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Mechanic's Super Computer!

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Mechanic_2

New Member
Joined
May 13, 2016
Hello all,
. . . . Well I have started a thread on a new computer that I am building. I call it my SuperComputer. I am new to this Forum, new to Liquid Cooling, and new to OverClocking. Here is some history and background on myself and what I am trying to accomplish. I have been fooling around with technology and electronics since I was about 4 years old. Of course at that age I only managed to take things apart. My poor dad. :)

. . . . By the time I was 13 or 14 I was actually putting things back together. I still couldn't fix stuff but I was learning. At about 16 years old I managed to repair a small 2 cycle engine. Yes, it ran. In high school I was introduced to BASIC programming. At 19 I repaired my first Wankel engine and I was hooked on working on cars. That became my career path. In 5 years I became a Certified Master Automobile Technician and I maintained that certification for over 30 years. I was about 24 at the time. This would be 1979.

. . . . Personal computers weren't available. In 1982, please don't quote me on this, the VIC-20, an Atari, and some other $300 computers came on the scene. I bought the VIC, a Dataset, 300 baud modem, the VIC printer, and the HESMON cartridge. Oh my was the Dataset slowwwwwwwww!!!!!!! When the VIC 1540 5.25 floppy drive came out I bought one. Then in short order I bought a second one. This was much better and because of the recording format the floppy held 170KB. This was a huge amount at the time.

. . . . I then acquired some more cartridges. This included ram. Since there was only one cartridge port I bought an expander board. The board had a series of switches that allowed you to set the beginning addresses on the ram cartridges and to switch the game cartridges and programming cartridges in and out without having to unplug and plug cartridges in. All you had to do was change the switches and press the reset button on the board.

. . . . The C-64 came out, then it was the C-128, and finally the Amiga 1000. This is the path that I followed. When the 64 came out I was in the AF and working on Ground Radio Equipment. After the A-1000 I bought an A-2000, then an A3000, and finally an A4000T. These were really nice systems that handled multitasking, graphics, and sound with ease. But Commodore shot its self in the foot and support for the Amigas fell away.

. . . . And I eventually got in to the world of Windose. I started with 98 on a 486. Then 2000 running on a P1 and finally on a P3. I never bought pre-built boxes. I always built mine own. My XP machine is running on a Tyan Thunder S-2885 MB. There are two AMD Opetron dual core 2.1 GHz processors and 8 GB of ram. This machine is quick but it was never as smooth running as my A-4000T with a 60 MHz 68060 processor and 32 MB of ram. Well with XP support gone and more and more companies no longer up dating their programs to be able to continue running under XP I have been forced in to upgrading my OS.

. . . . Well Vista is losing support in the near future and I believe that this is going to happen for 7 in about a year. I say this because MS no longer supplies 7 to the OEM builders. Here is the kicker, the hardware that I have will not run 8 or higher. There are some hardware devices missing in both the MB and CPUs. So I was forced to buy new hardware.

. . . . I believe that this will be the last computer that I build for myself. So I decided to go all out on it. I have a little over $3000 in it and it will probably cost that much again to finish it. But I am having fun. :) :) I bought two ThermalTake Core X-9 cases and stacked them together. My case is 39 inches tall, 15" wide, and 25" deep. This case is really big. The AsRock EP2C612Ws MB with two Intel E5-2603 LGA-2011v3, i7, 6 core, 1.6 GHz processors and 2 Crucial 16 GB DDR4 ram modules are in the upper case. The SilverStone Strider 1500W and Strider 850W PSs are in the bottom case. The 1.5 KW unit supplies the MB, CPUs, Ram, and most of the drives. The 850 supplies the cooling components and some of the HDDs. I am running Win8.1 Pro 64 bit.

. . . . I am running a FirePro W5000 2 GB graphics card, a USB3 card, a Haupauge TV card, and an Adaptec U320 SCSI card. The CPUs are liquid cooled. I am using two WaterCool HEATKILLER IV Basic ACRYL blocks. The AquaComputer, now known simply as AC, Aqualis D-5 pump adapter, Aqualis Fountain Effect reservoir, and D-5 pump are located in the bottom case. These devices have USB buses and what is know as the AquaBus. They can be controlled from either bus but not at the same time. I have also installed an AC PowerAdjust module and heatsink. I am using AC Ultra Clear coolant. I have an AlphaCool, now known as AL, Monsta 240mm radiator that is setup with push-pull fans. Two of the fans are PWM and the other two are voltage controlled. Hang on to your seats for a little bit. I am using the AC AquaEro smart fan and pump controller. I have installed the passive heatsink and liquid block. I am also using an AC AquaDrive hard drive liquid block to cool my two 2 TB Records drives.

. . . . I am using AL HardTubing to connect everything together. The tubing supplying the CPUs is 16/12 mm and the HDD and the AquaEro blocks are connected with 12/8 mm tubing. I am using AL fittings on the tubing and Barrow rotary fittings were needed. All of my fans have Phobya filters on them. I have been sleeving the MB, CPU, and Graphic card wiring in Phobya 3 mm tight weave blue sleeving. The wiring supplying the drives and other devices is sleeved with Phobya 3 mm tight weave black sleeving. My boot drive is a 120 GB SSD. There are seven more hard drives in my system They are labeled Amiga, Apps, Games, Music, Pictures, and Swap. The Swap drive is three spanned drives. The Records drives are mirrored. The total HDD space is a little over 8 TB. There is a DVD DL reader/writer drive and a PlusDeck Cassette player. I ran out of internal USB 2 ports so I have added two NZXT active hubs.

. . . . Now on to what isn't in there. My MB has 7 PCIe slots. I am going to replace the FirePro with two EVGA GeForce 980 GTX 4GB cards and these will have full card LBs on them. I will do one card at a time. These will be on a separate cooling loop from the CPUs and it will be setup the same as the first loop. That uses 4 slots. The TV, USB, and SCSI cards use up the other three slots. I am going to add another SCSI card, a SATA card, and maybe a SAS card. As you can see that is three more slots. I am going to install a PCIe expansion system in the lower case. One slot on the MB will be used for the host card. So that leaves two slots on the MB. The rest of the cards will be installed on the expansion MB, now known as the EMB. I may add a third GFX card at a later time and that means that the MB will be full. I am going to add 6 more 16 GB ram modules which will bring the total to 128 GB. Remember when 128 MB was considered a huge amount of ram?

. . . . I will be adding 2 more 240 mm, 3 140 mm, and 2 480 mm AL Monsta radiators. All radiators will be setup with PWM fans in a push-pull configuration. I am going to add 10 HDDs totaling 20 to 40 TB. I haven't decided whether I will use 2 or 4 TB drives. I will be installing Linux and AmigaDos/Workbench. Linux will run native but the AmigaOS has to run under Linux. Depending on the heat load of the HDDs, I may add a third liquid loop. I don't know right now. I have a ViewSonic 20" LCD monitor, a 1.44 MB external floppy drive, and a KVM system. Since all of my systems have Gb Ethernet, I upgraded my router and my switches to Gb. My Internet connection is also Gb and I see download speeds of 70 to 80 MB/s. My upload speeds are half of that but I don't upload a lot of stuff. Charter forbids me to setup a web server. So upload speeds are no big deal. All of this is over copper. I will be installing LEDs of various types in the reservoirs and inside the case.

. . . . I want to do some playing around with OCing. I don't know if the 2603s can be OCed. This system is really fast. I estimate that it is at least 10 times faster than my XP box.

. . . . Here are some pictures of my build and some screen shots of my temperature readings. I am completely open to any advice, suggestions, and/or help!! :)

Here is a good picture of the MB. The control panel has four USB 3 connectors but the MB only has one USB 3 header. That is why I added another USB 3 controller. I have used up most of my USB 2 and 3 connections. There is also a good view of the HDD cages and the HDD carriers. These are all tool-less and I will be replacing them with an entirely different setup. That 200 mm fan will be replaced with two 140 mm PWM fans. At this point I only have one case. It will be a month before I can buy the second case.


Here is a good picture of the MB. I am just starting to hook things up.


This picture shows the 1.5 KW PS. The supply will be mounted in the lower case in the final configuration. The bracket behind the PS mounts two 120 or 140 mm fans and the HDD cage mounts on top of it. I am waiting on the Air Coolers for the CPUs.


Here is a good view of the HDDs and the carriers mounted inside the cage. You can see the fan bracket underneath the cage.


This shows the Firepro card, the USB 3 card, the front audio cable, the MB USB 3 header, the COM 2 cable, the USB 2 connectors, and the GFX expansion port. I had to cut the openings for the COM 2 Port connection, the USB 2 Port connectors, and the expansion port on the GFX card. I am still laying things out. You can also see one of the CPUs. In the background are my Tektronix TM 5006 PS unit with an AM-503 Current Amplifier, a DM-502 DMM, a SC-504 80 MHz Scope, a FG-503 Frequency Generator, and a PS-503A 1.5 amp +- PS. The other unit is a Tektronix 465 B 100 MHz Scope.


Here is a good view of the front of the case. That is a DVD DL reader/writer drive. It stays where it is at. Below that will be a PlusDeck Cassette Deck, and the third slot will hold the AC AE controller.


These are the upper radiator carriers. I will be replacing these with a custom built carrier. These can hold either 480 or 560 mm radiators. The new carrier will be designed to hold 2 480 radiators. To be able to use the upper two external drive bays I will be adding an 8 inch extension to the top of the case. The final height of the case will be about 47".


The system is up and running. Blue is my favorite color. I also like red and green. You can see the TV card in this picture.


At the bottom of the screen you can see the quick start menu for 8.1. A good view of my camera and the PlusDeck. I haven't removed the protective plastic from the window.


Here is the KVM switch. I have the XP and 8.1 machines right next to each other. I only have one display, keyboard, and mouse setup for both of them.


I now have the second case and I am back to experimenting. That PS is just a place holder. It won't be used. You can see one of the air coolers, the COM 2 port, the GFX port, and the holes for the USB 2 connectors. That is a USB Scope to the left of the case. Even though the MB is in the bottom case it won't stay there. I won't remove the MB from the case. I will just switch cases around.


The top cover is in place. There is a good shot of the air coolers and you can see one of the HDD cage mounts setup as a side radiator carrier.


A good shot showing all of the new connectors in place including the USB 2 ports. That is a basic Pioneer turntable. There are my backup tapes. I have two tape drives. A Compaq/HP DLT 4000 and an IBM ULT 3580 TD2 Ultrium 2 drive. The computer sitting on the floor is a PII that is used to control the club's model railroad. That is a Panasonic KXP-1124i dot matrix printer and a HP LJ1100 printer. There is also a HP DJ 990c and a HP OJ AIO 6830 printer. Yes, I do use all four for different things'


This is a real good shot of the rear. The system is now in its final configuration. I don't remember if the CPUs are still air cooled or if I have installed the liquid cooling.


This shows me working up the design for the new radiator mounting pane. I'll add some more pictures in the next day to few days.

. . . . Help? How do I delete the existing pictures so that I can reinstall them????
Thanks,
rich!

I'll fix this in the next day or so.
 

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Last edited:

Vishera

Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2013
Simply incredible! Ah, yes...WinXP was the good old days. I've barely broken 20, and even I have an appreciation for the older things. That's a whole lot of case you have going on there, that's for sure. Tell me, did your parents ever glue duct tape to the electronics to make sure you didn't toy with them? LOL.
 
OP
M

Mechanic_2

New Member
Joined
May 13, 2016
Vishera,
. . . . My father started putting locks on the tool boxes. I then learned how to pick the locks. I also learned how to open combination locks. When he put the key locks on and I started opening them he then switched to combination locks. Ha, Ha, fooled you! :) :) He then started putting the tool boxes up really high and not only did lock up the boxes but he would put double locks on the cabinet door. He thought that he would be able to catch me doing but he didn't know that I could open each lock in about 5 minutes. Ha, Ha, Ha, fooled you again! :) So he tried a different tact and he would sit down and teach me how to use the tools. He also started teaching me how to work on stuff. It was great and I no longer needed to break in to stuff.

. . . . When I was in Jr. High I had to walk past the Monkey Wards store each day going and coming to school. On my way home I would stop in the store and look at the toys, tools, electronics, and other stuff. In fact I bought my first reel to reel tape deck from them. I put it on lay away and I then made payments on it out of my allowance. It took me about four months to buy and I remember that it had separate heads for record, playback, and erase. It was a really cool deck and the quality was quite high, They also had a floor safe that I took an interest in. It took me about 2 weeks to get it open. The salesman jaw dropped wide open and he stood there staring at it for several minutes.

. . . . The store manager let me have any toy in store and I choose and N scale model railroad set. It was made by Concor and I started building my own layout.

. . . . So you can see that I have been into all kinds of things for most of my life. I appreciate the comments about my SuperComputer. Now I have to learn how to OC it.
Thanks,
rich!

Simply incredible! Ah, yes...WinXP was the good old days. I've barely broken 20, and even I have an appreciation for the older things. That's a whole lot of case you have going on there, that's for sure. Tell me, did your parents ever glue duct tape to the electronics to make sure you didn't toy with them? LOL.
 

Vishera

Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2013
An old childhood friend's GCN cooling fan stopped working years after he bought it. He left it set in his closet after that and one of my first attempts at messing with game consoles was taking that apart and replacing it with the fan of a $3 GCN from a local used game shop a few years after it stopped working. Always nice to meet a fellow tinkerer! If you ever need help coming up with an idea for your next project, I'm always full of them. Good luck with the build!
 
OP
M

Mechanic_2

New Member
Joined
May 13, 2016
Vishera,
. . . . I could use some help with editing and fixing the pictures in my previous post. Is there a way that I can delete all of the pictures? Then I can put the pictures back in the place that I had originally intended.
Thanks,
rich!

An old childhood friend's GCN cooling fan stopped working years after he bought it. He left it set in his closet after that and one of my first attempts at messing with game consoles was taking that apart and replacing it with the fan of a $3 GCN from a local used game shop a few years after it stopped working. Always nice to meet a fellow tinkerer! If you ever need help coming up with an idea for your next project, I'm always full of them. Good luck with the build!
 

Vishera

Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2013
I believe if you click on edit post, and just right click on the images you should see a delete option in the drop down menu. Should work if you click on that. Not sure on how to correct it so it puts them in a specific order, I'd naturally say just add them to the post box in the order you want them to show up. But if that's not working I'm unsure as to how you might fix it. Sorry!
 
OP
M

Mechanic_2

New Member
Joined
May 13, 2016
Vishera,
. . . . Nope. I have also tried doing it while in the manage attachments area. That doesn't work either. Hopefully someone can tell me how to delete the pictures. A Moderator might have to do it. I know how to put the pictures back where they should be.

. . . . What messed me up is that you only have one hour to insert the pictures and then post the message. If you take longer than one hour the pictures are not uploaded and that is what happened. I think that they should allow 3 or 4 hours. I am real careful about editing my posts to insure that there are no spelling or grammatical errors. So it takes quite a while when you have uploaded a lot of pictures.
Thanks,
rich!

I believe if you click on edit post, and just right click on the images you should see a delete option in the drop down menu. Should work if you click on that. Not sure on how to correct it so it puts them in a specific order, I'd naturally say just add them to the post box in the order you want them to show up. But if that's not working I'm unsure as to how you might fix it. Sorry!
 

Nathan_P

Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2012
Location
Jersey, Channel islands
Nice build, You won't be able to overclock the Xeon's to any meaningful degree - you may be able to boost the base clock to 101 or 102Mhz but you won't get much more than that. Its a limitation of the newer cpu's due to them also running the PCIe clocks.
 

Janus67

Benching Team Leader
Joined
May 29, 2005
Vishera,
. . . . Nope. I have also tried doing it while in the manage attachments area. That doesn't work either. Hopefully someone can tell me how to delete the pictures. A Moderator might have to do it. I know how to put the pictures back where they should be.

. . . . What messed me up is that you only have one hour to insert the pictures and then post the message. If you take longer than one hour the pictures are not uploaded and that is what happened. I think that they should allow 3 or 4 hours. I am real careful about editing my posts to insure that there are no spelling or grammatical errors. So it takes quite a while when you have uploaded a lot of pictures.
Thanks,
rich!

I can delete the attachments for you if you'd like.

But I believe you can still 'insert inline' with your attachments. Edit your post, 'Go Advanced' and open manage attachments. Select the picture(s) you want to insert and click 'insert inline'. After that you should see [ ATTACH=123456 ] [ /ATTACH] (with no spaces of course). You can save and edit and move the pictures around in the order that you need.