Cheap computer with ECC RAM support for scientific computation

stridder

New Member
Dec 19, 2015
12
0
1
40
Hello,
I am assembling a CHEAP (at most 300$ for CPU+MB+8GB ECC RAM for US market) computer for long-term numerical computations under linux (which may take a month and longer). I have access to good cluster but there is a time limit for a job, therefore I need a reliable computer for single threaded code.
Therefore need ECC support (I believe non-buffered ECC is fine). The motherboard must support 32GB. Don't play games or do any 3D graphics.
which motherboards/CPU would you advise?
which ECC RAM model do you use?
I already have Corsair 430CX PSU, SATA HDD and ATX case.
Input/output to HDD will be very low (2 SATA ports is enough).
I never had experience with ECC supporting hardware, so any advise is useful.
Power consumption is not important, though noise from a cooling system preferably low.
Thanks!
 
Last edited:

Chuckleb

Moderator
Mar 5, 2013
1,017
331
83
Minnesota
I'm using an X8DTL-iF for my workbench and fileserver, this is a great board. This config that I'm describing is how they are configured:


Supermicro X8DTL-3F Motherboard-Intel 5500 Dp LGA1366 Dc MAX-24GB DDR3 Atx 2PCC

You could probably BO that board for about $125. Look at others though. This board is an ATX board so fits in standard cases.

Intel Xeon 6 Core Processor L5640 2.26GHz 12MB Cache FCLGA1366 SLBV8
6 core 2.26Ghz CPU, there are others but this is good. Can BO this down a few bucks, say $50?

48GB RAM
48GB (6X8GB) DDR3 ECC REG. MEMORY FOR DELL PRECISION WORKSTATION T5500, T7500

Can BO that as well. I think the board is a DP board but you can go with 1 CPU first and add a second later. You get 3 memory slots with 1CPU, so you'd need to do dual CPUs to get 6 slots and 48GB RAM.

I think you'd be right about $300 and a good overall system. Oh and throw in $15 for a fan on top of that Northbridge chip to cool it, I can get you parts list for that. And search for those same part numbers, there may be better deals. I just grabbed the first ones that I saw.
 
  • Like
Reactions: stridder

PigLover

Moderator
Jan 26, 2011
2,967
1,276
113
Your requirements arent all that tough to meet. There are dozens of complete systems up on ebay that meet that spec, including chassis and psu. Just search 'supermicro 1u' or 'supermicro 2u' and sort by lowest price. Skip over all the spare parts hits and shop your heart out.

Avoid the older P4 or x54xx systems - but that still leaves a lot of choices out there.
 

Aluminum

Active Member
Sep 7, 2012
431
45
28
If only you hadn't bought anything already...

Dell T20 or Lenono TS140/440 complete mini-servers are sometimes as low as $250 with E3 1225v3, 4GB ECC, sometimes a hard drive, no OS tax either. Anytime they are $300 or less shipped it is a great deal IMO.

They have a quad dimm capable uATX board, x16 3.0 + extra slots, intel nic, run pretty quiet, etc. Basically exactly what you are asking for, just add another 4GB ECC udimm for ~$30 and done.
 

stridder

New Member
Dec 19, 2015
12
0
1
40
If only you hadn't bought anything already...

Dell T20 or Lenono TS140/440 complete mini-servers are sometimes as low as $250 with E3 1225v3, 4GB ECC, sometimes a hard drive, no OS tax either. Anytime they are $300 or less shipped it is a great deal IMO.

They have a quad dimm capable uATX board, x16 3.0 + extra slots, intel nic, run pretty quiet, etc. Basically exactly what you are asking for, just add another 4GB ECC udimm for ~$30 and done.
Yeah I am thinking about Lenovo server from sale, but afraid of their incompatibility. If power supply dies, I will have to throw away a motherboard at least. Do you which power connector is in the servers you mentioned above?
Or have you tried any adapter for above Dell servers?
 

Marsh

Moderator
May 12, 2013
2,291
1,105
113
Lenovo power supply adapter on Ebay is only few bucks, less than $10.
Put in a regular PS, use the adapter to connect power to systemboard.
 

stridder

New Member
Dec 19, 2015
12
0
1
40

stridder

New Member
Dec 19, 2015
12
0
1
40
Lenovo power supply adapter on Ebay is only few bucks, less than $10.
Put in a regular PS, use the adapter to connect power to systemboard.
Neither of above links lead to a particular product. Please give a correct link.
I know there are adapters on eBay, I bought the attached adapter for 10-year old Dell motherboard and it did not fit (pictures are from ebay). Therefore I am pretty pessimistic on this. May be it will fit for above servers?
 

Attachments

Chuckleb

Moderator
Mar 5, 2013
1,017
331
83
Minnesota
The X5675 will work on this board, that's the best performance/value chip you can get but you're breaking the $300 mark. The X5500 series chips will be cheaper, and the X5600 chips are a bit better powerwise. You can get a list of chips of off Wikipedia. I chose the L5640 for the cores and price. but my task load is different than yours.

Some other option for chips are the X5660 and the X5560

Thank you for so many details! According to PassMark - Intel Xeon L5640 @ 2.27GHz - Price performance comparison
single thread performance of the above cpu is very low. What is the best cpu (wrt single threaded performance) I can put into the motherboard you advise?
 

stridder

New Member
Dec 19, 2015
12
0
1
40

Chuckleb

Moderator
Mar 5, 2013
1,017
331
83
Minnesota
Go to the link and contact seller, you will negotiate directly with them. Can always send them a PM or post on the thread. Always nice to buy from forum folks.
 

canta

Well-Known Member
Nov 26, 2014
1,033
204
63
39
Neither of above links lead to a particular product. Please give a correct link.
I know there are adapters on eBay, I bought the attached adapter for 10-year old Dell motherboard and it did not fit (pictures are from ebay). Therefore I am pretty pessimistic on this. May be it will fit for above servers?
No worry, I already having 3 TS140 e3 and i3 processor that running 24/7 early this year

bought $175 total last year for i3, and $285 for e3 this early year. and another ts44o e3 *still not doing usefull task:*

I bought 24 pin to lenove adapter cable and works!!!!
I move all ts140 to SM 2U and 3U case ...

this link -> 24Pin to 14pin 14p Power Supply ATX Cable for lenovo Q77 B75 A75 Q75 Motherboard

I was very patient to save a bit $ haha, it was ~$5..
well they already lower the price to $3.20 .....

you can buy quick for the seller with more $ that has stock in us....
 
  • Like
Reactions: T_Minus

stridder

New Member
Dec 19, 2015
12
0
1
40
I bought 24 pin to lenove adapter cable and works!!!!
Thanks. I think link under "adapter cable" still wrong. it leads to adapter "to connect two Clarion marine wired remote controls to one Clarion marine receiver":)
 

stridder

New Member
Dec 19, 2015
12
0
1
40
No worry, I already having 3 TS140 e3 and i3 processor that running 24/7 early this year
bought $175 total last year for i3, and $285 for e3 this early year. and another ts44o e3 *still not doing usefull task:*
How did you get them so cheap? did you buy them directly from Dell?
 

T_Minus

Build. Break. Fix. Repeat
Feb 15, 2015
7,036
1,581
113
CA
Watching ebay and forums here and other pc/server related sites = deals.

Time or $$$ it's going to cost something.
 

stridder

New Member
Dec 19, 2015
12
0
1
40
Your requirements arent all that tough to meet. There are dozens of complete systems up on ebay that meet that spec, including chassis and psu. Just search 'supermicro 1u' or 'supermicro 2u' and sort by lowest price. Skip over all the spare parts hits and shop your heart out.

Avoid the older P4 or x54xx systems - but that still leaves a lot of choices out there.
Do supermicro motherboards have standard power connector?
Does supermicro refers to form factor/brand etc? I am getting lost:)
 

canta

Well-Known Member
Nov 26, 2014
1,033
204
63
39
How did you get them so cheap? did you buy them directly from Dell?
SD....
I set alert on TS140, TS440 and Thinkserver

the last deal was $285 TS140 e3 on ebay (from reputable saler),
TS140 i3 was $170 too...
all were with 4G UDIMM ECC .

honestly, if you want running 24/7, e3 is saving power compared with e5 for mostly idling or medium usage.

I buy used parts that 50-60% cheaper (compared buying TS140) when needed non 24/7 running server :D.

TS140, TS440 have been pooping up on sale since last year!!, you just need wait and pull the trigger

if you need, Dell T20 can be bough indentically when on sale
the last sale was $140 for pentium/celeron
 

canta

Well-Known Member
Nov 26, 2014
1,033
204
63
39
Watching ebay and forums here and other pc/server related sites = deals.

Time or $$$ it's going to cost something.
for this purpose.. I would get TS140 with e3 haswell :p... $285 total.. + 500GB HD added ( was not on last year deal)
I am pretty sure, Lenovo TS140 will pop up again later..
this is the best bang on all in one entry server for running 24/7 in idle/medium usage.

on my prediction, the price would drop gradually.

SD and STH mostly that I visit to get deals :D

I would jump to e5 wagon when need big RAM and cores.
 

Chuckleb

Moderator
Mar 5, 2013
1,017
331
83
Minnesota
And I'd you wanted to do Supermicro, yes, they use standard power supplies. Motherboards have standard sizes (ATX, mATX, etc.). The spec specifies the screw hole location and physical size. So you can tell if it fits in a standard case or not. The boards mentioned can for an standard tower chassis.
 
  • Like
Reactions: T_Minus