Open Compute WindMill v2 Motherboard

voxadam

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Apr 21, 2016
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Portland, Oregon
Sorry for resurrecting such an old thread but I was wondering if anyone had managed to turn an old Windmill into a somewhat respectable workstation. I'm especially curious about the possibility of using a modern GPU in one of these systems. I'd love it if it were possible to run a 980 Ti or Titan X in these.

Thanks.
 
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grfxlab

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Apr 6, 2016
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I have 7 of these dual node windmill systems running. They are great for CPU intensive jobs. I was wondering how the connection pieces being worked on turned out. I thought that stacking these nodes on their sides could be an interesting way to build a bigger multimode enclosure that still was standard rack sized but 4-5U tall. It might need different power supplies and connectors but could be interesting.
 

RobertFontaine

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Dec 17, 2015
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I have 7 of these dual node windmill systems running. They are great for CPU intensive jobs. I was wondering how the connection pieces being worked on turned out. I thought that stacking these nodes on their sides could be an interesting way to build a bigger multimode enclosure that still was standard rack sized but 4-5U tall. It might need different power supplies and connectors but could be interesting.
What are you using for networking and disk for these. I am very tempted to buy a couple and have 4 cheap dual cpu nodes.
 

grfxlab

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Apr 6, 2016
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What are you using for networking and disk for these. I am very tempted to buy a couple and have 4 cheap dual cpu nodes.
I am using the built in 1Gb ethernet for now. I just ordered a Quanta LB8 10Gbe switch to test. HD are Seagate Barracuda 750GB drives left over from a decomissioned san. My needs for these are CPU crunching. We use them for 3D animation rendering for architecture. Once the project loads into ram network and drive speed do not matter much.
 

grfxlab

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Apr 6, 2016
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Voxadam, If the nodes have enough memory to hold the project, our application is 99% CPU. Although PCIe GPUs are very fast we do not use them for final rendering because too many features that are unsupported when rendering on a GPU.

I have installed Nvidia Quadro NVS290 graphics cards just for monitoring and management.
 

voxadam

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Apr 21, 2016
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Portland, Oregon
@grfxlab, thanks for the info. I asked as I was hoping to find someone who'd managed to get a modern GPU to work in a Windmill system. As I understand it the system firmware is somewhat perplexed by newer GPUs which is unfortunate as I hoping I could use a 980, 1080, or similar card for some home ML experimentation. If I ever get around to building myself a little cluster I may skip the Windmill and instead go with the similarly priced Quanta 2ML.

Thanks again.
 

smithse79

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Sep 17, 2014
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@grfxlab, thanks for the info. I asked as I was hoping to find someone who'd managed to get a modern GPU to work in a Windmill system. As I understand it the system firmware is somewhat perplexed by newer GPUs which is unfortunate as I hoping I could use a 980, 1080, or similar card for some home ML experimentation. If I ever get around to building myself a little cluster I may skip the Windmill and instead go with the similarly priced Quanta 2ML.

Thanks again.
My understanding isn't so much that it's a problem with the BIOS, it's more of a problem that there isn't physically room. The air shroud comes almost right up to the back of the PCIE slot. Modern consumer level cards extend well back from the slot and would interfere. Even if you were to remove the shroud, the RAM isn't much beyond that. I don't believe you're gonna be able to fit a long card onto this board at all
 

grfxlab

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Apr 6, 2016
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Another significant problem is the lack of pcie power to support newer cards. Addional power or different power supplies are needed. After a while it is easier and more cost effective to get a system better suited. If you have access to 208v and need cpu speed, these are great machines.
 

voxadam

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Apr 21, 2016
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Portland, Oregon
It's still up in the air as to whether or I'll end up going the 208 VAC (it would actually be 220 VAC) route or 110 VAC. I'd much rather start with 220 but I'm not sure if that's going to be possible. If I have to run things on 110 I'll almost certainly use one or more HP Common Slot PSUs like others have done.

As for the additional +12 V rails required to power a GPU I plan to use another, HP CS PSU. Three or four GPUs should pull about the right amount to put a Platinum Plus rated 750 W in the sweet zone efficiency wise (~94%). Since the PSUs are rated to operate for a primary of 100-240 VAC I'll be able to use the same HP PSU regardless of the voltage I end up going with.
 

HautKarl

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Sep 17, 2016
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I received my single node Quanta(2x 2670's with 64GB RAM total) sans mid-plane yesterday to be used as a workstation and will be building a box to house the node, ATX power supply, and a Geforce GTX 680(soon to be modded to a Quadro W5000) using a flexible PCI-E extender cable. As I understand it, the cheaper extenders are poorly soldered and offer no shielding so be careful which one you choose.

I'll post pics and a write-up over the coming weeks as I get it sorted out.

Thanks to all of you for doing the legwork!
 
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CosX112

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Sep 1, 2016
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Hello. I'm buy one Quanta Winmill for workstation as HautKarl. Cpu's in a way. The build process will ask questions. Thanks.
 

CosX112

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Sep 1, 2016
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I am get CPU's. Windows 7 and 10 insider works, nvidia gt210 in pci-ex 16 work, sata and usb work. the system turns off when the load to the power supply 350w.
quanta windmill node.jpg