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Rackmount Servers......

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  • Rackmount Servers......

    You know what gang? Yesterday when I was doing some IT work at my friend's company, I went in to the server room, and I looked at the Rackmounts that they had. 6 2.4GHz P4s with 512MB Ram. I noticed, that as I got closer to them, I could only get sooo close before it started to get uncomfortably hot. This brought me to a very interesting train of thought. is there anything special about these computers that lets them get sooo hot without burning up? If the answer is yes, would this type of system be optimal for car use? Think about it, reletively powerfull, and THIN AS ****. Now, I know there really is no need for soooo much power in a carputer, but I was thinking maybe a 2GHz P4 with 512MB DDR and a laptop 60gb drive would fit the bill quite nicely. Already, if I want to, I can get a 2U Server with 3GHz P4, 512DDR, Intel D915GAVL, CDRW, Floppy, Nic, and 120GB SATA for $589.

    I will post some ads from my local free weekly computer magazine (ComputorEdge - and you guys can let me know what you think.

    Basically, I just want to know advantages and disadvantages to using a rackmount in a car or if it's even really possible.

    BTW, did search, didn't really find anything really like this. Point me in the right direction if I missed it please.


    Post # 3000

  • #2
    Ad 1 (Micro PC Outlet)

    Ad 2 (PCN Priority Computers and Networks)

    Ad 3 (SDCOM.COM)

    Ad 4 (Technology Depot)

    Post # 3000


    • #3
      Already, if I want to, I can get a 2U Server with 3GHz P4, 512DDR, Intel D915GAVL, CDRW, Floppy, Nic, and 120GB SATA for $589.
      i wanna know where i can get that type of setup.
      My plan is to use a rackmount in my setup. SInce i will be building a complete custom center console and sub wall in back i could put it almost anywhere i want. I was thinking of building the center console arm rest to accept a rackmount case vertically. Get one that locks and/or bolts in place and put it on ball bearing drawer sliders. The locking and bolting makes it hard for a theif to get his hands on. And the drawer sliders make it come out real easy.

      The power supply can be an issue for a p4 though. Im choosing to use a large inverter with start up/shutdown controler. Just my thoughts. Hope it helps answer your question.


      • #4
        do those servers come with PSUs built in?!?

        If so, what kind of PSUs do they use?
        Cheap Laptop, great for Carputer!


        • #5
          Rack servers can only run hot like that if they have a decent airflow because while it is considerably hotter than room temperature, its still cooling the components because they run much hotter still.

          The difference in temp between a rack system and a normal pc is generally only in the ambient temp inside the case rather than the components themselves running hotter. If you use a normal pc and setup good airflow it will be just as good at working in a confined area.

          As far as space is concerned, yes they are thin but they are also quite wide and deep. Would be good for sticking under a fake bootfloor though I guess if you could get the airflow to them.


          • #6
            Yeah, my rackmount server is only a 1u case, but it's also like 3 feet long. Wouldnt be that great for fitting into a car
            S60 Install


            • #7
              They make 14" rackmount servers as well ...



              • #8

                right now in my car I'm using a 2U rackmount case i picked up for $5. In all reality it works great! It fits great because i have it sitting up against the back of my backseat so it only steals 3 some inches from a part of my trunk i hardly use. I have to camp for long periods of time for a job i have at the moment, so trunk space is at a premium!

                My system is no where near this hot though, but for formfactor it is just what the doctor ordered.
                don't worry i know i usually don't make much sense


                • #9
                  I have a 1U rackmount server sitting here I was thinking of selling, I think it's a P3 700MHz with 256mb or 512mb, not sure. Any old hard disk will fit. Includes PSU etc. I was thinking of putting it up for trade for a screen maybe.


                  • #10
                    This is interesting, but I would never throw one of these into my car. The newer 1U rack mountable servers weigh a TON even as thin as they are and their PSU's (there is usually two or more in a rack mountable server) draw quite a bit. Not to mention the noise they generate. They are loud. Unless you're talking about some custom server like a SNAP server (which are still heavy) the size I feel would be the biggest obstacle and keeping it cool.

                    Though it is an interesting idea in itself. Maybe that new Honda truck would be more appropriate for something like this or a pickup truck in general. The new honda has that 'trunk' in the bed which could hold one of these very easily and be conducive to air flow and keeping things cool.

                    Also, one thing to think about is that servers in general won't have a lot of the bells and whistles you'll find with desktops etc.... and tossing XP on it isn't going to be all that smooth either. They're usually built for a server OS and XP drivers don't cross over to 2K and 2K3 when it comes to hardware a lot of the time.


                    • #11
                      Rack mount servers don't have anything special to let them run hot. In fact, they usually don't run hot unless you don't have a good server room. If you're standing in front of a 42U rack with 20 space heaters in it, can you see why it would be a little warm. Like another poster said, the airflow is consistent and keeps the parts cool, if not cold.

                      Rack stuff really isn't appropriate for an automotive environment. It is not made to conserve power, usually not made to save space, and usually you desire all-out performance in rack hardware. Not to mention, most 1U cases are VERY deep, and even a half-depth 2U case is pretty big. I had a 1U in the back seat of my Durango as a temporary carpc for about a week, and it is not small by any means.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by rafaelsherman
                        is there anything special about these computers that lets them get sooo hot without burning up? If the answer is yes, would this type of system be optimal for car use?
                        Like others have suggested, just because it is hot outside the case, doesn't mean the processors are running hotter than they are in your desktop at home. All that heat had to come from somewhere, so obviously the heat disposal mechanisms are doing a good job. In most of the datacenters (literally hundreds of machines) here at work, the racks are fed cold air from the ceiling and it's pulled down thru the machines and into the raised floor. Often the heated air spills out of this "river" and into the room thus creating a very warm areas around the rack, but cold air is still coming in from the top. Don't know if your friends server room is constructed like that or not; his may just be sitting in their own heat.

                        Regardless, yes, there IS something "special" about those computers to keep them from burning up. They are P4's. Pentium 4's have integrated thermal throttling, depending on the processor series, either TM1 or TM2. Both methods cause the processor to run slower, to keep the heat in check. TM1 inserts idle cycles between the instructions sent to the CPU core. The more advanced TM2 (available on socket 775s) actually lowers the CPU clock by way of the multiplier. Theoretically, you can take the heat sink off of a P4 and it will run, albeit very, very slowly, without destroying itself. It is recommended however to keep the chips below the throttle threshold with proper cooling. While they don't burn up right away, it can still shorten their overall life span.