Finishing up David Maxon‘s machine.
I used another T5400 board. A very solid server board that can handle up to 12 cores. The last build also used a T5400 board in a p490 case. This one is a little bit different.
T5400 build: A brief look at the parts.
This is a NVidia GTS 450 card. It is a card primarily developed for graphic work. Several hundred cuda’s (Cores). 1 GB actual on board memory, 4 gig in windows. Original retail close to three grand, now about 50 bucks.
This is a dell genuine 750 WATT power supply. This may look like an EPS but it isn’t. That is a 24 and 12. Weird DELL proprietary PS. Don’t try using a standard PS on one of these boards or you will burn it up. The wiring is proprietary and although there exists on the web schematics to walk you through changing a standard PS to a DELL config more often than not I read about some one burning up their board or PS or both. Get the DELL PS.
You are looking at 12 gig of ram and I also installed dual 40 MM fans that run off the bios to pull the air off them. Notice each RAM stick has full length heat sinks. Recommended for this board as it helps to dissipate the heat.
These heat sinks were not made for this board but another server application where 771 sockets are used. I adapted them to this board using aluminum blanks between the processor and heat sink and swapping out the fans they came with and installing 4 pin constant power fans on each sink. They work beautifully. They are a tight fit with the RAID tray above them.
I made this a Windows 10 machine and installed both Windows 10 and the Chrome browser on the Solid State Drive to cut down loading time. As a result this is a very fast loading machine. The Edge drive is a sixty gigabyte drive. After the install of Win 10 and Chrome there is about 25 gig left.
This is the drives cage of the tower. I installed dual CD/DVD RW drives here and a 360 GIG 6 GBS drive. All three are Sata drives.
This is the raid top cover where you can mount 2 raid drives in SATA format, or this board will accept and run RAID in IDE format as well with a card addition. They are quick change mounts.
Under this tray I installed two six inch fans in a tunnel format that deliver air to the heat sink fans through the front panel and are controlled by the bios.
This is where the Power switch, audio jacks, lights, USB and the rest of the panel parts mounts. This is a unit from a T5400 board. As you can see it fits very well. You have to change this part as the piece in here is not designed to fit the t5400 board, however just swap the harness out of the original board and everything will then fit the case and plug right into the board as well. It looks factory. You can see there was an additional place for a USB and I also added that.
The case is a T5500 which is close enough to hold the board. The Power supply and drives with no major changes.
I installed two 3.16 quad cores and ordered a face-plate that will be added when it shows up.
I put it all together with lots of modding along the way and kicked it into BIOS.
As I mentioned I did add the two six inch fans to pull more air into the case. This boots quickly with the SSD. It runs quiet even with all of the fans. These machines do produce a lot of heat and so the fans are absolutely necessary.
I built this for less that $300.00 U.S. It is very fast, very reliable and the parts are readily available. I hope I inspired you to build your own machine and put the savings in your pocket, Geo Dell…