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[Build Log] Tron Server - HAF XB Dual Xeon Sandy Bridge-EP LGA 2011 ATX

post #1 of 83
Thread Starter 
Tron Server



The need is for a small form-factor server/workstation that's easy to service where space is limited and a rack is not available. The platform is primarily intended for virtual machine sandbox software development shared by a few developers. There will also be occasional modeling, effects and video editing, with background video encoding/rendering work.


SOFTWARE

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit is the boot OS running Adobe's entire Creative Suite CS6 for post-production work, LightWave for 3D modeling and ZBrush for sculpting. Oracle VirtualBox will manage five sandbox CentOS UNIX virtual machines to continually run the following server software in separate silos:

1. Web Service VM: Tomcat server running several Spring RESTful web services
2. Web Application VM: Tomcat and Apache web servers running several applications
3. Cache/Queue VM: MongoDB server with data cache and queued collections
4. Database VM: Full Oracle database server and Fusion stack
5. Search VM: Tomcat server running full Solr search engine stack


HARDWARE

The build centers around a standard ATX motherboard with Sandy Bridge-EP dual Xeon LGA 2011 sockets. The open-bench inspired Cooler Master HAF XB case will be used in an air-cooled configuration with several Noctua fans. Highlights include two Xeon E5-2670 processors, 64 GB ECC registered quad-channel server memory, and a Quadro K5000 engineering graphics adapter.

Cooler Master HAF XB ATX Computer Case
ASUS Z9PA-D8 dual LGA 2011 ATX mainboard with PIKE 2008 daughter RAID adapter
KingWin LZP-1000, 80 PLUS Platinum Modular Power Supply
2 x Intel Xeon E5-2670 8-Core 2.6GHz Sandy Bridge-EP Processor, 3.3GHz Turbo Boost, 20MB L3 Cache
64GB 8 x Samsung 8GB DDR3 1600 MHz ECC Registered Server Memory M393B1K70DH0-CK0
nVidia Quadro K5000 Graphics Card 1536 CUDA cores 4GB GDDR5 Memory VCQK5000-PBN
2 x Sedna PCIE 4-Port USB 3.0 Adapter (2 x External, 2 x Internal)
ASUS XONAR_EONE Digital-to-Anal​og Converter (External USB sound)
Boot Array: 2 x Samsung 840 Series 250GB Solid State Drive (SSD) in RAID-0 (500GB)
1.5TB VM Array A: 2 x Seagate Momentus XT 750GB SATA 6.0Gbs Solid State Hybrid in RAID-0
1.5TB VM Array B: 2 x Seagate Momentus XT 750GB SATA 6.0Gbs Solid State Hybrid in RAID-0
LG Blu-Ray Burner SATA 14X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 5X DVD-RAM 12X BD-ROM 4MB Cache
AFT PRO-57U All-in-one USB 3.0 5.25" Media Card Reader
2 x Noctua NF-A14 ULN 140x140x25mm Fan, 800/650 RPM, SSO2 Bearing (front fans)
Noctua NF-P12 PWM 120mm SSO2 Bearing (upper-rear fan)
2 x Noctua NF-R8 80mm Case Fan (lower-rear fans)
BitFenix Spectre 200mm Case Fan (top fan)
2 x Artic Freezer i30 CPU Cooler with four direct-contact heat pipes
2 x Noctua NF-F12 PWM 120mm Focused Flow Fan, 1500/1200 RPM, SSO2 Bearing (CPU fans)


DESIGN

This build may disappoint some, because I am rather plain and conservative when it comes to computer customization. I am a true believer in the KISS principle while holding function over form in almost every instance.

Therefore, there will be no:

  • Exotic liquid cooling
  • Radical case customization
  • Anal retentive color coordination
  • Fancy cable sleeves
  • Garish lighting effects

I actually prefer a stock build. For example, I do relish the ugly Noctua fans with their odd brown color scheme, all the while recognizing that cooling performance will be top notch. In the end, the only thing I want to see is a stable platform, good operating temperatures, and a blinking motherboard heart beat LED!


CONFIGURATION

Somehow, the ASUS Z9PA-D8 squeezes two LGA 2011 sockets, eight DDR3 DIMM memory slots and five PCIE expansion slots onto a standard ATX form factor motherboard! The server will pack a heavily threaded punch with two Xeon E5-2670 processors, 16 cores, 32 threads and 64GB of ECC DDR3 server memory. To cool both volcanoes down, each processor will be fitted with an Artic Freezer i30 CPU heat sink mounted in a push/pull configuration; the stock fans will be replaced by superior Noctua NF-F12 PWM 120mm Focused Flow fans. The ASUS server motherboard does not offer enough integrated USB3 ports, so two Sedna 4-Port USB3 PCIE adapters (4 x external ports, 2 x 20-pin internal jacks) provide plenty of USB3 connectivity both inside and outside the HAF XB case.



In front, for a slight increase in CFM along with a notable decrease in noise, both stock 120mm Cooler Master fans will be replaced by two Noctua NF-A14 ULN 140mm fans. For media input, a fast LG Blu-Ray burner and AFT all-in-one USB 3 reader will be installed in the front 5.25" bays. Both 3.5" hot-swap bays will contain Samsung 840 Series 250GB solid state drives in RAID-0 (500GB). Windows 7 Professional 64-bit will boot from this Samsung RAID-0 array, with VirtualBox, Adobe Creative Suite CS6, and other related video/modeling applications, including large scratch and temporary file areas.



Internally, encoding space and all five UNIX virtual machines will reside in two 1.5TB RAID-0 arrays, with the image files periodically backed up to external network storage. Each array set consists of two Seagate Momentus XT 750GB SATA 6.0Gbs Solid State Hybrid drives.



In back, one Noctua NF-P12 120mm PWM fan will be installed in the upper corner position. Two Noctua NF-R8 80mm fans will be placed in the lower corner location near the internal drive cage. Network connectivity is provided by ASUS via two on-board Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 ports. Two integrated USB3 ports are located in back, along with four external USB3 ports from two Sedna PCIE adapters. Power is provided by a very quiet KingWin 1000W power supply.



On top, a thin BitFenix Spectre 200mm case fan will be fitted to exhaust heat upward.


Tron Server

Edited by SonicAgamemnon - 2/10/13 at 6:52am
post #2 of 83
Wow, Cant wait too see some pictures... Subbed.
post #3 of 83
Second HAF XB log I've come cross, looking forward to pictures biggrin.gif
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New RIgggg
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post #4 of 83
Thread Starter 
Saying Goodbye - The Old War Horse


The old server just felt REALLY old, especially after recently upgrading my main workstation to this beast. The performance delta was so great, just too dramatic not to notice-- eventually, I started kicking virtual rocks at the trusty, but rather slow server steed, which I always take as a clear sign that it's time to upgrade:



So the old war horse was torn apart yesterday, with a few spare parts reclaimed that might be leveraged in the future, but perhaps not in this build, including some very reliable Western Digital RE3 server drives and a Creative Labs Audigy 2 ZS High Definition 7.1 Surround PCI sound card.

I just couldn't throw out the NVidia FX4400 graphics adapter, a very expensive card eight years ago, but it is now a $40 relic even though it still renders 3D content fairly well and always provides a nice 2560x1600 desktop, so I stuck it in bubble wrap and put it in the "war" chest:


I also stored away four really cool (but rather limited) 1GB sticks of ECC DDR2 server memory:


The Chenbro case and dual Xeon Tumwater motherboard were donated for recycling. I also donated the two Intel Xeon all-copper heat sinks because I never liked them-- horribly loud screamers that were hardly able to tame the notorious Xeon 3.6GHz Hyperthreading EM64T twin infernos. These processors are from the long-lost era when AMD had the upper hand and Intel was pushing single-core clock rates up to glowing-hot levels where lead melts and stars begin to super nova.

Alas, both once-upon-a-time thousand-dollar volcanoes are now paper weights on my desk:


Edited by SonicAgamemnon - 1/22/13 at 7:01pm
post #5 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by SonicAgamemnon View Post

Alas, both once-upon-a-time thousand-dollar volcanoes are now paper weights on my desk

Well said.

Guessing your also a Tron fan based on your other build log "Derezzer"
Edited by Gawdz - 12/30/12 at 9:11am
post #6 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gawdz View Post

Well said.
Guessing your also a Tron fan based on your other build log "Derezzer"

I'm definitely a long-time Tron geek-- and you could say the old server was finally derezzed, but not before it rendered a final message:

"END OF LINE."
post #7 of 83
Thread Starter 
The Artic Squeeze Play


The ASUS ATX server mainboard presents some challenges, especially the closely spaced LGA 2011 processor sockets. The board is designed for 2/4U racks with smaller passive heat sinks, but I wanted to attempt an "Artic Squeeze Play" with this board:



The Artic Feezer i30 is a full-sized heat sink with four large heat pipes. If my calculations are correct, the only configuration that has a chance of working is this back-to-back arrangement:


The idea is to use the two Noctua 120mm fans in a push-pull setup, with the front/right heat sink pushing air in and the rear/left heat sink pulling air out.

How this configuration will perform and whether it will produce similar or worse results than other arrangements is an open concern...
Edited by SonicAgamemnon - 1/23/13 at 6:21am
post #8 of 83
Any build with xeons is a good build. Sub'd.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
Edited by Citra - 12/30/12 at 7:39pm
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Intel i3 2100 Gigabyte H61M-S2PV Asus GT430 Corsair XMS3 2x2gb 1333mhz 
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Intel X-25V 40GB Synology DS210j (4tb) Seagate Barracuda 120gb LG CH12LS28 Blu Ray  
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Thermalright X-Silent 120 Mac OS X 10.8.2 Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Toshiba 46VX700VU 
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Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
OCZ Vertex 3 120GB WD Caviar Black (1002FAEX)1TB Synology DS210J (4tb) Lite-on DVD Rewriter 16x IDE External 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Noctua NH-D14 Windows 7 Home Premium x64 Samsung Syncmaster E2320 Metadot Das Professional S Silent 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair TX 850 V1 [Original PSH] NZXT Gamma Classic Series Mid-Tower Logitech VX Revolution Razer Sphex 
AudioAudioAudioAudio
Asus Xonar DX Klipsch Promedia 2.1 Bose Triport/Klipsch S3 Blue Snowball 
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Intel i3 2100 Gigabyte H61M-S2PV Asus GT430 Corsair XMS3 2x2gb 1333mhz 
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Intel X-25V 40GB Synology DS210j (4tb) Seagate Barracuda 120gb LG CH12LS28 Blu Ray  
CoolingOSOSMonitor
Thermalright X-Silent 120 Mac OS X 10.8.2 Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Toshiba 46VX700VU 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop 700 XFX 450w Core Edition Silverstone ML03B Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop 700 
AudioAudio
Realtek Onboard Klipsch Promedia 2.1 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core 2 Duo P8700 2.53ghz Apple Logic Board Nvidia Geforce 9400m 4gb @1066 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOS
Western Digital Scorpio Black 320gb Synology DS210j (4tb) Apple SuperDrive Mac OS X 10.8.4/Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
13" 1280x800 Glossy Backlit Apple Keyboard/OCN Ducky Tenkeyless [MX... 65w Magsafe Aluminium Unibody 
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post #9 of 83
Subbing.
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Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Crucial MX100 256GB Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB [ WD5000AAKX ] Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB [ WD10EZEX ] Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB [ WD10EARS ] 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB [ WD10EARS ] Corsair H100i Push&Pull Corsair SP120L PWM [ 2X] [ H100i ] Corsair SP120 PWM High Peformance [ 2X ][ H100 i] 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
NZXT FN 140RB [4X][Case] Cooler Master Sickleflow 120 Red [ 2X ][ Case ] Windows 10 Pro x64 Samsung B2230 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Corsair Vengeance K95 RGB [ MX Brown ] Seasonic X760 NZXT Swtich 810 Black Logitech G402 
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Razer Goliathus Alpha Control / Steelseries Qck... Sennheiser HD 429 Creative Inspire T7900 ASUS Xonar DGX 
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NZXT Sentry LX NZXT Sleeved LED Kit | Orange 2M 
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Intel Stock Fan MAG InnoVision 770FS Logitech Internet Pro AcBel R8 PowerII 650W 80+ 
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post #10 of 83
Thread Starter 
Momentus Decisions



A number of factors have pushed me to make a rather "momentous" decision, and the numbers provided by this StorageReview.com analysis swayed me away from my habit of relying on traditional WD RE4 disks for data RAID sets:

http://www.storagereview.com/seagate_momentus_xt_750gb_review

1. Cost Effective Storage

Pricing has dropped for the Momentus which is available now for $120 with 750GB of capacity, providing a huge cost-per-gigabyte advantage over SSD hardware.

2. Higher Capacity

The latest Momentus drive offers 50 percent more capacity over its prior version, 750GB, and 50 percent more storage than most SSDs today-- unless your budget allows for $3K to purchase a 1GB SSD.

3. Good Performance

Scaling two Seagate Momentus 750GB XTs in RAID-0 just about doubles its single-drive performance, delivering nearly 240 MB/s of sequential read throughput. This matches the sequential performance I see using WD RE4 in RAID-0, although neither drive is anywhere near the 980 MB/s capability of two Samsung SSDs in RAID-0.

4. Low Power

Power consumption is lower than most SSDs and traditional disk drives, peaking at 3.7 watts during sequential reads, compared to 9+ watts for the WD RE4 2TB drive and 4.3 watts for the Samsung 840 SSD.

5. Small Size

The Momentus is a 2.5" drive, an important factor in smaller cases like the Cooler Master HAF XB, which only ships with an internal 2.5" drive cage, thereby eliminating all larger 3.5" drives. Using four Momentus XT disks maximizes limited internal capacity, providing 3TB of cage storage.

6. Nice Warranty

Seagate is offering a 5-year warranty, something rather rare in the SSD marketplace. Another advantage of the hybrid design is whenever the high-density 8GB flash chip eventually does decide to fail, the Momentus remains operational as a traditional 7K RPM hard drive, unlike SSD hardware that degrades and ultimately fails altogether.
Edited by SonicAgamemnon - 1/1/13 at 4:56am
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