SuperMicro X7SPE-HF-D525 - Cooling Suggestions?

link470

New Member
Mar 26, 2017
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Hi everyone,

I saw that some of you had experience with the X7SPE-HF-D525 motherboard and I figured I'd sign up!

I have this motherboard in a 1U short depth SuperMicro rack case sitting inside a wall mounted enclosed rack. Apart from a few random issues, this board has been great for the few months I've had this setup running. The problem is it seems to run really hot. The CPU sits at 85-88° C at IDLE, like 0.01 processor load, which is insane when you compare that with the average desktop processor temperature. Those of you who own this board will already know, but to those who don't, the board is passively cooled with a heatsink that has no fan on it, and the SuperMicro 1U case has no fan either. I even replaced the built in power supply that does have a fan with a Pico. It's 100% silent, and for a home, that was my goal.

I've been trying to cool it more though. I've taken the unit apart this weekend and pulled the heatsink off, and I first checked to make sure my heatsink wasn't one of the defective ones like this guy had, and fortunately it wasn't (although I was almost hoping it was because that would have at least made sense for how hot it gets...). So then I cleaned the D525 and the bottom of the heatsink and applied some new thermal paste, but the temperatures were the exact same once the system had been on for a couple hours; still 85-88° C.

SuperMicro IPMI says that this is in the "Warning - Non Critical" range, but that 90° would be critical, and the specs for the Intel Atom D525 say that it can go up to 100° C, even though I'd obviously prefer that not be the case. Currently, I'm using a fan that actually came included with the rack (120mm, I believe) at the top middle, which exhausted air out and I guess pulls it up through vents in the rack case (keep in mind, it's enclosed, not an open rack). The fan connects directly to AC though, so it spins really fast and therefore sounds like a small jet in my house (not an obnoxious jet, but a jet, nonetheless). Once I turned that fan on, the SuperMicro IPMI went from "Warning" to "Normal", and the D525 is sitting at a steady 75°, which still seems too hot, but better (IPMI says "Normal" up until 85°...which makes me wonder if this actually is normal? Is this anyone elses experience with this chip or board?).

So, the question is, what can I do to cool this thing?! Has anyone else had this particular board skyrocket that high? I can't find much information on third party coolers for this unit, and given that it's 1U, it's pretty tough to find anything that looks like it'll work. Given that I want to keep the thing as quiet as possible, I've thought about picking up some 40mm Noctua's and tossing a couple in the front of the SuperMicro case and mounting them on the inside with zip tie mounts or something, and maybe a 120mm Noctua with an AC/DC power adapter inside the rack for exhaust. Anyone have any other ideas?

Thanks in advance!
 

chilipepperz

Active Member
Mar 17, 2016
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We've got a few of these in branch offices. They'll get replaced by denverton.

The cooling was only an issue in closets with no airflow.

Just get a small fan and let it do its thing. These are low power chips and can handle high heat.
 

link470

New Member
Mar 26, 2017
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We've got a few of these in branch offices. The cooling was only an issue in closets with no airflow.
Ah, ok. Sounds like my situation. An enclosed rack, in a closed home closet.

Just get a small fan and let it do its thing. These are low power chips and can handle high heat.
Good to know! I think I'll try the "Noctua in the ceiling of the rack" thing and see how that goes for noise and air throughput. Wasn't sure if I was damaging components by having the chip be that high, but I was trusting that since IPMI said "Normal", that it was actually normal.

They'll get replaced by denverton.
Ooo, just Googled that and looks interesting, haven't followed the Atom line too much so I wasn't even aware of these. Do you know any new up and coming 1U short depth boards that might go nicely in that SuperMicro case? I guess it's too early to tell, as well as with the SuperMicro case I don't think the rear I/O shield can be swapped so ports on another board would have to be in the same position to fit the case, but I may be wrong.
 
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