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Building Quad-core Xeon 4650 server... Case, fans, and power supply?

Hi all,

I am working on a "home" server to use as a compute server (running large parallelized computational workloads, 24/7). I have 4 Intel Xeon E5-4650 CPUs (8 cores each, 130W TDP each), and a SuperMicro X9qri-F+ motherboard. I also have 96GB of DDR3 ECC RAM for this motherboard from cloudninjas.
I don't have much use for storage and at the moment won't be looking to upgrade my RAM much more (though of course I have the massive motherboard with 32 RAM slots, with available Supermicro cases coming with 24 drive bays). I have one 2TB 3.5 inch (Seagate FireCuda SSHD) drive, and that should be enough.
I don't have any need for a GPU: assume I will be connecting to this server over Ethernet and ssh'ing in to run jobs.

As for cooling, I have four Noctua i4 NH-U12DXi4 coming, as they have the thin-ILM LGA2011 mounts.

My questions are:
1. Can I get a case for this beast of a motherboard that doesn't cost a ton? I don't want to spend more than a 100 hundred dollars on a case (there's now way I'm spending more for a case than a CPU). If I get a case, do I need case fans?
2. Most of the power supply calculators are telling me I can get an 850W power supply. I would prefer to stay under 900 Watts so this is good. Can I use the Corsair RMX 850W CP-9020093-NA, a Gold Plus PSU? Does it depend on the case? If I buy a case, will it possibly come with a power supply? It looks like the available Supermicro cases come with a power supply of 1000 Watts and are extremely expensive.

Also, if anyone has any tips on building a quad-socket server, or any tips on dealing with the x9qri-f+ motherboard, or any tips at all, they would be welcome!

Thanks!!
Reply to mdenton8
8 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about building quad core xeon 4650 server case fans power supply
  1. You need a power supply that has four EPS12v connections. That will be a rare beast.

    You will have to run Linux or Windows Server. Windows desktop is limited to two sockets.
    Reply to kanewolf
  2. Hi kanewolf, thanks for the answer and advice. I'm assuming the 4 EPS12V connections are for the 4 cpus? Do you know of any PSU that isn't ridiculously expensive?

    And are any more PSU connections necessary, or just the four EPS12V? How do I power the other components?
    Reply to mdenton8
  3. It's a proprietary form factor Mobo, so only Super Micro's own cases can mount it:

    https://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/Xeon/C600/X9QRi-F_.cfm

    And unless you want to rack mount it, this is the only Tower chasis:
    https://www.supermicro.com/products/chassis/4u/748/SC748TQ-R1K43B
    It comes with a 1200-1400W 80+ platinum PSU though at least.

    You're trying to build a really high end specialized server, and trying to go cheap on it. That aint gonna happen, especially if you haven't done your research properly and already bought things before knowing everything you need to buy first.

    All this stuff is going to be extremely expensive.

    This is what your completed server would look like:
    https://www.supermicro.com/products/system/4U/8047/SYS-8047R-TRF_.cfm
    Reply to James Mason
  4. James Mason said:
    It's a proprietary form factor Mobo, so only Super Micro's own cases can mount it:

    https://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/Xeon/C600/X9QRi-F_.cfm

    And unless you want to rack mount it, this is the only Tower chasis:
    https://www.supermicro.com/products/chassis/4u/748/SC748TQ-R1K43B
    It comes with a 1200-1400W 80+ platinum PSU though at least.

    You're trying to build a really high end specialized server, and trying to go cheap on it. That aint gonna happen, especially if you haven't done your research properly and already bought things before knowing everything you need to buy first.

    All this stuff is going to be extremely expensive.

    This is what your completed server would look like:
    https://www.supermicro.com/products/system/4U/8047/SYS-8047R-TRF_.cfm


    Right, I figured that would be the case: things would blow up. However, I already have all the main components pretty cheap except the PSU. My question is really whether I even need a case. I have no problem just leaving it all hanging out. And there is no way to mount it in any large case?
    Reply to mdenton8
  5. Best answer
    mdenton8 said:
    James Mason said:
    It's a proprietary form factor Mobo, so only Super Micro's own cases can mount it:

    https://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/Xeon/C600/X9QRi-F_.cfm

    And unless you want to rack mount it, this is the only Tower chasis:
    https://www.supermicro.com/products/chassis/4u/748/SC748TQ-R1K43B
    It comes with a 1200-1400W 80+ platinum PSU though at least.

    You're trying to build a really high end specialized server, and trying to go cheap on it. That aint gonna happen, especially if you haven't done your research properly and already bought things before knowing everything you need to buy first.

    All this stuff is going to be extremely expensive.

    This is what your completed server would look like:
    https://www.supermicro.com/products/system/4U/8047/SYS-8047R-TRF_.cfm


    Right, I figured that would be the case: things would blow up. However, I already have all the main components pretty cheap except the PSU. My question is really whether I even need a case. I have no problem just leaving it all hanging out. And there is no way to mount it in any large case?


    Unless you want to fabricate your own case, or do alot of custom work on an already built case. Gonna need a lot of powertools and an area to do some work in.
    The problem is certain parts of it may overheat if they don't get airflow, besides just the CPUs.
    For a system that's going to be running 24/7 you definitely don't want to cheap out on the PSU, and while the RMX is a fine PSU, this is still kind of above and beyond what you may expect from it.

    There's a reason these servers have like 2-3 backup PSUs as well.

    These CPU's retailed for like $3.5k new so... if you bought them used or something, they may have been worn down pretty hard.
    Reply to James Mason
  6. James Mason said:
    mdenton8 said:
    James Mason said:
    It's a proprietary form factor Mobo, so only Super Micro's own cases can mount it:

    https://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/Xeon/C600/X9QRi-F_.cfm

    And unless you want to rack mount it, this is the only Tower chasis:
    https://www.supermicro.com/products/chassis/4u/748/SC748TQ-R1K43B
    It comes with a 1200-1400W 80+ platinum PSU though at least.

    You're trying to build a really high end specialized server, and trying to go cheap on it. That aint gonna happen, especially if you haven't done your research properly and already bought things before knowing everything you need to buy first.

    All this stuff is going to be extremely expensive.

    This is what your completed server would look like:
    https://www.supermicro.com/products/system/4U/8047/SYS-8047R-TRF_.cfm


    Right, I figured that would be the case: things would blow up. However, I already have all the main components pretty cheap except the PSU. My question is really whether I even need a case. I have no problem just leaving it all hanging out. And there is no way to mount it in any large case?


    Unless you want to fabricate your own case, or do alot of custom work on an already built case. Gonna need a lot of powertools and an area to do some work in.
    The problem is certain parts of it may overheat if they don't get airflow, besides just the CPUs.
    For a system that's going to be running 24/7 you definitely don't want to cheap out on the PSU, and while the RMX is a fine PSU, this is still kind of above and beyond what you may expect from it.

    There's a reason these servers have like 2-3 backup PSUs as well.

    These CPU's retailed for like $3.5k new so... if you bought them used or something, they may have been worn down pretty hard.


    Yes I certainly bought the CPUs used, but most used parts buyers assure me that Intel CPUs are very durable and can run at high load for a decade... I'm certainly prepared for at least one of them not to work, though.

    Right. I ended up going with a Seasonic 1000W Platinum. If it conks out, it's unlikely to damage my components, right? Data loss is not a big deal to me.

    As for the fans, if I just run a couple fans across the components, will that be adequate?
    Reply to mdenton8
  7. Eh, depends. airflow is kinda wierd, or really it's not if you know your science.
    As air heats up it rises, so that means "a couple of fans" may not be enough.
    or you'll have to position them properly, but that's harder without a case.
    Reply to James Mason
  8. James Mason said:
    Eh, depends. airflow is kinda wierd, or really it's not if you know your science.
    As air heats up it rises, so that means "a couple of fans" may not be enough.
    or you'll have to position them properly, but that's harder without a case.


    In the end, it cost about $2100 for the entire build (quad Xeon E5-4650s), which has been running 24/7 for a couple weeks now. Avoiding the case has been fine, and just running the CPU fans + 1 extra fan for airflow has also been fine.
    Reply to mdenton8
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