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Author Topic: [pics inside] custom built 8-card rack  (Read 10872 times)
haploid23
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August 03, 2011, 11:43:53 PM
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i started on the small DIY project about 2 weeks ago with the assumption that it would take 6 hours max. it shouldn't take too long right? all you have to do chop up some bars and piece them together. boy was i wrong... i've spent nearly 18 hours on it and not yet fully finished. it's a pretty straight forward process, but just very time consuming. i only used very simple tools, nothing complicated:

  • dremel (with cutting disc, and drill bit)
  • rivet gun (with rivets)
  • ruler
  • pen
  • screws with washer and nut
  • 2x 8' aluminum L-bars

i'll be using a MSI bing bang x58 motherboard, which has 7 pci-e slots. i built this rack to fit 7 GPU on top with a full slot space in between each card for breathing room. there's also 1 additional space for a 8th GPU on the bottom, next to the PSU. there's only 2-3 motherboards with 8 pci-e slots (including the MSI big bang marshal), so most likely i'll never use these motherboards, but i just made that 8th slot in case i'll ever need it.

it's not completely done, but i'll snap a few pics of what it looks:

empty frames




this is going to be a double PSU rack, but i have not drilled holes for the screws yet. it's just soft mounted right now.


mounted the motherboard


a closer shot, you can see i used a long screw with washer and nut to use as the motherboard standoffs. after the motherboard is mounted, i could add another optional nut on the very top to secure it, but i didn't think this was necessary. the screw is long enough, the motherboard won't be popping out.


2 GPU's mounted


these next few pics is just for lulz. the GPU's in here are NOT going to be used in this exact setup.


7 GPU's test-mounted on top


this shows 8 GPU's total, 7 on top and 1 on the bottom next to the PSU


closeup of the one on the bottom


a shot from the back



more updates to come when i have time, the rack isn't finished yet....

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CanaryInTheMine
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August 04, 2011, 12:11:41 AM
 #2

Sweet!!!

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August 04, 2011, 01:04:03 AM
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only 6 slots on mobo. How you plan to use 8 cards?
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August 04, 2011, 01:12:09 AM
 #4

only 6 slots on mobo. How you plan to use 8 cards?

Since this is a super duper special mobo, it's got new technology on on called AMD AeroTesla which is able to establish a wireless connection to Radeon 5xxx series cards.

How? search the forums for pcie extender cables.

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haploid23
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August 04, 2011, 01:22:11 AM
 #5

only 6 slots on mobo. How you plan to use 8 cards?
lol it actually has 7 slots: 6 pci-e x16 and 1 pci-e x1 on the very top. i think you were just basing what you said on my pics, which is hard to see that top black pci-e x1 slot. here's the newegg link for specs:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130289

i mentioned in my first post that i'll be using 7 cards, not 8. the 7 cards will be on the top, but i just noted that the 8th slot is on the bottom next to the PSU in case i'll ever want to upgrade the mobo to something with 8 slot pci-e

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August 04, 2011, 01:27:39 AM
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only 6 slots on mobo. How you plan to use 8 cards?
lol it actually has 7 slots: 6 pci-e x16 and 1 pci-e x1 on the very top. i think you were just basing what you said on my pics, which is hard to see that top black pci-e x1 slot. here's the newegg link for specs:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130289
That still doesn't answer what your doing with the 8th card lol Tongue
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August 04, 2011, 01:31:18 AM
 #7

like the man said: for future.  the 8 cards in the pic are to show how it would look like with 8 cards. that's all.

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haploid23
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August 04, 2011, 01:34:18 AM
 #8

That still doesn't answer what your doing with the 8th card lol Tongue
oh i guess you missed the edit while we both were typing. just to clarify, the MSI big-bang X58 is different than the MSI big bang Marshal:

MSI big bang X58: 7 pci-e slots, socket 1366, i'll be using this in the build
MSI big bang marshal: 8 pci-e slots, socket 1155, i dont have this board

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August 04, 2011, 01:58:36 AM
 #9

Nice setup! I know what you mean about "this should only take a couple of hours..."  Cheesy

Do the PSUs draw air in from the top? If so does the motherboard block air flow to them?

Did you find a single rivet strong enough to hold the aluminum angle stock together?

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August 04, 2011, 02:29:13 AM
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Do the PSUs draw air in from the top? If so does the motherboard block air flow to them?

It looks like there's plenty of room between them.  The PSUs can handle quite a lot of heat as well, I think they'll be nice and happy there.

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haploid23
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August 04, 2011, 03:17:17 AM
 #11

Nice setup! I know what you mean about "this should only take a couple of hours..."  Cheesy

Do the PSUs draw air in from the top? If so does the motherboard block air flow to them?

Did you find a single rivet strong enough to hold the aluminum angle stock together?

ya i planned the PSU to pull air facing up. there's a few inches of clearance between the PSU and mobo, so that should be enough room for it to breathe. i haven't drilled screw holes in the frame for the PSU mount yet, so i could always just flip it upside down and let it intake from the very bottom, but then that means i'll have to somehow lift the whole rig an inch so it has breathing room on the bottom. i'm probably not going to do that because that will raise the overall height even more, which i wanted to avoid. i measured everything to be as short as possible.

as for the rivets, i used steel rivets instead of aluminum rivets. a single one at each joint is more than enough to hold everything together. if i used aluminum rivets instead, then i'll have some doubts because i test-lifted the whole frame with 2 PSU, mobo, and 7 GPU's and it's pretty dam heavy.

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August 04, 2011, 06:54:16 AM
 #12

i'll be using a MSI bing bang x58 motherboard, which has 7 pci-e slots.

You should upgrade to the MSI bing bang boom x58, which has 8 pci-e slots.

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August 04, 2011, 12:54:07 PM
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Great build... Looks very good and clean.
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August 04, 2011, 12:59:04 PM
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holy fuck Shocked
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August 04, 2011, 02:05:47 PM
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Nice! Any nicer and the Sheetmetal Workers Union will be after you for dues ;-)

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August 04, 2011, 02:47:15 PM
 #16

i will probably copy your design and modify it to fit my needs Wink

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August 04, 2011, 03:15:04 PM
 #17

do you have the dimensions for the rack?  Smiley
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August 04, 2011, 05:11:51 PM
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I am not impressed until you put 7 - 6990s in there.  Just kidding, looks awesome!
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August 04, 2011, 07:04:22 PM
 #19

Just had my Big Band Marshal arrive so i'll be doing something similar to this Cheesy

I'm going out to get 7.2m of Angle in the next couple of days so i can build it (I only need 5.25 but can only buy it in strips of 2.4m each lol).


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August 04, 2011, 08:13:16 PM
 #20

Looks nice.  But wouldn't the motherboard flex too much in the middle when you plugin/unplug pcie extenders, for example.  I might like to see more support for the motherboard middle (like plywood, that might ruin the look though), but if you're careful maybe wont be an issue.
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