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A Xaser Reborn.

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Three weeks ago, a friend sold me an old thermaltake Xaser III. It was in good condition, a bit dusty, but sadly entirely equipped with crappy and noisy 8cm fans. I had to do something!



The case was the non-windowed version, in all it's 2002 glory. Still, it had much potential to pull through.


To begin, I drilled through all the rivets of the top and bottom panels, removing them from the case. After printing a 120mm drill pattern (50x 7mm holes 7,2° apart from each other) I center-punched all the holes with an hard steel tool. I have great patience, and so I drilled the 100 holes through the steel, creating a discretely precise circle. Then, I buffed off the excess tooths remaining from the drilling with an angle grinder. You might ask why I didn't buy an hole saw... Well, a good Ridgid 114mm saw + centering bit is ~65-70€ in a local shop, so I decided to skip it and work longer.



So the final result has been quite good, no ragged edges, I finished the top panel with some matte black spray paint and it feels good enough.



I cannot call this a bad result. The back fan was done in a bit more of a unrefined manner, just hacking an octagon through the back panel and punching the four screw holes. Still, after mounting a pair of silent Arctic cooling fans, the result is more than OK. The top usb/firewire/audio panel has later been removed and covered out, I'll most likely apply something underneath and level the holes. I still need to receive a couple fan grills I ordered from HK, which will complete the whole thing.

While I was working on the case, I spotted on a local IT forum a sale for an used Asrock X79 Extreme6 board. I had such a product in my mind for some time, having seen how cheap some LGA-2011 xeons are selling. I bought it, for a meager 130€ shipped.

So, the motherboard found its place in the new case.




As I bought the motherboard, I checked eBay for what it had to offer in terms of used server parts. I found a Xeon SB-E E5-1620V1 from Germany for ~60€, which came in the mail a few days later. The same day I ordered the cpu, I also did pick some ECC Registered ram sticks prior to discovering my mainboard "supposedly" isn't compatible with ECC-reg, only unbuffered memory is officially supported. Still, having bought 16Gb DDR3-1333 for 27€, I decided to try things out for the heck of it, just to see if it would be stable and reliable, or if it would even boot.

As video card I continued to use my old-ish Sapphire HD7950 vapor-x dual fan, which has performed well for a few years.

So, I placed my Hyper212+ on the new xeon, reset the bios, and tried to boot. Ram hadn't come in yet, so I used some corsair vengeance I had around from my previous build. After a quick windows 10 install, I was almost ready.

And then, it was time to see where this cpu could go. I firstly tried to undervolt it as much as possible to archive stability at stock clocks

xeon_1620.PNG

And it wasn't bad at all, It could hold 3.6/3.8Ghz stock frequency at 1.1-1.125V. A good starting point to pull the thing's head as far as I could get. So it began... So, I hit 4.25 GHz easily with 1.2V, 1.225 for best stability. Temperature were still good, under 65°C in prime95.



Then, it was time to hit 4.5GHz. This cpu has promise in itself, so I pushed it, as one is expected to do. and it did it on 1.304V, not much more than before.

So I decided to push it to the limit on air cooling, bump the voltage up to 1.36V, switch up the bus to 125MHz and see what I could do. Highest clock, 4,625 Ghz stable air-cooled, but ~80°C under prime.



For daily use, i reverted back to 4.25GHz / 1.225V, a good compromise between raw power and decent heat output.

And, for those who ask, the mainboard has shown full compatibility with the ecc-registed memories Asrock had declared incompatible on their website. Running them now, stable as a rock.


Overall, this has been a quite lucky build, as I have spent only ~220€ for all the base blocks on a machine which runs like a trooper! The old parts (Phenom II, ram and motherboard) were sold for ~100€, making this a 120€ upgrade in the end, worth every penny spent.
Edited by Andrea87 - 10/3/16 at 9:51pm
Xeon
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Xeon E5-1650 Asrock X79 Extreme6 Sapphire HD7950 3GB Samsung ECC Registered DDR3-1333 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Western Digital Caviar Green Crucial MX300 275GB Hyper 212+ Windows 10 Enterprise X64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Asus VW266H Logitech G110 Enermax Modu82+ 525w Thermaltake Xaser III 
MouseMouse PadAudioAudio
Logitech performance MX Steelseries  Asus Xonar Dx  Sennheiser HD558 
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Xeon
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Xeon E5-1650 Asrock X79 Extreme6 Sapphire HD7950 3GB Samsung ECC Registered DDR3-1333 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Western Digital Caviar Green Crucial MX300 275GB Hyper 212+ Windows 10 Enterprise X64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Asus VW266H Logitech G110 Enermax Modu82+ 525w Thermaltake Xaser III 
MouseMouse PadAudioAudio
Logitech performance MX Steelseries  Asus Xonar Dx  Sennheiser HD558 
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post #2 of 5
noice one
Ol'Faithful
(11 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Xeon x5660 P6X58D-E XFX AMD Radeon R9 280X Corsair Vengeance 24 GB Triple Chanel 6x4GB 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Lite-On DVD-RW Noctua DH-14 CPU Cooler Windows 7 Pro x64 Samsung 24" LED 1080p 5ms DVI (S23A300B) 
PowerMouseAudio
Thermaltake Toughpower 750W Gold Corsair M95 Onboard :S 
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Ol'Faithful
(11 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Xeon x5660 P6X58D-E XFX AMD Radeon R9 280X Corsair Vengeance 24 GB Triple Chanel 6x4GB 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Lite-On DVD-RW Noctua DH-14 CPU Cooler Windows 7 Pro x64 Samsung 24" LED 1080p 5ms DVI (S23A300B) 
PowerMouseAudio
Thermaltake Toughpower 750W Gold Corsair M95 Onboard :S 
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post #3 of 5
cutting a 140mm hole with a drill would take some serious patience.

understand that a 140mm hole saw would be a bit extravagant for the few times you would use it, but a nibbler is only about $12
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
phenom ii x6 1100t gigabyte ga990fxa ud5 gigabyte 480gtx gigabyte 480gtx 
GraphicsRAMHard DriveHard Drive
evga 480gtx corsair vengence ddr3 1600 ocz agility 3 sdd ocz agility 3 sdd 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
maxtor hdd asus blu-ray reader/burner xspc ex360 rad (x2)  swiftec mcp655 pump w/bitspower pump kit and v2... 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
laing d5 pump w/bitspower pump kit and v2 pump top heatkiller cpu block koolance nv480gtx full vga blocks ek northbridge block 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
lamptron fc5 bitspower 150 black ice reservoir vista ultimate 64 bit asus s248h-p hdmi led 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
acer x183h acer x183h corsair k60 mechanical silverstone strider 1000 silver 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
corsair 500r corsair m60 func 1030 archetype creative x-fi xtreme gamer 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
phenom ii x6 1100t gigabyte ga990fxa ud5 gigabyte 480gtx gigabyte 480gtx 
GraphicsRAMHard DriveHard Drive
evga 480gtx corsair vengence ddr3 1600 ocz agility 3 sdd ocz agility 3 sdd 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
maxtor hdd asus blu-ray reader/burner xspc ex360 rad (x2)  swiftec mcp655 pump w/bitspower pump kit and v2... 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
laing d5 pump w/bitspower pump kit and v2 pump top heatkiller cpu block koolance nv480gtx full vga blocks ek northbridge block 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
lamptron fc5 bitspower 150 black ice reservoir vista ultimate 64 bit asus s248h-p hdmi led 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
acer x183h acer x183h corsair k60 mechanical silverstone strider 1000 silver 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
corsair 500r corsair m60 func 1030 archetype creative x-fi xtreme gamer 
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post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Well, drilling a 120mm fan hole that way is not that much of a pain, provided you have a drill press and have center punched the hole locations.

I didn't think about a nibbler, went straight to the multiple hole approach.
Edited by Andrea87 - 10/3/16 at 9:58pm
Xeon
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Xeon E5-1650 Asrock X79 Extreme6 Sapphire HD7950 3GB Samsung ECC Registered DDR3-1333 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Western Digital Caviar Green Crucial MX300 275GB Hyper 212+ Windows 10 Enterprise X64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Asus VW266H Logitech G110 Enermax Modu82+ 525w Thermaltake Xaser III 
MouseMouse PadAudioAudio
Logitech performance MX Steelseries  Asus Xonar Dx  Sennheiser HD558 
  hide details  
Reply
Xeon
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Xeon E5-1650 Asrock X79 Extreme6 Sapphire HD7950 3GB Samsung ECC Registered DDR3-1333 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Western Digital Caviar Green Crucial MX300 275GB Hyper 212+ Windows 10 Enterprise X64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Asus VW266H Logitech G110 Enermax Modu82+ 525w Thermaltake Xaser III 
MouseMouse PadAudioAudio
Logitech performance MX Steelseries  Asus Xonar Dx  Sennheiser HD558 
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post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
So, today I swapped the E5-1620 for an E5-1650, and decided to take a pic of the finished build...



Some things are still to be fixed, I am waiting for the friend who sold me the case to give me the tool-less rails, meanwhile I locked in the hard drives with neoprene tape and some wood to hold them down... Quite drastic, but works well and holds noise down quite a bit.
Xeon
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Xeon E5-1650 Asrock X79 Extreme6 Sapphire HD7950 3GB Samsung ECC Registered DDR3-1333 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Western Digital Caviar Green Crucial MX300 275GB Hyper 212+ Windows 10 Enterprise X64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Asus VW266H Logitech G110 Enermax Modu82+ 525w Thermaltake Xaser III 
MouseMouse PadAudioAudio
Logitech performance MX Steelseries  Asus Xonar Dx  Sennheiser HD558 
  hide details  
Reply
Xeon
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Xeon E5-1650 Asrock X79 Extreme6 Sapphire HD7950 3GB Samsung ECC Registered DDR3-1333 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Western Digital Caviar Green Crucial MX300 275GB Hyper 212+ Windows 10 Enterprise X64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Asus VW266H Logitech G110 Enermax Modu82+ 525w Thermaltake Xaser III 
MouseMouse PadAudioAudio
Logitech performance MX Steelseries  Asus Xonar Dx  Sennheiser HD558 
  hide details  
Reply
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