VOGONS


First post, by chinny22

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I have 3 of these which were basically CCTV DVR's in a restaurant chain.
Smaller restaurants had these larger restaurants used PowerEdge R710 servers also rebadged.
Why they used 2 socket systems I don't know, the 2nd was never populated.
This PC's configuration at the time was
CPU x1 E5506 @ 2.13GHz
RAM: 4GB
Video: Quadro FX 580
HDD x2 250GB
OS: Downgraded to WinXP x64 later upgraded back up to Win7 to match rest of the restaurants.

about 5 years ago it became cheaper to replace these with actual DVR units while upgrading to HD camera's so these sat in my storage unit somewhat unloved.
That was till last year when I had a crazy idea. I've got a XP build based on a pair of GTX590's, why not try out AMD side of things.
HD7990's were supposed to be the last dual GPU cards with XP support so kept an eye on ebay lost many bids but eventually got them for just under £65 each which is what I decided was as high as I would go.
I can't remember what I paid for the CPU raiser card as got that 5 years ago, I think it was something like £75.

Now this build is far from a smooth process
Firstly power, 2 CPU's 2 spinning rust HDD's bunch of ram, this was never going to be a low power PC but think adding 2 HD7990's may be asking a lot of the standard 875w PSU. Not to mention not having enough connectors for 4 PCIe for video, and another 3 for HDD, Optical, FDD and just make matters more complicated the CPU raiser uses a special power connection.
Then I thought how do bitcoin miners do it as this would have made a great mining PC back in the day and found the "add2psu" adapters. I had a Corsair RM750i in a dead Win9x build so grabbed that.
It runs the 2 graphics cards and 2 Noctua 80MM fans, everything else is off the Dell PSU, as a bonus I can plug the Corsair USB monitoring cable into the motherboards internal USB port.

2nd problem space.
Dell really optimised space with this been as tall as a standard PC and even a bit slimmer. The graphics cards on the other hand are not small.
The bottom card blocks the airflow cover that's supposed to go over the ram, I'm hoping the 2 exhaust fans I've mounted help with this.
I also wasn't comfortable having the 2 cards directly next to each other. This does mean 1 card is on the x16 lane and other on the x8, not optimal at all!
I also wanted to install a PCI Audigy card I had spare but thats now blocked so have to make do with onboard sound but not like I'm missing out on EAX in Win7
and what I didn't find out till the very end, I cant close the case, the PCIe power cables stick out too far 🤣! so guess that helps with airflow now as well.

Software is also fighting me but for now will leave some pics

That IP is left over from it's work days, but reminds me which site it came from
Front.jpg

I ran the cables though a open card slot BEFORE realising I couldn't close the damn thing!
Back.jpg

Inside.jpg

Reply 1 of 12, by foey

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I do like these DELLs, I'm running a T5600 (Sandy Bridge era of Xeon) as my File Server. It's been fantastic.

Do you know what the power draw from the system under load? How is the heat?

Also, we need benchmarks 😀

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Reply 3 of 12, by texterted

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Plus you don't need any room heating, well when I say room, probably the whole house! 😁

Cheers

Ted

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Reply 4 of 12, by matze79

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Nice Electricity meter Benchmark 😀

i also have Dual X5670s 12 Cores @ 24 Threads at 2,93Ghz with 48Gb RAM

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Reply 5 of 12, by H3nrik V!

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So, I don't understand the CPU config with riser card etc fully. Would you mind elaborating on that? Maybe more pics to clarify? 😀

Great build, though! More sockets, more threads B-)

Please use the "quote" option if asking questions to what I write - it will really up the chances of me noticing 😀

Reply 6 of 12, by chinny22

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H3nrik V! wrote on 2021-02-23, 21:52:

So, I don't understand the CPU config with riser card etc fully. Would you mind elaborating on that? Maybe more pics to clarify? 😀

Great build, though! More sockets, more threads B-)

So this is the riser without CPU, RAM, cooling attached, Those 2 white rectangles attach to the motherboard.

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And this is the motherboard. You can see the connectors so the raiser would be above the chipset fan

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In the pic in my original post the ram and fan under the graphics cards is the raiser in its completed form
Hope that makes sense?

Benchmarks to come, I'm still installing/reinstalling the OS trying to get XP to work
HD7990 in WinXP?
Failing that what do people use for Win7 era stuff?

Heat wise it doesn't seem to cook the room as quickly as my single X3320 running a pair of GTX590's, but then I'm not pushing it hard yet either.
I've nothing to measure how much power this is eating up accept next months bill, my ignorance in this area is probably for best.

Reply 7 of 12, by pentiumspeed

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HP Z6x0 series is done same way. But I have same motherboard without 2nd processor connector in Z420 since I do not need dual CPU. Plus this method using 2nd processor module is pure profit and adds very small memory as well. Typcially motherboard with this feature (with optional 2nd CPU module) only have 4 slots memory instead of 8 and the 2nd module processor has 2 slots (I'm not referring to the early processor). For best value is either 1 processor workstation due to 8 slots ram or true dual socket workstation for example Z8x0. If mine was Z420, go for Z820 or jump to newer Z440 or Z840 using DDR4 modules and better processors choices.

The in-between workstations 1 socket and 2 socket via 2nd processor module like this is bad investment. But for collector's fun, as long as this is cheap, what the heck? 😀

Cheers,

Great Northern aka Canada.

Reply 8 of 12, by H3nrik V!

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chinny22 wrote on 2021-02-24, 16:59:
So this is the riser without CPU, RAM, cooling attached, Those 2 white rectangles attach to the motherboard. f623f.jpg […]
Show full quote
H3nrik V! wrote on 2021-02-23, 21:52:

So, I don't understand the CPU config with riser card etc fully. Would you mind elaborating on that? Maybe more pics to clarify? 😀

Great build, though! More sockets, more threads B-)

So this is the riser without CPU, RAM, cooling attached, Those 2 white rectangles attach to the motherboard.
f623f.jpg

And this is the motherboard. You can see the connectors so the raiser would be above the chipset fan
MB.jpg

In the pic in my original post the ram and fan under the graphics cards is the raiser in its completed form
Hope that makes sense?

Benchmarks to come, I'm still installing/reinstalling the OS trying to get XP to work
HD7990 in WinXP?
Failing that what do people use for Win7 era stuff?

Heat wise it doesn't seem to cook the room as quickly as my single X3320 running a pair of GTX590's, but then I'm not pushing it hard yet either.
I've nothing to measure how much power this is eating up accept next months bill, my ignorance in this area is probably for best.

Thanks for the pictures, all clear now 😀 that's pretty cool and nothing I've seen before. I could've easily missed that that was a cpu connector

Please use the "quote" option if asking questions to what I write - it will really up the chances of me noticing 😀

Reply 9 of 12, by chinny22

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pentiumspeed wrote on 2021-02-24, 17:48:

HP Z6x0 series is done same way. But I have same motherboard without 2nd processor connector in Z420 since I do not need dual CPU. Plus this method using 2nd processor module is pure profit and adds very small memory as well. Typcially motherboard with this feature (with optional 2nd CPU module) only have 4 slots memory instead of 8 and the 2nd module processor has 2 slots (I'm not referring to the early processor). For best value is either 1 processor workstation due to 8 slots ram or true dual socket workstation for example Z8x0. If mine was Z420, go for Z820 or jump to newer Z440 or Z840 using DDR4 modules and better processors choices.

The in-between workstations 1 socket and 2 socket via 2nd processor module like this is bad investment. But for collector's fun, as long as this is cheap, what the heck? 😀

Cheers,

I doubt many computers upgrade to a 2nd CPU by the original owner anyway. If your ordering a workstation over a standard PC then it'll be for a specific task and if that task benefits from multiple threads then that's what you'll prioritise.
With all that said and if it was my money I'd probably go with something with proper sockets as well, but the whole raiser thing does make it interesting.

Reply 10 of 12, by brt02

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I can imagine Dell offering the riser as a complete unit with CPU, cooler and RAM pre-installed. Does make for an easier upgrade for the end user if needed (read faster/ less downtime)

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Reply 11 of 12, by chinny22

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brt02 wrote on 2021-03-02, 12:24:

I can imagine Dell offering the riser as a complete unit with CPU, cooler and RAM pre-installed. Does make for an easier upgrade for the end user if needed (read faster/ less downtime)

I'm sure they did, maybe not pre installed but all the parts and that's a good point. You can fit the CPU/RAM before hand and simply slide the raiser in.

Reply 12 of 12, by chinny22

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So few weeks living with this freak and I'm impressed.
I did have some graphics card problems but they seem happy after swapping the cards round.
As part of my troubleshooting before this I downgraded to the final Win7 Catalyst drivers, I'm so over reinstalling windows I'm not brave enough to try new drivers just yet but sure it'll be fine.
I've only 2 games that don't work in in XP. C&C Remastered and Farming Simulator 19 both work fine at max settings (this build was always about the hardware then performance anyway)
I also got really lucky and decommissioned a pair of HP DL380 Gen8 at work last week. I like old servers but only if they can run Windows 2003 or lower which these can't. What they did have though was lots and lots of ram! so grabbed enough 8GB DDR3-12800R sticks to max out both my T5500's and still have a bit left over 😀

So final hardware spec for this is
CPU x2 E5504 2.0GHZ (downgraded as didn't have a 2nd E5506 the 2 E5504's come form 2 different R710s in storage)
RAM: x9 sticks of 8GB maxing it to its supported 72GB, stupid amount and drops speed down to 800Mhz but damn it looks sexy!
PSU: x2 1 875w Dell, 1 Corsair RM750i
Video: x2 HD7990, 1 HIS and 1 XFX branded
HDD: x2 500GB Seagate ST3500418AS
DVD: Whatever it shipped with
FDD: Gotek
Sound: Onboard AC97, Sounds fine just don't compare it side by side to better options.

And most surprising of all it's not trying to cook me alive, not that I've really pushed it hard yet but a couple hrs of gaming then few more at idle I wouldn't say its any worse then other PC's I've got.