Reasonable temperature for server in closet

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Reasonable temperature for server in closet

Postposted on Thu May 15, 2014 7:59 pm

Hey Guys,

Finally started building a new desktop server. So far I have an i7-4770k, GTX 560 Ti an 1 3TB WD Red. I am still buying the rest of the parts (mobo/case/psu, cpu fan?) But I wanted to post and get some opinions about cooling first.

This will be running 24/7 in the corner of a relatively small closet to replace the outdated hardware. The closet currently has a cable modem, router, HTPC (ZBOX), and NAS which already gets warm, so I was I was wondering about safe running temperatures?

Do you guys have any recommendations? People have mentioned a water cooled CPU will help with hot exhaust. Anything else?

Thanks!
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Re: Reasonable temperature for server in closet

Postposted on Thu May 15, 2014 8:22 pm

I think the potential problem is that the ambient temperature may be too high.

How warm is it in there now? What you've got spec'ed out there will probably pull around 80-90W at idle, I'd guess. Generally speaking, computer parts don't like heat all that much. If it's much over 82-85F in there, that's probably where I'd start to get concerned about adding another machine.

Water cooling things can't lower the ambient temperature which is what your actual problem might be. It will lower the CPU's temperatures, but not lower than the ambient temperature due to physics.

Out of curiosity, why not just use the onboard video for a server instead of the GTX 560 Ti? For a 24/7 system in a closet, reducing power consumption would be good.
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Re: Reasonable temperature for server in closet

Postposted on Thu May 15, 2014 8:24 pm

1. Assuming there is a gap at bottom of closet door AND you want the door closed, you can get a small electric duct fan and cut hole in top of door so it blows out into room, pulling cool in from main room.

2.Set motherboard monitoring on to send out a loud beep if it reaches a certain temp and make sure there is a speaker hooked up to it.

3. Use app to remotely monitor server temp or send out email alert on trigger.

4. Water cooling ain't gonna help you because eventually the whole closet and devices will reach equilibrium in temperature.

5. Take closet door off or leave it open.
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Re: Reasonable temperature for server in closet

Postposted on Thu May 15, 2014 8:24 pm

This will be running 24/7 in the corner of a relatively small closet


Dump the 560Ti. It produces more waste heat than everything else combined. What do you need if for if the PC is shut in a closet with (presumably) no screen connected?

Also, it sounds like your closet needs active cooling or better ventilation. Your NAS/Router/HTPC probably consume around 100W at the moment but you're going to double that by adding a server too. Get a plane and skim half an inch off the top and bottom of the door to start with. improving the cooling of the CPU is pointless if the air in the closet is roasting hot already. Keep the closet cool and the rest will sort itself!
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Re: Reasonable temperature for server in closet

Postposted on Thu May 15, 2014 8:52 pm

zenlessyank wrote:4. Water cooling ain't gonna help you because eventually the whole closet and devices will reach equilibrium in temperature.

Well... it'll keep the CPU closer to ambient. But if ambient gets high enough, other stuff (chipset, VRMs, hard drives) will start to fry even if the CPU is still operating within spec.

Chrispy_ wrote:Dump the 560Ti. It produces more waste heat than everything else combined. What do you need if for if the PC is shut in a closet with (presumably) no screen connected?

Yeah, no kidding. Use onboard.

Edit: As far as getting some additional air in there goes... back in the day when I had a closet full of Folding@home systems, I made a little plastic duct which allowed me to use a 120mm case fan to pull some air in under the door:
Image
It still got really toasty in there (around 90F). But most of the systems were diskless, and there wasn't anything important on the one system with a hard drive (it was only used to diskless boot the other 5 systems). I certainly wouldn't do something like this with a server that had important stuff on it!
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Re: Reasonable temperature for server in closet

Postposted on Fri May 16, 2014 3:41 am

Ahhh, that Antec case in the corner! Have the same one for my main PC since 2003, it's here beside my desk!
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Re: Reasonable temperature for server in closet

Postposted on Fri May 16, 2014 8:28 am

Do you happen to have a attic above your closet? If so you could do what I did and put a ceiling register in with a reversible fan to pull out hot air in summer and intake cold air in winter.

If fans are not a option you could cut holes for say 8x12 register in the top of the closet and convection could pull in cool air from the bottom and let out heat at the top that is if you have a large enough gap at the bottom of the closet. The hot air rising should pull in cool air at the bottom.

Also get rid of the 560ti..no need with the integrated graphics...also EDIT: Also why a 4770k for a closet server seems a bit overkill by a lot. Is there something else this closet server is going to be doing we do nt know about that you need a hot running 4770k that a i3 4130 could not do? Unless you plan on undervolting that 4770k to around .900v and running it at 2ghz. Just seems like a waste for such a powerful CPU.
Second edit..
It may sound silly but putting the case on its side so it as close to the floor as possible could shave a few degrees off your temps since it will be as far away from the rising heat as possible.
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Re: Reasonable temperature for server in closet

Postposted on Fri May 16, 2014 8:48 am

TravelMug wrote:Ahhh, that Antec case in the corner! Have the same one for my main PC since 2003, it's here beside my desk!

Yup, I still have mine too. My current home desktop system is in it!

(I actually used to own two; gave one of them to my son a few years back, and he eventually passed it along to his GF when he got a new PC...)
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Re: Reasonable temperature for server in closet

Postposted on Fri May 16, 2014 8:59 am

JBI,

What do you have going on in that closet??? It looks like a power supply concentration camp. Are the pits hidden from view with older PSU's in the bottom with lime spread on them? J/K making fun of genocide is not cool. Its disgustingly appalling. To think its 2014 and its still happening across the world.....I have almost lost faith in the human race that is capable of so many amazing beautiful things but on the flip side of that human coin we are capable of terrible terrible atrocities in the name of gods or just for being different.
Something is needed to bring the people of this world together...what that is I do not know. Perhaps a alien invasion, thats the only thing I can think of that would bring humanity together, but i fear it just feeds our darker side uniting because of a common adversary.

I think Alien Contact with friendly ET's would be much more beneficial. Sure call me crazy for believing in ET's But if we are alone in the universe that is a heck of a lot of wasted space.
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Re: Reasonable temperature for server in closet

Postposted on Fri May 16, 2014 9:13 am

vargis14 wrote:JBI,

What do you have going on in that closet???

That's actually a really old pic (from 2005). All that hardware (except the Antec case!) was retired years ago.

I was originally going to post a shot of the entire closet but decided not to drag things even further off-topic. Since we seem to have gone off into the weeds anyway, here it is:
Image
The plastic crate on the floor had 4 micro-ATX motherboards strapped into it with zip ties -- the (in)famous quad-core milk crate. You can see the 5th system suspended from the wire shelf. All of them were running diskless (network boot) Folding@home clients.
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Re: Reasonable temperature for server in closet

Postposted on Fri May 16, 2014 9:34 am

Good Idea with the thermometer.
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Re: Reasonable temperature for server in closet

Postposted on Fri May 16, 2014 11:39 am

Sorry, I was not as clear as I should have been.

This machine will be replacing the HTPC and NAS, I am getting rid of those. So it will be this machine, cable modem and router in this closet.
It is a rental house so I do not know how much I can mod the ventilation, but one thing comes to mind, the house is on 4-5 foot stilts, so I might be able to run the exhaust out under the house?

I have a 4770k and 560 Ti in there because it will be hooked up to a projector (long HDMI cable through the wall) to my living room which we watch movies (1080p) and couch gaming (League of Legends). It will also be running VMs for my various services/apps.

So it sounds like a no-go on the water cooler and need to look into ambient temperature cooling. The house is in San Francisco (which is generally in the 60s F), so I will start by getting a digital thermometer and see what it currently is running at.
Next, I will see what my options are for pushing the exhaust under the house (through a tube?).

It's gonna be fun.
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Re: Reasonable temperature for server in closet

Postposted on Fri May 16, 2014 12:13 pm

I'd start with something simple like JBI's drawer fan and go from there. It's hard to tell how much of an issue it will be without knowing the exact layout of the closet. Just make sure you set up thermal controls/alarms so the computer won't get too hot, then experiment until you get it properly cooled.
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Re: Reasonable temperature for server in closet

Postposted on Fri May 16, 2014 12:44 pm

Seal the closet and fill it with mineral water, submerge server, issue resolved. :lol:
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Re: Reasonable temperature for server in closet

Postposted on Fri May 16, 2014 12:54 pm

SuperSpy wrote:I'd start with something simple like JBI's drawer fan and go from there.

Oh come on, there's no way that single 120mm fan did any good. JBI essentially had 6 systems in a large case (the closet) with a single intake fan (I like the design though). Now, for the OP's use, a pair of 120mm fans in a duct like that could probably keep everything nice and cool. I'm picturing something that intakes from under the door, through 2x 120mm fans, duct presses up against the front of the computer case for the case intake fans to grab. That way you've got fresh air going directly into the case, not: fresh air going into the closet => getting warmed up => eventually sucked into the case, etc.
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Re: Reasonable temperature for server in closet

Postposted on Fri May 16, 2014 1:08 pm

DPete27 wrote:Oh come on, there's no way that single 120mm fan did any good. JBI essentially had 6 systems in a large case (the closet) with a single intake fan (I like the design though).

IIRC it dropped the temp in the closet a couple or three degrees. From "OMG that's frikkin hot!" to "OMG that's still frikkin' hot but not quite as hot as before!"

Like I said, I wouldn't recommend it for a server you actually care about!
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Re: Reasonable temperature for server in closet

Postposted on Fri May 16, 2014 1:36 pm

I've had several computers in a wardrobe for quite some time and I found that just some vents improve temps very noticeably. Try to get hot air out the top, draw in cooler air down the bottom. You can cut vents and cower them with ordinary plastic or metal vent grills, some doesn't look bad even. I have a large fan (~200mm) at the top vent, very quiet. I have vent covers at the bottom made of metal, and they help to stop sound propagating through the vent. I usually have some filters in the intake vents, helps keeping dust out.
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