that you having difficulty with mainboard. Since Z68M-ITX is designed for home theater, we're not recommended users to overclock CPU on Z68M-ITX. When overclocking, CPU frequency will be changed once temperature is high to protect the system. If you have any technical questions or warranty issues in the future please contact us at user@asrockamerica.com

Thank you

AsRock SUPPORT
Tech Support Email: user@asrockamerica.com

This 5-egg review from another user suggests that an OC is possible, but that a stress test will cause a throttle, although a non-stress test at load will not (emphasis mine):
Quote:
Pros: Update to last review.

Cons: -

Other Thoughts: Just so everyone knows since its so confusing when this board throttles. Yes it will throttle with I5 2500k @4.5ghz but only when prime95 or stress software is used. Im using Corsair H60 - Load ~60c and its at 4.5ghz +.9v under turbo with no throttling in games like bf3. So overclocking is possible, just you gotta check stability of your overclocks basically in games and such.

I am honestly a bit pissed that ASRock doesn't say upfront that the board has throttling measures that the user cannot in any way explicitly turn off. I should have caught these reviews and realized this sooner, but I was going off of official reviews from websites that claimed solid OC's of 4.2-4.4GHz. Yet, even with a 4.0GHz OC, without touching the voltage at all, the MC system i've built throttles after only a few minutes, and only when it hangs around at ~55C temperatures, which aren't even high enough (IMO) to necessitate a throttle (I will note that it is unusually hot where I am currently, and the ambient temperature is about 20F higher than normal, with idle temps sitting at about 40C when they are usually much closer to 30C, but load temps seem relatively unaffected, stabilizing at 55C before with 70F ambient and 58ishC now with 90F ambient)

What I think I am going to do is stress test by running several worlds in the server setup and then try to replicate what full load with those programs would be like. I'll OC to the breaking point of stability and highest clock, and then step down a few notches from that to ensure it is rock solid, and then run it overnight. I figure that if it is not running on all the threads, and the load is not generated for the explicit purpose of bogging the CPU, that maybe that will translate to a difference in temps and throttling, as the 2nd reviewer suggested?
Edited by VGM10000 - 4/17/12 at 2:59pm
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