Dell PowerEdge C8220 Build and Questions

Limoneverde

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Mar 29, 2017
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thanks drabadue, also the c8220 v1.0 board has all pcie gen3 slots? if yes I assume you are right!
fantastic project! well done for your diy case!!! ;)
 

drabadue

Active Member
Sep 15, 2016
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thanks drabadue, also the c8220 v1.0 board has all pcie gen3 slots? if yes I assume you are right!
fantastic project! well done for your diy case!!! ;)

Thank you.

And yes, the c8220 v1.0 has G3 written on the board near the PCIe x16 slots. And in BIOS it says gen3.
 

Silvio

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Mar 20, 2017
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Nice job drabadue! My only concerns on raising the board by the mounting holes alone is warping it under the coolers' weight. Maybe putting cross-beams could give it support with the added benefit that you can bolt it straight into the beam, since the mounting holes are aligned. Perhaps you will need some insulation in case the beams are conductive.
 

drabadue

Active Member
Sep 15, 2016
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Nice job drabadue! My only concerns on raising the board by the mounting holes alone is warping it under the coolers' weight. Maybe putting cross-beams could give it support with the added benefit that you can bolt it straight into the beam, since the mounting holes are aligned. Perhaps you will need some insulation in case the beams are conductive.
@Silvio - Initially, I was worried about that as well. I do not yet have the Corsair H60 coolers installed, however I was worried about the standoffs deflecting under the weight of the board being so high up. But when I started to put it all together, it is actually very sturdy. The motherboard itself is bout 2.7mm thick, which is rather strong compared to a regular motherboard. When I add the coolers, I may find that the board needs more support. If that is the case, I plan to 3d print supports to hold the board under the cpu sockets on the back side. I need the room under the motherboard for a place to mount my hard drives. That is why I decided to make it so tall.

I also am going to have cross beams on the topside that are 3d printed to hold the PSU and GPU in place. These will hopefully help prevent the tall standoffs from leaning inward due to the weight.

I will continue to update as I make progress.
 

drabadue

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Sep 15, 2016
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Which are the recommended gpu for these mobos?
The one that you have, and the one that works. Lol. If you're using the x16 slots near the power button, use whatever you have that will fit. I've tested a GTX 780, GTX 970 and GTX 980Ti in those slots and they all worked. When it came to the rear slot with the riser cable is when I had issues. Thomasz made a table a few pages back of the graphics cards he tested. Some worked, some did not. If you find out your graphics card is not working, update BIOS. Keep in mind the board does not have any on board audio, so I'd suggest using a graphics card that has onboard audio that will transmit sound through HDMI or DVI.
 

Silvio

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Mar 20, 2017
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The one that you have, and the one that works. Lol. If you're using the x16 slots near the power button, use whatever you have that will fit. I've tested a GTX 780, GTX 970 and GTX 980Ti in those slots and they all worked. When it came to the rear slot with the riser cable is when I had issues. Thomasz made a table a few pages back of the graphics cards he tested. Some worked, some did not. If you find out your graphics card is not working, update BIOS. Keep in mind the board does not have any on board audio, so I'd suggest using a graphics card that has onboard audio that will transmit sound through HDMI or DVI.
I tested a small GT610 I had around, worked fine. Anyone tried passthrough to a VM, mine seems to crash the system on Linux.


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drabadue

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Sep 15, 2016
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I tested a small GT610 I had around, worked fine. Anyone tried passthrough to a VM, mine seems to crash the system on Linux.


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I have not tried, and honestly don't know how. But would like to learn and would love to give it a shot. Is there something I can Google to figure out how to do it?
 

Silvio

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Mar 20, 2017
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I have not tried, and honestly don't know how. But would like to learn and would love to give it a shot. Is there something I can Google to figure out how to do it?
The most common way is using VMWare ESXi, the C8220 is certified for ESXi 6.0 but seems to work fine on 6.5. I could not get the passthrough to work yet but it is the first time I use ESXi to be honest. If you want to give it a try, go to Free VMware vSphere Hypervisor, Free Virtualization (ESXi), click on Download Now, you will need to register an account and download the ISO. Use Rufus on Windows to build a bootable USB and install from there. The installation will wipe out the disk, be careful :) After the install you can use the webconsole or the VSphere client on Windows.

I tried using Linux with libvirt but the machine freezes when I do the passthrought. I tried on Centos, Arch, Fedora, etc. Not sure it is a bug with my hardware or just me not using it correctly.
 

drabadue

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Sep 15, 2016
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The most common way is using VMWare ESXi, the C8220 is certified for ESXi 6.0 but seems to work fine on 6.5. I could not get the passthrough to work yet but it is the first time I use ESXi to be honest. If you want to give it a try, go to Free VMware vSphere Hypervisor, Free Virtualization (ESXi), click on Download Now, you will need to register an account and download the ISO. Use Rufus on Windows to build a bootable USB and install from there. The installation will wipe out the disk, be careful :) After the install you can use the webconsole or the VSphere client on Windows.

I tried using Linux with libvirt but the machine freezes when I do the passthrought. I tried on Centos, Arch, Fedora, etc. Not sure it is a bug with my hardware or just me not using it correctly.
Thank you! I will look into this and give it a shot.
 

Silvio

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Mar 20, 2017
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Thank you! I will look into this and give it a shot.
After a *lot* of late nights doing troubleshooting, I got the passthrough to work but not very reliable. ESXi wouldn't work for GPU passthrough, getting a panic and freezing the machine on both 6.0 and 6.5. I tried CentOS 7 but even upgrading to the latest kernel and qemu it wouldn't work. Finally I got it working with Arch Linux that has the cutting edge combo of kernel, qemu and libvirt. The only problem is that shutting down the VM doesn't properly reset the card (damn NVidia doesn't support it) so trying to start it again just freezes the machine. Rebooting the VM seems to work fine, just shutdown and reboot that fails. I'll make a write-up later with all the details. I just need a Radeon card that is supposed to properly support resetting the card...


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frogtech

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Jan 4, 2016
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Has anyone tried putting a C8220 node in a C6220 chassis? The C8220 mobo is technically what they use in the C6220 II which has proper SATA3/SAS2 support for every bay.

From what I remember someone saying is that 6220 II nodes power up in a 6220 chassis but present an amber alert LED on the front of the chassis that can't be cleared unless you use the proper chassis.

edit: Just to clarify, I'm talking about the C8220 node mobo that has the 2 SATA + 1 miniSAS HD connector at the front(where the node would plug into its midplane interface).
 
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thomasz

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Oct 2, 2016
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Hello all, wondering if anyone is still following this thread? There has been some more progress on my "WarpDrv". I hand-made a curved acrylic fairing! Look!

DSC_0407.JPG DSC_0423.JPG DSC_0446.JPG DSC_0471.JPG

This wasn't easy for me. I have tested on multiple pieces of acrylic sheet with different thickness, using multiple tools (heat gun, space heater, sun shine, brutal force, etc), and eventually felt good with the current status.

Then I designed and 3D-printed a turbo fan! (Actually it's not a fan, but a fan-shaped fan grill.)

Screenshot_20170324_230559.png DSC_0439.JPG DSC_0462.JPG DSC_0480.JPG

And finally!

DSC_0514.JPG DSC_0517_2.JPG DSC_0530.JPG

The machine is basically completed! I will test-drive and fine-tune it, before posting a complete build log!
 

Limoneverde

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Mar 29, 2017
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Very nice job Thomasz!
I have ordered from eyeboot the power cable adapter, but I have not received it, so I am thinking to make my own connection, from atx power supply to the 18 pin connector, if I well understood (except for 12Vsb pin) they are 1 row ground and 1 row 12V, so it is not so complicated...I hope, anyone has done it before?
 

thomasz

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Oct 2, 2016
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@Limoneverde Thanks! You are right that the main power connector pinout is one row +12V and one row ground, except for that 12Vsb thing. I made my own and it worked.
 

Limoneverde

New Member
Mar 29, 2017
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Hi there,
just a quick update from my side:
- I have connected the c8220 MOBO to the atx power supply as indicated in this thread, for the moment without the 12 Vsb
- ok the boot, with cpu and ram well recognised (the boot says poweredge c6220 system bios 1.1.19)
- as drabadue no sata connections work
- using a pci-e sata card asmedia 106x ver 0.89 ahci mode in pci-e slot 1 or 2 the sata disks are recognised at boot, but it is not possible install the OS or boot from them with following error: "this is a nas drive you cannot boot from it" (or something similar...)
- also the sata jumper in the I/O connector does not work for me..
I think the best way to use sata disks is to use the Dell Poweredge C8220X Blade Backplane Hdd Sas/Sata 2X2.5 3W8K4

;)
 
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thomasz

Member
Oct 2, 2016
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It is surprising that without +12VSB the board still boots. Seems that people sharing experience in this thread all have very different experience. Is this board so variable.

Hi there,
just a quick update from my side:
- I have connected the c8220 MOBO to the atx power supply as indicated in this thread, for the moment without the 12 Vsb
- ok the boot, with cpu and ram well recognised (the boot says poweredge c6220 system bios 1.1.19)
- as drabadue no sata connections work
- using a pci-e sata card asmedia 106x ver 0.89 ahci mode in pci-e slot 1 or 2 the sata disks are recognised at boot, but it is not possible install the OS or boot from them with following error: "this is a nas drive you cannot boot from it" (or something similar...)
- also the sata jumper in the I/O connector does not work for me..
I think the best way to use sata disks is to use the Dell Poweredge C8220X Blade Backplane Hdd Sas/Sata 2X2.5 3W8K4

;)
 

Limoneverde

New Member
Mar 29, 2017
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@thomasz : I have just put normal 12V in the 12Vsb pin power connector (waiting for the step-up dc-dc board)
I have not yet understood if my board (DP/N 0W6W6G) is a c8220 or a c6220 one, the bios/boot says "poweredge C6220"...
does anyone tested additional sata/sas pci-e card working?
thanks
 

Silvio

New Member
Mar 20, 2017
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@thomasz : I have just put normal 12V in the 12Vsb pin power connector (waiting for the step-up dc-dc board)
I have not yet understood if my board (DP/N 0W6W6G) is a c8220 or a c6220 one, the bios/boot says "poweredge C6220"...
does anyone tested additional sata/sas pci-e card working?
thanks
I bought a SAS2008 mezzanine for C6220/C8220, it got recognized fine, I cross-flashed to 9211-8i but didn't test yet.


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Silvio

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Just for a quick update:
  • Replaced the ancient Nvidia GT610 that wouldn't passthrough to a VM with a Radeon RX570. No more lock-ups during restart, tested Nexuiz, no lags.
  • Added a Dell Y7PHC mezzanine (SAS2008 with 8 internal SAS ports), cross-flashed to 9211-8i and could see the disks on all ports without problems, will passthrough to a NAS VM (FreeNAS or Rockstor)
  • Still using Arch Linux (Kernel 4.10, Qemu 2.9 and Libvirt 3.2), now that I know the lock-ups were due to the Nvidia card, I will retry with a less edgy distro and make it "production". Fedora 26 will be released in July and the most likely target since there is no recent libvirt for Centos.
  • XMR (Monero) mining on the dual E52660v1 is very good (~850H/s)
  • Still need to build a case for it :(
 
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