Figuring PSU and UPS for a 2P/2GPU server

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Figuring PSU and UPS for a 2P/2GPU server

Postposted on Sat May 03, 2014 1:09 pm

For my long-wished-for server, I have calculated my PSU needs to 1,259 watts. A reasonable rounding-up would put me into a 1500 Watt PSU.

I need to know how much UPS capacity I will need for a system roughly meeting the specs below.

Proposed System:

Purpose: F@H and remote graphic art rendering. Depending on location in the house, it can/will also serve as a guest room/kitchen nook web browser. 90% of the time, this machine would be a single-user server, running F@H CPU and GPU slots in the corner of the house. At first I'll use Windows 8.1 for the OS. Eventually, I may try to go in the direction of VM-hosted Windows + Linux (concurrently running), but that is on the "later" list.

Hardware:

Dual E5 V2 processor (figure 2 hex-core or octo-core CPUs for total cores/threads = 12/24 or more (depending on finances)
16 to 32 GB RAM (depending on finances)
1 X AMD R9 290 x GPU cards (no crossfire; they'll be folding and running remote OpenCL rendering)
-----> ** see GPU note below
1 X Monitor (23" or 27"; whatever's handy and fits in the space)
1 X or 2 X SSDs (512GB)
1 X HDD (2TB, 3TB, or 4TB for network-based backups. HDD will always be in place)
WIFI connectivity
Basic audio, keyboard, mouse

Cooling:
2 X H80 or H100 type CPU cooler (1 for each processor slot)
No water cooling for the GPUs (not immediately anyway)
Big case fans (think along the lines of HAF-X, HAF-932, HAF-XB)

------> GPU Note:
My pie-in-the-sky plan would prefer dual GPU cards; so 2 cards for a total of 4 GPUs. Nobody's making 'em right now but even so, I would like to budget my PSU and UPS capacities on the high side.
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Re: Figuring PSU and UPS for a 2P/2GPU server

Postposted on Sat May 03, 2014 1:41 pm

I would go with a PSU best suited to your current build. Going for quad GPU instead of single GPU adds an extra 750W of power draw - which is insane.

If, in the future, you can afford to dump $2000-3000 on graphics cards, do yourself a favour and buy the best PSU you can get then rather than wasting such a thing on a system with a single GPU for X years first.
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Re: Figuring PSU and UPS for a 2P/2GPU server

Postposted on Sat May 03, 2014 2:21 pm

Good point, thanks. I have a 1,000 watt PSU to use while building up, then a 1,500 Watt PSU would probably still be fine.

I forgot to pose the question in my original post...what is your feeling on sizing a UPS? Let's assume a 27" panel or smaller, for a target of 30 minutes of run time. It's okay to step down the CPU on battery and of course, folding can be configured to pause when the system has switched to battery power, and that's what I would do. I currently have a CyberPower 1500VA for my workstation and it has been quite good.
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Re: Figuring PSU and UPS for a 2P/2GPU server

Postposted on Sat May 03, 2014 3:50 pm

EDIT: BTW they do make Dual powerhouse cards like AMDs Radeon R9 295X2 that are cooled by both water and air and cost over 1200$ each and in crossfire with a 3960x the system pulls around 1250+ watts. If that is what you want I would suggest a case that supports 2 PSU's I know the corsair 900d supports 2 PSU's and is a phenomenal case in design and look. Then you could do 1 ofAMDs Radeon R9 295X2 cards that will give you crossfire off the bat. Then if you decide to add another 1 of AMDs Radeon R9 295X2 cards for QUADFIRE you could add a secondary PSU to power the additional power needs of the second card.\

For A psu this silver rated Roswill 1600watt PSU will set you back 350$ Rosewill HERCULES-1600 1600W Continuous @ 50°C, Intel Haswell Ready, 80 PLUS SILVER, ATX12V v2.31 & EPS12V v2.92, SLI/CrossFire Ready, Modular Active PFC Power Supply.
12 5 star reviews and you will never run out of PCI-E power connectors since it has 16 x 6+2-Pin connectors.
I usually don"t like PSU's with more then 2 12v rails. But when one has 110amps and the other has 50amps it becomes less of a issue.

Cooler Master Silent Pro M2 - 1500W Power Supply with 80 PLUS Silver Certification and Semi-Modular Cables 3 mediocre reviews. 369$

Corsair is releasing a 1500 watt platinum PSU for 449$ on the 27th of this month according to newegg.

I would probably go with the Roswill PSU lots of overhead power at your disposal for added components.

As for the CPU cooler 2 h80i's should be plenty and easy on space and allow for some overclocking. If your setting this all up in a Huge case like the Corsair 900d then 2 h100is would fit and give you a little more cooling power...but I do not think a whole lot more then the H80i's.

As for a monitor look at LG's Beautiful 34" UM65 21/9 IPS monitors Ones sells for around 850$ or so and has 2560x1080 res and the higher end model UM95 has 3440x1440 resolution along with great color management. They are like having up to 4 monitors with the hi resolution model. here is the website if you want to look at them. http://www.lg.com/uk/ultrawide/UM95.m http://www.lg.com/uk/ultrawide/UM65.m If that is too large they do make a 29" 2560-1080 res model for around 500$ they all have IPS panels. and good to great color reproduction. But with 21:9 ratio you get the real estate of basically two monitors, plus they look better then having 2 monitors. Someone said it was closer to 21.5:9 ratio and that seems correct. company's round down #s in most cases so you get at least whats on the box and not less.

I cannot wait to be able to get a 3440x1440 21:9 monitor....right now I do not have 2 dimes to rub together but they look to be great for everything work, entertainment and GAMING:) I know I only have 2 4gb EVGA GTX 770 Classified cards in SLI but with that many pixels the less you need Anti aliasing. Also instead of having 4 times as many 1080p pixels to push like a UHD 3840x2180 they only have 2.4 times the pixels of a 1080p panel. Also you can watch a widescreen movie without the black bars on the top and bottom on a 16:9 monitor as a bonus.
Last edited by vargis14 on Sat May 03, 2014 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Figuring PSU and UPS for a 2P/2GPU server

Postposted on Sat May 03, 2014 4:16 pm

BIF wrote:Depending on location in the house, it can/will also serve as a guest room/kitchen nook web browser.

More like guest room/kitchen nook space heater! You do realize that even with watercooling for the CPUs, this is not going to be a particularly quiet system (especially if/when you go to dual GPU cards), yes?
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Re: Figuring PSU and UPS for a 2P/2GPU server

Postposted on Sat May 03, 2014 5:12 pm

just brew it! wrote:
BIF wrote:Depending on location in the house, it can/will also serve as a guest room/kitchen nook web browser.

More like guest room/kitchen nook space heater! You do realize that even with watercooling for the CPUs, this is not going to be a particularly quiet system (especially if/when you go to dual GPU cards), yes?


LOL, yeah I would pause folding for guests. I'm not THAT crazy!


...or am I? Hmmmmmm! :o :P

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Re: Figuring PSU and UPS for a 2P/2GPU server

Postposted on Sun May 04, 2014 11:44 am

I have little to no experience of consumer UPS units, I'm afraid but if you want long runtimes (like 30m) you'll need something that isn't taxed.

Most UPS for server racks or server rooms are sold by wattage and their runtime is NOT proportional to the load. If you have a 2700W UPS it will deliver:
  • 2700W for 5 minutes
  • 1500W for 12 minutes
  • 450W for 60+ mintues
You probably want to use something like this:
http://www.apc.com/tools/ups_selector/US/en/home/load
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