Supermicro 846 cooling of PCI-E HBA controllers?

BLinux

cat lover server enthusiast
Jul 7, 2016
2,539
979
113
artofserver.com
Question for those with more experience with the Supermicro 846 chassis ... I'm noticing that with all the cables (4 SAS cables for me, but I can see others having 6 SAS cables) going to the HBA cards in the PCI-E slots, it sort of blocks the air flow to the HBA heatsinks. I'm using HBAs with connectors at the end that point horizontally. Has this been a problem for cooling? What remedies have you people tried?
 

i386

Well-Known Member
Mar 18, 2016
2,118
561
113
31
Germany
The supermicro airshrouds are your best friends :)

this is from my 836:

The two surrounded parts can be adjusted to direct air from the midwall fans through the heatsinks of your add in cards.
 

BLinux

cat lover server enthusiast
Jul 7, 2016
2,539
979
113
artofserver.com
@i386 thanks for that. unfortunately, won't work in my case.... i have a X9DR3-LN4F+ motherboard, and it is a lot wider with all the DIMM slots. I have the HBA cards all the way near the left wall of the chassis.
 

Terry Kennedy

Well-Known Member
Jun 25, 2015
1,068
508
113
New York City
www.glaver.org
@i386 thanks for that. unfortunately, won't work in my case.... i have a X9DR3-LN4F+ motherboard, and it is a lot wider with all the DIMM slots. I have the HBA cards all the way near the left wall of the chassis.
1) Shorten all cables as much as possible (probably difficult if you don't have the correct tools / parts).
2) Use 3M High Routability SAS / SATA cables.
3) Avoid putting high-temperature cards in the slots close to the edge of the case, particularly if using the plastic cooling shroud. It normally channels the air from 2 of the 3 drive bay fans and both of the rear fans, leaving only a single drive bay fan to cool anything outside the shroud. That's one of the reasons I like the X8DTH-iF board - all 7 slots are PCIe x8 in x16 and interchangeable.

Nice short cables (everything is custom made for the exact length needed), every-other-slot expansion card layout:


3M flat SAS cables:


Lots more info here.
 
  • Like
Reactions: vanfawx

K D

Well-Known Member
Dec 24, 2016
1,431
309
83
30041
I see a lot of posts about 3m high routability cables but haven't been able to find them anywhere. Is there a place where they can be sourced?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Terry Kennedy

Well-Known Member
Jun 25, 2015
1,068
508
113
New York City
www.glaver.org
I see a lot of posts about 3m high routability cables but haven't been able to find them anywhere.
Probably mainly from me. :cool:
Is there a place where they can be sourced?
They're mainly an OEM product. For the 8087/8087 version, there are 175 different part numbers, covering each length from 250cm to 2m in 1cm increments. However, only one length (.5m) is commonly stocked. Do a search for 8F36 (or a different base part if you need something other than 8087/8087). Digi-key has that length, but it is probably too short for you. Heilind occasionally has oddball lengths in stock - right now, they show the .75m one in stock
 
  • Like
Reactions: K D

sth

Active Member
Oct 29, 2015
304
50
28
Last edited:

BLinux

cat lover server enthusiast
Jul 7, 2016
2,539
979
113
artofserver.com
@Terry Kennedy : thanks for sharing. i am indeed using the same type of SAS cables, but I routed them differently:

IMG_20170611_133416.jpg IMG_20170611_133456.jpg IMG_20170611_135054.jpg

I see how you twisted them 90 degrees which I guess opens up for airflow. The way I did it, they formed a "wall" and made me wish the heatsink was on the back of the PCI-E card.

@K D I found the type of cables TerryK mentioned on Amazon:

Amazon.com: 10Gtek Internal Mini SAS SFF-8087 Cable, With Sideband, 0.8-Meter(2.6ft), Thin, Foldable, Flexible, 2 Pack: Computers & Accessories

They are about the same price and with Prime it was convenient and free shipping. In my 846A, I used the 0.5m and 0.8m cables.
 
  • Like
Reactions: K D

sth

Active Member
Oct 29, 2015
304
50
28
You can but why, assuming there’s airflow through the case already which is required to cool the disks themselves?
 

Terry Kennedy

Well-Known Member
Jun 25, 2015
1,068
508
113
New York City
www.glaver.org
You can but why, assuming there’s airflow through the case already which is required to cool the disks themselves?
In the non-HA Supermicro chassis, there are 3 fans in the fan wall. The airflow of two of them is directed into the plastic motherboard shroud and pulled out the back by the two rear fans. The 3rd fan in the fan wall has to cool the rest of the motherboard and PCIe cards all by itself and all of that airflow has to make it out the back of the chassis without further assistance. Not all PCIe cards have vent holes in the brackets. And the leftmost slot is a heat trap because the side of the case is so close to the expansion card and any heat sink on that card.
 

i386

Well-Known Member
Mar 18, 2016
2,118
561
113
31
Germany
I wonder if it's possible to connect a small fan to the HBA heatsink..
Adaptec series 6 (and 5?) raid controllers & hbas have holes on the heatsink for optional fans. Don't know if they have them for newer controllers too or if other vendors like broadcom/areca have such options for their controllers.
 

frogtech

Well-Known Member
Jan 4, 2016
1,346
209
63
32
All you really need is a 40mm fan sitting on top of the heatsink, it's a weird fix but it works a lot better than trying to get air where it just isn't feasible to get(either because of fan layout or because a shroud isnt wide enough).