Homeprod Upgrades: Part 2 - Supermicro X8DAH+-F -> MSI C236m

An MSI C236m motherboard with a Noctua cooler in a SuperMicro 3U chassisToday, after walking the dog and collecting the groceries, I shut down all the services that might not like having their disks yanked out from under them and then shut down the disk server in preparation for replacing the dual Xeon 5650 board that’s in it with a single 1230v5 board, which will hopefully save some power and heat.

It ended up not being as cheap as I’d hope, as I needed to buy a new cooler (opting for a Noctua NH-L9x65) and in order to not have the five server chassis fans blow up the two fan headers on the board, I bought a pair of Coolermaster “ARGB and PWM hubs” which are apparently rated for 1.5A per fan and 4.5A total.

I plugged everything in, then noticed that Supermicro’s front chassis uses a ribbon cable connector, so I used some Arduino jumpers to re-pin it so I could plug the bits I needed into the board. I found someone who buzzed it out and recorded the pinout for an FP836, which appears to be equivalent for my purposes and which I’ve mirrored below:

Pin Purpose
1 Power Switch+
2 Power Switch-
3 Reset Switch+
4 Reset Switch-
5 Power Supply Fault LED+
6 Power Supply Fault LED-
7 Thermal Fault LED+
8 Thermal Fault LED-
9 Network Interface LED 1+
10 Network Interface LED 1-
11 Network Interface LED 2+
12 Network Interface LED 2-
13 Hard Disk Drive Activity LED+
14 Hard Disk Drive Activity LED-
15 Power On LED+
16 Power On LED-

The next thing I noticed is it’s loud, and the fans are not calming down. They’re probably not on PWM mode, I figure, so I head into the BIOS and take a look, and near as I can tell PWM mode is called “Smart Fan Mode”, but nothing I can do will make them shut the hell up.

Not wanting my garage to sound like a cryptocurrency mine, I threw the low-noise adaptors I bought ages ago back on it as a temporary measure and then reconfigured everything. Naturally the NIC has changed again, so I had to alter my netplan config, but otherwise everything mostly came straight up and I’m back in action.

So I still need to work out what the fuck is going on with the PWM fans, but I gave the whole disk server a good clean and then slid it back into the rack for now, and we’re up and running again.

As I don’t have proper power monitoring on this rack (the UPS will tell me “amps” and “load” but as it’s severely underloaded and reports in integer values, it’s not precise enough) but last night our power usage dipped to well below 500W overnight so I’m pretty sure there’s some improvement. The payoff time is likely in the 3 year region though, and that’s not counting if I have to spend even more money to fix the fans, so this hasn’t really been a good move, economically.

Horsham, VIC, Australia fwaggle



Filed under:


Horsham, VIC, Australia

Navigation: Older Entry Newer Entry