Silencing the Hoover


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I have a Supermicro X9DRi-LN4+/X9DR3-LN4+ with dual Xeon® CPU E5-2630L v2 based server for my unRaid build.  It is a surplus server in a Supermicro CSE-835TQ-R920B case.  In my prior residence, I had the luxury of converting one of the closets to house all my equipment.  It was designed for power/ventilation/noise.  I'm now in a place where I can't modify any rooms and the only location to house the equipment is a closet in the master bedroom.  Needless to say, the server sounds like a hoover vacuum with asthma on steroids.  It has served me well and I am thinking to transfer the M/B and 5xWD40EFRX to a silenced case.  I'm thinking something like be quiet! Dark Base 900 might work. 


The CPU shows 60W TDP.  Currently they have a passive cooler with the custom air shroud from Supermicro.  I would intend to keep them configured as such.  I would have to change from the redundant power supplies currently in the server chassis.  I would appreciate any potential suggestions in that area.


What is your advice on the noise footprint after the conversion?  Any experience with this case or any other that might accommodate the M/B?  Any thoughts on potential roadblocks I might find?


Thanks in advance for any input.

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My main thought is the thermal performance of that case.  If using for a normal desktop it would be a good case, but for server duties it will probably fall short.  GN does the best job of case reviews and they did not review the 900, but did the Pro in both revisions, and the basic case is the same.  Considering your existing hardware with the passive CPU cooler, airflow is going to be key and that case isn't great for airflow unless you leave the front cover open.  A couple videos for you to watch that may help...


The first one will give you some options that offer good airflow.


The second one will help if you decide to stay with Dark Base 900, particularly inversion.


I would look at getting away from passive CPU cooling unless you can get enough air flow to make it work, though yours really aren't that passive with the shroud and high CFM fans.  If it were me, I would continue with your plan but choose an ATX case designed for airflow and replace the CPU coolers.  My Core X2 is designed for airflow and it is practically silent (Noctua fans).  I keep it in my audio listening room, where ambient noise is extremely quiet and I never hear the UnRaid server, even while doing a parity check and my spinning drives are 7200 rpm.

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Thanks for the info. The 5400 drives should in theory be quieter than their 7200 counterparts. Good points on the airflow. Noise and the airflow will go hand in hand. I’ll look in to active cooling on the CPUs.

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A pair of 60W CPU's probably produce less then 10W each when ticking over.

Even under load they should be easy to keep cool.


I have aE5-2660 V3 with a 3U noctua cooler, with the motherboard fan controller it's barely audible.

Active cooling is definetely needed, no way you can get enough air moving in a standard case, though you don't need all that much air, even a 600-1000 rpm fan on a cooler is likely to keep the CPU in check, though something I'd recomend something with heat pipes.


One thing to watch is that the low profile motherboards tend to expect very high fan speeds so you may have some fun getting it to do anything other than run the fans at full speed.


You could consider selling off the server and swapping to a single core E5-2660 V3 (10 core) E2-2680 V3 (12 core) as you can then use a more compact ATX board and will have less cooling requirement etc.

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