So I have decided to make my Northern Michigan Winter rig that will be running in a room that is snow-proof, but not heated.
Before I start gathering the parts together, I want to get some opinions on the CPU and Motherboard choices.
I am looking at an "Intel BLKD975XBXLKR LGA 775 Intel 975X ATX Intel Motherboard
The board has 3 PCIe x16 slots, and irregardless of their speeds, we all know they will mine just the same.
The CPU I would possibly use is a Celeron Dual Core.
The power supply would probably need to be 1000w so I have some room to add that third card. Or would it be better to go with two lower watt power supplies that way a single wouldn't be taxed as much? Two 600w's perhaps? 700?
The case will either be one of, or will be based on, Detritus's "Open Frame Mining Rigs"
and as said before, stored in a room that IS snow-proof, but is not resistant by any stretch of the imagination to the temps outdoors.
The lows it gets around here from December to March can be around 0F to -18F (-18C to -28C), but the averages are usually 25F to 5F ( -4C to -15C ). These would most likely be the ambient temps in the room the rig will be located in.
The rig will start with two VisionTek 6870s, adding another card and or swapping them out with better hardware soon after if the rig performs well (enough). I plan to use the x16 extension cables.
I have extra copies of WindowsXP Pro, and am more comfortable with it than Linux.
There will be no hard line connecting the rig to my main network, so I will need to use Wifi. Only way to run a hardline would be to dig up the parking lot and run the line, and we don't plan to do that for normal network extension until next spring.
I have a number of WiFi signals I can connect to (my personal/private networks, and an encrypted motel guest wifi for my customers). I believe if I can get the rig to connect and remember all of the wifi networks, I should be able to reduce downtime due to signal loss. I will work to get the antenna placed properly though, thats for damn sure.
What I do wonder is, in a cold environment like this, if I should adjust Detritus's open frame design to support the graphics cards with fans facing down, rather than on their side like in his case design, in order to pull in cold air better. Then again, spacing out the cards just enough should help.