XM Magdalena 3D print, GGeorgy (3D)
LC #42 Pipers Alley

View Full Version : Rackmount cases

03-11-2003, 03:49 AM
Any recommendations on rackmount cases (1 and 2U) and places to buy them? I'm also looking for advice on building a machine in them, links and so on.

03-11-2003, 06:34 PM
reliable vendors like directron, ajump, newegg, etc. all sell rackmount cases of varying size. Not too many people review rackmount cases though.

http://www.frostytech actually reviews some 1U heatsinks and fans using methodology that simulates the cases role in cooling (i.e. air flow and exhaust) which is critical in keeping a 1u server running.

If you are going to build a dual athlon MP 2u render node, you have some serious heat considerations. Also likely some serious hassle finding a good psu for 1U applications. Case airflow can vary dramatically. for 2U racks, it looks like you can get away with ATX compliant PSUs which is a good thing for a DIYer and your budget.

For 1U systems, you may need angled ram slots, and low profile ram. For a 2u, I believe (but since I haven't built one, just looked, take it with a grain of salt), you can get away with just low profile ram.

For 1U chassis, I you need specially shaped PSUs, so watch out for the case that does not include one, or not a good one.



looks cool, but if you put it in a rack without sufficient clearance on the sides, or if you actually put in a backplane for expansion cards, you will seriously impede airflow.



ugly as sin, but definitely has more possibilities in the airflow department. Not saying it is good, but just showing it can vary widely.

If you are building a xeon system, there are different retail box packages, if you want the comfort of intel retail box certified cooling, you need to make sure you are buying the 1U boxes for 1U applications. http://program.intel.com/shared/products/processors/xeon/1u_overview.htm

I don't know if the stock collers fit in a 2u or not. If they do, you might have to use the windtunnels depending on case ventilation.

Those are just some warnings I can give you. By no means consider them complete.

03-12-2003, 03:41 AM
Thanks, that's very informative. Do you know if Antec is as respected in rackmount cases as in midtower cases and power supplies?

I kind of like that AMS case, especially the silver version of it. Do AMS make decent power supplies?

I looked at some render boxes on the market and I'm trying to talk my boss into letting me build them rather than buying. I wouldn't do it for workstations, but I think it makes sense for render nodes.

03-12-2003, 08:53 PM
dvornik: Are you guys allready using all the workstation machines to net render at night?

03-12-2003, 09:05 PM
I'm working on it right now. We also have a few spare dual-processor workstations. We are going to be using backburner for max and we'll probably buy Muster for Maya when we can get budget for it. Here's a thread where the setup is discussed, I appreciate any additional advice:


03-13-2003, 02:21 AM
Just a side thought, one can rig up a table full of Shuttles with the latest and greatest single proc solutions for around $1K a piece.

03-13-2003, 05:22 AM
Originally posted by dmeyer
Just a side thought, one can rig up a table full of Shuttles with the latest and greatest single proc solutions for around $1K a piece.
Good point. That would probably be a much better solution then building your own rack mount boxes. I would be very weary about building a 1U or 2U box because of issues with heat. Also with all the special party you have to buy, you might as well buy a commercial box because it would probably cost the same as building your own.

03-13-2003, 05:39 AM
a good thread on Shuttles...


and the obligatory pic of the shuttle cluster


03-13-2003, 05:53 AM

Does anyone know how they ghosted them (or whatever they did) without floppies?

Government space simulation program, huh. I still think dual-processor athlons would be more cost-effective though.

03-13-2003, 06:37 PM
dvornik: Norton Ghost

03-13-2003, 06:54 PM
Right. How do you do it without floppies?

03-13-2003, 07:36 PM
You can Ghost Cast across a network via BootP, IIRC.. Its not that hard as long as every machine is a clone.

You can always check www.Rackmoutpro.com

03-13-2003, 08:27 PM
Thanks a lot Sieb, just what I wanted to know.

03-13-2003, 09:09 PM
The other thing we did was use bootable cdrom's, but that was the nt4 days when you could easily fit an image on single cdrom. Windows nt to 2k did that big jump from being 150 meg to 700 kind of ruined that idea.

You could still have it for just the boot up off the cdrom and snag the image off the network.

03-14-2003, 05:04 AM
You can run both windows and linux on diskless systems. there's no need to waste money on hard disks and time on ghosting/installations. One central server with an image can boot a remote diskless system, and attach it to a farm.

the advantages are obviously with the one server install, every single node has the same software installed, and if you have any problems a quick reboot will solve everything.

check the diskless howto in the linux documentation project for more information.

03-14-2003, 07:17 AM
Originally posted by elvis
You can run both windows and linux on diskless systems. there's no need to waste money on hard disks and time on ghosting/installations. One central server with an image can boot a remote diskless system, and attach it to a farm.

Interesting. Got any information on how to accomplish this in a windows environ? Just cut the hell out of costs if that is the case.

03-14-2003, 08:11 AM
Here's what my search around that project came up with:


Any ideas which one of them is actually usefull?

03-14-2003, 08:19 AM
elvis -
What kind of network hit is that with rendering? In the past companies I have worked at they wrote scripts that copy all the textures to the local machines because the network traffic is huge(renders much faster with it local). I couldn't imagine the hit from also running the OS of a remote machine and 10-20 machines sharing one hard drive. I just don't see this as a viable option for even a moderate load of rendering (I/O and network speed is a huge issue in rendering). Also if your using maya with any bot textures, because of the way they work your rendering will slow down 10-20%+ because multple cpu's cannot access a texture at one time(another reason for copying them local).

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