Dell PowerEdge T640 as a Workstation : Powerful and Silent.

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rafale77

Member
Sep 28, 2020
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I ended up getting mine from a third party and they are the same 0KN2PJs as yours. I found strange that Dell only has these heatsinks on their Thailand and Singapore sites.
 

rafale77

Member
Sep 28, 2020
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I have plenty of Thermal paste leftover from previous projects :).
So far my config and cost:
T640 - 8x3.5" bay Chassis and MB with 2 Hot Swap bay$780
2x Xeon Platinum 8272CL $1300
2X 32 GB DDR4 3200 ECC $290
6X 3.5" Hot Swap Tray + 4X 2.5" inserts $55
2X High Wattage CPU Cooler $145
Total$2570


Will be reusing drives and GPU from another machine... I initially considered an HP ML110 Gen10 and also a single Epyc 7452 rackmount server but this is a better compromise of expansion flexibility, noise, power and cost. I am very grateful for this thread, giving me the idea and details. Fun fact: I got the idea of getting an HP T640 thin client idea from this forum...
 
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ElCoyote_

Active Member
Jul 22, 2016
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@ElCoyote_ I just received the beast and boy that thing is heavy! How did you get 18x 3.5" hot-swap bays on it?
Hi,
Yes, I got the 18 x 3.5 too as I find 3.5 bays more versatile (sure I could have source the 32 x 2.5" version but then I'd be unable to use any 3.5 HDD).
 

azsrz

New Member
Apr 30, 2021
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Hi,
Yes, I got the 18 x 3.5 too as I find 3.5 bays more versatile (sure I could have source the 32 x 2.5" version but then I'd be unable to use any 3.5 HDD).
@ElCoyote_ Thanks for sharing your setup. I am intrigued but wonder how you got the barebone directly from Dell. I chatted online the rep said they do not sell barebones.
 

ElCoyote_

Active Member
Jul 22, 2016
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@azsrz It's actually not difficult: Get the system with the smallest amount of memory and cheapest Xeon. Dell will not sell you a barebones but if you pick a Xeon Bronze and 8G RAM in a T640, they cannot say a thing (and they'll hope you'll come back later for upgrades).
So, order with the minimum specs, sell that Xeon bronze and 8G stick and buy two high-wattage heatsinks for your next upgrades. :)
 

ElCoyote_

Active Member
Jul 22, 2016
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I was calling it a 'barebone' because having a Xeon bronze and 8G RAM at point-of-sale in a T640 amounts to 'almost barebones'. Sorry for the confusion. :)
 

azsrz

New Member
Apr 30, 2021
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I was calling it a 'barebone' because having a Xeon bronze and 8G RAM at point-of-sale in a T640 amounts to 'almost barebones'. Sorry for the confusion. :)
OK that makes sense. Thanks for clarifying.
 
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Mitchy

New Member
Jul 14, 2021
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Thanks for the post guys. Been eyeing a T630/640 for a while.
Just picked one up for my homelab a few weeks back. 18x3.5 is about perfect.
Finally get a place to put my H740P raid card that's been working in another non-dell system for a few years.
Haven't tried to install any non-certified drives yet, but have you found any workaround for the fan-speed issue?

Also, Any workaround with a GPU power feed? I see someone on the Dell forums indicated that you can likely use a plug on the power interposer board. I did get a datacenter idrac license to better set the pcie thermal limits.

Appreciate any hookups/leads on the high core count CPUs... I also ordered my system with a Silver/8gb ;)

I do have one more question. Seems Bi-Furcation is limited to 4x4x8x or 8x4x4x... no 4x4x4x4x option. Haven't yet attempted to use it with a 4x NVME breakout board, but I'm preparing for the last drive unit to not be detected.
 

ElCoyote_

Active Member
Jul 22, 2016
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@Mitchy I'm by no means an expert on this but here are my takeaways:
- non-enterprise drives - HDD: The T640 will bump up the fans with WD REDs, not the T630. The 13th gen are much more tolerant. Same for GPUs, my T630 doesn't care about my GTX 1660 Ti but the T640 didn't like it and started requesting an additional fan.
- Power feed for GPUs. On the T440 I managed to do without the GPU PDU but on the T630/T640 I didn't take chances and got the PDU. Again, on the T640, if you install the PDU, il will start requiring GPU fans. On the T630, it didn't care but started complaining about insufficient PSU power because I had 3/4 GPU Power Cables hanging from the PDU Board.
- Bifurcation is not available on the T630, haven't checked my T640.
 

ElCoyote_

Active Member
Jul 22, 2016
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For cpus, I got word from others here that Azure was dumping some high-core Xeon SP Gen2 cpus on ebay.. Someone, had a T640 and tried a pair in his machine but it didn't work for him. I got a pair of 8269CY's from a contact in China (they're probably from a cloud provider there). if your chips are > 165W, please make sure to get the high-wattage heatsinks.
 

MountainDew

Member
Oct 19, 2015
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@rafale77 if the 14th gen reaction to the non-enterprise HDDs bother you, then perhaps consider a T630. I also have one and this one doesn't freak out with my non-dell non-enterprise HDDs (WD RED Plus) so I've made the T630 a storage node and the T640 a hypervisor. :)
Which PSU setup do you have in your T630? I believe you can have redundant PSUs or one giant PSU in the T630.
 

ElCoyote_

Active Member
Jul 22, 2016
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So there are a few things:

The current only 'best' PSU in the T630 in North America (110V-120V) is the 1100W PSU and you can have two of them (non-redundant), which is what I use.
On 120V, the -only- PSU delivering more watts than the 1100W PSU is the 2400W PSU made for the T640. I got one and it worked in my T640 but it didn't work in my T630 (it wouldn't even power up).

On 220V, the 1600W and 2000W PSU will not get downgraded and will deliver more Watts than the 1100W PSU.
This is sneaky but it explained here (for the R740):

So on 120V (North-America) a 1600W PSU will actually deliver 800W while a 1100W PSU will deliver 1050W.

I didn't know that 3 months ago.
 

MountainDew

Member
Oct 19, 2015
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So there are a few things:

The current only 'best' PSU in the T630 in North America (110V-120V) is the 1100W PSU and you can have two of them (non-redundant), which is what I use.
Did you have two PSUs installed on the T630? I recall some systems running fans at higher speeds if only one PSU is detected.
 

ElCoyote_

Active Member
Jul 22, 2016
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I do have two 1100W PSUs in the T630. It is quieter than the T640 sitting next to it but on 13th gen you can control fan speeds with ipmitool.
Here's my current reading for the T630:

Code:
# ipmitool sdr type Fan
Fan1             | 30h | ok  |  7.1 | 1200 RPM
Fan2             | 31h | ok  |  7.1 | 1200 RPM
Fan3             | 32h | ok  |  7.1 | 960 RPM
Fan4             | 33h | ok  |  7.1 | 960 RPM
Fan5             | 34h | ok  |  7.1 | 960 RPM
Fan6             | 35h | ok  |  7.1 | 1080 RPM
Fan Redundancy   | 75h | ok  |  7.1 | Fully Redundant