Keith C. Perry on 7 Feb 2019 17:50:50 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] How to Quiet a Server for Desktop Use?

Fan, fans, fans...  that's so 2010.  If you really, REALLY want to get what you want.  You're going to have to go full immersion with a custom enclosure (and heat piping).

No noise, no heat, just power...

(and a whole lot of oil)

Here's a starting point

If you wanna really be high tech though, you swap out the mineral oil for Sapphire (Novec 1230)   :D


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Keith C. Perry, MS E.E.
Managing Member, DAO Technologies LLC
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(M) +1.215.432.5167

From: "Chris Thistlethwaite" <>
To: "Philadelphia Linux User's Group Discussion List" <>
Sent: Thursday, February 7, 2019 8:28:54 PM
Subject: Re: [PLUG] How to Quiet a Server for Desktop Use?

Yeah it wouldn't be pretty, especially if it's not a standard board size.

Depending on the layout, hardware/software config, etc you could replace the smaller fans with blower fans. Now that I think of it, pretty much all my suggestions are going to be some sort of mod that you're going to have to work around. Servers are designed to be loud, cause who cares? they are in a big ass room with lots of dedicated cooling. So you're going to have to work around that type of design. For instance, the fans are all controlled and monitored by the motherboard. If you open the case, intrusion detection goes off and the fans spin up to 100% cause they think shit has gone sideways and things need to stay cool. If you were to put in resistors, there's a good chance that the fans won't spin at the right RPM or cool enough, and the monitoring will go bananas trying to figure out wtf just happened. Don't try to fight the system.

If you're going to set it up as a lab machine, then using a thin client to connect to it is a great idea. I'm not 100% sure but I think Proxmox does GPU passthrough. So you could have a very basic host running at your desk, then a VM running in Proxmox on that IBM server with a nice graphics card and take advantage of it.

Have fun!
-Chris T.

On Thu, Feb 7, 2019 at 7:55 PM Casey Bralla <> wrote:

Not sure how to put it in a tower case, since the Motherboard is definitely built for a server configuration.  Luckily, the whole thing only draws about 200 watts, which is just a little more than my current desktop.

Obviously, this is more of a "hack-a-day" kind of project for me, but potentially, it could be pretty cool!

On 2/7/19 7:52 PM, Chris Thistlethwaite wrote:
Pull it apart and put it in a tower case. 

You can also check the bios to see if it has an eco mode or something similar. 

Depending on the age/model, you could also be running up your electric bill. 

I have a few servers running in my homelab. So I'm not trying to discourage you from doing it. 

-Chris T. 

On Thu, Feb 7, 2019, 7:45 PM Casey Bralla < wrote:
My company was disposing of an old IBM server and I was able to pick it
up rather than have it get recycled.  The thing has 2 Xeon processors,
24 GBytes of RAM, and 1.3 TBytes of RAID disk space. I'm thinking I
might want to put a PCIx graphics card in it and use it as a desktop. 
I'm very curious to see how long it would take to compile a Gentoo kernel.

Except for the NOISE.

The 3 fans in this beast sound like a hurricane.  Anybody got any
suggestions on how to quiet the noise?

My thoughts so far:

1.  Put resistors in series with the fan power wires to slow down the
fans.  (It'll get hotter, but I'm not pushing it much anyway)

2.  Muffle the darn thing in some type of enclosure.  (The thing is
gigantic and LONG, so an enclosure would be even bigger and clunkier.)

3.  Put it in the basement and use my desktop as a remote terminal. 
(But this would probably screw my plans for multiple monitors.)

Anybody got any suggestions?


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