My Wall Mounted Server

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Once upon a time, in a land far far away, lived a prince who was strong, moderately nice looking and quite stupid….. :D  That’s me. Well, not a prince,  as far as I know.   And frankly not that strong either. Nice looking?  Hmmmm  

What made me think that this will be an easy project?!


I like to build computers. Built two or three for the family use. Always dreamed to build a water cooled rig. April 2016 my son complained he needed a faster gaming machine. Right about the same time I thought I could use a desktop of my own.

Up until that time a MacBook Air was enough for my needs.  Fell in love with MacOS in 2010. Since then I will never go back to Windows OS as a primary computer.

I also had a mini server bellow the TV in the living room with 2Tb raid 0 external storage for movies pictures etc, backed up to CrashPlan cloud.  Crashplan actually works very nicely. Don’t know why some people complain. Amazingly I even succeeded to restore lots of photos from it after accidental deletion. Support was great, very helpful. So I recommend.

Also thought about replacing my daughter’s desktop as well.

Anyways, why not building ONE central server for all my needs, make it a water cooled wall mounted board, have fun building it and live happily ever after?!

I even though that the cost will be lower than separate systems, which actually I think it is. Didn’t make the exact calculations though…


So I embarked on a long journey somewhere in August 2016. First things first, needed to do a lot of research on the web. How to’s, parts, tools what other people made. Etc…

Stumbled on a nice build log of a wall mounted system and though it was amazing and I was hooked.

In parallel, looked for the best options for virtualization. ESXi, Proxmox, unRAID some others. Very quickly decided that unRAID is the best fit for me. Allowed me to have virtualized desktops, use applications as Dockers, have extendable NAS with redundancy that kept the data in its native format and didn’t demand too much hands on and linux knowledge.


Started also designing the board on the Google SketchUP. BTW amazing program.


While roaming the WWW, I found out that there are lots of really cheap XEON CPUs on sale. And that was my first purchase. I bought 2x XEON E5-2670 2.6Ghz for about 150$ on eBay.

Everything else followed and complemented those two CPUs.

The motherboard, I was contemplating some Gigabyte and Asus dual CPU boards but after reading lots and lots of recommendations, I simply got tired of all the different options out there and went for the Supermicro X9Dai board.  Why? I think I made a small mistake by choosing a board without a graphic chip. Otherwise it had all the main features I needed and it had a good reputation for stability. Moreover, I’ve seen some successful Hackintosh builds with this board. For whatever reason I thought it was important to have a MOBO that I could use for OSX. With unRAID its not very important though, as it masks the HW in most part from the OS.

The board was not cheap. 450$. 

Also, people, remember that I live in the promised land of Israel. We have a beautiful country. But we are still looking for the milk and honey, as all our neighbors have the oil.

AND to ship anything to Israel add up approximately 10-15% to the total cost of anything you want to buy from outside.


RAM, I was really lucky finding a very reasonably priced 64G Samsung ECC Registered. 145$

Why 64G ? you have to have enough !!!  it’s better to pay a little extra but not finding yourself juggling with the configuration transferring memory between the VMs all the time.

And believe me I realized that, when I had to add 12GB more RAM to the GAMING VM so that the “Battlefield 1” will play right.  1-2-3 and its done. No hassle. I had enough spare and then some. And thank you unRAID team to make is so easy to do.


After making some budget calculations I have decided to postpone the water cooling part of my build to a later stage. According to my calculation the total cost would be 1000$ for the parts related to the water cooling (CPU GPU blocks, fittings, tubes radiators, reservoirs, shipment etc) And also, let’s face it, it’s my first wall mounted rig and to add on top of it my first water cooling setup would be asking for trouble.


Slowly but steadily I continued to buy stuff on eBay, Aliexpress, Amazon and other places.


Cannibalizing my old systems, I had:



-1x WD 1TB Green

 and that’s about it. All I could really use in my new system.

So I bought

- Gigabyte RX480 Gaming for my son. Coupled with LG 34UC98: 34 Class 21:9 UltraWide® WQHD IPS 

that one was really extra. Part of a deal with my son. Don’t ask….


- GTX1070 for me (made a mistake as its not working yet with OSX)

- two additional WD 4TB RED HDs

- 1x Samsung 1TB SSD EVO750 (chipper then EVO850, but in retrospect I think should have went for the 850, don’t know really, time will tell. So far the slower speeds are ok for my needs)

- PSU, EVGA 1600W Titanium, the best there is (I think). Do not save on power supply.

To have problems related to power supply is a real headache. You never really know why things fail. A system hanging or the data corruption or any other random occurrences, all can come from a faulty PSU. And good luck spending time looking for WHY…

In my case, I have 3 GPUs, 2 CPUs and 6 hard disks and a future water cooling pumps. And I want it to be silent. My EVGA DOES NOT TURN THE FAN ON. NEVER. So far.. :D

I have bought a power measuring device on the main line (220v). I can tell you that the average consumption is about 200W. since December 2016 I have a total 550KW. Which is about 80$ of electricity till today 13th April 2017.


These are the main parts. There are lots of others complementary stuff. (planning to create a parts list on

The most important ones where the PCI extension cables for the video cards as they are not positioned on the MOBO PCI slots. And I needed 3 of them. 

You know the idioms - “buy cheap, buy twice” or “cheap at twice the price” ?


That’s me. :S

I thought I could save some money and went and bought some modDIY riser shielded cables 30cm and 19cm to daisy-chain them together. For 75$ a pair.

To make the story short, if anyone will need to buy raiser PCI cables , go for the 3M brand. Nothing else works. 100$ each cable. But it just works.


I thought I would have problems with the HDMI long 10m and 15m cables. And the USB extension cables.  But the Cabernet Ultra CL2 Active High Speed HDMI Cables work great.  3440x1440 resolution with all gaming settings set to high works great.  The mouse and keyboard control without lagging with a simple MADE in CHINA USB over RJ45 over cat6 cables.


My current unRAID configuration has:

- OSX Sierra VM for my daily use. Utilizing the GTX560Ti for now.  Thanks to gridrunner for his really excellent guides !!! :x

And what a nice and wonderful thing it is when I can simply add 8Gb more RAM to the OSX so that the VMware Fusion running nested windows VM will feel nice and worm. Plus some extra CPU cores to have a complete Nirvana.


- Windows VM for my son’s Gaming using the pass-through RX480 GPU.  And he can switch it on if its down via WOL add-on using his mobile app. Fantastic.


- Windows VM for desktop use for my daughter. She is supposed to use the GTX1070. But at this time the board is RMA in USA :S .   my fault.  Never play with molex power cables while its still “hot” plugged, powered and working.  Well now its not.:$ Waiting for the card to be sent back.


- Windows Ultra-Light install VM (1.5GB disk space windows 10 install for the PRTG networking monitoring setup.


- Ubuntu VM to have the Virt-Manager running. Makes the configuration of passing through devices to VMs really easy.  And also its VNC client works when the noVNC in unRAID doesn’t.  I am really would love to see a Docker with the virtManager working. Does NOT work for me. Yet.O.o


- Docker with CrashPlan

- Docker with Emby Media Server

- Docker with Krusader file manager, although I am using MC via the terminal ssh access.

- Docker with NextCloud cloud database. Something new. Want to make all the family  mobile phones backups.

- Docker with PrinterCUPS.  Great stuff. Print server for every computer in the house being able to use one printer located in my small office room.  Didnt find how to use the HP printer SCANNER in the same networked setup yet.

- Docker with delugeVPN torrent downloader.

- Dynamix SSD TRIM Plugin

- Dynamix System information Plugin

- Dynamix System statistics Plugin

- Fix Common Problems Plugin

- Libvirt Hotplug USB Plugin

- Nerd Tools Plugin

- Preclear Disks Plugin

- Speedtest command Line Tool Plugin

- Tips and Tweaks Plugin

- Unassigned Devices Plugin

- unRaid DVB Edition Plugin (needed it to play with passing through firewire on board device)

- unRAID Server OS Plugin  (duhhh…xD:D )

- User Scripts Plugin (AutoVMsBackup, icon download and sync, USBportscripts, vm settings backup)

- Virtual Machine Wake On Lan Plugin



some pictures


58f1076ee8189_2017-01-1514_46_46-resized.jpg.3c91388833abe7040b7fa2ec610c0bee.jpgThey were watching too...


Edited by dadarara
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Wow! Amazing. So glad you included your story. I like how you explained your whole working VM setup, learned a bit more about it. Liked that you included a picture of the mess during testing, people don't usually post those. One request, do you have any pictures of the cabling? I assume you basically just extended the ports on the motherboard so all connections were made at the end there. Also, I assume those displays are for temperature. What are you using for them?


I love that fact that having everything mounted like that makes it extremely easy to work on. Don't have to take any covers off and different components don't get in the way. And it looks so clean of a setup.


Really wanted to upgrade to the same type CPUs but it looks like I missed the boat a bit on the good prices and I still can't afford to do it at the moment. Your whole build is inspirational. Would really like to build something this beautiful in the future.


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unfortunately, I didnt take the picture of the back of the board.  will do that the next time I will take it off.  but it is a mess. reasonably controlled mess. but a mess it is.

the temperature units are Hot Digital LCD Thermometer Meter Tester Temperature Gauge PC Car Mod C/F

they measure the temp NEAR the CPUs, GPUs, Hard disks and the water in the future etc.  not something to rely on or have an alarm. it just looks nice.


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A mess is to be expected. It's nice that you can hide all the mess with how you have this built, another advantage of this design.

Expected as much but it does add to the overall look and gives you some general temperatures at a glance.

I forgot to ask what you are using for the ultra light win 10 VM. I was looking for exactly that just a few days ago. Most I found was Server 2016, win 10 LTB and using nlite to strip the stock win 10 iso. (haven't used it since win xp).

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20 hours ago, bnevets27 said:

A mess is to be expected. It's nice that you can hide all the mess with how you have this built, another advantage of this design.

Expected as much but it does add to the overall look and gives you some general temperatures at a glance.

I forgot to ask what you are using for the ultra light win 10 VM. I was looking for exactly that just a few days ago. Most I found was Server 2016, win 10 LTB and using nlite to strip the stock win 10 iso. (haven't used it since win xp).

Sent from my SM-N900W8 using Tapatalk

downloaded the iso from  . O.o. look for windows 10 ultra 

Edited by trurl
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1 hour ago, beire said:

Nice build! Where did you get the long pci-e extension cables? I like those... :)

bought it on  look for 3M riser PCI cable. 

3M are the best. shielded.  no interference. no need to lower the PCI speed like other cables.

dont even think about anything else.


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Hey just so you aware, incase you weren't, the GTX 100 series cards have OSX drivers now. I have an almost identical build to you, 10.12.4 Sierra, dual e5-2670 with a gtx1080, 64GB ram, pcie-ssd, ssd etc. Not on the wall tho :P. If you plug the GTX 100 series in download the driver first and then you need to use the second display port to get HDMI audio. I have a display port to hdmi convertor. Have fun :) 

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Hi all

thanks for the comments.


the board is about 2m above my desk. so no one is touching.  in principle there is no problem to touch any of the electronic parts as they are coated with protective lacquer (usually).  the problem might be "the fingers in the fans" though and touching the pci connector pins .  anyhow,  the biggest problem is to blow air on it once a day or two to clean the dust away.  truthfully I forget sometimes. 

But to compare to a closed case, there  is actually less dust. In the closed case the fans suck it in and it accumulates there. on an open board like mine, it doesnt.


Regarding the GTX1070  I have. well its RMA. had to send it to California USA for replacement. But it turned even to a longer story when the UPS lost the newly sent card. So now I am in negotiations with Gigabyte ... 



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  • 5 years later...

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