I've now got an X9DRD-7LN4F-JBOD (+heatsinks) and 2x E5-2670's on their way. Now I just ned to make space next to all of the L5639, X5650, Mellanox 10/40G cards and Dell LSI HBA's that I've got sitting around from previous threads. =)
buy from esisoinc. It looks like they are pretty legit. I have one bad processor out of 5. In the process of getting a refund for that one. The memory banks A0 and A1 were bad when that one processor was installed, but when I changed out the processor it would work again. So my conclusion is that the memory controller on that one is bad. Still booted and all 8 cores register, however.
I read up more on stalliontek by doing a google search for that company and "review". All I can say is I think I dodged a bullet there.
I will be water cooling once I have my xeon phi's water cooling setup in place as a couple more inches of hose isn't a big deal.
I like the layout of the X9DAI as a workstation board but for 4 cards the X9DRG-QF (custom form factor) is the most practical but there is NO cheap enclosure to hold it.
The Asus Z9PE-D8 WS is another excellent 4 card board to watch out for (eatx). There are D16 variants of the D8 board with less slots that are generally cheaper but have a less appealing layout for a workstation.
1P boards are much easier to purchase.
Server boards are generally the most discounted and easy to find.
Piffle... alphacool has blocks for the xeon phi and ekg has the annihilator or an adapter for the narrow versions to install any of their standard blocks. There is no reason to water cool these cpus other than noise and a few guys seem to be going passive which is quieter than a pump motor/fan. The phi's require a cooling solution so extending it to the cpu's isn't much more of a pain in the butt BUT it isn't necessary by any stretch of the imagination.
I've got the dyan fan/heatsink combo running today and it is annoying in the next room with the door closed with only one cpu installed.
With the second fan running it is quite impressive.
In the room I am currently use the age old technique of turning the music louder right now. Collecting parts takes forever on a constrained budget and swapping motherboards isn't making things go faster.
In my case there is only one real goal... Reduction of wife complaints.
1) the xeon phi's come fan-less and require proper server rack type fans to keep them cool so lot's of noise.
2) I could use any of a number of large heat sink fan combo's for the CPUs rather than a water block but if I already have the rads and water blocks the price of a water block for the cpu is about the same as a large quiet heatsink/fan combo and what the heck.
My server room and my office are the same room. If I had 4 or 5 of these beasts running, which I hope to, I suspect you would have no problem hearing them from upstairs using a standard rack, with servers fans configuration.