Advice request

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Cheesy Toes

New Member
Nov 20, 2023
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I think the fans on the top are the reason that you controller overheats as the airflow goes from front to the top instead the back.
Also the backside is pretty close to the wall (at least it looks like that in the photo) not allowing the hot air to escape.
I see your point, but the controller has it's own 120mm fan blowing directly onto the controller heatsink.

As someone else pointed out I really need to re-apply some TIM to the processor ad to be honest, I should have thought about that before. It makes sense.

Don't ask why, but I have three of these controllers and I checked one of the spare ones and there appears to be no TIM on the processor at all. It's bare.

But you're right, there is no "natural" air flow around the PCIe slots unless I crank those front fans up to a ludicrous level.
 

Micro

New Member
Oct 20, 2019
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Let me describe my storage in my server and maybe it can help you.
I use a LSI 9271-8i with a Lenovo 16port Expander card.
Attached to that are 14 spinners and 2 SSDs (CacheCade with an R6 array) with 3-120mm in front of and 3-120mm behind them in a Rosewill RSV-L4500U case. The case itself also has 2-80mm exhaust fans.
All fans came with the case and are low speed and quiet.
The CPU uses a cheap AK120-Black Thermalright Heatsink with Thermal Grizzley Hydronaut TIM, that keeps the I7-11700K (locked at 5ghz) in the low to mid 50s C at all times.
I attached 1 Noctua NF-A4x10 PWN (40mm x 10mm) to the 9271 and 1 to the expander card.
The temps of the spinners stays in the low 40s C, while the 9271 stays in the low 60s C, with the expander staying in that range also.
The server is about 5' from me and I can hear the air exiting it. It sounds like a ceiling fan on low, when you are directly under it.
Honestly, the old ceiling fan in the room makes more noise than either my server or workstation.

I work with large files 10gb+, so my workstation is connected directly (no hub or switch) to the server, with both having 10GB network cards.
The workstation has an array of SSDs in a R0 configuration, and this, combined with the server's array, allows me to transfer files between them at a consistent 1.17 GB/s in either direction, which is fast enough for me.
No matter the size of the transfer from the workstation to the server or vice versa, I have never seen the temps rise more than 4c higher than the above stated temps on the drives or cards.
I've always found that it's more about getting proper airflow (quality) and not massive airflow (quantity of fans).
 
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Cheesy Toes

New Member
Nov 20, 2023
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Thank you so much for your reply! I've got 12 spinners, 12 2.5" SSDs and 3 NVMe drives. And a total of 27 fans.

I'm running an I9-10980XE with 18 cores, but it usually sits at around 35C. It hits about 55C under stress.

I did try a small 50mm fan on the RAID controller, it was a great fit on the heatsink, but it wasn't enough. It tripped the temperature alarm.

My spinners are sitting at 35C, 45C under stress.

Sadly, my computer is right next to me left ear. Ironically the fans on the radiators almost never spin as they just aren't needed, but the fan I have on the RAID controller is driving me bonkers. It's a mini vacuum cleaner right next to my ear-hole.

My wife is into photography. I store hundreds of thousands of small JPEGs. It's more than my life is worth if I lose any of them.

Wow, that's SUPER fast. 1.17GB/s is amazing.

My airflow sucks (bad choice of descriptor as it actually blows) really badly around the PCIe slots. My main GPU consistently hits 55C at idle.

What I need to do is dump the whole storage subsystem out of my PC and into a server chassis and place it somewhere away from my ear. Like Botswana or somewhere a long way away.

I might give some of those Noctua AF fans a try, what is your opinion of them? Do they shift a lot of air?
 

nexox

Active Member
May 3, 2023
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If possible it would be good to show us a picture of your fan/duct setup to see if that can be improved before trying different fans.
 

Micro

New Member
Oct 20, 2019
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Thank you so much for your reply! I've got 12 spinners, 12 2.5" SSDs and 3 NVMe drives. And a total of 27 fans.
I was more concern with noise, I am satisfied if the individual hardware runs about midway, or so, in it's designed temperature range.
I don't need the lowest temps for the hardware to do it's job as designed, maybe if I was pushing it beyond it's designed specs, but I'm not.
I did try a small 50mm fan on the RAID controller, it was a great fit on the heatsink, but it wasn't enough. It tripped the temperature alarm.
Can't help you there, everyone has their own preferences, but I found LSI to be easier to cool and have the same or better performance than Adaptec.
I'm running an I9-10980XE with 18 cores, but it usually sits at around 35C. It hits about 55C under stress.
My spinners are sitting at 35C, 45C under stress.
My airflow sucks (bad choice of descriptor as it actually blows) really badly around the PCIe slots. My main GPU consistently hits 55C at idle.
Nice temps, but only the HDDs might need to be that low, the CPU and GPU can operate higher in temp and still be in their designed operating range.
Allowing the temp range to be 10-20c higher will probably not affect the performance of the CPU and GPU but would allow you to cut down on a good deal of noise.
Sadly, my computer is right next to me left ear. Ironically the fans on the radiators almost never spin as they just aren't needed, but the fan I have on the RAID controller is driving me bonkers. It's a mini vacuum cleaner right next to my ear-hole.
Not having the rad fans come on would seem to indicate too much airflow in the case and improperly directed airflow.
Wow, that's SUPER fast. 1.17GB/s is amazing.
I might give some of those Noctua AF fans a try, what is your opinion of them? Do they shift a lot of air?
Supposedly, the 9271 and Lenovo expander can do better. Hard to say, since that seems to be the max for the 10gb network cards.
I love to put in 40gb cards and see what the arrays could do, but they cost.
The LSI 9271-8i and Lenovo 16 port expander were used and $20 each on Ebay.
The Noctua's are specced at 19.6dB and 5.25 cfm (they also have a NF-Ax20 PWN specced at 14.9dB and 5.5cfm)
The Noctuas are installed directly to the heatsink and draw air through the heatsink, rather that blow across it.
I tested both ways and that made an 8c difference. I've found, over the years, that LSIs are easier to direct cool that to force massive amounts of air across them in a turbulent pattern, YMMV with Adaptecs.
My wife is into photography. I store hundreds of thousands of small JPEGs. It's more than my life is worth if I lose any of them.
You've heard of these new-fangled things called "backups", right?
What I need to do is dump the whole storage subsystem out of my PC and into a server chassis and place it somewhere away from my ear. Like Botswana or somewhere a long way away.
You probably only need to redo the airflow through the case and adjust it for reasonable, in-range temps (not the lowest).

I'll give you an example, my workstation consists of 2 Xeon 8260Ls, 21 SSDs, 3 spinners, and a 7900XTX.
The CPUs use Dynatron B14 heatsinks with 80mm fans that max at 50 cfm.
The case itself has 2-120mm 82cfm 34dB exhaust fans (no intake fans, so these are the sole means used to pull air into the case also).
Of course, the 7900XTX has it's own cooling system.
The CPUs idle at upper 50s C and don't exceed 80c at 100% load (this was for a 6hr. test with all 48/96 cores fully loaded @ max clock speed)
The SSDs are in the mid 30s C at idle and haven't exceeded 50c under extended transfers.
The spinners idle at the upper 30s C and reach upper 40s C under extended transfers.

So everything is within midrange of designed temps with just 2 -120mm case fans.
I've found that folks think that more is always better and rather than take the time to check what works best for airflow and cooling, they just throw a huge number of noisy, high speed, high volume fans at it, and still can't cool it properly because of all the turbulence and misdirected airflow.