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Author Topic: [pics inside] custom built 8-card rack  (Read 10864 times)
haploid23
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August 13, 2011, 11:14:50 PM
 #41

the top left corner of the motherboard has an offset mounting hole that is not above the frame, so i was not able to screw in some standoffs for this hole. instead, i just drilled a hole in the frame for a rivet, washer, and small black rubber piece to support the motherboard's top left corner. the motherboard doesn't actually screw down in the area, it just rests on top of this rubber disk


i cut a steel bar and added it to the bottom of the frame to support the front end of the PSU. after all the computer hardware is installed, everything will now be on top of the frame, so i can just lift it all up and move it if i have to. nothing rests on the ground anymore. i also drilled some holes for the two PSUs to screw into the frame


drilled some holes for a 2.5" hard drive


the two PSU's mounted and screwed in


you can see the 2.5" hard drive mounted behind one of the rear "legs". all the ugly blue labeling stickers were taken off at this point


the 2.5" hard drive i used is a 1000rpm WD velociraptor. yeah i know... it's overkill but it was a spare drive i had at the time


PSU, motherboard, and hard drive mounted


a view from the other side





@ stellan0r: i just saw pics of your rack. it's going to look like a beast with 12 cards mounted on top. how many PSU are you going to put on the bottom?

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=7216.msg453266#msg453266

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August 13, 2011, 11:26:40 PM
 #42

This rig looks amazing.
I'd love to put together something like this but I think I'd get to much grief from the 'woman'
I finally upgrade my machine (3 cards) but guided it as upgrading for my games. I run the thing 24/7, it's loud as hell and literally looks like an old server box ( newegg IWIN gaming tower it's huge).
Maybe I'll try to put something like this together.

When it's all build you should def update with some specs (watt draw/ total m(g)hash/ heat , yadda yadda) definitely looks like a fun project
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August 14, 2011, 02:09:09 AM
 #43

Love watching this, keep the updates coming!

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August 14, 2011, 02:33:48 AM
 #44

@haploid23,

I hope you have planned well regarding the electrical supply. Sounds like you may live in an apartment. If so, I'd be concerned about available circuits to support the power draw from a 6xGPU rig. Just saying.

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August 14, 2011, 07:36:42 AM
 #45

@haploid23,

I hope you have planned well regarding the electrical supply. Sounds like you may live in an apartment. If so, I'd be concerned about available circuits to support the power draw from a 6xGPU rig. Just saying.

LOL where do you live?

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August 14, 2011, 07:46:31 AM
 #46


@ stellan0r: i just saw pics of your rack. it's going to look like a beast with 12 cards mounted on top. how many PSU are you going to put on the bottom?

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=7216.msg453266#msg453266

Thanks!
I will replace my corsair GS800 and HX850 with two Enermax MaxRevo 1500 PSU's for best efficiency (>90%!). (also I need only 2.4 kW for 12 GPUs, not 3 kW.)

I probably have to reduce the setup to 10-11 cards, as I made the same mistake with the height of the CPU cooler. Also it's low profile, the pci-e riser cable blocks the fan. Maybe I can fix that with some cable binder. If I want to spend that much money, I will solve that problem with a Corsair Hydro Series H70 Water Cooling System.

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August 14, 2011, 03:04:05 PM
 #47

Absolutely awesome stuff gentlemen. Looks like the hardware dick-swinging contest of 'who has the most/fastest GPUs' is being beaten by a new 'who can design and build the finest open frame rig'  Cheesy

Do we have 'ze German engineerz' on board here? Stellan0r - your 'better than a Dremel' quote suggests you're German or have heritage. There's no way anyone will beat that Smiley (nb. I'm English, and you can all laugh at my open frame rigs, which are early efforts using wood and angle-aluminium - some very English-engineering 'pragmatism over dogma' touches in there, haha - mine in the other thread)

One thing I note for next efforts is the use of rivets. My early angle-ally effort simply used a 3mm drill and self-tapping screws to hold aluminium to other aluminium pieces, or 'Super Screws' (as my local hardware superstore calls them, for some reason) to fix angle ally to the wooden base. Whilst these worked, up to a point, they simply don't look anywhere NEAR as good as these frames.

Like both of you, I used a 3 mm drill for the GPU card fixings - a steel expansion card screw has strong enough thread to self-tap into soft 1mm aluminium, in my experience up to 5 holes before the thread gets worn. Messing up a thread (so the GPU screws turn without resistance) is more of a pain than discarding a sacrificial 'tap' screw, so I used each screw for 4 holes in my second frame before discarding and getting a fresh one. A proper tap would be ideal, but I don't run a machine shop Smiley


Last thing - even stellan0r's 'der Ingenieur' approach shows some torsion along the frame lateral axis (viewing head on). I also had trouble getting the 'top frame' completely aligned with the reference rectangle of my wooden base - it's easily visible in the pics since the two frames are both flat on the same base, and the aluminium uprights are clearly out of true on both frames. This was due to the twist in the top frame, not poor fixings on the uprights.

Anyone know of an easy solution to this? I suppose the only proper way to build a frame with no distortion is to use a jig of some sort, or to avoid freehand drilling and riveting by using pre-drilled lengths of metal (like Meccano!! assuming everyone knows what this is...) and just *bolting* the frame together at specific points.

I wanted to take this approach, to be honest - but I couldn't find appropriate materials in my local hardware stores. Angle aluminium is easy to find and easy to work with, but the 'big boy's Meccano' didn't seem to exist...


Great work though - really impressed Smiley

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August 14, 2011, 03:23:33 PM
 #48

Actually - posting again - just thought of something.

Be VERY aware that these high-density frame rigs will end up with a fairly large power density. The approaches here (even compared to my dual-PSU dual-mobo 'evolution 2' open frame) seem very focused on minimising floor area, and stacking PSUs, logic boards and then GPUs in a neat tower.

As per the pics in the other thread of my two frame rigs, I'm pulling around 2kW from the wall. This is in England, and our 240V supply and typical 13W fused sockets *theoretically* should allow a 3kW load on one cable. However, older properties and poor cable choice may make this marginal - extension cabling must be nice fat stuff... my 10A old extension cable was very hot to the touch after a few hours supplying my rigs... I changed it as soon as I did the calculations, and the house hasn't burnt down yet.

Theoretically I could put a separate ring main in purely for my miners but that'd be overkill, and remind me again that my old house needs an overhaul and upgrade of its ancient electricals (it's a Victorian place... bakelite fuses, etc.) Sad


With a high power density like that - 2-3 kW dissipated in a compact volume - care must be taken over removal of waste heat. Computer kit like this is a very efficient converter of electrical energy to heat energy, so even at 75% you've got 1.5 to 2.25 kW of pure heat to dissipate. That's a very respectable electric space-heater output.

My two rigs are very poorly engineered compared to these, and didn't take cooling into consideration until the end. A large desk fan blows air across the two rigs, but the second rig's GPUs still run up to 80˚C.


I'd respectfully suggest that both of your frame designs should be evolved to incorporate some sort of built-in cooling - the high power density will be too much for pure convection to handle, and IMO the usual computer-kit case fans won't move enough air to make sense.

My next design will incorporate a box fan built into the frame at the rear - however both of your designs would need significant adaptation to incorporate an appropriately-placed frame-width fan (it's best placed behind the GPUs, blowing air along their length).


Or do you all think that convection will be enough - or a non-integrated solution like my large desk fan? With 7 GPUs (especially powerful ones) in a smaller volume than even ONE of my frame rigs (my first frame has 4 GPUs, the second has 6 - and there are quite a few lame 5770s in there), I'd say that power density would put substantial limitations on the speed you can run the GPUs at... what do you all think?

...so I give in to the rhythm, the click click clack
I'm too wasted to fight back...


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August 14, 2011, 07:06:06 PM
 #49

As per the pics in the other thread of my two frame rigs, I'm pulling around 2kW from the wall. This is in England, and our 240V supply and typical 13W fused sockets *theoretically* should allow a 3kW load on one cable. However, older properties and poor cable choice may make this marginal - extension cabling must be nice fat stuff... my 10A old extension cable was very hot to the touch after a few hours supplying my rigs... I changed it as soon as I did the calculations, and the house hasn't burnt down yet.

You should be able to get 3.1kW on one FUSE (in the plug in the UK). In a modern home, the cabling for a double socket will accept up to 26A.

You shouldn't be able to cause damage to wiring in the walls as these will be protected at your fusebox.




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August 14, 2011, 07:27:05 PM
 #50

Hey catfish, yes I am from Germany Smiley But I am everything but an engineer, this was my very first approach to work with metal ever.

I start with the last things you mentioned, the heat:

I plan on putting this outside on my balcony (which is pretty well protected already against the weather and only open to the upper front), with a rain/snow/direct sun proof enclosure that will have enough openings (also protected against weather with these http://www.ventilator-shop.com/zubehor-fur-die-ventilatoren/rohrkrummers/rohrkrummer-90/ and some fine mesh against dust and insects) for enough fans. I will drill as many 108mm holes (with a Starrett holesaw - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Starrett-Sh0414-Speed-Steel-Holesaw/dp/B0002JT6X6/ref=sr_1_2?s=diy&ie=UTF8&qid=1313349705&sr=1-2 into the enclosure as necessary and mount 120mm fans on the inside, in push pull order (from the back and side-bottom it will push air in, on the front and top front where the gpu's blast their hot air I will mount them to pull air out).

Anyway, the amount of GPU's in my rig will be determined by "how the market goes" in the next months Wink

IF the market does what I want it to do, I will put some money into a powerful watercooling system. This is pretty expensive, as the basics cost about 150 Euro in quality parts + 60-100 Euro per GPU.. But it would cool the system and I could even put it back inside without having a terrible noise pollution but an efficient space heater Wink (and in the end it will have wheels, so I can just shut them down, pull the plug, move it somewhere else, plug it back and so on)

Power is not a problem here, I have a 16A (3.6kW) fuse available to nearly 100% just for the rig (for whatever reason the smallest room in my apt. with the least power consumption has it's own fuse, where my living room with all the stuff shares the fuse with the floor where I put the vacuum cleaner in o.O). My building is pretty new and has good cabling, though.

In my frame is some torsion, this is simply because I didn't do exact measurements in the beginning with the first bars I put together - if I would have to build another one, I would know better what to do in which order, and I would take my time to make the edges more smooth. But I just wanted to put this thing together Wink
I would also use a mix of wood (for the outer structure that does not come in contact with any hardware) and metal then, because the wood is easier to work with and the metal would be only used for parts that need to carry the computer stuff.

Pre-drilled lengths of metal would be nice to have, anyway Wink  

But as soon as I get this one http://www.proxxon.com/eng/html/27100.php (for my drill stand) accuracy in drilling the holes will not be a problem anymore  Cool



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August 15, 2011, 04:22:48 AM
 #51

This rig looks amazing.
...

When it's all build you should def update with some specs (watt draw/ total m(g)hash/ heat , yadda yadda) definitely looks like a fun project
thanks! yup, will do. hardware specs, speed, and temps will all be posted once it's finished


I hope you have planned well regarding the electrical supply. Sounds like you may live in an apartment. If so, I'd be concerned about available circuits to support the power draw from a 6xGPU rig. Just saying.
lol why do you think i live in an apartment? hard wood floors, big tile kitchens, backyard, etc... don't think an apartment has that  Wink. i'm at my house for the summer, but i will however move back to my apartment when school starts, although this rig will stay at the house. the room that i host all these miners has a 15amp breaker, i'm able to put 2 full miners with 4 GPU's each, i tried adding a 3rd one and trips the circuit breaker. i guess this 7-GPU rig will be the only one in the room, all other miners will be moved somewhere else.


I probably have to reduce the setup to 10-11 cards, as I made the same mistake with the height of the CPU cooler. Also it's low profile, the pci-e riser cable blocks the fan. Maybe I can fix that with some cable binder. If I want to spend that much money, I will solve that problem with a Corsair Hydro Series H70 Water Cooling System.
hmm you didn't learn from my mistake huh? i also made the mistake of the making the the bars that support the GPUs too low, so some of the pci-e extender cables hits the CPU fan. i posted about it and took pics. you should also get a similar low profile cooler like i did. not only is it very low profile (1U), the fan is also totally encased so you don't have to worry about any cables getting caught in it.

man... you and catfish sure typed a lot haha

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August 17, 2011, 04:21:26 PM
 #52

This rig looks amazing.
...

When it's all build you should def update with some specs (watt draw/ total m(g)hash/ heat , yadda yadda) definitely looks like a fun project
thanks! yup, will do. hardware specs, speed, and temps will all be posted once it's finished


I hope you have planned well regarding the electrical supply. Sounds like you may live in an apartment. If so, I'd be concerned about available circuits to support the power draw from a 6xGPU rig. Just saying.
lol why do you think i live in an apartment? hard wood floors, big tile kitchens, backyard, etc... don't think an apartment has that  Wink. i'm at my house for the summer, but i will however move back to my apartment when school starts, although this rig will stay at the house. the room that i host all these miners has a 15amp breaker, i'm able to put 2 full miners with 4 GPU's each, i tried adding a 3rd one and trips the circuit breaker. i guess this 7-GPU rig will be the only one in the room, all other miners will be moved somewhere else.


I probably have to reduce the setup to 10-11 cards, as I made the same mistake with the height of the CPU cooler. Also it's low profile, the pci-e riser cable blocks the fan. Maybe I can fix that with some cable binder. If I want to spend that much money, I will solve that problem with a Corsair Hydro Series H70 Water Cooling System.
hmm you didn't learn from my mistake huh? i also made the mistake of the making the the bars that support the GPUs too low, so some of the pci-e extender cables hits the CPU fan. i posted about it and took pics. you should also get a similar low profile cooler like i did. not only is it very low profile (1U), the fan is also totally encased so you don't have to worry about any cables getting caught in it.

man... you and catfish sure typed a lot haha

Hi OP,

please update on the power consumption and how you distribute the power to the cards.

I know you can use an adapter to turn on the second PSU, but from what that means the second PSU would have no load on other rails (3.3v and 5v ) correct? Is that not recommended tho? Let me know if you have know other way

Also it would be great if we can pull all the 12v wires from the PSU to power the cards (atx connector, eps, p4 12v, molex). Are there any online store we can get these common connectores? (male one)

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August 18, 2011, 01:45:46 AM
 #53

@haploid23,

I hope you have planned well regarding the electrical supply. Sounds like you may live in an apartment. If so, I'd be concerned about available circuits to support the power draw from a 6xGPU rig. Just saying.

LOL where do you live?
Santa Fe, New Mexico. I've got a 100ft wiring run on a 15amp circuit and when I added my miner to that circuit with another gaming rig, printer, couple of routers and a switch I had the dreaded VD! Yes, voltage drop down to ~105 volts which resulted in a very unstable mining platform.

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August 18, 2011, 01:53:16 PM
 #54

I know you can use an adapter to turn on the second PSU, but from what that means the second PSU would have no load on other rails (3.3v and 5v ) correct? Is that not recommended tho? Let me know if you have know other way

Also it would be great if we can pull all the 12v wires from the PSU to power the cards (atx connector, eps, p4 12v, molex). Are there any online store we can get these common connectores? (male one)

Plastic - I found this blog post helpful when investigating my questions about why some GPUs aren't recognised when plugged into x1 slots with extenders. His GPGPU rig has four 5970s, sucking down well over 1000W via two 560W PSUs, and since the smaller server-grade PSUs aren't targeted at the 'extreme gamer' community, they didn't come with loads of PCIe power cables. So he contrived a methodology to convert any PSU's output wiring into multiple PCIe power cables for graphics cards. May be just what you're looking for?

http://blog.zorinaq.com/?e=42



Hey catfish, yes I am from Germany Smiley But I am everything but an engineer, this was my very first approach to work with metal ever.
Scheiße - I've just ended up replacing my sorry excuse of a drill for a proper German one - a Bosch... the last one wasn't straight and the drill bit would wiggle round in a small circle. Cheesy The Bosch drill is obviously so much better quality, I'm looking forward to using it. I don't know how to use rivets though, that's the next step as it'd really tidy up my aluminium frame designs. Did you learn from someone else (if this was your first attempt at metalwork), or do you know a good website with practical instruction on the best way to do riveting (i.e. steel rivets in aluminium)?

(and there goes a week's worth of mining... luckily the Bosch drill was half price!) Grin

...so I give in to the rhythm, the click click clack
I'm too wasted to fight back...


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August 18, 2011, 03:33:25 PM
 #55


Scheiße - I've just ended up replacing my sorry excuse of a drill for a proper German one - a Bosch... the last one wasn't straight and the drill bit would wiggle round in a small circle. Cheesy The Bosch drill is obviously so much better quality, I'm looking forward to using it. I don't know how to use rivets though, that's the next step as it'd really tidy up my aluminium frame designs. Did you learn from someone else (if this was your first attempt at metalwork), or do you know a good website with practical instruction on the best way to do riveting (i.e. steel rivets in aluminium)?

(and there goes a week's worth of mining... luckily the Bosch drill was half price!) Grin


I got a small Bosch IXO for as an electric srewdriver, lots of power for such a small tool Smiley

About the metal work, it was simply learning by doing and looking at the pictures of the OP. A handy guide for using a riveting tool is this:

http://www.hansonrivet.com/w13.htm

take a look at my pictures to see what type of tool I am using. Then use steel rivets, with 3 or 4mm diameter. You need to drill a hole for those that is 0.1mm bigger than the rivet, so you need a 3.1 or 4.1 mm drill. also don't forget to look at the length of the rivet, mine are for materials of 1-3mm, 3-6mm or 6-9mm thickness (choose appropriate to the thickness of the material you want to put together (and if you have to put two 1.5mm thick alu bars together, use a 1-3mm rivet, not a 3-6mm long!)


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August 19, 2011, 09:33:05 AM
 #56

Hi OP,

please update on the power consumption and how you distribute the power to the cards.

I know you can use an adapter to turn on the second PSU, but from what that means the second PSU would have no load on other rails (3.3v and 5v ) correct? Is that not recommended tho? Let me know if you have know other way

Also it would be great if we can pull all the 12v wires from the PSU to power the cards (atx connector, eps, p4 12v, molex). Are there any online store we can get these common connectores? (male one)

ya i'll update all that info once it's finished and finalized. but for now, i have 5x 5870 on there just to test it. i have a seasonic 750w and a cougar 700w PSU, the seasonic 750w powers the motherboard's main 24pin and CPU power, as well as 3 GPUs. the cougar PSU powers the addition 6-pin power connector on the motherboard for the extra pci-e juice, as well as GPUs. i'm not sure if there are adapters for the CPU power cable to 6-pin pci-e cable. using the CPU power cable to power the video cards is good utilization of excess 12v line, assuming that the PSU is multi rail. if there's no adapters, you can just connect all the yellow wires together i believe


Santa Fe, New Mexico. I've got a 100ft wiring run on a 15amp circuit and when I added my miner to that circuit with another gaming rig, printer, couple of routers and a switch I had the dreaded VD! Yes, voltage drop down to ~105 volts which resulted in a very unstable mining platform.
my kill-a-watt meter says my voltage drops down to about 115v off the wall. what's an acceptable AC voltage so that it doesn't go unstable?

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August 19, 2011, 12:14:04 PM
 #57

my kill-a-watt meter says my voltage drops down to about 115v off the wall. what's an acceptable AC voltage so that it doesn't go unstable?
Many of the better PSU have specs on input voltage from 90-240 VAC. I'd expect that means they can work fine down to 90V input. Switching supplies are not so sensitive to input voltage when designed to work with a usable range.

Of course, power is power, so a lower input voltage means a higher current draw. For a long line you're much better off with 240 VAC as the current loss will be less. And of course thicker cable makes a big difference.

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August 21, 2011, 05:49:12 AM
 #58

Hi OP,

please update on the power consumption and how you distribute the power to the cards.

I know you can use an adapter to turn on the second PSU, but from what that means the second PSU would have no load on other rails (3.3v and 5v ) correct? Is that not recommended tho? Let me know if you have know other way

Also it would be great if we can pull all the 12v wires from the PSU to power the cards (atx connector, eps, p4 12v, molex). Are there any online store we can get these common connectores? (male one)

ya i'll update all that info once it's finished and finalized. but for now, i have 5x 5870 on there just to test it. i have a seasonic 750w and a cougar 700w PSU, the seasonic 750w powers the motherboard's main 24pin and CPU power, as well as 3 GPUs. the cougar PSU powers the addition 6-pin power connector on the motherboard for the extra pci-e juice, as well as GPUs. i'm not sure if there are adapters for the CPU power cable to 6-pin pci-e cable. using the CPU power cable to power the video cards is good utilization of excess 12v line, assuming that the PSU is multi rail. if there's no adapters, you can just connect all the yellow wires together i believe



Dont be confused, my concern has nothing to do with single rail or multi rails. Lots of ppl thought with single rail PSU, they can plug as many devices as they want. Thats asking for a failure.

My concern is because i dont know a store that sell connectors so i can better redesign the power distribution. So far only 4pin molex connectors are common, all other connectors are very rare,


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August 21, 2011, 05:52:08 AM
 #59

my kill-a-watt meter says my voltage drops down to about 115v off the wall. what's an acceptable AC voltage so that it doesn't go unstable?
Many of the better PSU have specs on input voltage from 90-240 VAC. I'd expect that means they can work fine down to 90V input. Switching supplies are not so sensitive to input voltage when designed to work with a usable range.

Of course, power is power, so a lower input voltage means a higher current draw. For a long line you're much better off with 240 VAC as the current loss will be less. And of course thicker cable makes a big difference.

You wouldnt want the voltage drop below 100v, or your PSU will be overheated = toasted.


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plastic.elastic
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August 21, 2011, 05:53:06 AM
 #60

I know you can use an adapter to turn on the second PSU, but from what that means the second PSU would have no load on other rails (3.3v and 5v ) correct? Is that not recommended tho? Let me know if you have know other way

Also it would be great if we can pull all the 12v wires from the PSU to power the cards (atx connector, eps, p4 12v, molex). Are there any online store we can get these common connectores? (male one)

Plastic - I found this blog post helpful when investigating my questions about why some GPUs aren't recognised when plugged into x1 slots with extenders. His GPGPU rig has four 5970s, sucking down well over 1000W via two 560W PSUs, and since the smaller server-grade PSUs aren't targeted at the 'extreme gamer' community, they didn't come with loads of PCIe power cables. So he contrived a methodology to convert any PSU's output wiring into multiple PCIe power cables for graphics cards. May be just what you're looking for?


Thanks but that didnt asnwer my question AT ALL.

Hint, my question is the sentence with a question mark!


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