Fujitsu TX1320 M3 - Cheap low power server (barebone)

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homeboy

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Aug 20, 2023
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I also finally got the memory. My plan was to try to reconfigure this totally headless, but unfortunately the received server probably has some configuration left over that has disabled the iRMC functionality. What I can see connecting the management port it does have a statically configured IP address 10.41.21.20 but it will not answer to ping or any TCP ports between 1-1000.

There probably is no way of resetting the iRMC in any other way than getting something connected to the VGA port, right? Started asking around from nerdy friends for a display that would still have VGA input... Lets see how that goes. Would not really like to buy anything new to just reset the server to factory defaults.
 

da8833

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Nov 14, 2022
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If anybody wants to mount 2x 3,5" drives + 2x 2,5" drives in the drive bay, there is a 3d-printable cage on thingiverse:
Fujitsu Primergy TX1320 M3 2x 3.5" cage by Chameloun

Have not yet tried it myself as my printer is not large enough, but maybe someone else would like to give it a go? Please post your experience here if you do.

EDIT:
There is also a nice-looking caddy model by the same person:
Fujitsu Primergy TX1320 M3s 2.5" HDD caddy


EDIT 2 (10-12-2023):
Managed to get the drive cage 3D printed: I am really impressed! Kudos to the designer. Very well designed model, perfectly fits into the existing setup. Even lets you reuse the original drive bay fan. Two 7200 RPM hard drive stay nice and cool at 34-36 °C even under sustained load. Only a cheap mini SAS to SATA breakout cable is required if you want to use more than the two native SATA ports of the mainboard.

And there is still room for two 2,5" caddies and sufficient further space for more 2,5" drives near the top (the latter maybe without "proper" mounting, though, but no big deal if you stick to ssds). You might even consider mounting a third 3,5" hard drive in the empty slot near the power supply (but cooling will be an issue, so probably better stick to 5400 RPM for this one if you try).

This drive cage renders these cute servers perfectly suited as compact, simple, very budget-friendly, and very low power consuming two-drive NAS, imho. For me, this is the best hardware upgrade imaginable to round off a very nice little machine, to begin with.

With 2x 3,5" 7200 RPM drives and TrueNAS Scale, mine sips only about 25 W idle (for comparison: 13-15W under proxmox with 5 SSDs and about 10 LXCs running idle).

Fully recommended upgrade if you want to use it with a 3,5" hard drive zfs mirror.
 
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homeboy

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Aug 20, 2023
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Was able to get my TX1320 M2 project forward. The hunt of a VGA display was successful, one of my friends had actually a CRT monitor still in storage. Oh the nostalgy :) Resetted the iRMC and enabled the full S4 features with the instructions available at Fujitsu iRMC S4 License | «WatchMySys» Blog. One thing to note is that with the license script you need to set the type to "RX" to enable the KVM_Media_eLCM featureset. Using "TX" I was able to enable "KVM_Media" only.

I've been now verifying that hardware works, running stress tests to memory and CPU. I'm really happy that the E3-1230 v5 does not heat up to more than 77-78 celcius degrees even when running CPU stress tests. It seems that not even the CPU fan ramps up in any noticeable way under CPU yet with this temp. Even though the server is not totally silent, at least it is constant low hum even under heavy load.

One question I have though regarding the memory. I've installed ECC memory into the board and have been running memory tests. Tests are all ok (running them for multiple hours). But I can't seem to see anywhere from the iRMC that ECC is actually enabled and functional. I would have expected to see from somewhere that the memory has been detected as ECC. The memory sticks installed are 4 x Kingston Server Premium KSM32ED8/16MR (4 x 16GB). Do I have to just assume that ECC is working and functional not seeing it from anywhere from iRMC?
 

homeboy

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Aug 20, 2023
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Doing a little bit of research, I found this article: How to check if RAM is running in ECC mode?

One tip was to check reported data width. So I first checked what iRCM detailed system XML report had about that:
1701631755659.png

It indeed reports 72 (instead of 64) which should indicate ECC.

Second, I tried the Passmark memtest 10.6 free version:
CaptureScreen.jpeg

So I think that this confirms with some certainty that the ECC is enabled and functional.

Still puzzled that the Fujitsu BIOS nor iRMC isn't showing ECC information in any clear way. Would have expected it.
 
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Albert67

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Oct 11, 2021
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Tx1320 M3 strange power consumption ....

Hello, I have restarted testing different 10gbe networks cards to verify which are the more power effective ones.
But I have a strange "behavior" on the machine that I use for testing (specs in the attached image) that is running debina 12.
with no pci-e card I have a power consumption of about 19.3W. (what seem a little bit high).
When I insert a mellanox 3 dual port card the power consumption drop to 15W!
How is possible that without the pci card che power consumption is higher ?
Anyone has an explanation ?
 

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homeboy

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Aug 20, 2023
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yoggi

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Dec 11, 2023
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Hi forum members,

I just found STH and this thread and I found the topic about Fujitsu TX1320 M3 interesting (I have gone through all the messages in this thread).

I am thinking of getting one of these machines for my first home lab but I have a few questions I hope you can help a newbie like me by answering (if you know the answer).

I have a used Xeon E3-1275 v5 I have seen that it should be possible to use a E3-12xx v5 but I have not seen anybody use a E3-1275 v5. Have anybody got an E3-1275 v5 to work in this server?

From my understanding the Fujitsu TX1320 M3 will not use the E3-1275s built in graphics (and might even turn of the iGPU in the CPU) but use a simpler graphic chip found und the motherboard and this is what is available on the VAG contact on the back. Is this the way it works?

If this is the case, will the graphic card display e.g. a Linux installer or is it just for iRMC S4 (Integrated Remote Management Controller?

Thanks

yoggi
 

da8833

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Nov 14, 2022
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Hello and welcome!

Provided you have updated the BIOS to the latest version (at least one of this year, I seem to remember - some more info on this topic to be found in this thread), your Xenon E3-1275 v5 will work. I have a E3-1270 v5 running without issues, so you should also be good. Just make sure you have a listed v6 processor at hand (Pentium will do) for upgrading the BIOS, if that should be required to reach the minimum BIOS version that supports v5 processors. From then on, you should be fine.

The mainboard indeed only has a VGA connector and getting the console on a VGA-capable monitor for installation purposes is no issue. You probably can also display some more advanced GUI stuff, I presume. I personally have never needed anything more sophisticated than the proxmox installer (graphical, but very simple). If you have more advanced graphics requirements, probably better consider a separate cheap graphic card.

Great machine for a simple homelab setup, imho. Have fun!
 

yoggi

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Dec 11, 2023
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Hi da8833,

Thanks for the quick answer, I appreciate it!

No I don’t have a v6 CPU so I’ll need to find one as I most likely will need to update the BIOS.

Can I ask what you run on your Proxmox installation and how much memory you have installed?

Do you know how many watts your server pulls from wall plug?

Regards,

yoggi
 

da8833

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Nov 14, 2022
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I am currently running about 10 LXC containers which are all mostly idling. I have 32 GB RAM installed, which is more than plenty for this, 16 GB would actually be totally fine (even just 8 GB could be made to work, I believe, but probably not recommended). Since zfs (which I use for the data ssds) uses additional RAM as cache, any overhead in this department will be beneficial to some degree. If you want to run VMs it will strongly depend on their RAM requirements and will change the picture accordingly.

Previously I had been using a Xeon E3-1220 v6 (4C / 4T, 3.0 GHz) as CPU which also has been more than fine for this lowly workload. But as the v5 processors are so cheap, why not upgrade for a little extra oomph... ;-)

This config draws about 13-15 W idle in real life (about 1% idle CPU usage, one system ssd plus four SATA ssds as raidz1 for data).

A freshly installed proxmox on a single ssd without any additional drives etc. (and powertop --auto-tune) will be about 9 W idle.

You can count on about 4-6 W idle per 3,5" hdd, if relevant. (Modern) non-server-grade ssds have negligible idle power consumption (< 100 mW) and are absolutely fine for homelab use in my experience, as long as you are not juggling large real-time databases on them 24/7 (or run similar write heavy workloads). Then better go server-grade ssds, of course.
 

yoggi

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Dec 11, 2023
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Hi again,

da8833 thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions!

I have done some more reading and a few additional questions has arisen that I am hoping some of you forum members might be able to answer for me.

The server I’m looking at is a barebone stripped of drive cages/caddys but comes with a A3C40176097 backplane 4x SATA/SAS (for hot pluggable 2.5 drives in cages/caddys).

I am not interested in hardware raid, only SATA control from software like Proxmox with ZFS.

From what I can see the motherboard only has 2 SATA ports so I think I would need to us the supplied A3C40176097 backplane 4x SATA/SAS in order to have more then 2 HDD/SSDs.

So to my questions;

1. Can I connect SSDs to the A3C40176097 backplane 4x SATA/SAS (use it with ZFS)?

2. The connector on the A3C40176097 backplane 4x SATA/SAS looks like the connection on HDD/SSD. How do I connect a SSD if I don’t have a cages/caddys? Can I use a cable (dose one with exist)?

3. Will a NVMe M.2 SSD work in this machine (in a PCIe slot as I don’t see an M.2 slot on the motherboard)?

Any help would be appreciate.

yoggi
 

da8833

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Nov 14, 2022
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All very good and valid questions.

Just quickly:

ad 1.
yes

ad 2.
- You could just stick the ssds into the connectors (as they are quite light, nothing much is going to happen, really). Not exactly perfect but proven to work reliably.
- Or get 3D printed caddies, see my post above for a probably good model (#422).
- Or use a "mini SAS to SATA breakout cable" (about 5 € from China) and get rid of the whole backplane altogether. Will require also a 4x power adapter cable.
- Maybe even use the 3D printed cage for two 3,5" drives plus two 2,5" drives (caddy and direct mount versions available)? For the model also see above post #422. For the cage you will need the mini SAS to SATA breakout cable and the 4x power adapter cable.

ad 3.
Yes, NVMe M.2 SSDs work absolutely fine with a cheap PCIe adapter and can also be used as boot drive.
 

homeboy

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Aug 20, 2023
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From my understanding the Fujitsu TX1320 M3 will not use the E3-1275s built in graphics (and might even turn of the iGPU in the CPU) but use a simpler graphic chip found und the motherboard and this is what is available on the VAG contact on the back. Is this the way it works?

If this is the case, will the graphic card display e.g. a Linux installer or is it just for iRMC S4 (Integrated Remote Management Controller?
There seems to be no info available what the actual graphics chip on the motherboard is, but at least the Fujitsu documentation states following about the supported resolutions: "up to 1600x1200 or 1920x1080 at 16bpp".

The display works just like a normal main display output for the server. The only special thing about is that a you can get a mirror of whatever is output to the VGA display also through iRMC video redirection feature (which needs the license activation). This also includes access to the BIOS etc. when booting the server. So you actually never need to connect a real display to the VGA output.

However, if you are buying the server used, you might not be able to access the iRMC initially though as you possibly do not know the configured iRMC admin password. In this case, for resetting the iRMC settings you might need to connect one time a display to the VGA output to be able to gain access to the BIOS (where you can reset the iRMC to default config, which includes resetting the admin password). This is what I also needed to do myself.

The only external connector connected to the iRMC is the separate management ethernet port. You manage iRMC only through network, except some very basic settings in the BIOS: resetting it and setting the network IP address for the iRMC.
 

yoggi

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Dec 11, 2023
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Thanks da8833, it's almost like you are the whole forum all by yourself.

You say “Yes, NVMe M.2 SSDs work absolutely fine with a cheap PCIe adapter and can also be used as boot drive.”

Do you also happen to know if the Fujitsu TX1320 M3 supports 2x NVMe cards at the same time so that RAID1 “mirroring” could be used to run and boot Proxmox?

yoggi
 

yoggi

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Dec 11, 2023
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Hi forum members,

I think this might be my last question before I pull the trigger and purchase one of these servers to play with.

In a minimal configuration (e.g. one SSD and no GPU card), how loud would you say this system is (compared to a normal desktop, compared to a rack server)?
 

da8833

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Nov 14, 2022
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I guess you can use several PCIe adapters with SSDs in them, can not see a reason why this would not work. (PCIe bifurcation most probably won't work, so no option).

As for noise with only SSDs: Pretty quiet, but still perceptible if you are nearby as the fans will continue to run very slowly even without any load. Probably hard to hear from > 3m away. Under load, the fans become clearly audible as a comparatively steady hum, but nothing extreme.

All in all, I find noise really nothing to worry about (unless you are looking for "dead silent"), but that may depend on your preferences and use case, of course.
 

Rand__

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Mar 6, 2014
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You say “Yes, NVMe M.2 SSDs work absolutely fine with a cheap PCIe adapter and can also be used as boot drive.”

Do you also happen to know if the Fujitsu TX1320 M3 supports 2x NVMe cards at the same time so that RAID1 “mirroring” could be used to run and boot Proxmox?
I had done some experiments with multiple nvme drives /adapters initially...
You prolly have seen this but if not ...
 

yoggi

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Dec 11, 2023
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Well, I decided to do the case swap. I asked a friend for his 10 year old full ATX tower that was laying around in the basement. I kept the original PSU though. I plan to use it with 2x3.5" drives with a Molex to SATA adapter + maybe a few SATA SSDs for a all-flash data pool in the future. I mentioned the "Molex to SATA lose all your data" saying in my earlier post, but upon further research it seems like it's ok if you avoid the adapters with cheap molded SATA connectors and use the crimped ones instead.

Some learnings:
  1. The TX1320 motherboard is mATX compliant.
    One of the standoff holes is not drilled on the mobo - there's some chip in its place (this is a non-issue for mounting it, just being pedantic)
  2. There can be a dilemma with using an ATX PSU vs keeping the original one.
    1. The "Fujitsu 16 pin to ATX 24 pin" PSU adapter mentioned in the quoted post can indeed be found on Aliexpress under the name "ATX16Pin 16-Pin 24Pin 24-Pin Motherboard Power Supply PSU Converter Cable 30CM For Fujitsu Mainboard". I did not use it, as I kept the original PSU - just mentioning the full name for future generations
    2. (Probably obvious to more veteran members) If you look on the PSU labels, it says it's 11v DC output. This is contrary to the standard ATX PSU which has three main outputs - 3.3v, 5v and 12v. It's supposedly inefficient to convert from AC to DC three times, so for power efficiency some OEMs started producing 12v-only PSUs, and then introducing circuitry for turning that into 3.3v, 5v on the motherboard itself. This is the case here - it's basically a proprietary version of the ATX12VO standard.
      I wonder if a regular ATX power supply would increase the power usage vs the original PSU - on one hand, the adapter cable probably uses only the 12v lines, so the overhead of converting AC to 3.3v and 5v could not be present on ATX PSU too.
    3. The power supply cable coming out of the original PSU is very short - you won't be able to put the PSU on the bottom of the case. Maybe you could have better luck with one of those "PSU near the top of the case" cases. I mounted mine with ... alternative means.
  3. The 2x4 2.5" drive cage fits into two 5.25 slots on the front of the case
    This stops being surprising if you consider that the TX1320 also comes in Tower form - TX1330 (?)
  4. The front panel connector is proprietary.
  5. The order of wires that go into the "SATA POWER" (see T26139-Y4012-V504 cable) connector on the motherboard - yellow black red black points at the fact it's meant to be used as SATA power. The feed-through Molex connector changes that order to the Molex yellow black black red (or reverse, don't use this as reference). If you use a Molex to SATA adapter, you'll be converting the wire order like SATA->Molex->SATA. This isn't a problem, it's just blasphemous :p
@camping8929

Regarding finding number 5, are you saying Fujitsu used the wrong colors for 5v and 12v or are the 5v and 12v in the wrong places?

I ask as I am planning to convert the Molex to SATA power in order to power a SSD.

yoggi
 

camping8929

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Jan 30, 2023
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@camping8929

Regarding finding number 5, are you saying Fujitsu used the wrong colors for 5v and 12v or are the 5v and 12v in the wrong places?

I ask as I am planning to convert the Molex to SATA power in order to power a SSD.

yoggi
@yoggi Don't worry about it, it was just a stupid remark that at the mobo, the power connector starts as yellow black red black (typical SATA order), then turns into yellow black black red (Molex), and when you connect your molex to sata adapter, you're turning the already one swapped yellow black black red back into yellow black red black. The fact that Molex is just funny looking SATA Power may be one of my brightest discoveries to this date.

The Molex connector on the factory power cable will behave just as you expect. The colors-to-voltages mappings are as per convention. The order of cables at the Molex connector of the factory power cable is typical as well. Since you asked you'll have this back in your head anyway, so when you plug in the Molex to sata adapter into the factory power cable, just make sure that red goes to red, black goes to black and yellow goes to yellow (it will) :p